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Steam Now Offers Refunds On Games, But There's A Catch

So you purchased a game on Steam and it's not your cup of tea. The gameplay is horrible or the story is just too silly for words. Perhaps you read the system requirements correctly but the framerates are as thick as Georgia mud no matter how you tweak the settings. For whatever the reason, typically, PC games cannot be refunded once they're purchased.

Valve Software is aiming to change this. The company is now offering Steam customers full refunds for any reason as long as they're within 14 days of purchase and within 2 hours of gameplay. Once the request has been made, customers will get their money back through the same payment method they used to purchase the game, or dumped into their Steam Wallet accounts.

According to Valve, the refunds pertain to games and software that are purchased on Steam, leaving music and video out of the picture. However, customers can get a refund on downloadable content (DLC) within 14 days of purchase and if the base game has been played for less than 2 hours. The catch is that the DLC must not alter aspects of the game, such as leveling up a character.

In addition to the DLC, Valve will also offer refunds within 48 hours on in-game purchases made inside any Valve-developed title. As with the DLC, Valve indicated that these items must not be modified, transferred or consumed.

"Third-party developers will have the option to enable refunds for in-game items on these terms," Valve's statement explained. "Steam will tell you at the time of purchase if the game developer has opted to offer refunds on the in-game item you are buying. Otherwise, in-game purchases in non-Valve games are not refundable through Steam."

Valve Software also provides a list of what does not qualify for a refund, including gifts that are already redeemed by the recipients, games from those who were banned by the Valve Anti-Cheat system and purchases made outside of Steam. These include Steam Wallet cards and CD keys provided by third-party developers and publishers.

Valve indicated that it's offering refunds to ease the stress of buying games from Steam. However, if the company detects foul play on the customer's part, Valve will no longer offer that individual refunds in the future. Strangely enough, customers are allowed to request a refund on games that were purchased just before they go on sale.

So what happens when the reason for a refund falls outside Valve's new rules? Customers should ask for the refund anyway, as Valve will gladly take a look at the situation. Customers wanting a refund can head here and submit their requests.

This new refund policy should be good news for PC gamers who simply don't want to be stuck with a game or application that doesn't live up to its promises. This policy should also help weed out problematic titles that appear to be half-baked due to bugs and broken features. With these new refund rules, Valve is putting Steam customers first before the publishers' pockets.

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  • spentshells
    If origin did it first.... you are clearly doing it wrong.
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    this is actually an excellent addition to address some concerns about refunding digital games BUT! wouldn't it make more sense to have the return window LARGER based on customer reviews and the total length of the game? some games require more than 2 hours to really be able to dive in... hell i can spend 2 hours just customizing graphics and characters. i've probably spent 100 hours on games just by leaving it in the start menu. maybe if it's more than 2 hours (and less than say, like 5?), they can refund the money back to the steam account instead of the actual payment method? maybe they can have a small deduction (to be fair) to prevent abuse of buying, playing, refunding games?

    also, if there was some method of selling your games, that would be awesome too (i'm reaching). MAYBE i can trade 5 old games for one new one? or perhaps trade a game in for an additional discount off of a future purchase? maybe valve can revoke a game code and give me a pre-defined amount back. it could literally be any amount and people would take advantage of it since some games just go untouched. AND AND AND it would be an excellent metric of which games "stick" and which games people just want to get rid of. would be good information for developers for CERTAIN.
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    If origin did it first.... you are clearly doing it wrong.
    if origin keeps leading, i may very well adopt their service. valve is getting a little too comfortable.
    Reply
  • dark_lord69
    "a game or application that doesn't live up to its promises."
    That's why I'm very careful about selecting my games. Read reviews people...
    If it's near the top of the best games of all time list. It's typically worth the price. Nice to see they are fixing the issue in the PC gaming industry.
    Reply
  • uglyduckling81
    If origin did it first.... you are clearly doing it wrong.
    Origin did it only because the Australian Government body the ACCC which regulates fair treatment of customers and consumer law took them to court because they were breaking Australian Law by denying refunds which Australians are entitled too. Steam is also in the process of being taken through our courts which no doubt is why they are changing their policy. Either they change their policy or stop trading in Australia.
    Reply
  • spentshells
    15978599 said:
    If origin did it first.... you are clearly doing it wrong.
    Origin did it only because the Australian Government body the ACCC which regulates fair treatment of customers and consumer law took them to court because they were breaking Australian Law by denying refunds which Australians are entitled too. Steam is also in the process of being taken through our courts which no doubt is why they are changing their policy. Either they change their policy or stop trading in Australia.

    Adda boy get a lil Neddy in ya
    Reply
  • racecar56
    It's about time they offered it. Even then, this still sounds skimpy to me. I'm with eklipz330 here.
    Reply
  • boju
    I guess not reading system requirements properly is not included. Plenty of people bought FC4 for a dual core system not realizing they can't even play. So even racking up the two hr refund policy is impossible unless you hack the game with an injector.
    Reply
  • atwspoon
    I fondly remembered trading in my playstation 1 and gameboy color games. Selling them back to the local store and getting a new game was cool too. eklipz330 ftw!
    Reply
  • bimbam360
    Wish this was in place for X:Rebirth's launch. I gave it 90mins (which is still my play time on that game) before writing it off as the last time I ever pre-order a game -.-
    Reply