Very pissed and frustrated with steam costumer support LONG READ

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#1 Posted by SpiritSentinel (31 posts) -

Okay folks I’m getting very frustrated with steam’s costumer support. Here’s the story, I thought by posting about it here I might get some reaction/help from the community in order to get this issue solved or at least improve the quality of steam costumer support services.

I was in India a while back as an exchange student, while there I bought a copy of left 4 Dead 2 for about 15USDs when converted from ruppies to $.

I left India a while back and few weeks ago I noticed that L4D2 has gone gray from white on my steam library list. Puzzled I right clicked and clicked install, suddenly an error message popped up saying “This game was activated with a product code that is valid only in a specific geographic region. Since you are not currently in that region, Left 4 Dead 2 is not available to play.” And it gave me a link to https://support.steampowered.com/kb_...hp?p_faqid=461 . Afterwards I decided to contact steam support and let’s just say it’s been a horrible experience till now. This is my conversation with the fellow Tech support costumer rep called “Jesse”.

1 Message by you on Mon, 6th Feb 2012 12:04 am

Hey,

A while back I was living in India, and I purchased a copy of Left 4 Dead 2 there. It was a retail purchase. I've left India now, it’s been a while. Looking through my game folders recently I saw that Left 4 Dead 2 is grayed out. Puzzled I tried re-installing it again. Immediately it gave an error saying I had purchased the game in a different region and since I had done that I'm unable to play it in a region other than the region I had made the purchase in. I thought the whole point of steam was being able to be able to play your games where ever you are, whenever you want... this sort if breaks the whole purpose doesn’t it? Now I have to re-buy the game I had already paid money for? And it wasn't "cheap" you know I had bought it for around 20 USDs. Just look through my steam game folder I think I’m a valuable Steam costumer as I buy most of my games on steam, and I own every single valve game there is. Been a member since 2005? I would really appreciate it if I can get some assistance on this matter, I would even be fine with a discount coupon or something I can re-buy the game on steam… I feel kind of cheated you know, bought the game once and now I have to buy it again? The least I think it’s fair that I don’t pay full price for it…And I haven’t even been invited into DOTA 2 BETA… /cry…

2 Message by Support Tech Jesse on Fri, 10th Feb 2012 6:25 pm

Hello Amir,

Thank you for contacting Steam Support.

The message "Steam Error: Game not available in your territory", indicates that the CD Key you have purchased is restricted to the territory where it was sold.

Territory restrictions are noted on the packaging of the game.

Please contact your reseller for a refund, as Steam Support cannot make changes to territory restrictions.

Note: Purchases made directly through Steam are not restricted by territory.

More information is available here:

Title: Game Not Available In Your Territory

Link: http://support.steampowered.com/kb_a...1266-QFZC-2141

3 Message by you on Sun, 12th Feb 2012 2:52 pm

WOW so after about a week this is the half assed reply that I get? Jesus Christ...

Please contact your reseller for a refund? You do realize that I'm not living in India anymore... how the freak can I contact my reseller for a refund?... and how are they ganna provide me a refund exactly when the CD key is tied to my steam account? This is some sweet costumer support. BTW I can't even re purchase the game because it says I already own the game on my account. If you're not ganna help at all at least remove the game from my account so I I'll be able to buy the game from the steam store.

4 Message by Support Tech Jesse on Tue, 14th Feb 2012 5:43 pm

Hello Amir,

I can assist you in permanently removing the title from your account. However, this item will not be refunded and will not be accessible for future use.

If you would like to proceed with this process, please let us know.

5 Message by Support Tech Jesse on Tue, 14th Feb 2012 5:44 pm

Hello Amir,

Please describe why you are you an IP proxy or VPN software to contact Steam Support.

6 Message by you on Wed, 15th Feb 2012 6:48 am

Remove it please so at least I'll have the option to re purchase the game in future if i decided to do so.

PS. I don't think it’s any of your right to ask that question. I'm behind a secure HTTPS connection it’s neither a VPN... nor IP Proxy. If however you do have the legal right to know so, please provide me the TOS paragraph stating that you're entitled to that answer and I'll gladly provide you the information.

