Valve has updated the Steam terms and conditions, in order to help protect itself from potential lawsuits from its customer base, specifically the class action kind.
“It’s clear to us that in some situations, class actions have real benefits to customers. In far too many cases however, class actions don’t provide any real benefit to users and instead impose unnecessary expense and delay, and are often designed to benefit the class action lawyers who craft and litigate these claims,” reads a statement made by Valve to Kotaku.
“Class actions like these do not benefit us or our communities. We think this new dispute resolution process is faster and better for you and Valve while avoiding unnecessary costs, and that it will therefore benefit the community as a whole.”
It’s not just the mass lawsuits that you won’t be able to take part in if you agree to the new Steam subscriber agreement, but individual ones too. The change says that you now agree to: “a new required process whereby we agree to use arbitration or small claims court to resolve the dispute.”
This makes it hard to appeal any decision made by the arbitrator and these trials would also be handled privately, meaning Valve can screw up in secret.
If you want to read the entire agreement, you can do so here.
KitGuru Says: It’s understandable for Valve to want to protect itself, but by almost removing any option for disputing a Valve issue legally makes it hard for consumers to complain beyond the company’s own customer support service.