Posted by NoDeath (798 posts) -
Warning: Big fucking read
 
This morning I received an email from Steam support. An email I've been waiting for days for with baited breath. An email that finally, put an end to this god damn shit storm. 
 
But clearly I'm getting ahead of myself.
 
Lets rewind to shortly before Christmas last year. For various reasons, I came into possession of a Razor Callahan endorsed FIVE GRAND! (note: not actually endorsed by Razor Callahan). Now, being a semi-responsible human being, the first thing I spent the money on was a bunch of crap I needed for college, which I'm starting this year. Now, only  being a semi-responsible human being, instead of spending the rest on a car or something that would be otherwise useful, I decided to spend it on SWEET, SWEET VIDEO GAMES. More specifically I put a large chunk aside to build a really good gaming rig. Determined not to simply squander the money I spent a huge amount of time researching what parts to get, where to get them and how to put the thing together myself. Because of this, I finished the build just a few days before the end of December. Which, coincidentally was when I was scheduled to take a two week trip to visit my dad in Dubai. A yearly ritual in which he spends as much money as he can on me in the hopes that I forget the fact he normally has nothing to do with me.
 
Now I had a bad-ass new PC, but no games that could harness its power. So of course I turned to Steam. Just before I left, I transferred a bunch of money from my bank account to my Paypal account, which is how I have to buy stuff online as I don't have a credit card, then off I went. It takes about a week for funds to transfer into Paypal using this method so it was about a week into the trip that, upon checking my emails on my dads laptop, I saw that the money was in. Barely able to contain my excitement I decided to purchase everything I wanted from the steam store then and there so that I could download and start playing the games the second I got back home. 

I bought about $300 worth of games that day. Here's a quick run down:
  • Modern Warfare 2
  • Borderlands
  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • Crysis
  • Torchlight
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl 

Now I know what your thinking. 
 
Where's the 'horror' part of the story? Five grand? A new PC? A two week all expense paid trip to one of the worlds biggest tourist destinations? Are you sure you're not just some spoilt kid turning to the internet for yet another small glob of attention? 
 
Well I'm glad you asked dear reader, for this is where, as they say, the shit hit the fan. 
 
What follows is a small but deadly chain of events. Paypal noticed I was spending money from Dubai instead of Australia, my normal place of residence. This raised a red flag at paypal so they cut access to my account pending an investigation, contacted the seller, in this case Steam and withheld the funds from being transferred. Seeing as the funds didn't get through to Steam, this counted as payment fraud under the Steam subscriber agreement so they disabled my account. Shut it down. Killed it. In the span of a few hours I had lost access to both my Paypal and Steam accounts and almost $1000 dollars worth of games, $300 of which I hadn't had a chance to start downloading, much less install and play. I spent a good 3 hours sitting in front of that laptop trying to figure all this out. Needless to say, many an expletive was uttered.
 
At this point I was just realising exactly how deep in shit I really was. Obviously my first thought was 'How the fuck do I fix this'. Actually I should say first rational thought. My first thought was something along the lines of 'AAAAAAAAH! I'M SO FUCKING SCREWED! AHHHHHH!!!111!'. Looking to Paypal first I discovered that in order to regain access to my account I had to prove I was me. How do I do this? Well they charge two small cent fees to my credit card, then I relay back to them what two amounts they charged. Easy enough, right? The astute reader will remember as I mentioned earlier I don't have a credit card. But wait! They have alternative methods! Firstly, they could use the charging method except with my bank account. That sounded fine to me but no matter how many times I tried it, the damn thing  simply wouldn't let me past the screen where I chose which bank account I wanted charged. Eventually I gave up and sent them a scan of my drivers license. The next day I checked and after having to change my password and security questions my account was unlocked. 
 
Fantastic! I thought, things are going swimmingly! Now I could only hope that the disabled steam account wasn't permanent. I contacted steam support with an email that in all honesty was far snarkier than it should have been. In my defence I was tired and now that the shock had worn off, just plain angry at the whole situation. Well I got my dues in an equally snarky response telling me I needed to fix the Paypal issue first and kindly reminded me that the games on the account couldn't be transferred to another and that I couldn't get a refund on the games I'd just bought. Gee, thanks. Back to the problem at hand. I'd already fixed the Paypal issue. Hadn't I? It turns out that while yes I had regained access to my account, the payment itself was still under investigation. 
 
