Steam, banning players for being generous?

Alphakirby

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AndyFromMonday said:
It seems Valve isn't the paragon of virtue everyone though it was.
Wait, WE THOUGHT THEY WERE PARAGONS OF VIRTUE!? Anyone who charges $50 shipping included is NOT a paragon of virtue, to think I could've bought a 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors watch with it for less...Makes me die a little inside.
 

FarleShadow

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TU4AR said:
Boy that was mature. Let's get something quite straight, alright? The game is NOT BEING SOLD IN EUROPE. Therefore, the tax cannot apply. If the EU tax dept. got their panties in such a twist over this shit, they'd just shut down the fucking postal service. Circumvention it may be by a stretch, but it is in no way illegal, nor punishable.
Oops. I'm sorry, I guess when I read 'Non-American' and 'European' I deduced that this meant THEY WERE IN EUROPE, A NON-AMERICAN PLACE.

And not being sold? Yea, you are wrong. See in reality, when you give someone 'money' for a 'product or service', this is typically an exchange. Or a transaction. Of which, most governments love to levy a 'fee' in the form of a tax. The idea that I can give you money and you can give me a game and its not selling is rather laughable.

Furthermore, importing games from abroad is not the same as using steam in that manner, the analogy just doesn't work I'm afraid.
 

Blue_vision

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TU4AR said:
Lolwot

Let me bold my quote for you

Would you like to reword your reply?
I'm confused as to what your argument is.

If it's "Valve isn't losing money, because they don't pay the European tax on the American purchase that eventually goes to a European," Valve isn't the point. The point is that you're cheating your own government out of money, which is bad news for you (in the general sense,) and bad news for Valve, as others have pointed out.

If it's just "Valve doesn't have to pay tax because they're American," that's just stupid. It's European retail, it has to pay European tax. If you're buying from America, you don't have to put up with taxes and are circumnavigating your own government's rules (which are actually made for the benefit of you.) Valve isn't artificially raising the price. The only thing you could call them out on is the fact that games are priced higher in Europe, but then it's kind of a dick move to expect Valve to take a hit in its European profits because of laws that exist in Europe.
 

jpoon

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Gather said:
Bobic said:
Gindil said:
Bobic said:
If your steam account gets banned do you lose access to all the games you bought for yourself?
No. You just lose access to Steam secured servers.
Gather said:
Bobic said:
If your steam account gets banned do you lose access to all the games you bought for yourself?
Yes.
Ok, one of you heartless fiends is lying to me.
Uh... Well, without research I'll retract my answer.
When they yanked my account (for a total bullshit reason) I lost access to the whole Orange Box. Thus why I will likely never pay for a steam game again.
 

Blue_vision

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9_6 said:
So I am a dick for wanting english language (cause you can't change that on the 360 like you can on steam. That'd be customer friendly and we can't have that) and for wanting uncensored games (yes, gifting gives you the non-BS version in steam) which also just so happen to be not only superior in quality but also cheaper.
Beautiful.
In that case, it's pretty much totally justified. But congrats for being worked up about something that was not only qualified to not pertain to you as soon as you'd read it, but wasn't even meant to incite anger in the first place.
 

MurderousToaster

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Well, uh, to be fair, he was sort of ripping Valve off. It's pretty obvious that if you do that you're going to be banned.
 

Zer_

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Feb 7, 2008
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TU4AR said:
FarleShadow said:
You are looking at this backward and stupidly.

Lets pretend you're the tax people in Europe. You want your tax money, the second a company like valve allows people to bypass paying tax but still recieve the product (Or game, whatever), they will go down to Valve and rape them a new bumhole.

Esp. in the Uk, you can commit a murder and be out 5 years later, but screw with the tax people? They'll throw you in for 20 years AND YOU WILL SERVE 20 YEARS and have an XL bumhole.
Boy that was mature. Let's get something quite straight, alright? The game is NOT BEING SOLD IN EUROPE. Therefore, the tax cannot apply. If the EU tax dept. got their panties in such a twist over this shit, they'd just shut down the fucking postal service. Circumvention it may be by a stretch, but it is in no way illegal, nor punishable.
Valve is avoiding potential lawsuits with this. They're fully within their rights to do so. For all we know, the guy was assisting EU customers in evading taxes, which is against the law. It's as simple as that, there's nothing more to add here.

If you don't like the Steam prices, then go into a retail store and purchase the game there.
 

Bad Cluster

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lokialex said:
My old account with about 20 games that I had payed for was banned because of a screw-up at my bank and no one would do anything about it. Steam told me to talk to the bank and the bank told me to talk to steam.

For the record yeah I have no access to my games.
I was incredibly pissed.
Heh, I was more "lucky" I only had about 4 games(I didn't like much) and a 3 month old account. Mine got banned after I changed credit cards and the new one refused to work with Steam when it worked for everything else. I was able to get the account back and confirmed with my bank that everything is ok with my card. Tried it again few days later, it didn't work, after that I got banned for good.
Screw Steam, having a physical copy of the game in a box is always better, nobody is going to take it away because you looked funny once.

I do see the logic in the discussed ban though, its not being generous, its cheating the system. Those were't gifts in a true sense anyway, he got his money back.
 

