A new addition has recently been inserted into the Steam Subscriber Agreement pertaining to EU subscribers of the company. The new policy allows for a no questions asked refund for digitally purchased goods and games bought from Steam for up to fourteen days after the original purchase. However, EU customers should make sure to take note of the catch. The refund is only available for games that have not yet been downloaded or installed. Upon trying to install a game, users will now be given the following warning:
By clicking ‘Purchase’ you agree that Valve provides you immediate access to digital content as soon as you complete your purchase, without waiting the 14-day withdrawal period. Therefore, you expressly waive your right to withdraw from this purchase.
So, the moral of the story is make sure that you’re completely positive that you want the game before you install. The full addition to the subscriber’s agreement reads as follows:
If you are an EU subscriber, you have the right to withdraw from a purchase transaction for digital content without charge and without giving any reason for a duration of 14 days or until valve’s performance of its obligations has begun with your prior express consent and your acknowledgment that you thereby lose your right of withdrawal, whichever happens sooner. Therefore, you will be informed during the checkout process when our performance starts and asked to provide your prior express consent to the purchase being final
Steam has garnered a pretty poor reputation in regards to customer service and support. Valve officials have acknowledged the problem in recent interviews and have expressed their desire to try and remedy the inefficient system. If the new refund policy is a first step, I guess that’s good. I have to say that it’s really not much of a first step, however. Valve and Steam should probably be focusing on addressing their backlog of complaints rather than adding a refund policy that won’t even affect the majority of their subscribers.