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Breezeep

Steam is now offering refunds

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This policy change should have happened years ago. So, I don't see why people are heaping so much praise onto Valve for it. It also does not change the fact that Valve's customer support still sucks. I had to contact both Origin and Steam support and the difference between the two was night and day. The Origin support rep made me feel like a valued customer and I was expecting way better treatment from Valve than what I got.

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Now I can review all games, make Youtube vids and return them without paying! Devs with 10 minute or 2 hour long games will just have them returned. Escape Goat, Bleed, They Breathe and Spoiler Alert come to mind.

They always did give refunds, it just took 2 - 3 weeks and they only allowed one. They'd refund to your wallet, but not the card.

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We do not consider it abuse to request a refund on a title that was purchased just before a sale and then immediately rebuying that title for the sale price.


That is pretty cool anyway, but yeah this should've happened years ago.

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Took long enough, Valve..If only you did this shit years ago..

I'd love to refund all the crap I bought I did not like in 2014 and mid 2013 tho but I can't.

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geo said:

Devs with 10 minute or 2 hour long games will just have them returned.

When I read this news, I immediately realized that it's the game devs who is going to fail to profit now (look how carefully the refund rules are set so that Steam itself doesn't lose much, so overally it can even profit at the expense of devs even more than before, probably), which doesn't satisfy me.

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Now those idiot devs who make shitty broken games will not be able to profit at all now, such garbage similar to Air Control and the dime a dozen "Open World Zombie Survival in Early Access" titles from Greenlight.

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Fulgrim said:

I had to contact both Origin and Steam support and the difference between the two was night and day. The Origin support rep made me feel like a valued customer and I was expecting way better treatment from Valve than what I got.


When you're competing with a near-monpolized industry, and simply offering a better product or service isnt within your reach, better customer service is your best weapon.

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Glaice said:

Now those idiot devs who make shitty broken games will not be able to profit at all now, such garbage similar to Air Control and the dime a dozen "Open World Zombie Survival in Early Access" titles from Greenlight.

That is actually good, I didn't think of that at first. It's just a REAL shame for the 'innocent' good short game developers who get affected as well and as much.

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So basically all games now have a two-hour-long free demo, and only after that time expires do you need to pay for it.

Too bad they didn't actually structure the system like that, instead of having to make you jump through hoops.

Also: do the Doom games have a refund period? Because you know what you could easily do upon downloading the game...

Refunds are designed to remove the risk from purchasing titles on Steam—not as a way to get free games. If it appears to us that you are abusing refunds, we may stop offering them to you.


Is that an individual "you" or a global "you"? If the latter, good luck expecting gamers to abide by an honor system

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40oz is right about the customer service thing. Going off of that, it kind of offends me how often they do those "Steam sales". That's price discrimination strategy practiced by monopolistic firms. They get people to buy things that they never would have bought before not that long ago. For example, a person gets a new computer: "what new games can I play on this rig oh and there's a sale let's get all we can get while the getting's good", instead of conservatively buying 1 game at a time like a normal person who goes to the store to buy something they specifically want. When you get a game, you should be able to digest it over a period of time instead of dropping it and moving on to the next thing, which is the kind of behavior Steam propagates.

Dear god if you haven't removed Steam from the list of programs Windows runs on startup, you need to get rid of it. Honestly the performance increase is like removing a piece of malware or antivirus software.

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I wasn't surprised to learn that Big Rigs isn't offered on Steam -I'm not sure about Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree, though.

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TheCupboard said:

40oz is right about the customer service thing. Going off of that, it kind of offends me how often they do those "Steam sales". That's price discrimination strategy practiced by monopolistic firms. They get people to buy things that they never would have bought before not that long ago. For example, a person gets a new computer: "what new games can I play on this rig oh and there's a sale let's get all we can get while the getting's good", instead of conservatively buying 1 game at a time like a normal person who goes to the store to buy something they specifically want. When you get a game, you should be able to digest it over a period of time instead of dropping it and moving on to the next thing, which is the kind of behavior Steam propagates.


Well there are people with 300+ games on steam... I really hope that they actually played at least 20 of them.

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One has multiple days to ask for a refund, but preferably less than 2 hours worth on play-time. The news post claims one could ask for a refund for any game you have and it might get looked into by their customer service.

TheCupboard said:

instead of conservatively buying 1 game at a time like a normal person who goes to the store to buy something they specifically want.


There is nothing abnormal about people buying anything online with or without impulse based shopping. It's 2015, and online stores have been around for more than 10 years, steam is just a modern specialized online store.

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scifista42 said:

When I read this news, I immediately realized that it's the game devs who is going to fail to profit now (look how carefully the refund rules are set so that Steam itself doesn't lose much, so overally it can even profit at the expense of devs even more than before, probably), which doesn't satisfy me.


A better question is do devs still get the money no matter what and Steam takes the hit? Does that mean devs get paid 2 weeks after every sale instead of at the end of the cycle?

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40oz said:

When you're competing with a near-monpolized industry, and simply offering a better product or service isnt within your reach, better customer service is your best weapon.


Thats pretty much a given and common scene when it comes to operating a business.

I was simply surprised to find out that Valves customer support is as terrible as it is. It took two and half weeks and several emails back and forth to resolve the issue I had. I was trying to add my cd key for my old Half-life box set to Steam. I had to fax them out copies of the manuals for each game because high res pictures where not good enough. I also had to fax them pictures of each games cd as well. I was even told at one point that the cd keys where legit and had not been redeemed on Steam yet. But I was still forced to jump through hoops.

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40oz said:

When you're competing with a near-monpolized industry, and simply offering a better product or service isnt within your reach, better customer service is your best weapon.

Or a better marketing campaign. See the insurance industry.

