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Author Topic: Steam Downloads- Is this Accurate? Could use some advice...  (Read 1714 times)
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Dante Rising
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« on: November 25, 2011, 03:39:11 AM »

Steam has begun their Autumn sale. Several of the RPGs I wanted were on sale, so I assumed that they were part of this event. A couple hours after I make my purchases, they suddenly drop drastically in price even further.

Apparently they were all on sale, but then they got added to the Autumn sale for much larger discounts. At this point I have not even downloaded the games, so I e-mailed Steam asking for a price adjustment, or the ability to cancel my purchase an buy again. I received this response:
---------------------------------
Hello,

A staff member has replied to your question:

Hello Robert,

Thank you for contacting Steam Support.

Unfortunately, our billing system is automated and we have no option to offer a partial refund on purchases or to add store credit to your account for the difference.

We apologize for any inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding.

--------------------------------

To me this is very sh!tty customer service. I purchase the game an hour before a massive price drop, the games have not been installed, and a company as large as Steam can't offer price adjustments, returns, or store credit?  Have any of you had this same issue? I can understand no returns for digital downloads, but no price adjustments or credit is just baffling. I've actually had Amazon send me a price adjustment for a digital download without even requesting it. It simply showed up in my Inbox as a $10 credit toward a future purchase.

« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 03:47:06 AM by Dante Rising » Logged
Victoria Raverna
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2011, 04:07:44 AM »

I don't think they'll refund. This is why most people wait until last day to buy stuffs that are not in the daily sale. Steam's official policy is no refund at all. Their unofficial policy is to only refund preordered games before they're released. Once a game is released, you can't ask for refund.

My experience so far with customer support of digital download stores, Steam is at the bottom of the list. Origin/EA is at the upper part of the list since they can gift you something or refund you if you have trouble with your order.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 04:09:29 AM by Victoria Raverna » Logged
Dante Rising
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2011, 04:34:38 AM »

Quote from: Victoria Raverna on November 25, 2011, 04:07:44 AM

I don't think they'll refund. This is why most people wait until last day to buy stuffs that are not in the daily sale. Steam's official policy is no refund at all. Their unofficial policy is to only refund preordered games before they're released. Once a game is released, you can't ask for refund.

My experience so far with customer support of digital download stores, Steam is at the bottom of the list. Origin/EA is at the upper part of the list since they can gift you something or refund you if you have trouble with your order.

I've made over 50 purchases through Steam, and never once contacted customer support. This particular purchase seemed like a non-issue, but I think I've been spoiled by Amazon and actual Brick-and-mortar retailers. I've recently been purchasing an increasing number of digital downloads from Amazon, the Witcher 2 and Heroes 6 being the most recent additions.  They still don't match the ridiculously good prices of older games that you see on Steam, but many of the newer games have had some healthy discounts.

I've tried to remain loyal to Steam, as I enjoy a "one-stop" PC game collection, and I've yet to experience technical issues. But small things like this make me reconsider keeping the blinders on, especially in light of Amazon's treatment of my recent business.

Obviously Steam is still the 800 lb gorilla, but apparently they aren't exactly the model for customer service.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 04:39:03 AM by Dante Rising » Logged
Sarkus
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2011, 09:14:01 AM »

The "right" or "wrong" of it aside, this is pretty much how all Steam sales work.  They have sales where a whole bunch of stuff is on sale for several days, then daily deals where the discounts on some stuff is steeper but only if you buy during that day.  Thats why during the sales most people focus on the "daily deals" and then at the end buy the stuff that never went for a lower price.  

I guess I'm surprised you didn't realize that if you've been buying Steam games for so long.  And its not like its all that much different then what normal retailers have always done.  If you go to Walmart tonight you can get Battlefield 3 for $28, but only if you buy today.   You are likely not going to have any luck asking for a refund of the difference on a copy you bought yesterday.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 09:19:31 AM by Sarkus » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2011, 09:23:54 AM »

Steam is the best digital download service UNLESS you ever run into an issue that needs support, such as yours. 
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Sarkus
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2011, 09:37:18 AM »

Quote from: Harkonis on November 25, 2011, 09:23:54 AM

Steam is the best digital download service UNLESS you ever run into an issue that needs support, such as yours. 