Fine, my mistake, I didn’t read the f’ing fine print on the package. But that doesn’t give them the right to be an ass… I own 121 games on steam, which includes every single valve game. It seems they hardly care about my issue as a costumer who’s been with them for 7 years now; I got my first reply after FOUR days and my second reply after two days. Now I’m just asking them to remove the game from my account so I can re purchase the game in the future if I decided to play it. I think I’m being pretty f’ing reasonable. How is it any business of theirs that I’m behind a secure connection? How is me being behind a secured connection relevant to this issue? If they want to verify my identity they just need to ask, I’ll send them a scan of my Texas driver’s license plus anything else they want.

PS. It's called being frustrated.

#2 Posted by Rave (370 posts) -

I'm not going to pretend to understand the secure ip thing but it doesn't sound like they were asking for identity just asking why you are using one, I would guess this could be used by someone stealing your account so ts likely a security measure.

The rest of the customer support you was more then fair, I was with you until I found out the game was purchased at a retailer and not through steam.

It can understand bein frustrated though, I had my Xbox account hacked and stolen, all Ms did was refund me the stolen money they could not even give me back my live tag "Rave" since they can't take it from a another user. At the time it seemed unfair but now that I'm over the frustration I've just moved on. You seem like you are being treated fairly sometimes we don't always get what we want or feel is fair.

#3 Posted by skadave (191 posts) -

Not sure why steam would be required to support your costuming needs.

#4 Posted by Ley_Lines (247 posts) -

@skadave: It's all the hats. I was with you as well until I saw you didn't buy it directly from steam. It sucks, I agree but not steam's fault. Sorry you had to go through this though.

#5 Posted by Branthog (7332 posts) -

The only thing I see worth taking issue with is questioning why you are behind a VPN or proxy - for which there are many rational and sane (and none of their business) reasons. Of course, they're asking because they don't want to be known to be abetting someone skirting geographical constraints with their service.

Everything else is completely sensible. If you buy games from them, they aren't region restricted. If you buy it from somewhere and someone else, they do not have any right to grant you - essentially - another copy of the game or to help you circumvent the region locking of the game (which could almost certainly be perceived as them violating the DMCA). The real problem at that point is the same bullshit problem where we live in a very international world. The planet is small. You can get anywhere in a day or less, yet the fucking publishers and distributors still insist on locking movies, music, videogames, consoles, DVD players, and other content and services and devices based on the fucking country they were bought in. And while this is a game that they made and that they also publish and distribute, EA is also a distributor for the game and they may therefore have some additional concern they may be violating even in granting you some kindness with their own titles.

And people wonder why the rest of us are so vocally opposed to obscene copyright, DRM, and other bullshit consumer-impacting constraints. *sigh*

#6 Posted by Demoskinos (13822 posts) -

@Rave: Wow, what? Someone stole YOUR account and they wouldn't give you access back to it? Dude, I'd be flipping shit if that happened to me. I've pumped way more time and money into my LIVE account than I really care to even think about.

#7 Posted by Rave (370 posts) -
@Demoskinos they gave me access to my account all of my purchases are intact and accessible (after 5 weeks of investigation). I just lost my gamertag "Rave" which was put up for auction, at the time I felt like Ms should have to give me it back, they felt differently. Worst part was the hackers had called me at home and and tried blackmailing into sending them money to get it back, being called at home was a huge invasion of privacy.

Sorry for not makin my 1st close very clear posting from my phone doesn't make editing easy.
#8 Posted by Mikemcn (6874 posts) -

You bought a hard copy of a video game in a foreign country, if you had bought it digitally it would be pretty weird for them to region restrict, but its not surprising there are such limitations on disc versions of the game, it's no different than a DVD or Xbox game in japan, they're region locked, just because you enabled it on steam doesn't mean you're free from restrictions like that, the CD key you redeemed is still tied to the disc it came on, rather than to your Steam account.

#9 Posted by crusader8463 (14298 posts) -

It's a sucky situation, but they are doing no wrong here. It sucks being in a situation like this, but just take it as a life lesson to not buy games in foreign lands and move on.

