Valve & Steam support is useless

About a week ago I posted that I was having trouble with Valve and Steam support in fixing a region coding problem with their software called The Orange Box that I purchased in Hong Kong.

According to Valve Corporation’s first line support, all packaging is clearly labeled that the software is region restricted to the region it was purchased in.  I would never buy software for the PC that was labeled like that and because of that I read the box and asked questions about EVERY piece of software I purchased while I lived there.  I still have the retail box that I purchased which says nothing, anywhere, not even in the fine print about having ANY region or territory restrictions.

Since my last post, I have made full color scans of both the retail box and the quick reference card from inside the box that has the CD Key.  I sent them these so that they could see for themselves that there is nothing on there about region or territory restrictions.  I asked them to please escalate the issue to management if they still could not help me.
Here’s the response I got:

A staff member has replied to your question:

Hello Vincent,
We cannot accept pdf files for image verification.

You must submit your photos as a jpg, or gif.

That said, in restricted territories all official packaging for our games contains wording indicating if the game has any restrictions.

We will not be able to lift the restriction, nor provide you with a replacement CD Key for this issue.

So much for attempting to be helpful.

So today I have again, politely asked them to escalate this to their management or give me the contact information of their management so I can talk to them directly.  I paid roughly $45 USD for this game and I don’t feel that I should be punished because some of their packaging is not labeled as they THINK it is.

I don’t really want to spend hours creating accounts on forums and creating posts about how horrible Valve Corporation and Steam software is but if they can’t even be bothered to replace a simple CD Key that has no monetary value (since I already bought the game) then I don’t see a whole lot of choice.  It won’t be the first time I’ve made a formal complaint to the Better Business Bureau either.

Just telling me to buy their software a second time is not a good enough response.  It’s ridiculous and callous and is the face of everything that is wrong with modern tech support and business today.

There’s no reason to think that you will have a similar problem with a company until it happens to you.  What will you do when that day comes?  Roll over and accept being screwed over or try to put up a fight?  Help me get the word out.  I can’t be the only person having this problem and if their tech support is this useless in this case I’m betting there are a lot of screwed over former Valve users out there.
Link back to this post if you want to help out.  Every bit of exposure helps.

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7 Comments

  • By crockdaddy, May 14, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

    I was looking for a contact address for valve so I could complain …

  • By Rev Matt, May 14, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

    This sort of geographic market segmentation is increasingly idiotic. DVDs are the prime example, but this is another excellent one.

  • By cybrpunk, May 14, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

    It’s one of the reasons that Blu-Ray won out over HD-DVD. Blu-Ray has region restrictions. HD-DVD was universal. Imagine that.

  • By Insomnic, May 14, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

    I am guessing you already submitted this to Digg and Reddit … do you have links to them so I can upvote them for your exposure?

    A company not being able to support PDF documentation is pretty crappy and they shouldn’t have shut you down like that because obviously you are submitting it because it is different than they say. I can only guess it is some script reader on 1st level with a 3rd party “internet response” team that doesn’t think but just gets joy out of saying “No” without actually using brain cells.

  • By squee15, February 17, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

    Lol that is like saying ” we are sorry but you uploaded this via win.rar and we on ly accept win.zip. Our appologies but we are too lazy to dl the free version of win.rar to correctly extrace your .pf image. This is ALSO an automated message sent to anyone sen ding us .rar fiels so that once again we do not have to actually take time to perform customer support and can simply dodge actually pushing a few more buttons than necessary.

    Anyways yeah i agree, an d seeing how old this post is, i can say that their support hasnt changed. The net is full of people complaining yet they have a couple million users. Pathetic. There support is slow and extremely underworked. They get a total F from me. my afvice use steam only if you need a demo if they have it.. if that will even work. Other than that spend the extra 5$ and buy from the store. Steam / Valve is horrible at customer service. I don’t think they know what it is.
    In America succesful companies have a saying “The customer is always right”. Those companies usually do well as the customer will come back. I have no idea how a “The customer can screw off and buy the game again and still expect no help” system company works or became profitable.. I think they must have like 20 Support staff for the 20 million people to deal with all of the legal litigation that might arrise in the future from the mass class action lawsuits people will want to file.. Eventually this company will colapse and be the new joke of the 010’s. Until then avoid them at all costs.

Other Links to this Post

  1. Region restricting games - ridiculous! at hello! yoshi — May 14, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

  2. The Valve saga is over | cybrpunk.com — May 20, 2009 @ 1:41 pm

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