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  1. #1
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    Steam now offering refunds

    Within 14 days for games you played less than 2 hours. With a few exceptions, see here:
    http://store.steampowered.com/steam_refunds

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    It's a good default as long as they keep making appropriate manual refunds.
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  3. #3
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    I never tried to get a refund but I heard it was... difficult. So a quasi automatic refund in these cases might help most people and might also free up Valve to actually take care of the manual refunds? It still seems a little restrictive, 2 hours really is short. Of course you could play through most games within 14 days so some kind of time limit makes sense. Still, 2 hours for e.g. the Witcher 3 might not be enough while for e.g. Papers, Please it might be most of the game. Some kind of % of completion time might be better but then who decides what the official completion time is? Difficult.

    I'm also not sure if this policy isn't still ignoring consumer protection laws in many European countries. Not my area of expertise, though, so I can't tell either way.

  4. #4
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    Some games are done in less than 2 hours though. It's a really difficult thing.

    Not that we should or whatever, but music and movies hold a different standard and even less protection in most instances. Though I'd totally support a refund for false advertising... but then again99% of movies would get returned (rightly so)! :D
    It is a technical difference, but's there none the less.

  5. #5
    Lesser Hivemind Node Xzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    Some games are done in less than 2 hours though. It's a really difficult thing.
    Really? Even the vast majority of games I've paid $5 or less for have lasted at least 4 hours for the main story/content.

    Anyway, Steam is behind the curve on this big time, but at least they finally made some sort of change. Net positive.
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  6. #6
    I wonder how this works with offline play (which doesn't record your time, or at least it doesn't show it in the UI, last time I checked) and also, with DRM-free games sold through Steam (few, but they exist) that can be played without Steam "knowing" about it

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    Some games are done in less than 2 hours though. It's a really difficult thing.
    Realistically, the number of people who are scummy enough to take a refund like that (and not just pirate the damn thing) is miniscule. A few companies many whine, but there's zero chance of it being an actual problem.

    A system doesn't necessarily need to perfectly handle every conceivable circumstance; what matters is that this is a huge improvement to the huge majority of people.

  8. #8
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    So you thought Steam could not get any worse???


    I kid, I kid. I'm impressed.
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  9. #9
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    Looks like a very reasonable and helpful policy. Let's hope it works out for them and us.

    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
    This is nice.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus EPICTHEFAIL's Avatar
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    Steam not acting like complete tossers? Inconceivable!

    In all honesty though, this is the best thing Steam have done in the past year or so. A question for people fluent in legalese: what do they mean by "consumed", exactly? Depending on the meaning, it might make refunds impossible for bad/broken microtransactions and DLC that the consumer got burned on.
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  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EPICTHEFAIL View Post
    Steam not acting like complete tossers? Inconceivable!

    In all honesty though, this is the best thing Steam have done in the past year or so. A question for people fluent in legalese: what do they mean by "consumed", exactly? Depending on the meaning, it might make refunds impossible for bad/broken microtransactions and DLC that the consumer got burned on.
    Generally consumed DLC is stuff like in-game currency, times passes etc. E.g. DLC you can use up. At least it is in console land but I assume Steam are using the same legal terminology. It'll be in the fine print of some disclaimers or terms and conditions somewhere as EU law requires it to be stated.

  12. #12
    Network Hub Challenger2uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    Some games are done in less than 2 hours though. It's a really difficult thing.
    Good job no one noticed we could buy trading card games earn the cards sell them get a refund and ultimtely made money in the process. I wonder how much this can be abused with the same game? inb4 a billion new registered users overnight with people abusing this getting steam cards selling them cheaply to their main account and getting refunds.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Eight Rooks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EPICTHEFAIL View Post
    Steam not acting like complete tossers? Inconceivable!

    In all honesty though, this is the best thing Steam have done in the past year or so. A question for people fluent in legalese: what do they mean by "consumed", exactly? Depending on the meaning, it might make refunds impossible for bad/broken microtransactions and DLC that the consumer got burned on.
    If microtransactions go bad I think developers, if they can verify your claim, will usually just put them right. Even F2P games on mobile generally seek to do that, going by what I've read on the TouchArcade forums. Whether they'll come under refunds for Steam I don't know. If they haven't been used and/or it's one of the "My son 'accidentally' spent $5,000 on Smurfberries" cases then maybe it will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Challenger2uk View Post
    Good job no one noticed we could buy trading card games earn the cards sell them get a refund and ultimtely made money in the process. I wonder how much this can be abused with the same game? inb4 a billion new registered users overnight with people abusing this getting steam cards selling them cheaply to their main account and getting refunds.
    Pretty sure Valve could work out you were doing that and then deny you any more refunds. Or they may change the policy again. Not to mention, don't most of the "trading card games" come from bundles? I don't think that would work with this, would it?
    Last edited by Eight Rooks; 02-06-2015 at 09:06 PM.
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  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    I'm legitimately impressed, kudos to Valve on that one. Mind you, this should have been in place years ago, but progress is progress.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    If microtransactions go bad I think developers, if they can verify your claim, will usually just put them right. Even F2P games on mobile generally seek to do that, going by what I've read on the TouchArcade forums. Whether they'll come under refunds for Steam I don't know. If they haven't been used and/or it's one of the "My son 'accidentally' spent $5,000 on Smurfberries" cases then maybe it will.



