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Old 10-25-2007, 10:40 PM   #1
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Valve locking out user accounts for "incorrect territory"

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While Orange Box has quickly become one of the more popular titles of recent times for both console players on the Xbox 360 (and soon the PS3) and legions of happy PC gamers, the news is not all good about Valve's latest outing. Complaints are coming in that Valve has begun to hunt down and lock out any users who purchased the game internationally, effectively rendering these users' purchase useless.
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:50 PM   #2
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Strange :- o
Wonder if it's true?
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Old 10-25-2007, 11:45 PM   #3
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The ones being locked out were sold illegally. Tough shit and karma for those who tried to get the bottom dollar. I buy through Steam directly for these reasons.
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Old 10-25-2007, 11:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by zSilver_Fox
The ones being locked out were sold illegally. Tough shit and karma for those who tried to get the bottom dollar. I buy through Steam directly for these reasons.
I don't think it were illegally sold. Here is one of the posts from the arstechnia.com site:
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swinte
Long-time reader, first-time poster. I got burned on this so can speak first-hand. Prior to picking up an import copy of Orange Box I researched the Steam terms of service and the vendors in question. No mention was made anywhere of import software being prohibited. My key was activated as a valid key by Steam for a week before the hammer came down.

Subsequently, I've posted on the Steam support forums and have opened a support case with Valve. The support techs obviously aren't reading my questions and still have not shown where in the terms of service or other documentation where import games are prohibited.
...
Seems like he picked up the orange box because there were no terms of service that prohibited (by legal or other wise means like region locks) and suddenly got blocked.

[edit] i'm still reading through the comments and posts from the links.
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:02 AM   #5
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It should be common sense really. Can you bring just anything back with you when you go out of country and buy items for cheaper? No.
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dr.Uudge
I don't think it were illegally sold. Here is one of the posts from the arstechnia.com site:

Seems like he picked up the orange box because there were no terms of service that prohibited (by legal or other wise means like region locks) and suddenly got blocked.

[edit] i'm still reading through the comments and posts from the links.
The vendor was not licensed to sell them, I don't believe Valve has to state it in the TOS, except for in the EULA associated with the games purchased, which would most likely state that the game is licensed for sale only in Taiwan or Russia, which are two major nations for software pirating.
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:37 AM   #7
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I am making an assumption that this assessment is being made by what IP address the user is logging in to Steam from. If this is the case shouldn't Valve be blocking those prohibited IP's from accessing steam to begin with?
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zSilver_Fox
The vendor was not licensed to sell them, I don't believe Valve has to state it in the TOS, except for in the EULA associated with the games purchased, which would most likely state that the game is licensed for sale only in Taiwan or Russia, which are two major nations for software pirating.
Hmm, from the fatwallet.com forums, it seems like there were people who bought it from zest interactive online store. Their site zest.co.th seems like a legit site.

There doesn't seem to be anything to me that states that what zest was doing was illegal. but I'm not any legal anything, not even amatuer law anything, so i have no idea how international retail laws work.

Is there any law person here? the EULA for valve can be found here:
http://www.steampowered.com/v/index....iber_agreement

But then again, after this debacle, valve might have changed their EULA. I remember their pr being notorious for double talking a lot.
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I am making an assumption that this assessment is being made by what IP address the user is logging in to Steam from. If this is the case shouldn't Valve be blocking those prohibited IP's from accessing steam to begin with?
It looks like valve is just disabling the orange box keys for accouts, depending on the ip. So it seems other games are playable, but not the orange box if the OB r-key are the ones valve had distributed to thaiwan and other country retailers.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:02 AM   #9
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http://alaskaoregonwesternwashington...&firm=27030704

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Marketplace Experience
Based on BBB files, this company has an unsatisfactory record BBB Definition:

unsatisfactory record - A company has an "unsatisfactory business performance record" with the BBB is based on the experiences reflected in BBB files. This file condition results when the company has failed to resolve or respond to complaints, repeatedly failed to respond or resolve issues in a timely manner, failed to resolve the underlying issues for a pattern BBB Definition:

pattern - More than 2 complaints involving the same allegations usually within 12 months that are significant in relation to the company's size and volume of business. of complaints, failed to honor their commitment to mediate or arbitrate disputes or honor mediated agreements or arbitrated decisions, failed to substantiate, modify or discontinue false advertising claims that are challenged by the BBB, or failed to discontinue unauthorized use of the BBB name and logo, a Federally protected trademark. with the BBB due to failure to respond to one or more complaints and or two or more otherwise unresolved BBB Definition:

unresolved - The company failed to resolve the complaint issues. complaints. However the business has resolved BBB Definition:

resolved - The company resolved the complaint issues. most complaints presented to the bureau.
When considering complaint information, please take into account the company's size and volume of transactions, and understand that the nature of complaints and a firm's responses to them are often more important than the number of complaints.
The BBB processed a total of 92 complaints about this company in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period.Of the total of 92 complaints closed in 36 months, 43 were closed in the last year.
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Old 10-26-2007, 08:27 PM   #10
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Yikes. So BBB doesn't look favorable on steam? I've been reading on some forums that valve seems to be following in EA's footsteps. And apparently, EA also has an "unsatisfactory record."

But what are the implicatinos of getting such a record from BBB? How are companies influenced by bbb? It seems to say on their faq that they don't actually do any arm twisting or such things.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:55 PM   #11
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They got more than two complaints. People sent in tons when they were unable to unlock HL2, and more are being sent in.

I'm looking forward to seeing Valve's reaction to this. The complaints WERE resolved, btw. And 92 for a company as large as that... yea.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:59 PM   #12
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The purpose of the BBB is so you can research a company and see how they treat their customers, much like private consumer organizations.
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Old 10-26-2007, 10:05 PM   #13
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92 customers out of how many millions isn't that much tbh. And they were resolved. If they were unresolved, then I'd be weary about it. I do agree with researching companies on the BBB, but when you look at things in scale, it's not much.
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Old 10-26-2007, 10:12 PM   #14
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I think BBB is a way to possibly get a company's attention but it isn't an 800 pound Gorilla to be certain.
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:14 AM   #15
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Old 10-27-2007, 01:51 PM   #16
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Lol, all game companies have a crappy BBB rating, because they know they can get away with it. You look at the BBB for a company before you drop thousands of dollars on a computer, or a car or something. If every now and then someone gets screwed out of a 50 dollar game, nobody's going to care.

It would cost them millions to have enough customer service capacity to properly handle every little complaint. Gabe's gotta eat.
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