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Steam vac bans! Consumer nightmare!


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What is Steam and why is this a consumer issue.

 

Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve Corporation. It is used to distribute games and related media online, from small independent developers to larger software houses; in October 2012, Valve expanded the service to include non-gaming software. Steam provides the user with installation and automatic management of software across multiple computers.

 

Steam, through Steamworks, provides a means of server browsing for multiplayer games that utilizes the Steam Community features, allowing users to create lobbies with friends or members of common groups. Steamworks also provides Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC), Valve's proprietary anti-cheat system, for game servers to automatically detect and report users who are using cheats in online multiplayer games.

 

What is VAC? Taken from Steams own website.

 

If a user connects to a VAC-Secured server from a computer with identifiable cheats installed, the VAC system will ban the user from playing on VAC-Secured servers in the future.

While server admins may choose to ban specific players, server admins cannot VAC ban players. The VAC system is automated - contacting Steam Support to report cheaters is not necessary, nor will Steam Support act on any information provided.

The VAC system reliably detects cheats using their cheat signatures. Any third-party modification to a game designed to give one player an advantage over another is classified as a cheat or hack and will trigger a VAC ban. This includes modifications to a game's core executable files and dynamic link libraries.

Contradiction

Reporting a new Cheat Also taken from the Steam website

If you know of a new cheat, especially private cheats (ones that aren't on a public website), and can provide the links or the actual binaries, please visit the SteamPowered Forums and PM (private mail) a moderator there and it will be reported to the VAC team.

 

So you purchased game that can only be operated through STEAM.Your happy playing your game then the next day you log to play and you have been VAC BANNNED.You can no longer play your game and you cant sell it on has the registered serial number is also banned and cannot by use by anyone else.

When you ask why this has happened. Steam will not provide any details and say they do not need to provide them.

 

This is an email from STEAM :ban:

 

Thank you for contacting Steam Support. 18 March 2013

 

Our system indicates that the account has been permanently banned by the Valve Anti-Cheat system (VAC) for use of cheats or other unauthorized modifications. Steam Support is unable to lift the ban.

 

We will not disclose the cheats which were detected, nor will we provide the date and time the infraction took place. VAC has confirmed that the ban on the account was applied legitimately.

 

This ban applies to a Steam account (regardless of who was using the account at the time the infraction occurred). The use and security of the Steam account is your responsibility.

If you choose to purchase a new copy of the VAC banned game(s), please create a new Steam account to register the game(s) on. This is a bog standard reply.

We have had the game since FEB and can no longer use it. NO cheating been done.

 

The gaming community are well aware of the problems with VAC BANS and Steam but still distribute there games through them.

As of December 2012, there are over 1860 games available through Steam and 54 million active user accounts. As of January 2013, Steam has seen over 6.6 million concurrent players.Steam has an estimated 50–70% share of the digital distribution market for video games.*

As of 2012, it is estimated that over 1.5 million Steam accounts have been banned by VAC.*

There are at least 10 known instances of the system kicking or banning for false detections. Most notably in July 2010, approximately 12,000 owners of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 were falsely banned.*

I know that lots of people have had trouble with VAC BANS but what has a consumer what can I do to take action against them. I know I spent £35 for a game that I can no longer use and obviously will not be using STEAM again.

 

*stats info from Wiki and internet

Ladyhawk

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If you cheated at an online game, then under the terms and conditions they can ban you without recompense. However, if you maintain innocence, you could start legal action against them, but starting legal action for the price of a single game would be futile. The lawyers costs alone would make the entire argument worthless.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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You could send them a letter saying giving them 14 days or you'll commence court action for failing to provide a service you've paid for. If you're going to threaten it, you need to be prepared to follow through with it and risk losing the cost of a small claim as well.

 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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That action wont get anywhere Caro. It is expressly written in the terms and conditions of service, that they reserve the right to ban or withdraw access to any game if they have proof of compromise or cheating. Those clauses have been tested in many courts and have held up in every regard.

 

Of course, you can still go forward with a claim, but it wont get anywhere. The only time you are likely to win is if they banned the ENTIRE account. And not just access to one game.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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That action wont get anywhere Caro. It is expressly written in the terms and conditions of service, that they reserve the right to ban or withdraw access to any game if they have proof of compromise or cheating. Those clauses have been tested in many courts and have held up in every regard.

 

Of course, you can still go forward with a claim, but it wont get anywhere. The only time you are likely to win is if they banned the ENTIRE account. And not just access to one game.

 

If they have proof.

 

This bit's interesting.

 

 

This ban applies to a Steam account (regardless of who was using the account at the time the infraction occurred). The use and security of the Steam account is your responsibility.

If you choose to purchase a new copy of the VAC banned game(s), please create a new Steam account to register the game(s) on. This is a bog standard reply.

 

So it isn't the person they're banning. If you stomp up more money they'll let you play again.

 

Is this a penalty? Is it a fair term?

 

I guess for £35 it probably isn't worth pursuing, unless as a point of principle, but as in the Call of Duty incident, even if 1,000 of those wrongly banned paid up again, at £35 a chuck that's a nice little earner.

 

How about a letter or email to the Office of Fair Trading to see what they think about it?

 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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Are you 100% sure there was no cheating going on? I have been playing on steam for years but haven't heard of false positives before. VAC was always known as a conservative anti-cheat, i.e. it was quite easy to get around it hence why competitive leagues and tournaments implement their own stricter anti-cheats.

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Thanks to everyone that replied.

There was no cheating 100% no cheating. BUT my son was playing on his dads comp, that does use trainers for other games.I have read on the internet they scan your comp so maybe that's how the vac ban has been enforced.

There is some good news though I have been able to get my money back.I had bought the game form Amazon and has they had not shown the back of the game case on the selling page which shows the license agreement that I should have read before purchase that would have made me aware of the legal stuff.I phoned then up and explained that I was unaware of my rights because they were not shown or not mentioned in the product notes.They agreed to give me a refund.:smile:

I believe STEAM are taking advantage of people.They will not offer proof and there are 1000's of class actions in America and over in Europe so maybe something will happen.I will be sending office of fair trading a copy of my letter.

Ladyhawk

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They only scan processes that are in active memory. Meaning that the program must be running for them to detect it.

 

Regarding class action lawsuits, there could be millions. The point is, not one of them has succeeded. Valves lawyers are VERY good at what they do.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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