If you’ve used Steam, then you’re probably familiar with their customer service, or — as some, include myself would say — their lack of it. For a long time Valve has made it incredibly difficult to get refunds on your purchases, which has become increasingly problematic as the quality of the Steam catalog has become somewhat dubious over the years. It’s still one of the best places to buy games on the PC, of course, but it’s not without faults.
Because of the open nature of Steam nowadays, it seemed like developers and publishers can get away with almost anything. There have been quite a few notorious cases of games that were either completely broken, or lacking service altogether. Early Access and Green Light have been a large contributor to these problems, but Valve has also opened up their distribution service to publishers that are just dumping their entire backlog of games that may or may not be worth buying at all.
Journalists and critics alike have brought up the problem, most notably the likes of John Bain, better known as Total Biscuit, and Jim Sterling. It’s become quite the problem, and I’ve even had to deal with it myself — but now that’s changing, thanks to a recent update from Valve. Effective today, you can now receive a refund on any game, for any reason, but there’s a catch. In order to be eligible for a refund, the game has to have been purchased within two weeks ago and you have to have less than two hours logged in the game.
It’s a great change, and one that’s certainly necessary with the way that Steam is now publishing content. But if you bought a game when Steam didn’t care about whether or not it worked, and you didn’t get a refund — you’re screwed. You can’t go back and request a refund for a game older than fourteen days even if you prove that it’s broken, and while that can be avoided in the future, it would have been nice to have before all of the problems arose.
EA has had this policy for a while now with their Origin service, and so has GOG, which just goes to show that a little healthy competition is great for the industry. It might be too late for my previous mistakes, but this change will prevent myself and everyone else from making more. That’s ultimately a good thing, and I’m glad to know that I now have the option to get a refund if the need ever arises. For any reason! If you want to get a more in-depth look at the update, head over to the this page here on the Steam website.Tweet