The Steam refund system was first introduced by Valve in 2014. It entered the scene with promises to deliver a safe and hassle-free experience for customers purchasing digital games and tangible products as well. Steam offered refunds that allowed consumers to make purchases with a greater degree of confidence. If they received a game that was not as advertised, didn’t or was not up to par, it allowed people to get a refund on their money in a timely and quick manner. But does Steam refund deliver on its promises?
The facts surrounding Steam refunds as of 2017
Steam refunds sounded like a great deal for buyers, but when their promises were measured by their actions, the two didn’t match up. The greatest issues that Steam had in making good on their word was within their disclosures. For starters, the refund process was not properly explained to the average Steam user and it was partially hidden so nobody really understood how the Steam refund system worked. Valve offered a refund FAQ section that gave basic explanations of what qualified for refunds but they didn’t fully cover all of the questions that were being asked. Consumers were not given the information that they had a right to know.
An explanation of the Steam refund system.
First of all, you can access the Steam support page by clicking on Purchases. Next, select the game you want to refund and choose the option “I wold like a refund.” After this you must click “I’d like to request a refund.” After you’ve gone through these steps, then choose the method of payment you would like to get your refund through.
When are the refunds sent automatically?
You can only qualify for an automatic approval for a refund request if you meet certain conditions. First you must request the refund within fourteen days of purchasing the game. Next you must have played the game for less than two hours. It takes approximately a week for your refund to be sent.
What if I don’t meet the criteria?
If you’ve purchased the game past the 14 day or 2 hour use limit you can still request a refund. Valve considers each request on an individual basis. If there is a good reason for your request you may or may not be approved. If you wait for too long past the 14 day limit then the odds are in favor of your request being rejected.
How many games can be refunded through Steam refunds?
There is no limit to the number of refunds that you can request through Steam. There is one caveat with this that you must be aware of though. Valve reserves the right to revoke your rights to request refunds in the future if they believe that you are abusing the system.
Is there recourse if the refund is rejected?
Yes, you can challenge the decision made to reject your request for a refund if you feel that the decision was unfair. You simply submit another request and it will be forwarded to another employee of valve. In some instances, the new request is approved.
The refunds don’t appear instantly
After your request for a refund has been approved it can take a while for the fund to show up. On average, the majority of refunds are processed within seven days from the date of approval for domestic transactions. International payment methods may take longer. You can find a listing of the public statistics for refunds published by Steam.
Can refund requests be used for trying out games?
No. This constitutes an abuse of the system and it can result in a ban from using the Steam refund system. Don’t use Steam refund to try out a lot of different games and then have them refunded. You’ll receive a warning notice from Steam if Valve employees reviewing the statistics believe that you are in any way abusing the system. We’ve been told that requesting five or more refunds in a sic month period can result in the generation of this type of warning.
Changes that Valve has made to the system
People would farm games for achievements or cards and then refund them. This was an issue early on in the history of Steam refunds. The Steam trading card system has since been updated to discern this form of abuse. It prevents cards from dropping until after a minimum of two hours of time have been put into a game which prevents an automatic refund. Initially this restriction was applied to every Steam user but over time, it has been applied only to new accounts or to those who have made a request for a refund in the last couple of months.
These are the basics of the Steam refund system. This mini guide provides you with useful facts that answer many of the questions that Steam refund and Valve do not go into details about. Hopefully this will help you to understand the Steam refund process better and avoid frustration when making refund requests in the future.