Steam has recently changed their return policy on steam games. Taken from the Steam program on Windows,
“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.
You will be issued a full refund of your purchase within a week of approval. You will receive the refund in Steam Wallet funds or through the same payment method you used to make the purchase. If, for any reason, Steam is unable to issue a refund via your initial payment method, your Steam Wallet will be credited the full amount. (Some payment methods available through Steam in your country may not support refunding a purchase back to the original payment method. Click here for a full list.)”
They elaborate more fully via the Steam blog under the return policy, but I wanted to highlight this one issue with the new return policy. Abuse. With any return policy, companies have to be aware of people who are going to try and beat the system. Thankfully, Steam has this to say about potential abuse with regards to refunds:
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. 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.
How to Request a Refund
You can request a refund or get other assistance with your Steam purchases at help.steampowered.com.
Last updated June 2, 2015″
It is important to note the line where they say they don’t consider returning and re-buying a game for sale as abuse. This is helpful because it means for all the people who end up buying a game and then seeing it on sale a day or two later, they can return it and re-buy it to get the better price. The only issue there is if they’ve already put 2+ hours into the game which is technically now outside of the refund policy. Hopefully it’s just going to evolve into a “price-match” policy most big box stores have where if you show your receipt (or in this case, go to the linked site above) and get the adjustment on your purchase, and that way you don’t have to return and re-buy a game.
I think people are fairly receptive to the policy, though some have stated they see it as a problem for smaller indie games which may not even be 2 hours in length. This would open up a can of worms for indie devs who could see an increase in “returns” on their games, solely as a scam. Thankfully the abuse portion of the policy would eliminate that, and I’m sure there are far less people who would be jerks like that anyways.
What are your thoughts? Think it’s a good idea? Would you return a game you didn’t like on Steam? Comment below or tweet us!
Written by Andrew (@SoAfterISaid)