#10 Posted by 49th (2538 posts) -

Those are the rules, soz.

#11 Posted by CaptainCody (1504 posts) -

Their are video games in India?

#12 Posted by MB (11288 posts) -

@CaptainCody said:

Their are video games in India?

Yep...and in India, they know the difference between "their" and "there", too.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Moderator
#13 Edited by CaptainCody (1504 posts) -

@MB said:

@CaptainCody said:

Their are video games in India?

Yep...and in India, they know the difference between "their" and "there", too.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I usually don't see "there" used before verbs and at the same time "their" is a pronoun. It was a shallow contingency on my part. Also, in Indians native language I doubt that those words are all homonyms, but I could be wrong.

#14 Posted by ninjakiller (3405 posts) -

Why didn't you buy it off of steam and not a physical copy? You constantly pointing out your "huge" library of games bought off of Steam doesn't entitle you to anything.

#15 Posted by DeeGee (2095 posts) -

Yeah, they did nothing wrong. You're just being an asshole here.

#16 Posted by AlexW00d (6056 posts) -

So you were mildly rude to Steam and demanded they give you things before they had even replied to you. Yeah, you're an ass.

#17 Posted by EisforExtinction (78 posts) -

L4D2 is frequently on sale. I would suggest buying it then and chopping it up to bad luck. You can even call it a relocation fee if you want.

#18 Posted by Gringus (64 posts) -

That's why you always read the fine print.

#19 Posted by darkvare (742 posts) -

i have a 50% coupon for valve games on steam add me and i'll give it to you for free id don_vare

#20 Posted by MayorFeedback (672 posts) -

@DeeGee said:

Yeah, they did nothing wrong. You're just being an asshole here.

#21 Posted by Bocam (3537 posts) -

Why did you start cursing at them after only one reply?

#22 Posted by mlarrabee (2755 posts) -

If I buy a PAL or NTSC-J disc to use in my NTSC Xbox 360, that's on me. It would be excellent customer service if the original retailer would accept a return or exchange, but to expect that of the developer? I don't like Starcraft 2 as much as I had hoped, but if I were to return it, it would be to Amazon.com, not Blizzard.

Steam email response isn't the greatest, but you turned snarky really quickly.

#23 Posted by emergency (1190 posts) -
@DeeGee

Yeah, they did nothing wrong. You're just being an asshole here.

Truth
#24 Posted by Shuborno (935 posts) -

The Customer Service Representative clearly explained the error and offered to do the only thing they had the ability to do in this situation:

The message "Steam Error: Game not available in your territory", indicates that the CD Key you have purchased is restricted to the territory where it was sold.

Territory restrictions are noted on the packaging of the game.

Please contact your reseller for a refund, as Steam Support cannot make changes to territory restrictions.

Note: Purchases made directly through Steam are not restricted by territory.

I can assist you in permanently removing the title from your account. However, this item will not be refunded and will not be accessible for future use.

If you would like to proceed with this process, please let us know.

You are the unreasonable person in this exchange. They kept it professional and offered to do everything they could.

You are right to be annoyed at them for the way they asked about the proxy or VPN. However, I understand why they asked.

I don't disagree that it sucks that the retail version is region-locked - I'm glad I read this thread just to know this. Ultimately that's not Steam Support's problem; it just appears to be the nature of having a retail business for video games. Take it as a lesson learned: buy your games directly from Steam if you plan to use them outside of the country you were in when you purchased them.

#25 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@SpiritSentinel: You are an asshole. They are not.

#26 Posted by Vadis (222 posts) -

@SpiritSentinel: That guy was completely calm and reasonable the whole time. You made a mistake and decided to be an entitled ass about it.

#27 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -

@MB said:

@CaptainCody said:

Their are video games in India?

Yep...and in India, they know the difference between "their" and "there", too.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

As someone who interacts with India as part of my job, I can tell you that they're just as bad with that sort of stuff as random dudes on the internet are :P

#28 Posted by Canteu (2814 posts) -

Sorry, but you are at fault here.

