Steam Now Offers Refunds For Any Reason

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Steam is now offering refunds for any reason, on any game, within fourteen days of purchase as long as you haven't played the game for more than two hours. Thanks to everyone that sent this one in.

You can request a refund for nearly any purchase on Steam—for any reason. Maybe your PC doesn't meet the hardware requirements; maybe you bought a game by mistake; maybe you played the title for an hour and just didn't like it. It doesn't matter. Valve will, upon request via help.steampowered.com, issue a refund for any reason, if the request is made within fourteen days of purchase, and the title has been played for less than two hours. There are more details below, but even if you fall outside of the refund rules we’ve described, you can ask for a refund anyway and we’ll take a look.
 

snowcat

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Is the refund still just credit to your Steam account? That is the thing I don't like about it. I was able to get a refund recently, but that money is just waiting there.
 

Armenius

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Origin did it first :p. I don't think Origin has that play time requirement, either. At least they will consider the request even if you don't meet all the stipulations.

Good news, regardless. It's hard to believe that the leading platform in digital game sales on PC has not had a refund policy in place before now.
 

J3RK

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Is the refund still just credit to your Steam account? That is the thing I don't like about it. I was able to get a refund recently, but that money is just waiting there.

Come on! Buy something!!! You know you want to :D
 

ManofGod

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Come on! Buy something!!! You know you want to :D

I am glad I am over that "buy something on Steam just because it is on sale" phase of my life. :D I still have games I have not played and I only have about 56 games or so as it is. :)
 

Meeho

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Good news, regardless. It's hard to believe that the leading platform in digital game sales on PC has not had a refund policy in place before now.

Easy. Being so dominant means you can treat your customers like shit, which Steam is very good at. One can only hope better competition will force more of these changes.
 

Ducman69

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Should be common sense that this was universally the case anywhere. If I buy a DVD player and I don't like it, I just bring it back to the store. Seems like common courtesy that encourages impulse buys while discouraging piracy.
 

rudy

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This has been needed for a long time, this will make developers think a lot harder before releasing something broken. Though personally I think 2 hours isn't enough. Someone could easily register 2 hours of play just trying to fix a bug or something broken before they realize its hopeless and want a refund.
 

LMT MFA

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"Movies

We are unable to offer refunds for movies on Steam."

..wait.. what? Movies?
 

Accursed

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I wonder if I can get a refund on CoD:Ghost, I don't have more than 2 hrs played on that. But I guess I'm past the 14 days... :(
 

J3RK

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This has been needed for a long time, this will make developers think a lot harder before releasing something broken. Though personally I think 2 hours isn't enough. Someone could easily register 2 hours of play just trying to fix a bug or something broken before they realize its hopeless and want a refund.

If it was really that broken, I'm sure they'd bend that on a per-case basis like they do on occasion now.

I still think over 2 hours is a bad idea. The policy applies to all games, and there are quite a few games that don't last much more than 6 hours or so.

If you're working on an issue, but the game seems salvageable, or the issue is something that could be easily patched out if the devs are decent, then I see no reason to refund. If the game just comes out in full broken POS out of the "box" state, and looks hopeless, then don't even bother working with it. Pick it up again when it's fixed or comes down to a price that makes the issues a non-issue.

Which category a game falls into should be pretty apparent after 2 hours of continuous play.
 

Domingo

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Works for me. I can get my $ back for games that randomly stutter or perform like ass.
 

Rattle

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I wish they'd let me exchange some games I have I will never play again for a few steam points to put towards actual new purchases.
 

polonyc2

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"even if you fall outside of the refund rules we’ve described, you can ask for a refund anyway and we’ll take a look"

they're really feeling generous all of a sudden
 

Jagger100

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"even if you fall outside of the refund rules we’ve described, you can ask for a refund anyway and we’ll take a look"

they're really feeling generous all of a sudden

People have saturated backlogs of games and most people are no longer impulse buying on a low price. They are facilitating impulse buying particularly with this. If it wasn't an impulse buy, you'd generally know if you wanted it and if it ran on your system.
 

Ur_Mom

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I buy my games on sale, and I don't want a refund on those. I didn't pay much, don't expect a whole lot (I do get some great games, though).

The few times when I've paid $40 or more, I did my homework and knew what kind of game I was getting, what to expect, etc.. It worked fine and met my expectations. No refund needed.

Good for those that want a refund, but I've never needed to.
 

Viper87227

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Origin did it first :p. I don't think Origin has that play time requirement, either. At least they will consider the request even if you don't meet all the stipulations.

Good news, regardless. It's hard to believe that the leading platform in digital game sales on PC has not had a refund policy in place before now.

I'm not knocking Origin or anything, but it's a tad different here. Origin will give refunds only on EA games. Your SOL on anything third-party. This new Steam policy covers thousands of games from just about every developer and publisher on the planet. Apples and oranges.

Also, FWIW Steam did occasionally give refunds in the past. If a game was released with widespread problems or was blatantly mis-advertised, they were good about giving people money back. Likewise they seemed to allow a one time, no questions asked refund. This is absolutely a huge step forward though, not just for Steam, but for digital distribution of games as a whole.

I bet this policy steals some of GMG's pre-order thunder from here on out. Tougher choice when your option is 20-25% off or no-risk if a game has a botched launch.
 

