Valve’s Most Overdue Service, Steam Refunds, Announced


Steam is such a powerhouse when it comes to digital retail sales of video games around the world. Not only is their user base the largest for the PC platform in the world, but they have expanded to beyond just strictly gaming over the years. Their biggest problem, however, is their customer service record. Additionally, they did not offer a refund system, a truly perplexing decision in the year twenty-damn-fifteen. Thankfully that changes today, as Valve has announced a system to allow Steam refunds of games through a multitude of options.

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There are two major requirements that are required of anyone attempting to utilize the Steam refunds system. The first is that the request comes within 14 days of purchase, while the second is that fewer than 2 full hours of play is accumulated of the game you’re trying to refund. This extends to most content-based DLC, with some exceptions that will be noted on the Steam store page before purchase. The user will have to fill out a request on the Steam Help page, and will extend to Steam Wallet, pre-purchases, in-game purchases for Valve and developer-supported titles (for 48 hours) and Steam-supported bundles. VAC bans void that right, movies cannot be refunded, redeemed gifts cannot be returned and external purchases are not supported. Finally, if you abuse the system, Valve reserves the right to stop offering them.

Going back to Steam’s customer service track record has me skeptical over how effective Steam refunds will work. With the addition of so many third parties involved in how content is stored and sold on the Steam platform, all customer service representatives (and the people running that department) have to be firing on all cylinders from the get-go. If Steam refunds launch successfully, then they have overcome one of their most onerous problems of the past few years. If not, then they’re opening their biggest can of worms since their whole “paid mods” fiasco. The fact that they will allow refunds for games due to the announcement of a season Steam sale as refund abuse is certainly going to win them a lot of PR favor.

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