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  1. #1

    Steam banned my account without any explanation.

    Hi guys.

    My name is Andrey, I am from Russia. This is my steam account: http://steamcommunity.com/id/dr_yohanson/

    Couple weeks ago I was blocked in steam. I have 230+ games account and I am steam user around 4 years. Now I cant buy games, use community market, use trade windows, activate games keys. I have around 30 gifts in my steam inventory which I want activate and 12000 rub (like $370-375) in steam wallet. So steam dont let me use them. When I asked about my money or games gifts which I bought already - they didnot response.

    I tried to chat with support but steam support is unhelpful, very slow, saying automatic messages and dont tell me why exactly I am blocked.

    All problems started in summer sale. I bought game by mistake, my friends said me that I could ask for refund if I didnot activate this game. I made ticket about refunding and support gave me block.


    When I asked why I have been blocked they answered next:


    "Hello Andrey,

    Thank you for contacting Steam Support.

    Our records indicate that you are using this account to purposely bypass regional content restrictions or regional pricing.

    In the future, do not resell games to users in regions that do not match the price of the region in which you reside or are purchasing from. Additionally, do not use proxy or VPN software to falsify your purchasing region.

    Note that the reselling of games is not supported by Steam Support. If you choose not to follow these instructions, your current and future reselling accounts will be permanently blocked from purchasing on Steam.

    Prices in the Steam Store are set on a region by region basis. The price and currency displayed are the set prices for those games based on your location.

    We are always working with publishers to adjust prices to be in line with what can be found at local retailers and online shops."

    I have some friends from US, Canada, Europe. So they asked me for buying games for them sometimes, because games in Russia are cheaper. I traded with them using steam trading windows and I traded for another games, tf2 keys and some tf2 stuff. Many people worldwide do that.

    After that I asked support few times but they give me automatic messages like "We will be unable to assist you further with this issue. Your account will not be unlocked." or just close my tickets without response.

    I dont understand why I am block. I didnot break any agreements, I cant find anything about not TRADING using their own trading window in steam user agreement. I traded my games with steam trade windows and thousands people worldwide do that.

    I didnot use vpn, I didnot sell games for real money, paypal or webmoney, just traded for another games, tf2 keys and another stuff.

    I saw people who use vpn, who sell games for money, no one of them didnot get ban for it. And I got a ban for regular using trade window.

    So I dont understand why steam allows games trades and give ban for that. If russians cant trade with other people why steam give them such opportunity in steam client? Maybe steam want make some reservation for russians? And if trading with russians is breaking rules, why steam dont block US, EU people who trade with russians.

    I asked support about that, but I havenot any answer for my questions. They just get my money and dont let me use them.

    So I dont want make another account. I want use my own old account and if steam dont give me use it for buying games I willnot buy games anymore.

    P.S. That are screenshots of my tickets in support:
    01.jpg1.jpg

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    You might find this thread of interest:

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/foru...t=steam+banned
    steam: sketch

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus pakoito's Avatar
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    And this belongs to RPS because....

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    I've heard of this happening before and I'm unsure if there is anything you can do about it. A general rule of thumb with steam trading, unfortunately, is to avoid trading with Russia if you are outside of Russia and to avoid the rest of the world if you are in Russia.

    Valve bans people for this all the time.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    I've heard of this happening before and I'm unsure if there is anything you can do about it. A general rule of thumb with steam trading, unfortunately, is to avoid trading with Russia if you are outside of Russia and to avoid the rest of the world if you are in Russia.

    Valve bans people for this all the time.
    So why they dont tell about that in user agreement or dont show message like "you cant trade with people outside Russia"? Anyway I have stuff in my inventory which I bought already and want use it.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by pakoito View Post
    And this belongs to RPS because....
    I just want to tell about this unfair situation and maybe I will have few advices.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakoito View Post
    And this belongs to RPS because....
    It's a PC gaming blog - or did I miss a memo?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Yohanson View Post
    I just want to tell about this unfair situation and maybe I will have few advices.
    Your situation is not uncommon - Steam do not like people who trade 'cheap' Russian keys to people outside Russia, it's against the rules and they can and will ban your account for doing it. It would be nice if they warned people first, perhaps, but it's their system, their rules.

    Normally the ban only applies to the Community Features - you will still be able to play your own games and buy new games for yourself, but you will not be able to gift anything/sell on the Market/buy as a Gift for others. A total ban seems less common so you really upset them somehow.

