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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    Steam now supports automatic refunds for pre-orders

    http://www.valvetime.net/threads/ste...orders.244258/

    Automatic meaning that you won't have to contact support to do it. The only hitch is that they refund you in steam bucks, not real currency.

    I sincerely hope this is just the first step to allow customers easy refunds for any game they purchase. Canceling a pre-order is the bare minimum an online store should support. Maybe Steam just has a massive amount of inertia to overcome, but it's embarassing how much more customer-friendly GOG and Origin are in this regard.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    It absolutely blows my mind this wasn't always the case.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    I guess I find myself unsettled by the prospect of people buying a game, playing it, deciding they don't like it, and asking for their money back. If it doesn't work? Sure. If I never play it? Sure. But otherwise I'm leery of that way of thinking about what is and isn't being agreed to a the point of sale. So I guess I tentatively support returning of non-preorders.

    I'm with Vinraith in terms of my ongoing amazement that canceling a pre-order has not been a baked into steam before this point.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 26-01-2014 at 06:32 AM.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I guess I find myself unsettled by the prospect of people buying a game, playing it, deciding they don't like it, and asking for their money back.
    That can easily be over come by restricting the refund to something like 6 hours post sale. That gives people enough time to try the game but not enough to finish it.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I'm not expecting people with the options/desire to pirate a game are going to pre-order bait and switch.
    Tis not good they do not allow proper pre-orders and cancellations. I smell a rat, though I think it may mainly be down to the prohibitive card transaction fees and the poor decision to take payment/process early?

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Is this even legal?

    Sorry, thatís something I end up saying more and more with certain services. Like you said, allowing people to cancel their preorder is the bare minimum of service. Itís shocking how little basic consumer rights are respected online.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    Is this even legal?
    Probably not in the UK for pre-purchases---if you haven't received the files, you seem to be entitled to cancel and get a proper refund rather than Steam credit.

    In the UK once you've got the files it seems to be the end of your rights to an automatic refund (in principal you have 7 days after agreeing to the service contract or receiving the files needed to make the service work, but the provider and consumer can agree to a "as soon as you've got the files the contract's finalized" clause, which is lurking somewhere in the Steam ToS). Refunds for faulty games is untested as far as I'm aware.

    This is my interpretation of various government FAQs so might be wrong.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  8. #8
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    This is why Origin existing is a good thing, even if we don't have games availables on both platforms.

  9. #9
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    Perhaps to be refunded in real currency and not Steam bucks you still need to go through support. I'm still not going to pre-order from Steam though, most of the time GreenManGaming gives at least 20% off through the voucher and I don't need whatever half-baked DLC that is peddled at me for buying from Steam anyway.

    Steam has some really big holes in its support that need to get closed up. Some may hate Origin and UPlay but they do things Steam does not/did not do for ages, it amazes me how each service can have some really big pitfalls and then do well in other places.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    Sorry, that’s something I end up saying more and more with certain services. Like you said, allowing people to cancel their preorder is the bare minimum of service. It’s shocking how little basic consumer rights are respected online.
    We're talking Valve here. They're not exactly renowned for respecting the customer. Dude I know found himself VAC banned one day and there's absolutely no appeal system to it, or do they tell you what software you're supposed to have used that set the system off (not that he was using anything anyway). Instead everyone has to trust that the VAC software never makes mistakes. Of course it does, as was evinced by the mass banning that happened early in the release cycle of MW1 or 2 which Valve then had to mea culpa on by unbanning everyone and giving them a free game.
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  11. #11
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    I find the concept of pre-purchase for unreleased software terrible. Especially since lots of people don't seem to understand the difference between pre-purchase and pre-ordering. If I pre-order it will be from some where that won't charge me till it is shipped. Unfortunately that usually means getting a boxed copy, but at least I can guarantee I get a good game on release day or cancel at the last minute if the reviews are terrible once the embargo lifts (if there are no reviews before release I cancel the day before). Plus, places like amazon are still usually cheaper than Steam on launch prices.

    This is a step in the right direction, but they really shouldn't be taking the money until they give you the item.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    It absolutely blows my mind this wasn't always the case.
    Almost as much as the notion that people pre-order stuff on Steam to start with. I guess they are worried they might sell out of bits.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palindrome View Post
    That can easily be over come by restricting the refund to something like 6 hours post sale. That gives people enough time to try the game but not enough to finish it.
    What about really short games?
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  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Almost as much as the notion that people pre-order stuff on Steam to start with. I guess they are worried they might sell out of bits.
    Or duped by idiotic preorder exclusives. That their customers are suckers doesn't really excuse abusing them, though.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    What about really short games?
    Yeah, indie devs would potentially suffer a lot from something like that. And it would definitely discourage "budget" titles like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

    Plus, how do we measure those six hours? Six hours from purchase? Expect to have everyone bitching about "the poor and defenseless people with shitty internet". Six hours of gametime? Steam's game time counter is broken on the best of days and this would just discourage any dev from NOT using steamworks as DRM.
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  16. #16
    Lesser Hivemind Node L_No's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    What about really short games?
    Good point. I managed to finish Mirror's Edge in under six hours, and that was supposed to be an AAA title. Many indie titles can be finished that fast too.
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  17. #17
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    We shouldn't expect automatic refunds after having played a game even a little. Refunds post-release should need a human to oversee them and should be restricted to cases where one of

    i) The game has significant technical problems for a non-small group of players; or has significant technical problems for a small group of players that can be easily demonstrated
    ii) The store page contained significant misleading or false information
    iii) The developers released significant misleading or false information through a non-store medium (but these refunds need to come from the publisher rather than the store; but the store should attempt to facilitate them)
    iv) The game is "objectively" of unacceptable quality (where "objectively" is not explicitly defined here but roughly will mean something like "pretty much anyone disinterested would agree")

    holds. Human input is necessary because of the recurrence of significant.

    I suppose if you wanted to develop palindrome's idea further you could make the timing "x% of the amount of time it normally takes to play the game". A lot of developers make claims about the length of their game, so you could use that. This would still leave quite a few confusing games whose length is hard to define.
    Last edited by NathanH; 27-01-2014 at 09:51 AM.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    Or duped by idiotic preorder exclusives.
    Even then, you just 'pre-order' the day before release. And in those cases where you actually get something on purchase (like a free copy of the first game when you pre-order the sequel), I doubt very much Steam will allow refunds on those.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Even then, you just 'pre-order' the day before release. And in those cases where you actually get something on purchase (like a free copy of the first game when you pre-order the sequel), I doubt very much Steam will allow refunds on those.
    I've occasionally wanted to pre-order a game with a nice bonus, but then got sidetracked and forgot to do it before release, so there is some sense in doing it early. Indeed, given that a full refund if you cancel the order before release really ought to be in place, there's no good reason to wait.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  20. #20
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    Do we know if this is from "none" to "automated" or is it from "manual" to "automated"? Steam (and most digital distribution) channels are rubbish for their refund policy anyhow. Even bricks and mortar. Software has skirted the limits for a long time.

    Origin/EA doing refunds now, after the SimCity event and not including SimCity in a refund policy, kind of shows how most companies only act if absolutely required to. Now EA have had the backlash, they see the need to have a refunds/returns policy. Hopefully others will follow.

    Sadly, it's when things fail that most people see the mistake, not before.

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