Home Gaming Finally! Steam offers refunds on purchases

Finally! Steam offers refunds on purchases

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Steam is undoubtedly the biggest online distributor for video games on the planet. It’s rather silly that, having this status, the Valve-owned service has never offered a way for disgruntled users to getย a refund on bad purchases. Whether it be down to not meeting hardware specification, software incompatibilities or just personal taste, there was no way to reclaim badly spent cash. Until yesterday that is.

Steam has outlined, and subsequently implemented, a new system that will allow you to request a refund on a purchase based on a few criteria. The new policy first stipulates that requests for refunds have to be made within 14 days after the game is purchased, meaning you won’t be able to get your money back from Aliens: Colonial marines no matter how much you scream and shout.

Secondly, the game in question will have to have a total playtime below the two hour mark. That gives you ample time to boot it up, test, tweak and finally come to the realisation that things just aren’t going to work. Should you meet those requirements, you can shoot off a request to help.steampowered.com and Steam will hand back your money – no questions asked.

Even if you fall just outside, you’re still free to submit a request – after which Valve will assess your case individually and make a decision. Refunds on DLC are a trickier issue though. While Steam will offer refunds on certain DLC, they can’t promise it will work on all third-party application (considering DLC can have an effect on the core, standalone product).

You can request a refund for nearly any purchase on Steamโ€”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’s a revolutionary step for Steam, and one that countless gamers have been asking it to take for years now. It’s also going to change the stance developers take to online games. Launching a title where servers are down on launch day might invite a torrential downpour of refund requests – and publishers won’t like that.

Last Updated: June 3, 2015

56 Comments

  1. Just in time for the upcoming sale too, for all those with buyers remorse a week afterwards hehe.

    Simple & reasonable, I like it.

    Reply

  2. Lord Chaos

    June 3, 2015 at 07:43

    Awesome.

    Buy and finish COD, get free refund. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Reply

    • Skyblue

      June 3, 2015 at 07:48

      Hehe

      Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 3, 2015 at 07:58

      ^This

      Reply

  3. Skyblue

    June 3, 2015 at 07:50

    Still need gifting and loaning games out to friends. Also would it be that terrible to allow players who have purchased and own their games to sell or trade them on the Steam market like their cards?

    EDIT: the current form of allowing friends access to your games only if you’re not using is Steam is just not cutting it. I have just shy of 200 games in library, I’m always going to be playing something, especially if it’s from GOG these days ;p

    Reply

    • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

      June 3, 2015 at 07:53

      I don’t think selling or trading old games is a good idea imo. It would shatter the Steam market. They rely on economies of scale to be able to have sales. If people can sell their games it would make a huge dent in that market…which would ultimately lead to either smaller sales, or no sales at all.
      Besides, I love having a whole library full of games.

      Reply

      • Skyblue

        June 3, 2015 at 07:55

        I am more irked by the ability to share games only if not using Steam at all. The game selling thing is really moot imo as I am a collector as well. I did edit my post as you were responding.

        Reply

        • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

          June 3, 2015 at 07:57

          Haha. Okay. Fair enough ๐Ÿ™‚
          If anyone needs gifting it’s Origin. I’ve gifted so many games to people through Steam, but each time an Origin bundle pops up somewhere I refuse to buy it (regardless of it being EA) because you only get a single key that activates ALL the games. So if you already have one or more of the games…too bad, it’s wasted.

          Reply

          • Skyblue

            June 3, 2015 at 08:01

            At least they hardly release anything worth purchasing anymore. I think my last Origin purchase was Dead Space 3 or Mass Effect 3 and I skipped the last Dragon Age train.

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 3, 2015 at 08:02

            Haha. Very true.
            I got Dead Space 3 for free with SimCity. I don’t know if I feel happy about it or cheated. ๐Ÿ˜‰
            Still want to get MA3 though. One day.