    Pretty sure Valve could work out you were doing that and then deny you any more refunds. Or they may change the policy again. Not to mention, don't most of the "trading card games" come from bundles? I don't think that would work with this, would it?

    Obvious abuse of their system does not usually needed to be plainly stated that those behaviors are a big no-no.

    I would think account activity and achievement activity would big signs.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    Yeah, that system is far more lenient than I expected it to be. But then with Steam's plan of ceasing curating their products entirely, it has to be. With ever more shovelware appearing on Steam that no one with any reasonable standards would want to play, Valve has a substantial argument as to why they have no reason to care: "If you buy a game and it turns out to be shit, just get a refund."

    I could be cynical about it, but this is a great policy whichever way you cut it, and I really hope it works.

    Edit: Oh crap. As the RPS article points out, you can now simply buy a non-Steamworks game, copy the directory, get a refund and merrily go on playing your DRM-free game. Although that definitely falls under 'abuse', I'm very worried this may lead to non-Steamworks games on Steam to stop being made altogether.
    Last edited by LTK; 02-06-2015 at 09:27 PM.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Eight Rooks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LTK View Post
    Edit: Oh crap. As the RPS article points out, you can now simply buy a non-Steamworks game, copy the directory, get a refund and merrily go on playing your DRM-free game. Although that definitely falls under 'abuse', I'm very worried this may lead to non-Steamworks games on Steam to stop being made altogether.
    Thing is, can't you basically do this with GOG releases? Is that a huge problem for them?

    But I haven't pirated anything for PC in many, many years, so apologies if I'm missing something obvious.
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  18. #18
    Lesser Hivemind Node Xzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LTK View Post
    Edit: Oh crap. As the RPS article points out, you can now simply buy a non-Steamworks game, copy the directory, get a refund and merrily go on playing your DRM-free game. Although that definitely falls under 'abuse', I'm very worried this may lead to non-Steamworks games on Steam to stop being made altogether.
    True. However, DRM-free games are ridiculously easy to pirate all the same. I seriously doubt there will be much/any difference in the number of people buying them legitimately or the number of people pirating those games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    Thing is, can't you basically do this with GOG releases? Is that a huge problem for them?

    But I haven't pirated anything for PC in many, many years, so apologies if I'm missing something obvious.
    Ninja'd. Yes, the GOG version of games are usually the ones that end up on torrent/pirate sites the most, and are often the most downloaded. Why risk any chance to have your Steam account banned when those downloads are so accessible from elsewhere?
    Last edited by Xzi; 02-06-2015 at 10:06 PM.
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  19. #19
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    I wouldn't be surprised if this had to do with consumer rights here in Europe and in Australia. Weren't they being prosecuted somehow? So, instead of faffing around with geo targeting, they decided to make it a global thing. The fact that Origin had it first probably helped persuading them, too.

    Anyway, I finished Year Walk in about 1h, Brothers - ATo2S in 3 hours and Vanishing of Ethan Carter in about 4h. But I don't see much reason to worry about that either. People will just pirate it, if they want it.

    Mr. Walker raises some good points though:
    It’s also worth noting that any trading cards dropped in the opening two hours of a game (which of course is prime dropping time) can, as well, be sold before the refund is issued. This means these new changes go so far as to provide customers with a way to profit from buying and refunding games.

    Organised mob use of Steam reviews are already commonplace, but require the users to have purchased and played the game. With the new system now in place, it will be simple for such organised groups to buy a game, review bomb it, then get refunds.
    Last edited by DanMan; 02-06-2015 at 11:21 PM.
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    And remember: Bad practices often become a trend, if not dealt with.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    Thing is, can't you basically do this with GOG releases? Is that a huge problem for them?

    But I haven't pirated anything for PC in many, many years, so apologies if I'm missing something obvious.
    Well, GOGs official policy is that they will refund any game that won't work on your system. Of course it's easy to make that claim, but I imagine this policy is at least somewhat effective at weeding out opportunists because saying "it won't work, I've tried everything, gimme a refund" isn't going to go uncontested, and their tech support will offer a number of solutions, ask for error logs, dxdiags and so on.

    Steam doesn't have that option, if a customer says they didn't like Divinity: Original Sin after playing a minute of it and has the entire game's directory copied to another folder in the mean time, their policy doesn't allow them to argue.

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