Also, consider it from the side of the person who had to deal with you. They gave you options and did what you asked, yet you still jumped down their throat. I wouldn't have done shit for you if I picked up that email.

#29 Posted by Chias (81 posts) -

I'm gonna agree with everyone else here, you're just an ass. I mean that guy tried to help you and the first time he did you tried to slit his throat for no reason whatsoever. I'm surprised he even tried to help you out to be perfectly honest.

#30 Edited by SpiritSentinel (31 posts) -

7 Message by Support Tech Jesse on Thu, 16th Feb 2012 5:44 pmHello Amir,

Unfortunately, we will be unable to assist you further with this issue.

Thank you for contacting Steam Support.

LOL SOMEONES BUTT HURT ... so he didn;t have the right to ask that question, just because to choose to exercise my right of privacy hes choosing to ignore my issue. what a fuckin douchebag.

PS. To the people who;re taking the side with the douchebag costumer support... yeah ... being a jerk on the net is easier to you guys ... sad...

#31 Posted by SpiritSentinel (31 posts) -

@EisforExtinction said:

L4D2 is frequently on sale. I would suggest buying it then and chopping it up to bad luck. You can even call it a relocation fee if you want.

@darkvare said:

i have a 50% coupon for valve games on steam add me and i'll give it to you for free id don_vare

Money is not the issue here... I'm fine with buying the game again... but I can;t even do that as it says I already own the game... QQ

#32 Posted by buft (3298 posts) -

@darkvare said:

i have a 50% coupon for valve games on steam add me and i'll give it to you for free id don_vare

that's pretty decent of you.

#33 Posted by laserbolts (5309 posts) -

@SpiritSentinel said:

7 Message by Support Tech Jesse on Thu, 16th Feb 2012 5:44 pmHello Amir,

Unfortunately, we will be unable to assist you further with this issue.

Thank you for contacting Steam Support.

LOL SOMEONES BUTT HURT ... so he didn;t have the right to ask that question, just because to choose to exercise my right of privacy hes choosing to ignore my issue. what a fuckin douchebag.

PS. To the people who;re taking the side with the douchebag costumer support... yeah ... being a jerk on the net is easier to you guys ... sad...

I dont see how people are being jerks. Steam didn't do anything wrong in this case.

#34 Posted by ShadowSkill11 (1775 posts) -

You bought the game in a box. Why is this Valves fault? Return it to the retailer in India or move on and buy it again for $5 on the next sale. I'm in Kuwait and I usually need to wait a few extra days for games to be released because I'm on the EU's schedule. But I know it is the publishers fault and not Valve's. Grow up man.

#35 Edited by WilltheMagicAsian (1543 posts) -

@ShadowSkill11: Well technically Valve is the publisher.

Anyway, I think the retailer and ultimately you, are at fault in this case. It states on the box it's region locked. If you don't have permanent plans to stay in said region you should pick up an non-restricted copy if possible. It may be because of how different the prices are depending on region. People can (and already do) resell the games for a profit.

#36 Posted by Judgement (15 posts) -

So I read this and find literally nothing wrong with the way Steam handled the situation. On your end however, there were quite a few issues...most notably: you're an ass.

#37 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@Branthog: Steam games are region locked.  Specifically, there are content difference based on region and Steam will block and delete accounts where people have tried to traverse these region blocks to access content which isn't approved for their own region. EA only distribute the console versions, they have nothing to do with the PC version at all.  This conversation also has almost nothing to do with DRM either, certainly not in any negative sense, because Steam/VALVe are only following guidelines which allow them to trade internationally.  
 
