Grey-market key reseller G2A is once again stirring controversy with a new policy that gamers noticed involving accounts that haven’t been used in a while. A random internet user noticed that their G2A account had been penalized a with a fee after not having logged into the account for 180 days.
The fee will be charged against any inactive account, once a month after 180 days of non-use, with a 1 Euro fee being levied each time. The charge is made through the G2A Pay system, the payment processing aspect of their business, which is also used on the main marketplace.
Eurogamer dug through the terms and conditions of the site and found out that this policy was indeed real.
“If User does not log in through the Website to User’s account [sic] for over 180 (one hundred eighty) days, the Company is entitled to charge the User’s G2A Wallet inactivity fee in amount of EUR 1 (one) per each month, or less, if there is no sufficient funds on the User’s G2A Wallet to charge entire inactivity fee. The Company is also entitled to terminate User’s G2A Wallet, if there is no sufficient funds on it which allows to charge the inactivity fee. Charged inactivity fee is not returnable. The User is to be informed about terminating his account.”
The resulting response to this policy is not very positive, as you can probably guess. G2A tried to get out ahead of the backlash by justifying the policy. Generally, the justification boils down to claims that user accounts cost money to maintain. Despite the accuracy of this claim, given that user accounts are little more than entries in a database, G2A apparently persisted with this argument.
Some users doubt the veracity of this response, as the account was brand new, and no proof has been posted that the Reddit account actually belonged to G2A.
Here’s the alleged response from G2A:
G2A PAY charges an inactivity fee after someone has not logged into their G2A.COM account for 180 days. An e-mail is sent 3 days before the charge to remind the user and allow them to log in and easily avoid the fee. This fee is €1 and is taken from the user’s G2A Wallet (if there are no funds on the Wallet, PAY does not charge anything). Another €1 will be taken each month that the user stays inactive. If they log in, the timer resets itself and they have another 180 days before they are charged. If there are no funds left (or no funds to begin with) on their G2A Wallet, then the account is set to inactive. All a user needs to do to reactivate it is log back into G2A.COM. We never force the user to make a transaction or do anything with the funds. It’s just to let the system know the user is active, and the account has not been abandoned.
Why do we do this? To try and explain in as few words as we can:
It costs money to upkeep accounts (IT infrastructure, server maintenance, etc.) and if someone does not use the account, it doesn’t make sense to upkeep it. We don’t require these users to buy anything, just log in at least once every 6 months, just so that we know they are still with us. As a financial institution we are also monitored, supervised, and audited and have to back up and explain all our accounts and the funds stored on these accounts. Once an account may be considered “abandoned,” we take certain steps to make sure we are in line with all regulations, jurisdictions and laws.
This isn’t the first time G2A has stirred up controversy either. The company has long been considered a place for less-than-scrupulous individuals to make money by reselling Steam keys and other stuff. These would not normally be an issue, if it weren’t for the method by which many of these keys were garnered. There’s a fair number of sellers on G2A that will somehow steal keys, usually through stolen credit cards, to purchase the keys and then resell them.
So regardless of the validity of the policy, gamers are pretty outraged over the idea of a maintenance fee. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.