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I'm not sure if Game Maker, Unity or RPG Maker games have DRM so you can download the games and move them, keep them and play them.

I remember an article from Wolfire games about Humble Bundle's no DRM being exploited where people were just posting download links with bundles that were $1 or even $0.01.

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Fulgrim said:

I was simply surprised to find out that Valves customer support is as terrible as it is. It took two and half weeks and several emails back and forth to resolve the issue I had. I was trying to add my cd key for my old Half-life box set to Steam...


When i had to do that with an old half-life box 3 years ago, i made a few low resolution cell-phone pictures of the box and barcodes. After sending them those pictures they practically solved it during the same day.

Never had one complaint about their customer service, or service in general, next to them refusing to merge two accounts into one.

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Damage control from paid modding backfiring? Or just a safety net for when they try to implement that system again? I can't help but get the feeling that these two are inextricably linked.

EDIT: Stapler

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Fulgrim said:

This policy change should have happened years ago.

Better late than never, as they say.

Glaice said:

Now those idiot devs who make shitty broken games will not be able to profit at all now, such garbage similar to Air Control and the dime a dozen "Open World Zombie Survival in Early Access" titles from Greenlight.

Not to mention the next full-price Assassin's Creed game which doesnt even work properly. Maybe this is the incentive Ubisoft et al need to get their act together.

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Fulgrim said:

I had to contact both Origin and Steam support and the difference between the two was night and day. The Origin support rep made me feel like a valued customer and I was expecting way better treatment from Valve than what I got.

Yeah, for all of their shortcomings, I haven't had a bad experience with EA's support. I can't say the same about Steam.

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I created text adventures of grand gothic and violent scope when I was a kid, can I get a refund on that? There is no need. It was an instruction process that utilized the power of narrative, simple code, and a spark of vision of a foreign landscape. Few people create their own games or content to amuse themselves anymore. Now we want refunds on pieces of Glorp the industry tosses our way. Well, when you buy Glorp, you get Glorp. And then we buy Glorp: the Glob Chronicles and decide the 4 hours of gameplay was vapid. We tell ourselves that this was worth the money because, it gives you the special Glorb artifact for our character. But deep down, we know that the entire Glorp franchise was built on sludgy foundations to begin with, it was an incomplete, unamusing, uninstructive mess.

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TheCupboard said:

Going off of that, it kind of offends me how often they do those "Steam sales". That's price discrimination strategy practiced by monopolistic firms. They get people to buy things that they never would have bought before not that long ago. For example, a person gets a new computer: "what new games can I play on this rig oh and there's a sale let's get all we can get while the getting's good", instead of conservatively buying 1 game at a time like a normal person who goes to the store to buy something they specifically want.

With a little willpower you can keep yourself from purchasing games you're not sure you want to play just because they're on sale. If you don't buy it cheap now, there'll be opportunity in a year or so. In today's world it's so easy to get loads of free and cheap games that you're never lacking in something to play.

Personally, I've made it my rule to buy no more games (except for those that I've been waiting to buy for a long time) until I finish my current fat backlog.

When you get a game, you should be able to digest it over a period of time instead of dropping it and moving on to the next thing, which is the kind of behavior Steam propagates.

You know you don't need to play a game immediately after buying it...

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Steam might be a monopoly, but a lot of people are finding Humble Bundle sales and bundles to go deeper than Steam. Its because they only want 20% and Steam wants 30%. Rightfully so too.

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Snakes said:

Damage control from paid modding backfiring? Or just a safety net for when they try to implement that system again? I can't help but get the feeling that these two are inextricably linked.

EDIT: Stapler



I'd say they are. Valve caught a lot of flack over their lack of customer service and terrible refund policy during the shit storm over paid mods. Valve's refund policy did seem to pop up a lot because people where worried about getting stuck with a non-functional mod or a mod that caused stability issues. Valve has pretty much been in damage control mode since the whole paid mod fiasco and it's probably safe to assume that this isn't the only policy change we will see in the coming weeks.

FireFish said:

When i had to do that with an old half-life box 3 years ago, i made a few low resolution cell-phone pictures of the box and barcodes. After sending them those pictures they practically solved it during the same day.

Never had one complaint about their customer service, or service in general, next to them refusing to merge two accounts into one.


Simply put, I was being jacked around. As I said I sent pictures of the entire manual to them, cover to cover and I told them at the start that I didn't have the box the games came in. The support rep said pictures of the manuals and the product numbers from the cd-rom's was enough proof. By the end I was ready to pack everything I had into a box and ship it to Valve with a nasty letter.

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Sony gives refunds. EA gives refunds. Sony even calls or texts when the deed is done. Its one step to them having a console. Or they're just tired of getting flooded with refund requests from someone that bought a steam key from a 3rd party site.

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I certainly understand why Valve was hesitant to offer refunds because of the potential for abuse, but on the other hand, I do have one or two games in my library that I can't play because they don't work on my system. And it's not even a case not checking the minimum requirements, either. The real problem is with older games where they don't bother to make sure they're compatible with newer systems. That's one thing I wish they'd really adopt from GOG - doing everything in their power to make sure that every game available can be played on modern systems without having to fuss around with settings and whatnot.

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No one else gives refunds on opened software or games. The little guys with the 1 hour shmups will get screwed. There are several games that I haven't liked until 4 hours in and others that I play once, say fuck this, don't return to it for years then find its enjoyable..

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I would never return a game simply because I didn't enjoy it, although I am sure there's going to be a lot of that now - people treating refunds like a 2-hour demo or whatever. The only real issue I ever have is getting a game that simply doesn't work. To me, that's like, I know stores generally won't accept returns on opened software, but they darn well better make an exception if I buy something from the store, I get home, and find that the DVD is scratched beyond being readable (and that has happened to me). You can't even know if there are any physical defects without opening the software up.

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