@SpiritSentinel: I understand your frustration but you have to also understand their concern that they have to follow international laws to be able to trade internationally.  You having purchased the product in a region which sells the game a lot cheaper than the US and has different content laws means that if you are trying to contact Steam via a proxy brings up red flags when it comes to your support query.  You can't fault them for being thorough and following guidelines.  When you add to that the fact that you're being aggressive and can't communicate in English effectively; 'costumer' and 'ganna' it wouldn't be surprising that they might not see you as trustworthy.
#38 Posted by WilliamRLBaker (4777 posts) -

@Rave said:

I'm not going to pretend to understand the secure ip thing but it doesn't sound like they were asking for identity just asking why you are using one, I would guess this could be used by someone stealing your account so ts likely a security measure. The rest of the customer support you was more then fair, I was with you until I found out the game was purchased at a retailer and not through steam. It can understand bein frustrated though, I had my Xbox account hacked and stolen, all Ms did was refund me the stolen money they could not even give me back my live tag "Rave" since they can't take it from a another user. At the time it seemed unfair but now that I'm over the frustration I've just moved on. You seem like you are being treated fairly sometimes we don't always get what we want or feel is fair.

um...except thats completely untrue if your gamertag is taken I.E: your account gotten into and its details changed they can certainly give it back to you...

#39 Posted by ajamafalous (11590 posts) -
@CaptainCody said:

@MB said:

@CaptainCody said:

Their are video games in India?

Yep...and in India, they know the difference between "their" and "there", too.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I usually don't see "there" used before verbs and at the same time "their" is a pronoun.

Wait what, did you mess those up on purpose in your reply too?
#40 Edited by Branthog (7332 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Branthog: Steam games are region locked. Specifically, there are content difference based on region and Steam will block and delete accounts where people have tried to traverse these region blocks to access content which isn't approved for their own region.

The poster's email from Steam flat out states "Note: Purchases made directly through Steam are not restricted by territory.". They may restrict what games and versions are sold by region, but we're talking about games already purchased. The issue at hand here is that he used a CD-Key to register physical game that he purchased. As the email indicates, if he had purchased it directly via Steam, then he would continue to have access to the product and the version of that product that he bought.

The reason for them questioning his use fo a VPN or proxy is clearly related to your point that they do want or need to impose region-restrictions on purchases as they are made, so they don't want to allow or facilitate some guy that they suspect is circumventing their geolocation stuff in order to purchase something he shouldn't be able to. (Though, again, it really shouldn't be relevant in a world devoid of the this nonsense practice).

EA only distribute the console versions, they have nothing to do with the PC version at all.

As I said, we don't know what obligations or agreements they are bound to with EA. One would presume there is none, but unless you can pull out their contract, we can only make assumptions. It's entirely reasonable that a publisher may demand that a certain policy be used on one platform if you want to do business on another. However, that isn't the point I was intending to make. Rather, that they may therefore have a sort of blanket "treat them all equal" (including themselves) policy when dealing with things like making exceptions for physical purchases. Mostly, I was just giving them the benefit of the doubt here that something outside of their control may limiting their willingness to just invalidate the CD-Key and issue him a new Steam copy of their own game.

This conversation also has almost nothing to do with DRM either, certainly not in any negative sense, because Steam/VALVe are only following guidelines which allow them to trade internationally.

Please explain how this has neither anything to do with DRM nor anything in a negative sense?

If he had purchased the game directly through Steam, he would still be able to have the game regardless of his region. Because he had a physical copy with a region-locked CD-Key redeemed, he can not play the same game regardless of region. Therefore, it is the region-locking DRM that is preventing him from using something he already purchased in the manner which he pleases in the location he pleases. (Kind of like how I can bring my DVD collection and a DVD player anywhere I want and watch what I want - I just can't buy it there - or at least, not as readily as I can the local region locked stuff... or . . . a box full of books I bring with me overseas on a trip).

Second, region-code DRM has almost nothing to do with adhering to local content laws whatsoever. They are artificial restrictions emplaced by creators and distributors to enforce greater control over content, distribution dates, pricing, and so forth. There are only six region encodings. Are you suggesting there are only six variations on content that they have to adhere to in order to appease governments and other authorities? So in order to trade internationally, the content/distribution/restriction laws that they're supposedly adhering to are the same in Europe, the Middle East, Swaziland, Japan, and South Africa (all included in Region 2)? Or that the content and distribution laws all just happen to line up for Mexico, South America, Central America, and Australia (in Region 4)?

And if in some alternate universe, that were the case, then how would I be able to legally import hardware and media from other regions that are locked down to only play that region's content? For example, importing Region 2 locked consoles and games from Japan into America?