I agree that Steam has an issue with providing support, but he got a response, so I wouldn't say that's the issue here.  He just doesn't like the answer he got.  If you meant to say that Steam has an issue with customer service, then I also agree, and that is perhaps what is lacking here.  But that's not a surprise as Steam is widely known for being stingy on refunds.  For example, with the recent super buggy release of Sword of the Stars 2 there were plenty of people who felt there was no point in even asking for a refund because Steam so rarely gives them. 
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2011, 11:29:16 AM »

Quote from: Sarkus on November 25, 2011, 09:14:01 AM


I guess I'm surprised you didn't realize that if you've been buying Steam games for so long.  And its not like its all that much different then what normal retailers have always done.  If you go to Walmart tonight you can get Battlefield 3 for $28, but only if you buy today.   You are likely not going to have any luck asking for a refund of the difference on a copy you bought yesterday.


Most of what I've purchased from Steam has been new releases, so sales haven't been that important to me until I decided to trim my gaming budget in half. It just seems rather bizarre to put something on sale, and then drop the price even further in a completely different sale, in the same day/week. 

I see the point you are trying to make with your Walmart analogy, but the two are dissimilar. First, Walmart would absolutely take a return, as long as the game was unopened. I've never activated or downloaded the games I purchased on Steam, so they are basically "unopened". But I don't want a return anyway, so that isn't the issue. I can understand their reluctance to offer returns, as I'm guessing they buy those specific activation keys from the publisher.

Also, Walmart and most other retailers let the consumer know well in advance what their sale items will be.  Battlefield is an excellent example. I specifically waited to purchase that game, because Walmart gave an indication that it would be a sale item. Steam just drops a bomb on you. If you happened to purchase the game 1 second before the sale began, you are apparently SOL for any type of price adjustment.

I don't want to become petty over the issue. Steam had the software for a price I was willing to pay, and an exchange was made. Their customer service responded to me, on Thanksgiving Day, within 2 hours. I'm just disappointed that they had a chance to build further customer goodwill, and they couldn't be bothered.  When I worked in retail, one of the golden rules was always take the "easy win". If you can make a long-term customer happy, have the means to quickly do so, and it is not cost prohibitive, you always take that step to appease. That easy win pays for itself quickly.

I certainly won't boycott them, or go on some rampage in their forums. But I did just purchase Heroes 6 and two other games from Amazon digital downloads instead of Steam. So Steam kept a small sum of my money on one transaction, and lost potential profit on a much larger transaction.

« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 11:43:38 AM by Dante Rising » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2011, 02:10:09 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on November 25, 2011, 11:29:16 AM

I don't want to become petty over the issue. Steam had the software for a price I was willing to pay, and an exchange was made.

Not that you really need more feedback at this point but your statement that I quoted pretty much sums up my opinion. I understand your "long-term goodwill" argument but, while that would certainly be nice of them, it's by no means required of them.

Really, it's just that the whole "I bought something for a price I was perfectly willing to pay but then it went on sale X time units later and so I feel I should have gotten that price" thing is one of my pet peeves. It comes up every time Apple drops the price on an iProduct, for instance, and everyone who bought one two weeks to a month before the change complains about how ripped off they got.

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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2011, 02:54:33 PM »

Quote from: Asharak on November 25, 2011, 02:10:09 PM

Really, it's just that the whole "I bought something for a price I was perfectly willing to pay but then it went on sale X time units later and so I feel I should have gotten that price" thing is one of my pet peeves. It comes up every time Apple drops the price on an iProduct, for instance, and everyone who bought one two weeks to a month before the change complains about how ripped off they got.

Yeah, I have to agree. I really don't see what Steam did wrong here.
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Blackjack
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2011, 03:44:22 PM »

Quote
I purchase the game an hour before a massive price drop, the games have not been installed, and a company as large as Steam can't offer price adjustments, returns, or store credit?
Trust me, it doesn't feel any better if you bought the game 2 weeks ago and already installed it.  disgust

Although I'm more than sympathetic, you (and I, see LA Noire) have no legal recourse on this and the only response you'll get in forums is lecturing about "not buying games when they come out," basically "tough sh*t, Sherlock."

