Valve's Steam and Customer Service: I am Disapoint Son

This 3 part article looks at Valve's Steam, the leading digital distribution service and problems with its customer service, its EULA and the available alternatives. Part 1 shows an example of Valve's customer service after an incorrect purchase was made and an exchange requested.

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PirateThom2928d ago

People defend Steam to the hilt, but really, the bigger it gets, the more cracks start to appear, they have PC gamers locked down and now they can, pretty much, do what they please in that online space. This is, once again, a failing of digital downloads and DRM and Steam is DRM. They're still a business though and they're probably covered under EULA for this they really don't have to do anything.

Their customer service does seem terrible in this case. I refuse to believe it's impossible for them to remove the game from your list and issue it as a gift credit. Even worse, the fact it let you rebuy the game even though it should be saved via the Steam account details as purchased and stop you doing it again. Surely, at worst, the solution here would be, remove the game from the user's download list, ask them to buy the game at full price for the gift, refund the full price charges? A simple mistake should not punish the end user as drastically as that.

Valve, great games, but they're soon going to find that great products will mean nothing without customer service to back it up.

muslimgamer2928d ago

I wasn't sure what kind of response the article would get as there are a lot of blind followers of Steam. Hopefully more people will approve the article and give it some heat so others can see how something so simple like changing a game from gift to library wont even be done. Part 2 of the article will be up tomorrow. Good to see there are others that can see that Steam is not always deserving of the pedestal it is put upon.

NCAzrael2928d ago

Again I'm going to have to say that since you do not work for Valve you have no right saying that changing a game from owned to gift is a simple process. If it isn't set up in their system to allow that, it isn't a simple issue.

What would have been easier would be to actually pay attention to what you're doing when purchasing something instead of throwing a fit when someone can't fix your mistake.

DigitalAnalog2928d ago (Edited 2928d ago )

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love STEAM. In fact, I wished I had got into STEAM years before I discovered knowing their sales are ridiculously attractive. Because I would've been able to buy many of the PS3 exclusives while at the same time enjoy a few awesome multiplats on PC.

However, it's situations like "mistakes" that can easily turn sour. One can say that the steam deals can offset a few missteps, but regardless I find it hard to believe the service is unable to change purchased games into gift copies. Maybe it's the nature of the system itself or whatnot, in any case really hope this could be addressed sometime in the near future.

lelo2play2928d ago

Not surprising... I've had problems with Steam before. A lot will disagree with me, but Steam is not that great.

kutocer2928d ago

I've seen so many people defend Steam, Just a week or so ago on the EA BF3 forums I got into a argument with some that was having ago about Origin and boasted he was SteamID 4 and Steam is the be all to end all services and would not take it Steam has issues as well.

Now I own over 130 games on Steam so I'm not against it, I own around 10 games on Origin and not against that either but I do know each has they're own issues and the way people defend Steam is kinda pathetic.

So the person that answered you does not have a manager then and in no way do I believe that. If they didn't take a day to get back to you and have had a good customer service and replied right away then the issue would have been sorted but I truly believe they didn't reply because they knew they could have got more money from that way.

This article just reaffirm what I already thought about Steam and that is yes they offer good deals but they really only think about themselves and not customer support. Yes I know company's are there to make money but also to offer a after care service which they have failed at.

Pro_TactX2928d ago

So basically, you made a mistake in your purchase details not once, but twice, and now you don't want to sleep in the bed you made.

How about just make sure your stuff is right before clicking submit?

Clearly you didn't make any kind of effort to ensure that you were making the right purchase, because you screwed up twice.

danielle0072928d ago

So I'm guessing you've never made a single mistake - ever - when purchasing anything from anywhere. Kudos to you.

However, this single case of bad customer service is not isolated. At all.

NCAzrael2928d ago

Maybe it's just me, but I always look at the confirmation screen before I finalize any online purchase. It takes 5-10 seconds to look over all of the details before confirming the purchase and submitting your payment. I make my share of mistakes when purchasing stuff. What I do not do is fail to catch my mistakes before I finalize my purchase. That's why confirmation screens exist.

Pro_TactX2928d ago (Edited 2928d ago )


Actually, I have never made a single mistake when purchasing anything from anywhere. I always review my purchase before submitting them.

I don't just talk out of my ass. I actually practice what I preach.

Oh and a single case of bad customer service is the very definition of an isolated incident.

To be clear, by mistake, I mean submitting an order erroneously. Sure I have had my share of mis-clicks, but I always catch them before submitting my order because I review my order.

I am just tired of living in a blame society. Everyone wants to blame someone else for their problems, but if everyone just took steps to look out for themselves there would not be as many problems.

If the folks at muslimgamer had taken the simple precaution of reviewing their order (they had two opportunities), then there would not be a problem to complain about.

muslimgamer2928d ago

I think you are missing the point. If this was a retail store or quiet possibly any other store and you purchased a game, then realised that hey its the wrong version, you can take it back unopened and you are entitles to a refund or exchange. Thats not asking to be special, that's just consumer rights .

But because Steam is hiding behind no phone number, no live chat and no local office, they can say "no" and that's it. There is nothing you can do about it.

Even Ebay is more forgiving and that's an auction.

Ducky2928d ago (Edited 2928d ago )

When buying a retail game, the steps are:
- Buy game
- Open box
- Enter CD Key

When you buy a digital game, the third step is executed the moment you authorize the purchase.

It doesn't matter if you never download the game on steam as the CD key for the game is still visible to you. Often times, the CD Key can still be valid on non-steam copies.

For example, you can buy Medal of Honor on steam, but never install it. You can copy down your CD Key into Origin, and you'll have a copy of MoH on origin. Then tell steam to refund the game on steam because you never downloaded it and it was all a mistake. If they refund you, you would end up with MoH for free on Origin.

So you can't expect them to give you refunds like retail because the digital copy is essentially 'unboxed'.

As for gifting a newly bought copy, I agree, they should let you do that... but I doubt the support term has the power to transfer games.
... and this mostly just serves as a lesson to verify everything before finalizing a purchase no matter where you're buying from.

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