[SIZE="3"]The tale of my steam account
I’ve been using the steam platform, correction, had been using, since 2006. I always found using steam a pleasure and would always purchase games via the steam store wherever possible as opposed to non steam retail versions so that I could keep all my games in one place, and not worry about damaging disks. Since 2006 I have easily spent well over £700 building my games collection, it was safe to say I was indeed a strong advocate of steam.
All is well you might say? Think again.
A few days ago I start-up my computer as usual and go to sign into steam, when I see this:
Puzzled and confused, I goggled for the term “This Steam account has been disabled.” After reading a few stories I gathered that steam disables accounts to either protected them if they detect they have been hijacked so the rightful owner can reclaim it, or if there has been a fraudulent payment issue. Owing to the fact that I am a loyal steam customer, and would never put my investment at risk by involving my account in dodgy dealings, I convinced myself it must have been that someone had hold of my account, so I went ahead and opened a ticket with steam support:
« MESSAGE BY YOU ON THU, 26TH AUG 2010 1:35 PM »
I've just tried to login to my steam account, and it's coming up with the message "This steam account has been disabled" and I cannot login.
I've no clue why you would disable my account, my VAC status is fine and I am a long term steam customer and supporter, in fact I run a gaming community that has one of the top 10 most popular garrysmod servers around: [url]http://ventmob.com[/url]
Please would you explain what has happened to my account?
So, although I was currently without access to my steam account, I had confidence in steam that my issue would be resolved shortly; the next day I received this reply:
« MESSAGE BY BRET ON FRI, 27TH AUG 2010 12:40 PM »
Thank you for contacting Steam Support.
In order to investigate this issue, we must verify your ownership of the CD Key.
Please handwrite your Support Ticket Number 5118-YDKC-9432 on the quick reference card or sticker above the CD Key (the number should not be written on a separate piece of paper or inserted with an image editor) and reply with a digital photo or scan of the CD Key in .jpg format. Please ensure that you submit a full-color image, rather than a photocopy.
If you have any difficulty locating the CD Key on the packaging, please see the following link:
After verifying your proof of ownership we will gladly assist you with this issue.
Fair enough I thought, I guess they have to make sure I’m not just any old John Smith attempting to reclaim an account, so as requested I provided them with said image:
« MESSAGE BY YOU ON FRI, 27TH AUG 2010 2:15 PM »
Hi, thanks for your reply,
I've written the ticket number on my HL2:EP1 CD key
I also have boxes for L4D and Dawn of War II if you require please let me know
Thanks for your help,
On Monday I got this reply:
« MESSAGE BY BRET ON MON, 30TH AUG 2010 9:08 AM »
The purchase of AMRA 2 has been disputed by Paypal.
The Paypal account holder will need to close the dispute and have the funds returned to Steam. If the account holder is unable or unwilling to drop the dispute and let the PayPal know that the purchase is valid, and in turn have the funds returned to Steam, we will not be able to reactivate the account.
All games on your account are locked to the account and can not be transferred to a different account.
A different payment method can not be used for this game; the money must be returned by the PayPal account that made the original purchase.
If the dispute is closed and the funds are released back to Steam, the account will be reactivated. However if PayPal closes the dispute by “Reversing the Payment”, meaning they send the funds for the purchase back to you, the Steam account will remain locked and you will lose access to all of the games on the account.
There are no options to resolve a dispute once PayPal has closed the case, so we suggest that you contact them immediately.
PayPal Help Center
Please let us know if you have any further questions.
We are not able to do anything further with your account while a PayPal dispute is still pending, please remedy this issue with PayPal before asking for the account to be reactivated.
Now, this is where things took a turn for the worse, I was confused with the reply I had received for a number of reasons:
1. I only ever remember considering whether to ARMA II, if I did, then it certainly wasn’t in my account.
2. Secondly, if steam are correct and I did purchases ARMA II, and there was indeed a payment issue, it would have been over a year ago; and since PayPal disputes run for I believe 21 days, how am I now ever meant to resolve a dispute that would have been closed long ago.
The statement that really gets me is:
“We are not able to do anything further with your account while a PayPal dispute is still pending, please remedy this issue with PayPal before asking for the account to be reactivated.”
Now, I translate that as: “We will now preceded to ignore and disregard your subsequent replies to this ticket despite the fact it’s completely impossible for you to do what we’ve asked you to do.”
I know for a fact that if there was ever a dispute (I have checked in my account and can find nothing) It was not initiated by me, now for those of you that have ever worked with paypal, you will surely know how fond they are of running “routine investigation” and blocking transactions, I suspect that something along those lines may have happened.
If steam had asked me to repay them in exchange for reactivating my account, I would be more than happy to, but from the response I received it seems they are not willing to negotiate on terms.
I can see from steam’s point of view that this “zero tolerance” policy to billing issues make great sense with regards to fraudulent orders, but what about legitimate and loyal customers like myself who are getting punished though no fault of our own?
So, all this boils down to one question;
Why is it fair (or legal) to take away my entire games library for an issue which was completely out of my hands, and then give me no chance whatsoever to redeem myself?
To me, this seems like very poor business practice from steam, and only results in stealing from alienating real customers, when fraudulent customers would just go an open another account and “purchase” a new set of games.
Despite whatever EULAs and terms and conditions valve may have in place, although I’m not a lawyer, I can’t see how this amounts to anything but theft under UK law, I have bought a product, and they are denying me access to it without refund.
After speaking to various people, I have been advised to contact the citizens’ advice bureau regarding this matter, although I would ask if anybody here has any suggestions for me?
I know that steam will claim this is policy and no exceptions can be made, although, I wish to draw your attention here, where you they have done indeed just this for somebody else:
Thanks for reading,