Now you might want to argue that Valve is over-zealous with banning people for cheating.
In this specific case, there wasn't any person, or anything acting over-zealous. A program had a bug, the designers of the program fixed it, admitted to the mistake, reverse the mistake, and gave $100 in games to everyone affected. That is not being over-zealous at all. Yes some people were wrongly affected, but the fact that it was more than fixed for them shows that the Valve example here is irrelevant to what we were actually discussing. The only flaw with Valve's system is human nature. On one side you have idiots who want to cheat and ruin games, and on the other you have guys that want to limit that as much as possible without any tolerance to it. I say I'm on the side that tries to create an atmosphere without cheaters and hackers. Even if a few innocent people are sometimes caught in the net, and then those innocent people get let free with some gifts, that's good enough, and that's better than you can expect from just about any other service that actually works against cheating.
No, that is not my argument. My argument has never been that banning people for cheating makes Valve or anyone over-zealous. Banning people who are suspected of cheating is the problem. The assumption of automatic guilt. The entire way Valve runs Steam is set-up in a ban first ask questions later fashion. If a credit card charge doesn't go through, lock the account as fraud for all games, not just the one game associated with the charge. If someone is gifted a game and that charge doesn't go through, lock both accounts as fraud. Charge back for a game that was purchased but never received, account banned. If VAC thinks some account is associated with cheating, lock that game. They have this whole system of ban ban ban, ask questions later, sometimes not even asking questions later because the people who send e-mails to Valve about these problems, especially VAC violations, get cookie-cutter too bad so sad e-mails. Sure, much of it is an automated process, or just a strict policy but that doesn't make it any better than some power hungry mod patrolling the forums. It's a system in place, put in place by humans, and as you have said, humans make mistakes.
I don't have a problem when people make mistakes, or their tools make the mistakes for them. Mistakes happen. I have a problem when there is no recourse available to customer to fix a mistake. A lot of those people that got banned got nothing from Steam, nothing. Automatic cookie-cutter responses from CSR that pretty much tell you to buy the game again. That's a flawed process, and it should be fixed. Sure, are actual cheaters going to try and claim they didn't cheat, yes, yes they are. So what? That doesn't mean you screw the people that got stuck in all the automated processes at no fault of their own.
I am not a fan of any company that ban's people from their legally paid for game leaving little or no recourse for a paying customer to take to try and prove they are not at fault.
The fact that Valve's system is mostly automated and EA/Bioware's is often manual doesn't change the fact that once it happens, neither company really cares enough to look into the matter again. Valve wasn't really clear on what caught their attention, but my guess it was the number of accounts being banned, not the actual e-mail from customers saying I didn't do anything.
Now look at the atmosphere that Stardock/Frogboy's policy creates here. Are the forums a little rough, sure compared to game forums but not compared to some online communities. When something sounds wrong, what is the answer a lot of people give to an OP, talk to Stardock. Even if it takes a while, especially around weekends, most of us are convinced a human being is going to answer that ticket and actually look at it. If someone rants on the forums, they're not going to get banned from Stardock, all their games, or have their Impulse account locked down. You have to get pretty abusive with the employees to get that kind of a response and even then, there are warnings.
So back to the original topic, yes thanks. Thanks for running a private forum in a fashoin that doesn't feel like some sort of dictatorship we're all supposed to bow down to and be thankful for the experience. Thanks for running a company that responds not only when things go well but when things go wrong. And thanks for taking the lumps alongside the praise and encouraging a diverse community.
PS: L4D2 has not been selling for 50 dollars for some time, but yes it was a nice gesture to make beyond just apologizing for sure.