Simply, because it has little to do with local laws and everything to do with the same bullshit artificial limitations and restrictions that DRM is always intended to impose in a futile grasp by publishers and distributors to keep a firm grasp on information that is (even then) almost impossible to achieve.

But, again, I think Steam/Valve were fair and right in their actions with regard to this guy's incident. But that doesn't mean the DRM aspect instigating the necessity in the first lace is at all right.

Harvard Law has some interesting comments regarding Region encoding:

3.3.1) What is region coding? How does it differ from CSS scrambling?

"Region coding" is a technological scheme designed to make a DVD purchased in one part of the world unusable anywhere else. This is done by splitting the world up into seven "regions" and then coding a DVD to only be usable on players coded for those regions.

The reasons for this is primarily marketing. When a film opens in Europe, it often has already had its run in the United States and is coming to video and DVD. By placing technological blocks in place to keep DVD's coded for North America ("Region 1") from being usable on European ("Region ") players, this avoids movies being imported on DVD before they reach the theaters.

The other reason deals with the differing economic situations in various countries. DVD producers can afford to charge more for a DVD in certain countries (the U.S., for example) than in others (for example, India). Without region coding, nothing stops an enterprising DVD importer from importing hundreds of thousands of DVD's from countries in which the retail prices of DVD's are far lower. This would drive the price of retail DVD's to the level of VHS video.

What region a DVD may be played in is determined by a single byte in the data on the DVD. A region code of "0" indicates that a DVD may be played in all regions. While most "official" DVD players are coded for one particular region, there are some DVD players which are not. Some of these players have been modified to ignore region coding, or to change regions as the user wishes. Others allow a certain number of changes to the player's native region before no more changes are allowed.

The legal implications of region coding are a matter of debate; there have been discussions regarding whether region coding is legal, due to the fact that it allows potential problems with price fixing and other forms of market control. For these reasons region coding has already been outlawed in New Zealand.

There is no technological relation between region coding and CSS encryption; there are plenty of region-coded DVD's that are not CSS-encrypted. According to knowledgable sources, the CSS player licensing agreement however mandates that all CSS-licensed DVD players are also region coded.

None of the current DeCSS cases have anything to do directly with region coding.

source: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/openlaw/DVD/dvd-discuss-faq.html#ss3.3.1

#41 Edited by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@Branthog: Right, so you argue that Valve aren't anything wrong by enforcing guidlelines which enable them to trade internationally, guidelines which are in fact enforced by DRM but then you still end in saying DRM is bad because?  DRM isn't instigating a necessity (what does that even mean?) but it's rather instigated by necessity so that VALVe can trade safely and internationally.
 
Oh cool, Harvard information from 2004.  How relevant to discussion about a dude being a jerk.
#42 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4279 posts) -

So what's wrong with Customer Support deleting the game and then Steam gifting him a NA digital copy of Left 4 Dead 2? That seems like a very simple fix to this issue.

#43 Posted by Branthog (7332 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Branthog: Right, so you argue that Valve aren't anything wrong by enforcing guidlelines which enable them to trade internationally, guidelines which are in fact enforced by DRM but then you still end in saying DRM is bad because? DRM isn't instigating a necessity (what does that even mean?) but it's rather instigated by necessity so that VALVe can trade safely and internationally.

You said "enforce guidelines which enable them to trade safely and internationally". The phrasing implies (perhaps unintentionally) that it's about observing international trade laws or content restrictions and international government variations. That DRM exists and has to be implemented to facilitate adherence to those things, so Valve and other publishers and distributors can do international business. I know that is not explicitly what you said, but that's how I read it.

DRM is bad because region locking isn't about international or regional law, but about facilitating artificial limitations (guidelines) by the distributors of various media for reasons of significance to the industry; not various international governments. Reasons such as timed-rollouts and price-fixing. As mentioned in the snip I included from Harvard Law, New Zealand doesn't even allow region encoding, because of market-control and price-fixing concerns. That makes region-encoding DRM potentially far worse than the "keeping dirty hippies from 'stealing' our game" DRM.