So back I went. Looking at the Paypal resolution centre, the payment stated that it required action from me before it could be fixed but try as I might I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was I needed to do. Eventually I gave up and just sent them an email. Being polite this time I explained the situation and awaited a reply. And waited. And waited a little more. Almost a full week after I'd sent the email, I got a very apologetic reply telling me it had all been fixed. The payment had been sent. Back in Australia at this point, I literally spent a few minutes dancing around my room in joy before sending one final email to Steam. The response to which I was referring to at the beginning of this behemoth of a post.
 
So in the end all was well. I've always been a huge supporter of steam and it saddens me to say this ordeal has seriously affected my view of the service as there where a few points where I genuinely thought I wasn't going to get my account back. I'm not really sure what I should take from this. I know the security measures are there for a reason and I'm pretty sure my situation is in the minority. 
 
PS: Thank you very much if you actually bothered to read all this
#1 Edited by NoDeath (798 posts) -
Warning: Big fucking read
 
This morning I received an email from Steam support. An email I've been waiting for days for with baited breath. An email that finally, put an end to this god damn shit storm. 
 
But clearly I'm getting ahead of myself.
 
Lets rewind to shortly before Christmas last year. For various reasons, I came into possession of a Razor Callahan endorsed FIVE GRAND! (note: not actually endorsed by Razor Callahan). Now, being a semi-responsible human being, the first thing I spent the money on was a bunch of crap I needed for college, which I'm starting this year. Now, only  being a semi-responsible human being, instead of spending the rest on a car or something that would be otherwise useful, I decided to spend it on SWEET, SWEET VIDEO GAMES. More specifically I put a large chunk aside to build a really good gaming rig. Determined not to simply squander the money I spent a huge amount of time researching what parts to get, where to get them and how to put the thing together myself. Because of this, I finished the build just a few days before the end of December. Which, coincidentally was when I was scheduled to take a two week trip to visit my dad in Dubai. A yearly ritual in which he spends as much money as he can on me in the hopes that I forget the fact he normally has nothing to do with me.
 
Now I had a bad-ass new PC, but no games that could harness its power. So of course I turned to Steam. Just before I left, I transferred a bunch of money from my bank account to my Paypal account, which is how I have to buy stuff online as I don't have a credit card, then off I went. It takes about a week for funds to transfer into Paypal using this method so it was about a week into the trip that, upon checking my emails on my dads laptop, I saw that the money was in. Barely able to contain my excitement I decided to purchase everything I wanted from the steam store then and there so that I could download and start playing the games the second I got back home. 

I bought about $300 worth of games that day. Here's a quick run down:
  • Modern Warfare 2
  • Borderlands
  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • Crysis
  • Torchlight
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl 

Now I know what your thinking. 
 
Where's the 'horror' part of the story? Five grand? A new PC? A two week all expense paid trip to one of the worlds biggest tourist destinations? Are you sure you're not just some spoilt kid turning to the internet for yet another small glob of attention? 
 
Well I'm glad you asked dear reader, for this is where, as they say, the shit hit the fan. 
 
What follows is a small but deadly chain of events. Paypal noticed I was spending money from Dubai instead of Australia, my normal place of residence. This raised a red flag at paypal so they cut access to my account pending an investigation, contacted the seller, in this case Steam and withheld the funds from being transferred. Seeing as the funds didn't get through to Steam, this counted as payment fraud under the Steam subscriber agreement so they disabled my account. Shut it down. Killed it. In the span of a few hours I had lost access to both my Paypal and Steam accounts and almost $1000 dollars worth of games, $300 of which I hadn't had a chance to start downloading, much less install and play. I spent a good 3 hours sitting in front of that laptop trying to figure all this out. Needless to say, many an expletive was uttered.
 
