Gone are the days where customers are locked into purchases through Valve. Steam, Valve’s online gaming platform, has recently released a refund policy.  The policy allows those who make a purchase are able to make a request as long as it’s made within 14 days, or the games has been played for less than 2 hours.  The request is made through Steam’s support system, and if accepted the money will returned through the method of payment or their Steam Wallet.

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This policy does not allow for an automatic refund, there are several situations where the company will not complete the request. Some of theses include any content that was downloaded or in-game purchases, depending on if the item has been used during the game.  As well, if the game has been played for more than 2 hours, or if the individual developers have a separate refund policy, could also affect if the gamer is able to receive a refund.  Movies and other videos are as well nonrefundable.

Valve will look at all requests, but there are no guarantees.  As well, the policy could get complicated when it comes to games that are able to be played under 2 hours. Valve will also take note of any potential abuse of the return policy, or ones who are aware of potential sales and attempt to return in order to make a profit.  Valve has decided to make a new policy, but it shouldn’t affect their bottom line too significantly. In 2013 it was estimated that Valve accounted for 75% of digital computer game sales.

This is the first refund policy for Steam, prior to this games were non-refundable in the US. With this new policy it means that they are closer to other competitors who already offer refund policies.  EA offers a policy that guarantees the game is free of glitches, also included in the policy is as long as the exchange is made within 7 days of purchasing the game, or within 24 hours of launching the game for the first time. This refund policy can be extended if there is a technical problem with the game. They also include a policy that allows for a refund within 30 days as long as the games has never been launched.

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