Talk About BS: Steam Bans Class Action Lawsuits
This is why contract law is utter nonsense. To use Steam you must agree to their terms and conditions. If you’ve already paid for games that can only be accessed through Steam and they change their terms and conditions, what are you supposed to do if you disagree? Can they just steal their goods back from you? Apparently so. You’re locked into agreeing to any further changes. Valve have amended the Steam T&Cs to disallow customers from bringing class action lawsuits against the company.
Their argument is that these lawsuits waste time and money, and these costs must come from somewhere (higher priced downloads), and the only people they really benefit are the lawyers who bring the cases. Here’s the point though. Not everyone can get a lawyer to take on a case pro bono. If you can’t afford a lawyer yourself the only way of bringing the case to court is teaming up with others and spreading the cost of the lawyer between you.
In fairness to Valve they’ve amended the individual claim process so that you can reclaim legal costs up to a certain limit should the case reach small claims court or arbitration: “Reimbursement by Valve is provided regardless of the arbitrator’s decision, provided that the arbitrator does not determine the claim to be frivolous or the costs unreasonable”.