A change in refund policy (opens in new tab) has not been enough to convince everyone that Valve is doing all it should to, er, follow consumer protection law. French consumer rights group, UFC Que Choisir (opens in new tab), which litigates on behalf of the public, is suing Valve over certain clauses in the Steam Subscriber Agreement that it believes are in breach of French law.
As you might expect, the official source (opens in new tab) is in French, but the key points have been translated courtesy of Redditor Silencement (opens in new tab). The UFC alleges five points in particular:
- Steam's Subscriber Agreement explicitly forbids users to sell their games, despite the transfer of ownership of digital products/licenses being legal.
- Valve declines responsibility in the event that users' personal information is stolen.
- Valve claims ownership of the rights of any user-created content uploaded to Steam.
- It is impossible to get the money on your Steam Wallet back if your account is closed/deleted/banned.
- Valve applies Luxembourg's consumer law regardless of the user's country.
This is not the first time that Valve's blanket approach to international consumers' rights has led to court proceedings—the outcome of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (opens in new tab)'s ongoing suit over Valve's refund policy and customer support is expected in March 2016.