Valve's response is fair and consistent, because if he had purchased the game on Steam, it wouldn't be region-restricted. If they had mucked around with a copy that he physically purchased, it might even reasonably be perceived as circumventing copy-protection and they'd therefore be guilty of violating the DMCA in the same way that DVD-Jon was for creating DeCSS to decode DVD encryption or RealNetworks was for distributing software that allowed customers to rip copies of DVDs they already owned.

Ideally, Valve wouldn't even enforce region-restrictions at the point of sale, either, but then they'd have far fewer publishers willing to distribute through them, of course.

#44 Edited by FlarePhoenix (420 posts) -

@WilltheMagicAsian said:

@ShadowSkill11: Well technically Valve is the publisher.

Anyway, I think the retailer and ultimately you, are at fault in this case. It states on the box it's region locked. If you don't have permanent plans to stay in said region you should pick up an non-restricted copy if possible. It may be because of how different the prices are depending on region. People can (and already do) resell the games for a profit.

Wait... how is the retailer at any sort of fault in this matter? They sold someone a game, and that's it. They aren't at fault because said person moved to a different country and didn't do any research in to what would happen to the game.

@Oldirtybearon said:

So what's wrong with Customer Support deleting the game and then Steam gifting him a NA digital copy of Left 4 Dead 2? That seems like a very simple fix to this issue.

But why should they? Why should they change the rules for someone who is abusing an innocent customer support representative? Someone who is going on about the fact they are such loyal customers they should be given a blowjob because of their loyalty? I hate people like that. I mean he's trying to

#45 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4279 posts) -

@FlarePhoenix said:

@Oldirtybearon said:

So what's wrong with Customer Support deleting the game and then Steam gifting him a NA digital copy of Left 4 Dead 2? That seems like a very simple fix to this issue.

But why should they? Why should they change the rules for someone who is abusing an innocent customer support representative? Someone who is going on about the fact they are such loyal customers they should be given a blowjob because of their loyalty? I hate people like that.

You're basing the metric for customer support on whether or not the customer is polite. Most customers who contact customer support are angry, or at the very least disgruntled. A product they paid for, a service they paid for, isn't working. With Digital Distribution being such a "god-send" to the games industry, you'd think this guy's ticket could've been handed off to a tech dude at Valve and handled in a very short amount of time. It strikes me as bizarre that even though we're living in an age where physical products can be bought and used digitally, we're still being ham-strung by physical media laws. Also, you never answered my question.

Also, the OP didn't start to get surly until Valve's customer support staff took four days to get in touch with him about his issue. That's a disgusting amount of time to hold someone up in support. Add to that the reply he got was a short, curt response that gave him absolutely no information on how to fix the issue, and I'd probably get pissy too.

Now, back to my original point; why couldn't Valve or whoever runs the Steam tech support side have removed his copy, and then gifted him a region-free Steam version? If there's a real reason ( this is your cue), please, let me know. Otherwise this feels like a massive oversight on Valve's part.

#46 Posted by Branthog (7332 posts) -

@Oldirtybearon said:

@FlarePhoenix said:

@Oldirtybearon said:

So what's wrong with Customer Support deleting the game and then Steam gifting him a NA digital copy of Left 4 Dead 2? That seems like a very simple fix to this issue.

But why should they? Why should they change the rules for someone who is abusing an innocent customer support representative? Someone who is going on about the fact they are such loyal customers they should be given a blowjob because of their loyalty? I hate people like that.

You're basing the metric for customer support on whether or not the customer is polite. Most customers who contact customer support are angry, or at the very least disgruntled. A product they paid for, a service they paid for, isn't working. With Digital Distribution being such a "god-send" to the games industry, you'd think this guy's ticket could've been handed off to a tech dude at Valve and handled in a very short amount of time. It strikes me as bizarre that even though we're living in an age where physical products can be bought and used digitally, we're still being ham-strung by physical media laws. Also, you never answered my question.