At this point I was just realising exactly how deep in shit I really was. Obviously my first thought was 'How the fuck do I fix this'. Actually I should say first rational thought. My first thought was something along the lines of 'AAAAAAAAH! I'M SO FUCKING SCREWED! AHHHHHH!!!111!'. Looking to Paypal first I discovered that in order to regain access to my account I had to prove I was me. How do I do this? Well they charge two small cent fees to my credit card, then I relay back to them what two amounts they charged. Easy enough, right? The astute reader will remember as I mentioned earlier I don't have a credit card. But wait! They have alternative methods! Firstly, they could use the charging method except with my bank account. That sounded fine to me but no matter how many times I tried it, the damn thing  simply wouldn't let me past the screen where I chose which bank account I wanted charged. Eventually I gave up and sent them a scan of my drivers license. The next day I checked and after having to change my password and security questions my account was unlocked. 
 
Fantastic! I thought, things are going swimmingly! Now I could only hope that the disabled steam account wasn't permanent. I contacted steam support with an email that in all honesty was far snarkier than it should have been. In my defence I was tired and now that the shock had worn off, just plain angry at the whole situation. Well I got my dues in an equally snarky response telling me I needed to fix the Paypal issue first and kindly reminded me that the games on the account couldn't be transferred to another and that I couldn't get a refund on the games I'd just bought. Gee, thanks. Back to the problem at hand. I'd already fixed the Paypal issue. Hadn't I? It turns out that while yes I had regained access to my account, the payment itself was still under investigation. 
 
So back I went. Looking at the Paypal resolution centre, the payment stated that it required action from me before it could be fixed but try as I might I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was I needed to do. Eventually I gave up and just sent them an email. Being polite this time I explained the situation and awaited a reply. And waited. And waited a little more. Almost a full week after I'd sent the email, I got a very apologetic reply telling me it had all been fixed. The payment had been sent. Back in Australia at this point, I literally spent a few minutes dancing around my room in joy before sending one final email to Steam. The response to which I was referring to at the beginning of this behemoth of a post.
 
So in the end all was well. I've always been a huge supporter of steam and it saddens me to say this ordeal has seriously affected my view of the service as there where a few points where I genuinely thought I wasn't going to get my account back. I'm not really sure what I should take from this. I know the security measures are there for a reason and I'm pretty sure my situation is in the minority. 
 
PS: Thank you very much if you actually bothered to read all this
#2 Posted by MattyFTM (14368 posts) -

Yeah, it can be a hassle to sort out steam payments if your bank or paypal reject the payments for some reason. It does all eventually get sorted out through.

Moderator
#3 Posted by Dylabaloo (1549 posts) -

Cool read I guess all I can say is with good stuff comes bad stuff, glad everything worked out and maybe this will stop others from making the same mistake.

#4 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -

Wow, Paypal disables your account for using it in another country? I have to write this stuff down. I'm happy for you that things worked out. 

#5 Posted by NoXious (1338 posts) -

Kind of with Geno on this one, why would PayPal block your account because you're spending money from another country?

Isn't that the reason some people use PayPal... ? PayPal -> Website -> [World Wide] Web?

Beyond that, yes it can be a hassle when you need something straightened out with Steam. It just barely ever happens, and in your case - happened because PayPal screwed up big time.

#6 Posted by harris (848 posts) -

Interesting story, glad it worked out in the end. I've read a lot of stories in which paypal in conjunction with large amounts of money lead to terrible things; so I try to stay away from that.

#7 Posted by Suicidal_SNiper (949 posts) -

Glad it all worked out in the end but I don't think Steam is the one to blame. I've heard tons and tons of Paypal horror stories and some that are very close to yours.

#8 Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff (5413 posts) -

I know this is more about Steam, but PayPal is widely known for causing massive problems that result in people losing tons of money. They are a bad company. I have had problems with them before.
 
Glad you got it sorted out!

#9 Posted by Kinarion (378 posts) -

I've had a similar experiences just using Credit Cards on Steam.  I'd move coast to coast and the cards would red flag when I used Steam somewhere new.  Ridiculousness.