    If you'd loaded your Steam Wallet with a credit card I'd suggest getting your card company to reverse the charges but outside of that there's not much you can do - as I said, it's their system, they hold all the cards.

    p.s. if you were in the US or EU you'd have some consumer laws to protect you against this but even then, how they apply to Digital Content is a grey area.

    Moral of the story: don't keep any money on your Steam Wallet/XBOX/PS3 account/anywhere else - use CREDIT cards wherever possible etc. etc.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Your situation is not uncommon - Steam do not like people who trade 'cheap' Russian keys to people outside Russia, it's against the rules and they can and will ban your account for doing it. It would be nice if they warned people first, perhaps, but it's their system, their rules.

    Normally the ban only applies to the Community Features - you will still be able to play your own games and buy new games for yourself, but you will not be able to gift anything/sell on the Market/buy as a Gift for others. A total ban seems less common so you really upset them somehow.

    If you'd loaded your Steam Wallet with a credit card I'd suggest getting your card company to reverse the charges but outside of that there's not much you can do - as I said, it's their system, they hold all the cards.

    p.s. if you were in the US or EU you'd have some consumer laws to protect you against this but even then, how they apply to Digital Content is a grey area.

    Moral of the story: don't keep any money on your Steam Wallet/XBOX/PS3 account/anywhere else - use CREDIT cards wherever possible etc. etc.
    Ya, I understand now that keeping money in Steam wallet was bad idea...
    Btw I didnot trade "keys", I traded only games gifts...

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    If it's any consolation, the guy in the thread I linked did end up getting his account unbanned, so you might get sorted too.
    steam: sketch

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Sketch View Post
    If it's any consolation, the guy in the thread I linked did end up getting his account unbanned, so you might get sorted too.
    thank you for link I will read all topic now :)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Yohanson View Post
    Ya, I understand now that keeping money in Steam wallet was bad idea...
    Btw I didnot trade "keys", I traded only games gifts...
    They'll see that as the same thing - it's pretty common, because many games are a LOT cheaper in the Russian Store.

    The legality of banning someone is such a grey area that they just do it and take their chances I think - end of the day the people manning the 'helpdesk' aren't really interested and won't listen to individual cases.

    I'd pack a bag, fly to wherever their HQ is and take a box of cakes into reception and ask if you can have a chat - that might work - expensive but positive!!

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Yohanson View Post
    I have around 30 gifts in my steam inventory which I want activate and 12000 rub (like $370-375) in steam wallet. So steam dont let me use them.



    I have some friends from US, Canada, Europe. So they asked me for buying games for them sometimes, because games in Russia are cheaper. I traded with them using steam trading windows and I traded for another games, tf2 keys and some tf2 stuff. Many people worldwide do that.

    30 gifts in your inventory and you got 370 bucks in return for previous trades

    I dont understand why I am block. I didnot break any agreements, I cant find anything about not TRADING using their own trading window in steam user agreement. I traded my games with steam trade windows and thousands people worldwide do that.
    They don't ban all trades. They DO ban people who do it in bulk. 30+ games is definitely bulk


    I saw people who use vpn, who sell games for money, no one of them didnot get ban for it. And I got a ban for regular using trade window.
    You got banned for suspicious activity AND bringing attention to that activity

    So I dont understand why steam allows games trades and give ban for that. If russians cant trade with other people why steam give them such opportunity in steam client? Maybe steam want make some reservation for russians? And if trading with russians is breaking rules, why steam dont block US, EU people who trade with russians.
    It boils down to: Valve don't want to be bad guys. They don't want to have to give a shit about crap like this. But if it is brought to their attention (either due to such a huge volume of sales/"trades" or someone ACTUALLY bringing themselves to their attention), they have to act on it.

    Its the same logic behind the whole "must be over 13 to register" crap. If the site never "knows" you are a 4 year old, they don't care. But if you say you are a 4 year old, they ban your ass.


    It sucks, but it happens, and you are definitely "in the wrong" here. What you did isn't really all that wrong (assuming you aren't a liar, because 30+ gifts and all that steam cash stirkes me as you were intentionally reselling keys, but let's pretend otherwise), but it looks wrong enough that Valve have no choice but to act.

    So keep trying to explain yourself, but you are basically relying on the kind heart of a minimum wage peon working a help desk.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    [/FONT]
    They don't ban all trades. They DO ban people who do it in bulk. 30+ games is definitely bulk

    Its the same logic behind the whole "must be over 13 to register" crap. If the site never "knows" you are a 4 year old, they don't care. But if you say you are a 4 year old, they ban your ass.
    You are mistake, I have that games for myself. I used my inventory like backpack where I care games for future. And as I said before I want activate them on my account. So how you can make decisions like "it is a bulk for trade"? I saw people with 300-400 games in inventory, like 10xCS Go, 10xGTA etc. It is bulk. I have 1 copy of each game and most of them are not such popular. All games which I have in inventory are not exist in my account. As I said before I want just activate them.