Roxor

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My gripe with Valve isn't the prices (those come down to something affordable with time). It's the stupid "this product isn't available in your region" nonsense. This makes no sense when there's only one region to be served. Namely the Internet.
 

1000000

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I was going to make a point about price discrimination but then I read through some of the posts in this thread and decided there's just too much ignorance going around to bother.

Let me just say that there are plenty of reasons companies might charge more for a product in different regions that do not involve them simply being dicks.
 

thedeathscythe

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AndyFromMonday said:
Blue_vision said:
Not so much "being generous" as deliberately trying to cheat the system. Valve and the publisher may still be making money off of it, but that's like jacking someone's car, but leaving them $10.
What the fuck are you talking about? Valve was cheating the system in the first place by not adjusting the currency. They were essentially cheating European customers and when an American one decides to help them out Valve bans him.

It seems Valve isn't the paragon of virtue everyone though it was.
Price adjustments depending on region are nothing new at all. Now, if he messaged people privately through email then I think Valve is wrong in assuming he was compensated from them for purchasing it for them. If they messaged eachother through Steam messages like "Sure, just pay my paypal here *insert link*" and all that, then I don't blame Steam for banning him. My verdict? It depends how he messaged them, if it was through email and they never contacted eachother through Steam, then I think it was wrong for Valve to assume he was buying it for them at a discounted price, since I would respond to them that "hey, these are my friends from highschool, we all went our separate ways but we game online. I bought them gifts for christmas" since Valve wouldn't have proof that you bought it for them.
 

Zer_

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Feb 7, 2008
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9_6 said:
Blue_vision said:
In that case, it's pretty much totally justified. But congrats for being worked up about something that was not only qualified to not pertain to you as soon as you'd read it, but wasn't even meant to incite anger in the first place.
"Not pertaining" me?

Do you think valve would make a difference for when you have a "justification" if they supposedly start cracking down on gifting to other countries?
This would pertain me pretty hard since steam is pretty much the only way I purchase pc games nowadays (thanks to DRM in many flavors, I'd rather only have one kind) and gifting is good for when you as a grown adult want to play a non-censored version of a game which you would have no option to get in steam otherwise.
Furthermore excuse me for getting upset by some moral apostle implying I'd have "no moral grounds" for not buying my games the "right" way.
You know, the bullshit you would be saying to pirates except now you're saying it to people who actually buy their games.
If you're referring to acquiring an uncensored copy of a game in say, Germany (where said game was refused classification by law), then yes, Steam is definitely in the right by protecting their own asses in preventing the sale/gift/distribution of the uncensored copy in said region... It would be absurd to think otherwise.

Roxor said:
My gripe with Valve isn't the prices (those come down to something affordable with time). It's the stupid "this product isn't available in your region" nonsense. This makes no sense when there's only one region to be served. Namely the Internet.
That's naive thinking if I ever saw any. The sale of any product (whether it be digital or not) is governed by local laws, and Valve is not going to risk causing unnecessary trouble by circumventing any of these local laws.

thedeathscythe said:
Price adjustments depending on region are nothing new at all. Now, if he messaged people privately through email then I think Valve is wrong in assuming he was compensated from them for purchasing it for them. If they messaged eachother through Steam messages like "Sure, just pay my paypal here *insert link*" and all that, then I don't blame Steam for banning him. My verdict? It depends how he messaged them, if it was through email and they never contacted eachother through Steam, then I think it was wrong for Valve to assume he was buying it for them at a discounted price, since I would respond to them that "hey, these are my friends from highschool, we all went our separate ways but we game online. I bought them gifts for christmas" since Valve wouldn't have proof that you bought it for them.
He was doing it through PayPal, and yes, it's easy for Steam to determine whether or not the user was being compensated for these "gifts".
 

Blue_vision

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9_6 said:
"Not pertaining" me?

Do you think valve would make a difference for when you have a "justification" if they supposedly start cracking down on gifting to other countries?
This would pertain me pretty hard since steam is pretty much the only way I purchase pc games nowadays (thanks to DRM in many flavors, I'd rather only have one kind) and gifting is good for when you as a grown adult want to play a non-censored version of a game which you would have no option to get in steam otherwise.
Furthermore excuse me for getting upset by some moral apostle implying I'd have "no moral grounds" for not buying my games the "right" way.
You know, the bullshit you would be saying to pirates except now you're saying it to people who actually buy their games.
If you actually read the post, you'll see that I said it's okay for people who are either getting screwed over by an overarching system (i.e. a monopoly on a certain good; or something like a union of all the gaming retailers, who all raise game prices because they know they won't get undercut) or something. If you're getting a different product (like one that hasn't been bullshitified by a nanny state,) then that's fine. I'd say that even if the higher price was because of taxes, and you either disagreed with the idea of taxes or didn't like what your government was doing with the money, that's morally alright (though still quite legally wrong.) In the case that all the above options have been exhausted and you're just being a miser, then you're an asshole.

And, fyi, Valve has the right to pretty much ban anyone for any reason they want, and it's totally legal (I think.) Whether they had any good reason to do so is the real question, which is being debated here. And in this case, it seems that Valve could be taken up on grounds of tax evasion, which isn't really good for the company at all.