I have on occasion stopping shopping at a store or going to a restaurant if I felt unfairly treated. Once a mall videogame store chewed me out for reading a videogames magazine for about 1 minute instead of buying it. "C'mon! This isn't a library!" I got very angry and never gave them another penny of my business (they shut down some years later, albeit probably not because of me  icon_razz). In the end, that's usually the only power you wield as a consumer -- your dollars.

I doubt Origin and other digital game stores are any more helpful in this situation but it's probably worth checking around to see if anyone has a more sympathetic store policy in these kinds of situations.
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Ridah
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2011, 01:15:40 AM »

Quote from: TiLT on November 25, 2011, 02:54:33 PM

Quote from: Asharak on November 25, 2011, 02:10:09 PM

Really, it's just that the whole "I bought something for a price I was perfectly willing to pay but then it went on sale X time units later and so I feel I should have gotten that price" thing is one of my pet peeves. It comes up every time Apple drops the price on an iProduct, for instance, and everyone who bought one two weeks to a month before the change complains about how ripped off they got.

Yeah, I have to agree. I really don't see what Steam did wrong here.

I'm on Steam's side here as well. I am sympathetic towards your plight, it's just that if you were to go to GameStop or Best Buy with an open product the best you'll get is an even exchange (at least I think that's how it works there).

When it comes to digital products, once you pay for it, it's considered open and in other words it's yours.

I don't think this is fair necessarily, but I wouldn't peg Steam is evil over it since it seems to be the standard.

« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 01:19:31 AM by Ridah » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2011, 04:12:14 AM »

Personally I would be glad to have gotten them on sale. I know sometimes I can't wait for a game to drop in price (Skyrim) before picking it up. Other times I am quite content to wait until a game is amazingly discounted before buying it (Limbo today, Fallout: New Vegas yesterday). The fact remains, the OP bought items on sale. That they were discounted further later on doesn't diminish the fact that you saved some $$ by waiting to buy it later.

You already are probably doing better than 99% of the people on this forum, a lot of whom buy games even before they are out. Celebrate your willpower, and your discounted games. You've earned them.
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2011, 04:04:05 PM »

I had the exact same problem a while back, but they also made up some bs about not being able to do a refund until xx amount of time had passed and once it had they informed me that too much time had passed.  I vowed to never buy anything from Steam that wasn't on sale cheap.

Also, it is not the standard in digital games at all.  I have had no problem returning items to Apple or Impulse.  Big Fish Games has phenomenal customer service.  They frequently give out free games when any kind of issue arrises.

Steam knows they have a huge dominance in this field, and they abuse it.  It may take a long time, but eventually, that's going to bite them in the ass.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2011, 06:11:48 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on November 27, 2011, 04:04:05 PM


Also, it is not the standard in digital games at all.  I have had no problem returning items to Apple or Impulse.  Big Fish Games has phenomenal customer service.  They frequently give out free games when any kind of issue arrises.

Steam knows they have a huge dominance in this field, and they abuse it.  It may take a long time, but eventually, that's going to bite them in the ass.

Regarding iTunes, my friend had a good experience with them recently. His girlfriend decided to break up with him, but before she dropped the bomb she went onto iTunes and downloaded over $150 in content onto his ipad. I won't go into details, but he called customer service and after a lengthy conversation they refunded his money. I was stunned that Apple would do this.


She also changed all of his passwords on PSN, Xbox Live!, Steam, etc.
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2011, 06:19:48 PM »

Personally, I don't buy any Steam games for myself unless its offered in a daily deal. The exceptions are recently released games I occasionally buy for my son, since I know that "new & cool" can be a factor in his social circles.  There isn't really any game I can't wait for a daily deal offer for, but maybe I'm a bit more jaded about video games than some.

As to Steam's customer support, after having an issue myself and wading through countless angry forum posts -some justified- I've come to the conclusion that customer support just isn't part of the Valve Corporate culture. I've got the same impression reading interviews with Valve execs. I doubt they're even really concsious how far they're below standards. Buy their games because they're decently priced and convenient, but in terms of after sales service - buyer beware.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 06:38:40 PM by kronovan » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2011, 12:04:35 AM »

I'm glad this thread was made, I had no idea that other digital content providers were offering such better customer service than Steam.

Still, Steam offers a pretty awesome platform that I have no intention of ditching. Aside from the sales, the infrastructure itself is really good.
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