    About 4 year old... Maybe I have not too good English, but I dont understand what are you talking about. I didnot talked that I am 4 years old, lol :)

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Yohanson View Post
    You are mistake, I have that games for myself. I used my inventory like backpack where I care games for future. And as I said before I want activate them on my account. So how you can make decisions like "it is a bulk for trade"? I saw people with 300-400 games in inventory, like 10xCS Go, 10xGTA etc. It is bulk. I have 1 copy of each game and most of them are not such popular. All games which I have in inventory are not exist in my account. As I said before I want just activate them.

    About 4 year old... Maybe I have not too good English, but I dont understand what are you talking about. I didnot talked that I am 4 years old, lol :)
    He was making an analogy, the bit about being too young to use a service wasn't about you. It was just an example. You have what employees at Valve might consider a suspicious account AND you contacted support with an issues that caused a person to look at your account closely. You accidentally put yourself in the spotlight and got screwed.

    From the general shape of it, is sounds like this wasn't fair and that they don't make it clear enough that what you did isn't allowed. And that sucks. :(

    But it does sound like your account would look suspicious to a support person even if you weren't doing anything particularly heinous. And it also sounds like Valve don't allow the kind of key trading you do, even though they are unclear to the point of unfairness about it. :(
    Last edited by gwathdring; 29-07-2013 at 04:37 AM.
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    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    He was making an analogy, the bit about being too young to use a service wasn't about you. It was just an example. You have what employees at Valve might consider a suspicious account AND you contacted support with an issues that caused a person to look at your account closely. You accidentally put yourself in the spotlight and got screwed.

    From the general shape of it, is sounds like this wasn't fair and that they don't make it clear enough that what you did isn't allowed. And that sucks. :(

    But it does sound like your account would look suspicious to a support person even if you weren't doing anything particularly heinous. And it also sounds like Valve don't allow the kind of key trading you do, even though they are unclear to the point of unfairness about it. :(
    I see now...
    Anyway I guess my putting myself in spotlight is proof that I didnot know about Steam policies on that issue. There are no any information about it in agreement, so I thought all is legit.
    I didnot trade game keys btw :)

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Technically you did. I didn't mean to imply you were e-mailing people keys under the table. But the steam gift/trade system is all about trading/gifting keys.

    Whether or not you were trading keys or games is more a philosophical question than anything else. ;)
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  18. #18
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    Ah, digital distribution. Isn't account-tied gaming wonderful? I look forward to more people losing access to their games in the near future.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Yohanson View Post
    You are mistake, I have that games for myself. I used my inventory like backpack where I care games for future. And as I said before I want activate them on my account. So how you can make decisions like "it is a bulk for trade"? I saw people with 300-400 games in inventory, like 10xCS Go, 10xGTA etc. It is bulk. I have 1 copy of each game and most of them are not such popular. All games which I have in inventory are not exist in my account. As I said before I want just activate them.

    About 4 year old... Maybe I have not too good English, but I dont understand what are you talking about. I didnot talked that I am 4 years old, lol :)
    And if you say "But officer, I saw lots of people run that red light", you'll still get a ticket.

    It sucks, you got caught. Maybe you are innocent, maybe you aren't. Nobody but you can know that, and you'll understand if people don't necessarily believe people when they say "I'm innocent"

    It boils down to: you were smuggling games across regions (you yourself admitted to this), which is already a no-no and definitely falls under the "use common sense" clause in the Steam TOS. And, worse yet, you essentially told Steam you did it so they can't even just turn a blind eye and not care.

    End of the day: you were rightfully banned. It is unfair and sucks, but I really don't see Steam overturning this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbite View Post
    Ah, digital distribution. Isn't account-tied gaming wonderful? I look forward to more people losing access to their games in the near future.
    To be fair, if someone got caught doing the physical distribution equivalent, they would get more than a slap on the wrist :p
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    And if you say "But officer, I saw lots of people run that red light", you'll still get a ticket.
    It boils down to: you were smuggling games across regions (you yourself admitted to this), which is already a no-no and definitely falls under the "use common sense" clause in the Steam TOS. And, worse yet, you essentially told Steam you did it so they can't even just turn a blind eye and not care.
    Where we can see that using steam trading window is "smuggling games across regions"? Is there any information about it in steam user agreement? Trading games with friends is "smuggling games across regions"?

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