Valve, the owner of Steam, has introduced a new refund policy for those of you who have bought a new game or DLC. However, there is a catch.
[dropcap size=small]G[/dropcap]amers rejoice! Thanks to the latest Steam client update, Steam refunds is now available. If you have ordered and paid for a game and/or DLC in Steam’s library you can now return the game, but only if you have played the content for two hours or less and the return is done within fourteen days.
The way the refund policy works is you send a refund request through Steam’s website. After the request for the refund is approved, the refund will be issued within one week of said approval and you don’t have to have a specific reason to get the refund. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like the game, you can’t get it to run properly on your computer, or that the game you just purchased went on sale. The refund will be given as long as you’re not trying to cheat the system.
The refund policy applies to games that have been pre-purchased as well. At any given point before the release, you can request a refund. After the game has been released, the fourteen days and two hours rule goes into effect. It is currently uncertain how Valve will handle cases where you receive bonus content for pre-ordering a game. Presumably, you would lose the bonus content since you are returning the game/content.
Of course, there are several restrictions to the refund policy. Movies can’t be refunded because it does not qualify as a game. Also, gifts can’t be refunded if the recipient has redeemed said gift. In addition to this, you will be unable to request a refund if you are VAC banned from the game. The description for the refund policy states, “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.”
Overall, it’s a pretty great policy that Steam has decided to offer. Whether or not two hours or less is enough time to decide whether or not you like the content you purchased is entirely up to you. Plus, if you encounter an issue where Steam isn’t able to refund you using your original payment method, the money will just be added to your Steam Wallet instead. This a smart move on Valve’s part considering how in the past, the company had refused to hand out refunds to people in Europe where refunds are required by law if requested.