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Games Your Rights Online

Valve Removes Right For Class Action Claims From EULA 270

trawg writes "Valve has joined the list of companies that have altered their terms and conditions to prevent users from filing a class action suit. Their official statement says that such claims 'impose unnecessary expense and delay' and are 'designed to benefit the class action lawyers.' In its stead, they've added a new arbitration process, in which Valve will reimburse costs (under certain circumstances) when dispute resolution can't be solved through their normal support process."
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Valve Removes Right For Class Action Claims From EULA

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @11:34PM (#40837861)

    Unfortunately, it's not just an end-run around the courts. The courts said "Go ahead, run around us." Specifically, The Supreme Court decided companies may enforce binding arbitration in service agreement contract:

  • by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @11:37PM (#40837887)

    I, and many actual lawyers, don't think that they can. These clauses *probably* will not stand up in court, at least against a legitimate grievance. It may work, either directly or indirectly, to stop money-grab class actions, but it may not work if there's a real case.

    I am told (IANAL, remember?) that it is already unenforceable in the EU, and that several states in the US are considering making it unenforceable as well.

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:19AM (#40838275)

    I also agree with these statements. The thing that makes me shake my head is these arbitrators are the same thing banks use to royally screw customers here in the USA. They are never impartial and have only 1 goal, to save the company that hired them as much money as possible.

    I just ditched my bank for a credit union because they sent me a note saying I had to agree to arbitration.

    Guess they found out I don't "have to agree" with *anything*.

  • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <> on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:47AM (#40838461) Homepage

    Unfortunately yes, it does seem to be legally binding.

    If you live in Canada, the ruling is not binding. In Ontario for example, you're protected under the CPA(Consumer Protection act 2002). [] This law, ensures that no company may remove, or attempt to strip away your legal rights to sue, or force you into binding arbitration via contract, ToS, or EULA.

    This comes from the case Kanitz v Rogers Cable []

  • by Asmor ( 775910 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:47AM (#40838791) Homepage

    $large_company "accidentally" overcharges its customers $0.50 per month. Joe Blow sits there and calculates that, hey, his widget bill this month was $65.63, and it should have been $65.13. Joe Blow then goes and checks last months bills, same deal; he goes online and the oldest bills he can see online are 2 years old, and he's been charged this $0.50 every month for at least the last 2 years. Joe Blow's lost at least $12 dollars to this.

    Joe Blow signed away his arbitration rights, so he takes $large_company to small claims court. $large_company says, "Oh, dear me, terribly sorry. Here's $50." and they flip a switch on Joe's account so that he alone won't get charged the $0.50 in the future.

    Of course, amongst all its 10 million customers, $large_company has stolen $120 million in the last two years alone because of this $0.50 cent "accident," and because there was no big class action suit and no publicity they just continue on stealing from their customers because even if someone notices, what are the chances they'll care enough to actually go through the hassle of small claims court?

  • by bfandreas ( 603438 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:53AM (#40839561)
    Allowing? ALLOWING?
    Valve is not in the position to allow or deny anything. State and federal law may allow small claims. State and federal law allow and deny stuff. Valve "licenses" stuff under state and federal law. They have some wiggle room within their contracts(which a EULA is not) and that's about it.

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