Ducman69

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Good for those that want a refund, but I've never needed to.
Rather than doing your homework, wouldn't it be a lot easier in the future to just install a game on a whim, with your credit card information stored, and you play it for half an hour and if it runs good on your system and you enjoy it then voila you're done.

If it runs like crap or the game sucks balls, you simply slick "refund" and it uninstalls the game for you and refunds your money.

Voila.

There is no reason it shouldn't be that easy.
 

TwistedAegis

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Rather than doing your homework, wouldn't it be a lot easier in the future to just install a game on a whim, with your credit card information stored, and you play it for half an hour and if it runs good on your system and you enjoy it then voila you're done.

If it runs like crap or the game sucks balls, you simply slick "refund" and it uninstalls the game for you and refunds your money.

Voila.

There is no reason it shouldn't be that easy.

Preach.
 

Ur_Mom

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Rather than doing your homework, wouldn't it be a lot easier in the future to just install a game on a whim, with your credit card information stored, and you play it for half an hour and if it runs good on your system and you enjoy it then voila you're done.

If it runs like crap or the game sucks balls, you simply slick "refund" and it uninstalls the game for you and refunds your money.

Voila.

There is no reason it shouldn't be that easy.

Depends. Some games reviews are out before the game releases. Some games are pretty large in size. Those, I already looked into the game, watched the preview videos and read the bitching about the preview videos being way better than the actual game and the game blows goats. Never even touched the card.
 

_PixelNinja

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Is the refund still just credit to your Steam account? That is the thing I don't like about it. I was able to get a refund recently, but that money is just waiting there.
Totalbiscuit tried to get a refund live on his Twitch. He had the choice to be either credited to his Steam Wallet or Visa card.
 

w4ffles

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What about disconnecting your internet connection and playing in offline mode? You could then request a refund on another device after finishing the game. I wonder if they have something in place to deter this.
 

Ghostclaw

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I wish it was more than 2 hours! but awesome. Does this backdate for any game? Bought a few duds at 60.00 a pop, such regrets
 

TwistedAegis

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What about disconnecting your internet connection and playing in offline mode? You could then request a refund on another device after finishing the game. I wonder if they have something in place to deter this.

Might get them a time or two, but you'd need to go online eventually on that account, at which point your playing time would be reported. Just depends on whether or not Steam has the reporting put together to recognize that and flag it next time a refund is requested.
 

crusty_juggler

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With the digital refund laws in the EU, and other digital distributors following the refund path, Valve had no choice but to change their policy.

Sad that it took them years to do so. Better late than never I guess.
 

SvenBent

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It sounds about fair.

I wonder if Valve have made dev payment policies to withhold payment for case of refund, until a game has been player for more than 2 hours.... and cashing in the interests MUHAHAHAHA....
 

Relentence

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Nice. Now review embargoes won't be so bad. I can pre-order a game and then return it after release if it's discovered that the pre-release marketing wasn't honest.
 

Phoenix333

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This has been needed for a long time, this will make developers think a lot harder before releasing something broken. Though personally I think 2 hours isn't enough. Someone could easily register 2 hours of play just trying to fix a bug or something broken before they realize its hopeless and want a refund.

^This. Last I checked, Kyle still wants his $60.00 back.
 

StormUP

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I feel like they lost an opportunity to make some money here. Pay 10% of the current price to try before you buy. You get a 2 hour play limit and can only do it once per title. If you like it you pay the other 90% to get past the 2 hour play limit lock.
 

_PixelNinja

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I feel like they lost an opportunity to make some money here. Pay 10% of the current price to try before you buy. You get a 2 hour play limit and can only do it once per title. If you like it you pay the other 90% to get past the 2 hour play limit lock.
Considering the conditions, this seems to be more about complying with European customer protection more than anything else.
 

major_foad

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I feel like they lost an opportunity to make some money here. Pay 10% of the current price to try before you buy. You get a 2 hour play limit and can only do it once per title. If you like it you pay the other 90% to get past the 2 hour play limit lock.

Definitely this.

I'm betting their hands were tied by consumer protection laws somewhere (EU? AUS?) and were pushed to offer better refund terms. Seems like they could have still implemented your idea as well and most people would prefer the path of least resistance and just pay the 10%.
 

DPI

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I feel like they lost an opportunity to make some money here. Pay 10% of the current price to try before you buy. You get a 2 hour play limit and can only do it once per title. If you like it you pay the other 90% to get past the 2 hour play limit lock.

No way. People would've bitched that it should just be free and that Valve is just screwing customers, Yada Yada. No pleasing people.
 

Meeho

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I feel like they lost an opportunity to make some money here. Pay 10% of the current price to try before you buy. You get a 2 hour play limit and can only do it once per title. If you like it you pay the other 90% to get past the 2 hour play limit lock.

This is a joke, right? This has to be Poe's law.
 

Sovereign

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I like how buying a game then asking for a refund because it went on sale immediately afterward is specifically cited as an okay reason to ask for a refund.
 

Armenius

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I think they should do what PSN does. You can download the full game for free and play it up to a certain amount of time (2 hours, IIRC), and then afterward you have the choice of purchasing the game. If not, you can delete it and move on. This way the consumer doesn't have to worry about charging their account and Steam wouldn't have to worry about processing the refund.
 

PantherBlitz

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I would like to be able to gift or return games that I bought a while ago but never downloaded, never mind actually played. Now when I buy games I always buy them as "gifts" so at least I can keep the option to gift them if I never get around to play them.
 
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