Also, the OP didn't start to get surly until Valve's customer support staff took four days to get in touch with him about his issue. That's a disgusting amount of time to hold someone up in support. Add to that the reply he got was a short, curt response that gave him absolutely no information on how to fix the issue, and I'd probably get pissy too.

Your experience with customer support will assuredly be better if you're polite to them and they'll be more likely to bend the rules within their capacity. Likewise, being a dick is a great way to get the least pleasant resolution or response that they can get away with. Ideally, the customer is always right and satisfying them is always the goal, but that's not always the reality. That a lot of customer support persons are located all around the planet and I think you introduce some variables that lead to people feeling slighted (on either end of the exchange) when no ill was intended.

The only problem I saw with the poster's interaction was the antagonistic "show me where I am obligated to tell you why I'm using a VPN or proxy", though I can completely understand why his fuse was blown by that point. The question customer support posed to him was a clear allegation of guilt; demanding that he justify himself. Most people in customer support, tech support, development, QA, and everything else know "the customer lies", but you have to find ways to query (when/if it's important) without accusing.

More importantly, since they had already determined the course of resolution (or lack thereof) for this customer's issue, I don't see what there was even remotely to be gained by finding out why/where his connection was originating. And, yeah, giving what seems to be a canned response is a really easy way to rile a customer.

Now, back to my original point; why couldn't Valve or whoever runs the Steam tech support side have removed his copy, and then gifted him a region-free Steam version? If there's a real reason ( this is your cue), please, let me know. Otherwise this feels like a massive oversight on Valve's part.

Frankly, I don't see why they couldn't have done that, either. It defuses the whole issue and (as far as I can see) negates the whole copyright mechanism circumvention. In retrospect, perhaps that is why they inquired as to why he seemed to be coming through a VPN or proxy? Maybe, depending on his reply and if they believed he wasn't circumventing their geolocation stuff, they would have followed up with "well, here's a free Steam copy to thank you for your patronage".

I've only dealt with Steam support a couple times, but it has been good (and I have something stupid like 925 Steam games). Sometimes it's just a luck of the draw as to what support guy you get. On the other hand, I've dealt with Amazon support and Zappos' support and Audible's support many times over more than a decade and they have always exceeded all reasonable expectations by miles. Steam seems to do pretty good, but . . . they also rest a little too much on "hey, c'mon guy, we're Valve . . . you love us!". They could learn something from the other company(ies) I mentioned. Always leave your customer feeling like they can't wait to do business with them again.

#47 Posted by Fattony12000 (6350 posts) -

Huh, I just got a 470MB update for L4D2 this morning.

#48 Posted by Rave (370 posts) -
@WilliamRLBaker

@Rave said:

I'm not going to pretend to understand the secure ip thing but it doesn't sound like they were asking for identity just asking why you are using one, I would guess this could be used by someone stealing your account so ts likely a security measure. The rest of the customer support you was more then fair, I was with you until I found out the game was purchased at a retailer and not through steam. It can understand bein frustrated though, I had my Xbox account hacked and stolen, all Ms did was refund me the stolen money they could not even give me back my live tag "Rave" since they can't take it from a another user. At the time it seemed unfair but now that I'm over the frustration I've just moved on. You seem like you are being treated fairly sometimes we don't always get what we want or feel is fair.

um...except thats completely untrue if your gamertag is taken I.E: your account gotten into and its details changed they can certainly give it back to you...

I'm not sure if you are calling me a liar, or you are just uninformed. My gamertag was Rave and it most certainly was stolen, and I was told over the 5 weeks it took to get my account back that I would not be able to get my old name back. Actually the windows id that my account was tied to is still locked and unusable almost a year later. Whether the can give it back or not they refused to in my case.
#49 Posted by Korwin (2720 posts) -

Maybe they don't like people who can't spell the word 'customer'.

#50 Posted by zauce (5 posts) -

I ran into this same problem last night. My issue differs slightly.

I traded a friend three tf2 hats for Max Pain 3. Which proceed without a hitch. Only to get this message

"Game Not Available In Your Territory"

When I tried to install. I do not think steam should let you trade for a game that is unplayable. What do you all think?

I am currently waiting on a reply from steam to see what they suggest.

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