Over the last year, we have watched as the quality of the games on Steam have declined.
With the advent of Early Access, Pre-order, and other forms of marketing, gamers are often impulsed to buy the latest hit based solely upon the advertised features. However, we have seen those listed features are not always what is delivered by the developers. With no recourse when a developer fails to meet the advertised requirements, we are left with little support from Steam.
Therefore, in order to preserve the balance of quality on Steam, we as gamers need Steam to adopt a reasonable refund policy, thus forcing developers to improve their products over the digital distribution network.
We are spending our hard earned money on entertainment products that are not even close to living up to the advertised products. Steam currenly does not have a refund policy for digital content and this is hurting our faith in Steam as a platform. Steam has failed to offer any protections of quality to gamers and this needs to change!
Adoption of a policy such as that offered by the Google Play store would force developers to ensure that their released product is atleast reasonably close to the product advertised and prevent any release day issues where pre-order customers are being scammed out of their payment due to the No Refund policy offered by Steam.
A copy of the Google Play developers contract is below - we suggest adopting a 48 hour refund policy for games that do not offer a demo/preview of their content.
-- Google Play Developers Contract on Refunds --
3.4 Special Refund Requirements. The Payment Processor's standard terms and conditions regarding refunds will apply except the following terms apply to your distribution of Products on the Market.
Products that can be previewed by the buyer (such as ringtones and wallpapers): No refund is required or allowed.
Products that cannot be previewed by the buyer (such as applications): You authorize Google to give the buyer a full refund of the Product price if the buyer requests the refund within 48 hours after purchase.
3.5 You Support Your Product. You will be solely responsible for support and maintenance of your Products and any complaints about your Products. Your contact information will be displayed in each application detail page and made available to users for customer support purposes.
Failure to provide adequate support for your Products may result in low Product ratings, less prominent product exposure, low sales and billing disputes. Except in cases when multiple disputes are initiated by a user with abnormal dispute history, billing disputes received by Payment Processor for Products sold for less than $10 may be automatically charged back to the Developer, in addition to any handling fees charged by the Payment Processor. Chargeback requests for Products $10 or more will be handled in accordance with the Payment Processor's standard policy.
3.6 Reinstalls. Users are allowed unlimited reinstalls of each application distributed via the Market, provided however that if you remove a Product(s) from the Market pursuant to clauses (i), (ii), (iii) or (iv) of Section 7.1, such Product(s) shall be removed from all portions of the Market and users shall no longer have a right or ability to reinstall the affected Products.
By adopting this policy, it would aid in self-regulation of the quality of the products distributed on Steam. Poorly released games would be rejected by the community, forcing developers to improve upon their quality and deliver upon the advertised features.
It would increase confidence in Pre-Ordering, which is at an all time low on Steam, due to the poor quality of several titles released over the last year.
It solves expectation issues incurred by Early Access by giving players the ability to preview a title before making a final purchase, much like reviewing an item in a brick and mortar store would allow.