Smiles over the latest Steam Summer Sale were turned upside-down at the GUO offices this weekend as half the staff found themselves barred from buying or selling items on the Community Marketplace for a full seven days. The culprit? Adding money to Valve’s “Steam Wallet.”
Surprisingly, adding funds to your Steam Wallet using a credit card number that has not previously been used to do so blocks your ability to buy and sell items in the Community Marketplace. The Marketplace, which requires funds to be deposited in Steam Wallet, is used by members to barter virtual goods, such as Valve’s recently introduced trading cards. While the transactions used to deposit money in Wallet had been verified as approved by relevant financial institutions and said cash was immediately available for use on the Steam store itself, the actual Market itself remains off limits for a full week. A representative from Valve told GUO that this ban on user transactions is “to protect user accounts and the Steam Economy.”
How a check-style hold achieves this is, of course, is anyone’s guess.
So, to buy stuff on Steam’s Community Marketplace, you must first deposit funds into your Steam Wallet. After depositing funds into Steam Wallet for the first time with any given credit card, your account is banned from buying stuff on Steam’s Community Marketplace for seven days. You can spend that money anywhere else on Steam, just… not on stuff that requires the use of Steam Wallet. Why? To protect the Steam Economy.
And you wonder why these people haven’t been able to put together a new Half Life game in the past six years…
When GUO inquired as to why one of our affected accounts, an account in good standing for more than eight years with a verified transfer of funds, had been banned and if this situation could be rectified, we received the following reply:
“Our trading system is designed to protect user accounts and the Steam Economy. Recent changes to your account information have restricted certain features of the Steam Community for a limited time. As a result, some items (ed. ALL items, in our experience) may temporarily (ed. SEVEN DAYS in all affected accounts) not be tradable or sold on the Community Market. Once this restriction expires, you will be able to trade items and use the Community Market once again. Steam Support cannot remove this restriction from your account. These security features cannot be bypassed.”
Geez, you’d think we had mailed them a check. This is completely unacceptable in the age of instant online transactions. More so when a sale coincides with an event that heavily utilizes the Market feature.
Beware, trading card collectors and TF2 hat junkies! Give Valve your money and face a week long, irreversible ban.