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Valve adds a 14-day 'any reason' Steam refund policy

by Mark Tyson on 3 June 2015, 10:01

Tags: Valve

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Valve has implemented a new policy called 'Steam Refunds'. Without fanfare, the biggest digital distribution platform for PC gamers published the policy document a few hours ago on the Steam support site. The latest Steam Client adds support for the new refunds policy.

The main gist of the Steam Refunds policy is that if you buy a title and for any reason you change your mind about the purchase within 14 days, and the software has been toyed with for under two hours, you can get a refund. Your refund will be credited within a week of approval. Refunds should be requested via help.steampowered.com.

There are notes on the policy page detailing various cases and scenarios which Steam customers might have questions about, that should answer all your 'what if?' questions. For instance, the policy notes that some third party DLCs irreversibly level up a game character. Such items will be clearly marked as non-refundable, says Valve.

Another question you might have may concern pre-purchases. Sensibly the 14 day refund period for these games starts when the game is actually released and you then get the two hour trial time too. With a pre-purchase you could also get a refund before it is released.

IAPs are also mentioned in the policy but for these in-game items you only have 48 hours to get a refund and then it must not have been "consumed, modified or transferred". In Valve games these rights are automatic now, but in third party games it will vary.

Other things you should note are; that purchases made outside of Steam – such as from other online stores – aren't covered by Steam Refunds, redeemed gifts aren't refundable, movies aren't refundable and if you are VAC banned you can't get a refund for that game.

Valve will be monitoring user attempts to abuse the refunds policy and will stop offering refunds to users who appear to be 'abusing the system'. The firm notes that users should not consider the refunds policy as a way to get free games. However it doesn't consider the act of requesting a refund for a game that has been discounted shortly after you bought it, and then re-buying the game in a sale, as any abuse.



HEXUS Forums :: 19 Comments

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Finally, it is sad that the market leader for digital distribution is this late to the refund party. I don't know what has taken so long but I am happy it has finally arrived.
The 2 hour free gaming is causing some concern in the indie circles where its not uncommon for a game to be less than 2 hours long. Not sure there is any answer for it but I can understand their concerns.
cheesemp
Not sure there is any answer for it but I can understand their concerns.

2 hour game intros/tutorials…? :)
cheesemp
The 2 hour free gaming is causing some concern in the indie circles where its not uncommon for a game to be less than 2 hours long. Not sure there is any answer for it but I can understand their concerns.

There are games being SOLD that are under 2 hours long….and that isn't uncommon?

That probably explains valves reticence to add this in the past…….but seriously…..less than 2 hours of gameplay seems more like a demo or concept, rather then an actual title release :/
cheesemp
The 2 hour free gaming is causing some concern in the indie circles where its not uncommon for a game to be less than 2 hours long. Not sure there is any answer for it but I can understand their concerns.

Maybe they could add something like a “percentage complete” check, or an achievement check so if the game has been played and completed, or played past a certain point then it becomes ineligible for a refund.

And I do think there can be some (but not many) legitimate “2 hour” games, I've purchased a couple on android hat don't take long to finish but are still well worth the money - not seen anything on Steam yet but I'm sure they are there. Look at “The Room” and “Monument Valley” as examples.