Valve limits class action lawsuits in new Steam EULA

If you are one of the many millions of Steam users, you might want to pay attention to this next bit of news. Valve has announced it has made some changes to the Steam Subscriber agreement that will directly affect customers who have any issues with the PC game download service.

In a post on the Steam website, Valve says that the new terms of the Steam Subscriber Agreement eliminate the right for a Steam user to participate in a class action lawsuit if they have any disputes with Valve over Steam. Valve gives their reasons for this change:

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. Class actions like these do not benefit us or our communities.

Steam users still have the right to use arbitration or small claims court if they have any issue with Steam. Valve states, "In the arbitration process, Valve will reimburse your costs of the arbitration for claims under a certain amount. 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."

Source: Steam website

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4 Comments

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Well typically in a class action, do customers affected normally get awarded as well if they just do a lawsuit themselves? I feel like class-action means watered-down compensation sometimes.

KSib said,
Well typically in a class action, do customers affected normally get awarded as well if they just do a lawsuit themselves? I feel like class-action means watered-down compensation sometimes.

From my observations, customers get awarded next to nothing (like $5, depending on the suit) in a class action lawsuit. While that will vary, it is usually still very low. That reward makes the lawsuit pretty much pointless for most of the customers. All it servers to do is drain the money from a corporation into the bank account of some lawyer, and some pocket change for the customers.

Personally, I wish most companies did this. Seems it would cut down on frivolous lawsuits and make it so both parties will be happy.