The great big money sink (pic: Valve)
Not too happy with your purchase on Steam and want your money back? Well, there’s some rules you’ll need to play by first.
Originally launched in 2004, specifically for Half-Life and Counter-Strike series, it soon morphed from a buggy way to access Vale’s own games to an industry-dominating store.
However, in 2015, after the European Union came down hard on Valve for its zero-refund policy, Steam relented, but the hoops you have to jump through to get your money back can be pretty confusing.
Steam refund requirements
Steam’s refund policy allows any account to refund a game within 14 days of purchase, as long as it hasn’t been played for over two hours. This is to avoid people from playing through a whole game, then refunding it and moving on to the next.
If your account does list you at over the two-hour mark, you might be out of luck entirely as Valve doesn’t tend to be lenient. However, it’s always worth trying to contact customer service and arguing your case, especially if you’re only a few minutes over.
Outside of the 14-day limit, Valve will not allow any refunds. You can contest this by contacting them again, but more than likely the system won’t even allow you to begin the refunding process.
For hardware (like the Steam Deck or Valve Index), the same rules apply now, but you will probably have to pay the shipping costs if you want to return them.
How to refund a game on Steam
Steam refunds give you a deep insight into your spending habits (pic: Metro.co.uk)
Getting your money back for an accidental purchase, bad decision or impulse buy is easy enough, you just need to know where to go.
The thing with Steam is that for as much as it has come a long way, since its old greenish and beige colour scheme, it’s still a quagmire of a user interface.
You’ll need to organise the refund in a browser, so be sure to head to the correct page and then also sign in. Make sure you have your authenticator app ready as well.
Once you’ve logged in, click on ‘A Purchase’ and you’ll be given a list of your previous purchases. These can date back pretty far, so just keep in mind the dates.
Click on the game (or downloadable content) you want to refund and Valve will ask for a reason as to why you need the refund.
Choose a reason from the list and a representative from Steam should have a look over your refund request, with the money returning to either your Steam Wallet or other source.
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