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Thread: Steam Account Suspension Rant
25-11-2011, 11:18 AM #21
I've always wondered why Steam support doesn't have a live chat feature. You'd think that something like that would be standard these days, but no.....
25-11-2011, 12:02 PM #22
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
25-11-2011, 12:05 PM #23
25-11-2011, 12:08 PM #24
I am a happy Steam user, but surely noone can argue that an account ban over one transaction is nothing short of ridiculously overkill. Everything else on the account is bought and paid for. Why can't they just block/remove the one title the dispute is over rather than just slap the ban button? Monumental laziness is the only answer I can think of.
Anyway I think many forum frequenters have seen enough of this happening to know not to use paypal in the first place. Good luck with getting your account back.
Last edited by Memph; 25-11-2011 at 12:10 PM.
25-11-2011, 12:39 PM #25
Slightly off topic, but I've always found it highly amusing that there are Steam fanboys. I didn't know shops had fanboys. I wonder if there are Tesco and Sainsburys fanboys who have long internet arguments.
25-11-2011, 12:43 PM #26
25-11-2011, 12:55 PM #27
This happened to me also about 2 weeks ago. There was no warning by email, I just couldn't login with a message saying the account was suspended. Some googling quickly revealed that the most common reason for this is payment dispute, generally from Paypal.
I checked my paypal account and a game I had bought about a month before had its payment reversed by Paypal. The reason for this was I had recently changed bank, the bank was unfamiliar with my spending habits (buying shit beyond midnight!), and blocked the payment to Paypal.
This sets in motion a chain of automatic events on both sides, Paypal and Steam. Paypal raise a dispute, without your knowledge unless you check your account, eventually it is resolved by them taking the money back off steam. This is met with an automatic account suspension from Steam.
It would appear the only time a human gets involved is when you cannot login. I was blissfully unaware of this situation building for over a month.
The reason Steam has a zero tolerance of this is because it often means 'fraud'. Stolen Paypal accounts, credit cards etc etc.
What made the situation all the more galling for me is that I rarely if ever use Paypal and I used it on this occasion simply because I couldn't be arsed to go down stairs to get my new debit card, and Paypal had those details stored.
The problem is Steam's largely robotic and ineffectual support system, as I do kind of understand why these systems must be in place. As far as they're concerned I got a game and I haven't paid for it.
I logged a support ticket the same day. I knew from Google that it takes at least 48hours to get a response. I got a response roughly within that timescale. It was obviously a stock reply, either generated automatically or pasted by a human who maybe just read the words 'suspended' and 'paypal'.
Anyway that response basically said I had to resolve the dispute at Paypals end, but the account will be opened again whilst I do that. Fine, but the issue is Paypal have closed the dispute automatically, and you cannot re-open it, even by calling them.
So this is where you get stuck in limbo.
They also state that the game that was bought is locked, and you also lose the ability to use Paypal on steam.
For now my account is open, but I fear it will be closed again eventually as I'm unsure what I have to do.
I've had my account since the very day Steam started, and have well over 200 games on it.
I don't dislike steam in any way, I'm not bitter, just angry, and it has definitely opened my eyes a little bit. I do now think twice about where I buy games from.
Last edited by snortmort; 25-11-2011 at 12:58 PM.
25-11-2011, 12:56 PM #28
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
25-11-2011, 01:07 PM #29
Snortmort - Certainly something to think about. Digital distribution has grown so rapidly these past years, and yet they're often entirely governed by automated responses. If Paypal or Steam or indeed any online service wants me as a customer, they have to make the appropriate support available first. Till then I'll stick with my boxed retail copies.
25-11-2011, 01:17 PM #30
The other thing is just liking to shop there, which may be a purely rational decision with little emotional attachment.
Same with Steam, really. I often like what they offer, but I'm fully aware of the drawbacks and I'd never step in to defend them without evidence.
Last edited by TillEulenspiegel; 25-11-2011 at 01:22 PM.
25-11-2011, 01:25 PM #31
Biggest lesson for me personally was probably not to put all my eggs in one basket. I'm a terrible hoarder, more a games collector than player, and I nurtured my Steam collection over years, busily hoovering up bargains without a care.
Having it all suddenly go was a massive jolt, and I'm just more cautious now. If I see a bargain on steam, I'll try and find it elsewhere first. Whereas before, just having a game on Steam was an added attraction; another to add to my collection.
I've just rechecked the ticket, and it was closed with the comments I mentioned above, and that was over a week ago, so I'm not sure where I stand. It states that if Paypal actually take back the funds I'll lose the account. Well, that had already happened before they re-opened it.
I have read in several places people saying you must re-purchase the game to put yourself back in favour with the Valve overlords. But that doesn't say that in mine and I'm unsure if that will make any difference.
In my case the game was actually a gift (I always buy games for my sons as gifts if they want anything from steam), and all record of that purchase, and the gift itself has vanished. So it would just be logical to buy it again anyway. I don't actually think that would change anything else as I think the case is closed.
25-11-2011, 01:32 PM #32
I definitely understand the anger and frustration, and total panic if I'm honest! But I figured early on that I would have to be extremely patient, and calm, if I stood a chance of getting my account back.
I don't know if it helped, but when I logged my ticket I pasted the entire contents of the dispute log from paypal, and the original purchase details from my paypal activity.
I acknowledged the problem and explained what had happened. I just tried to help them, help me, as much as possible, and stayed very polite.
Within 2 days my account was back, and (touch wood) it's still open.
Good luck, let us know how it goes.
25-11-2011, 01:39 PM #33
I quite like Steam, but I hope our lawmakers get around to updating and clarifying consumer protection laws for this sort of thing soon. Effectively punishing a paying customer because their bank or Paypal messed up is pretty horrible, especially since there doesn't seem to be a clear way of sorting out the mess afterwards.
25-11-2011, 01:47 PM #34
Man, if this happened on Origin, there'd be a hundred comments complaining that it isn't fair, it's against the consumer's rights, EA eat babies, etc...
25-11-2011, 02:40 PM #35
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
25-11-2011, 03:03 PM #36
- Join Date
- Nov 2011
25-11-2011, 03:14 PM #37
25-11-2011, 05:29 PM #38
People love to bitch about Origin, but from everything I've heard about them their customer support is stellar. Valve could learn a thing from EA in this regard, especially when it comes to having live people available to answer your questions. With steam it seems support tickets always take at least 48 hours, if not more, and even then it's almost always a robotic response.
25-11-2011, 05:40 PM #39
I've gotten to the point where I'm really reluctant to buy anything online if it's not from one of the main "big" online retailers as you never know when the bank will decide to flag something as fraud and shutdown your card.
25-11-2011, 06:07 PM #40
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
My brothers account got banned, he contacted them and they were very useful and quick at getting it reactivated. You have to take into account however many million people use Steam, of course some people are going to have problems and encounter irritating or incompetent support staff. It would be interesting to see some statistics, but I would guess that somewhere around 99% of users never have any problems with Steam or have their problems fixed quickly.
The internet is never representative. My brother didn't go online to post about how they responded quickly. He just went back to gaming.
Last edited by CuriousOrange; 25-11-2011 at 06:10 PM.