#10 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

So, both Paypal and Steam did something perfectly reasonable under perfectly reasonable suspicions and, contacting them both, you were able to contact actual human members of the respective support team and had the issue sorted out?
 
Oh, what a horrible, horrible story that is.
 
 
 
(Still confused about Americans not having proper Internet banking)

#11 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

dang that is a horrible story. it is a very hard thing to do when u have problems with two different companies. i really can't really think of any bad things that happened to me.

#12 Posted by Coltonio7 (3156 posts) -

That was an awesome read. Your life is great.

#13 Posted by Apathylad (3066 posts) -

Wow...for once I'm glad I don't travel, so I wouldn't purchase something away from home and end up getting my account blocked.

#14 Posted by ajamafalous (11959 posts) -
Spelled Crysis wrong, bro.
 
 
 

@Meowayne said:
" American "
@NoDeath said:
" Australia, my normal place of residence "
#15 Posted by Jimbo (9800 posts) -

Isn't it a good thing that these companies were as on the ball as they were?  In all fairness, it was a pretty unlikely series of events leading up to the issue - somebody spending $300 on Steam in one go, from outside their country of residence, appears pretty fucking shady on the face of it.

#16 Posted by ShaunassNZ (2128 posts) -

Fuck your life sounds grand, FIVE GRAND!

#17 Edited by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

Steam has overcharged me one time in almost in 6 years of doing business with them.  They credited the charge back into my account the next day and then gave the game I purchased free of charge too.
 
Also, Australians never call it college. We call Tertiary study campuses Universities or "Uni" for short, so I'm doubting the veracity of the OP slightly.

#18 Posted by PureRok (4235 posts) -
@ShaunassNZ said:
" Fuck your life sounds grand, FIVE GRAND! "
Zing!
#19 Posted by ShaunassNZ (2128 posts) -
@PureRok said:
" @ShaunassNZ said:
" Fuck your life sounds grand, FIVE GRAND! "
Zing! "
Zong!
#20 Posted by NoDeath (798 posts) -
@Meowayne: In hindsight I do see your point, but try saying that after you spend a week not sure if you're going to get your steam account back.
 
@ajamafalous:  Thanks, fixed the typo.
 
@Coltonio7 @ShaunassNZ: Don't be fooled! Under normal circumstances my life isn't filled with random large sums of money falling into my lap. This was very much a one off thing.
#21 Edited by Phished0ne (2497 posts) -
@NoXious:  I bought a bottle of liquor in philadelphia with a credit card listed in the pittsburgh area, and they rejected the payment without even calling  me to make  sure it was a valid purchase.  
Credit cards in general  can be a gigantic hassle.   But really people? it is unreasonable that they shut down his account? i think its perfectly understandable.
 
  @Vito_Raliffe said:

" I know this is more about Steam, but PayPal is widely known for causing massive problems that result in people losing tons of money. They are a bad company. I have had problems with them before.  Glad you got it sorted out! "

 
I've never had an issue with paypal, the only problems i've heard about them was the few times their security wasnt up to snuff and peoples credit info got out. but the fixed it and payed back all the charges.   What kind of issues? this intrigues me.
#22 Posted by Kombat (2205 posts) -
@NoDeath: Your opinion of Steam was changed by this?  Really?  If you were *actually* a victim of identity theft or credit card fraud or whatever, and these undeniably draconic measures weren't in place to protect you, you'd be bitching about the exact opposite situation.
#23 Posted by jmrwacko (2443 posts) -
@NoDeath: Welcome to the wonderful world of credit. It sucks ass.
#24 Posted by CornontheCobbe (2645 posts) -

Glad to see things turned out well Richie Rich. I jest ; ) 
 
Steam certainly has been a bit of a problem for me before also in the past.

#25 Posted by Zaapp1 (658 posts) -

Couldn't your dad just have bought all of....you know what, never mind.

#26 Posted by MikkaQ (10283 posts) -

Oh what what a mess, dude. This is why I'm still mad weary of digital distribution, and... well credit cards and shit really. 
 
Cold hard cash is how gangstas run they bizness. 

#27 Posted by DanielJW (4915 posts) -

Awesome read. Glad to hear you got everything fixed up.