BBB

Time to take things to the next level and get the Better Business Bureau involved

VIII. BBB

IX. BBB part 2

X. BBB part 3

I had completely run out of ideas for ways to contact Valve about my account. Thanks to the help of my brother and several people online, I decided to submit a complaint to the Better Business Bureau in hopes that they might be able to help moderate the debate between Valve and I.

On Saturday night (8/11/07) a submitted the complaint in which I laid out my grievances about being banned from the Steam system and how they would not inform me what I had done to cause such a thing.

  • Complaint Description:
  • Valve has a system for their game software to ban people caught cheating from playing in any secured servers. I logged into my account one day to find it banned for a "cheating infraction." I immediately emailed their online support (July 31st) about it and asked them why I had been banned since I knew I had never cheated. On August 3rd I received a generic reply stating I had been banned for cheating and that they were not able to disclose which cheats were detected. I emailed them two more times (August 3rd and August 7th) and never received another reply. I then called their corporate office and left a message on August 8th, 9th and 10th. On August 10th I finally received a call back from Valve after having left several messages for the co-founder of Valve, Gabe Newell. I was able to discuss my account a little bit with a man named Patrick. He informed me that my account had been banned when being used at my home IP. This means that it wasn't some one else who had stolen my account information. He would not give me any more information about what they thought I had done to cheat. I am complaining about several things here. First off the customer service was horrible and I was ignored at every step of the way. Secondly it says in Valve's "subscriber agreement" (http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=subscriber_agreement) that you can be banned for using, creating, or assisting a cheat that gives a person unfair competitive advantage. I have never used any programs that interacted with their programs at all and yet I was still banned. They claim that they are not required to give notice before banning an account, but I think that they give a person no way to defend themselves against a mistake when they won't discuss what actually happened. I was simply told their system was "perfect" and that it didn't make mistakes. Another complaint is that nowhere on their subscriber agreement does it give any dates. I have no clue if it has been modified since they time I first opened my account years ago. I know cannot play of the games I have purchased from Valve in any secure servers (I calculate secure servers to account for about 98.6% of all servers). If I buy any new games from them under this account they will automatically become banned as well. I fear opening a new account and re-buying all the software because I do not know what program they thought I was cheating with. It was obviously some program that I use on my computer, but if I buy a new account it will probably be banned as well since I don't even know what caused my ban. And I can not prove to them that the program I have is not a valve/ steam hacking program unless I know what they are accusing me of having. 
  • Your Desired Resolution: 
  • I wish to either have my account reinstated, or the value of my account refunded, and (if I ever use Valve's games in the future) for me not to be banned again by this program that I am accused of cheating with which is not a cheating program.

The BBB forwarded this complaint to Valve the following Tuesday, and I am currently waiting for a response.

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