  4. Captain JJ the_scarrrr

    June 3, 2015 at 07:51

    This was never really something that I would have had an issue with.
    PC games have always been non-returnable. In every format.
    What I do appreciate it though, is that bad “AA” games with big hype will not continue to make good sales just because of aggressive marketing.

    Reply

    • Blood Emperor Trevor

      June 3, 2015 at 07:52

      Wonder how many people are returning Hatred huehuehue.

      Reply

      • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

        June 3, 2015 at 07:54

        Hehehe.
        If only this was in place with AC Unity.

        Reply

  5. Hammersteyn

    June 3, 2015 at 07:59

    What about refunds for Early Access?

    Reply

    • Skyblue

      June 3, 2015 at 08:03

      Annnnnnnnd the devil is in the details. Agreed though, this could potentially write off Early Access titles…

      Reply

    • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

      June 3, 2015 at 08:05

      I think Early Access might just be that risk you have to live with.
      But they actually need to implement a system where if the devs don’t stay true to their schedules or promises, you’re allowed a refund. Because I’ve bought into two Early Access games that turned out to be but a shadow of what they promised.

      Reply

  6. Captain JJ the_scarrrr

    June 3, 2015 at 08:00

    I’m just thinking now. They’ll have to put a 14 day hold on trading cards too, before you can sell them.
    Otherwise you buy a game. Get two or more card drops. Sell the cards, get a few cents. And return the game.
    It’s small, but it’s something people will take advantage of.

    Reply

    • Ranting Raptor

      June 3, 2015 at 08:02

      Trust you to find the loophole

      Reply

      • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

        June 3, 2015 at 08:03

        ๐Ÿ˜€
        I know people like Rince, that’s why ;P

        Reply

        • Blood Emperor Trevor

          June 3, 2015 at 09:36

          When you call him a loophole you’re literally only half right. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Reply

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 3, 2015 at 10:32

            HAHA!

        • Blood Emperor Trevor

          June 3, 2015 at 09:36

          When you call him a loophole you’re literally only half right. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Reply

  7. Ranting Raptor

    June 3, 2015 at 08:01

    Well if they plan on implementing a Rand charge as what has been rumored, then they have to abide by our CPA rules and so a refund policy has to be in place.

    That being said, it is a good step to take.

    Activision must be upset that it’s a 2 hour window. You can now buy COD, finish it AND get a refund. Nice.

    Reply

    • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

      June 3, 2015 at 08:09

      The way SA is trading now if you buy a game for $60 and return it ten days later you might actually make a profit from the exchange rate difference. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        June 3, 2015 at 08:10

        Oh Snap

        Reply

      • Ranting Raptor

        June 3, 2015 at 08:52

        WHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!!

        So you can buy COD, play it, finish it in 2 hours AAAAAND still get more back than you paid….. Nice

        Reply

        • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

          June 3, 2015 at 08:52

          Haha! Sounds like a bargain.

          Reply

  8. PoisonedBelial

    June 3, 2015 at 08:03

    Woop!

    Reply

  9. Kromas,powered by windows 10.

    June 3, 2015 at 08:20

    Noticed this while refreshing the ARK store page every 5 mins. last night.

    Reply

    • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

      June 3, 2015 at 08:22

      I’ve lost a bit of the excitement for ARK
      I really love the idea, but after seeing they’ve put dragons in it, I got disinterested.

      Reply

      • Axon1988

        June 3, 2015 at 08:25

        They put dragons in it? WOT

        Reply

        • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

          June 3, 2015 at 08:29

          End Game bosses include Dragons and Giant ass Spiders.

          Reply

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 3, 2015 at 08:32

            Giant spiders and dragons for bosses. No one’s ever done that before ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

            June 3, 2015 at 08:32

            Yes but you can ride a T-Rex!

            A T-REX!!!

          • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

            June 3, 2015 at 08:33

            And you can poop!

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 3, 2015 at 08:34

            Haha!

          • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

            June 3, 2015 at 08:35

            And feed it to prisoners!

            I see sick things happening.

          • Lord Chaos

            June 3, 2015 at 08:37

            Thank Fuck Dutch is away. O_o

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 3, 2015 at 08:33

            I know. And it really had me, but it just won’t feel the same with fantasy creatures in there.
            If only Stomping Lands didn’t go down the drain.

          • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

            June 3, 2015 at 08:37

            Well the thing is that this game is sorta like Predator. You are dropped on an island that preserved various creatures and somehow whoever made this island made dragons as well. At least story wise it seems what they did. Then again you never have to see a dragon ever as you need to summon it sooo …. yeah.

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 3, 2015 at 08:45

            Like Predator but no Predator.
            Damn it man, you almost had me there! ;P
            I’ll wait and see what people say once they’ve played it a bit. I suppose that’s the safest bet.

          • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

            June 3, 2015 at 09:00

            I might just record tonights session and dump it onto youtube.

            Be warned Afrikaaners have the most descriptive swear words. ๐Ÿ˜›

          • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

            June 3, 2015 at 09:04

            Haha. Excellent. Send me the link, I’d love to check it out.

      • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

        June 3, 2015 at 08:28

        Well Red Faction ZA will be up and running by this afternoon if you are interested in playing.

        I already got it sorted for this evening.

        Reply

        • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

          June 3, 2015 at 08:32

          Ooo!
          Now to find time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Reply

    • Ottokie

      June 3, 2015 at 10:46

      Hahaha I was doing it aswell, 11pm refreshing that ARK steam page to death

      Reply

  10. Garret Mason

    June 3, 2015 at 08:26

    What?!? I don’t believe you! Lies.. vicious lies! *sob* How many games throughout the years did I purchase that were bugged, or no longer featured developer support… or were just plain horrible. They offer refunds now AFTER the fact… it’s like a paramedic showing up after someone already leaped off the edge of a skyscraper. Dam* you Valve! Why!?!??!?

    On a more serious note, it’s about time. Always made me wonder why they held off such a practice which was adopted by pretty much every retailer ever. I am curious how long it’ll be until there’s a recourse to it, especially with their crazy holiday sales they have usually. Can you sell something “as is” in a digital format?

    Reply

  11. Nahuel Graziani

    June 3, 2015 at 08:41

    Wish this would apply to previous purchases. I’ve been trying to get a refund for The Stomping Land unsuccessfully since I bought it. Only 15mins played and the game has been abandoned by the devs.

    Reply

    • Captain JJ the_scarrrr

      June 3, 2015 at 08:45

      I feel the same man. I nearly bought Stomping Lands myself.

      Reply

  12. justlikemo

    June 3, 2015 at 08:46

    I did not have a problem with any purchase to date, even going back and reinstalling old games. This is good though, lots of guys out there with issues.

    I like the alien franchise, I dont like the direction the new one took, running and hiding from the alien, screw that gimme a gun and let me blast the bugger.

    Reply

  13. Admiral Chief's Adventure

    June 3, 2015 at 10:26

    GG Steam, yet again

    Reply

  14. Lardus-Resident Perve

    June 3, 2015 at 10:58

    Would have used this for GalCiv 3. But within a week they patched the crashes I had out of the game and the performance has improved by an incredible amount! The battles are still a bit disappointing but overall the game is really decent after the two “minor” patches with a major one coming in this month. Not worth full price maybe, but on special you guys can grab it. One or two other games I would have liked to get refunds on though.

    Reply

  15. Wyzak

    June 3, 2015 at 11:16

    Epic!

    Reply

  16. string_slinger

    June 3, 2015 at 12:28

    This will up the release day quality significantly. Publishers like Ubisoft have been getting away with practices categorically unacceptable in any other sector as consumers have had no recourse until now. +1 Valve….

    Reply

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