Automatic refunds now available for Steam pre-orders

Those suffering buyers remorse on a pre-order PC title will be relieved to know that Valve has streamlined the process of pre-order refunds, now issuing funds directly to a user's Steam Wallet.


Steam has made their marketplace a bit more user-friendly by streamlining the process of pre-order refunds. Customers will no longer need to contact Valve directly or wait for an email response in order to get their money back on an unreleased title. Because let's face it, we've all suffered buyer's remorse on a PC game that's coming out six months from now.

ValveTime has noticed the change, finding a "Refund an item" button available for any pre-order title. Customers exercising that option will receive an immediate refund to their Steam Wallet.

This only applies to pre-order games, as requests for refunds on current titles still need to get run by the Steam Support staff. This manual review policy is one that runs similar to recent return policies implemented by GOG and Origin in the last six months.

Valve's new pre-order refund policy, of course, does not apply to Early Access titles, as Valve explicitly stipulates, "Early Access is a full purchase of a playable game. By purchasing, you gain immediate access to download and play the game in its current form and as it evolves up and through 'release'."

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

Filed Under
From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 25, 2014 11:00 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Automatic refunds now available for Steam pre-orders.

    Those suffering buyers remorse on a pre-order PC title will be relieved to know that Valve has streamlined the process of pre-order refunds, now issuing funds directly to a user's Steam Wallet.

    • reply
      January 25, 2014 11:17 AM

      Seems like it would be a lot easier and more customer friendly to be like amazon and just not charge people until the game launches.

    • reply
      January 25, 2014 11:20 AM

      "to a user's Steam Wallet."

      Not really a refund then, is it?

      • reply
        January 25, 2014 11:27 AM

        1: It's better than nothing
        2: You know and they know you will buy something else on steam, especially if you are using it as platform for pre-orders.

        • reply
          January 25, 2014 11:28 AM

          But I want a sammich instead. Gimme my fucking money.

          • reply
            January 25, 2014 12:02 PM


          • reply
            January 25, 2014 1:50 PM

            Don't give Steam money in the first place if you don't want Steam to have that money.

            • reply
              January 25, 2014 4:46 PM

              You must like getting ripped off.

              • reply
                January 25, 2014 7:24 PM

                Because I don't just throw money at things and expect to get it back? No, I simply consider my purchase decisions ahead of time.

              • reply
                January 26, 2014 12:56 PM

                Drama much. If you know it won't be released immediatly then you didn't get ripped off. If you didn't knew, then that's your fault for not researching.

        • reply
          January 25, 2014 11:31 AM

          1: Valve would refund to whatever way you paid for a preorder (paypal, CC, etc). This is a downgrade actually.
          2: No reason for them to sit on interest.

          • reply
            January 25, 2014 1:52 PM

            Except Valve previously wouldn't refund at all in most cases so I don't see how this is a downgrade.

            • reply
              January 25, 2014 1:57 PM

              We would all be drowning in the froth being spewed if Origin used this same method.

            • reply
              January 25, 2014 2:06 PM

              For preorders, they would issue refunds on request

              • reply
                January 25, 2014 3:26 PM

                This is the first I've heard of anything like that except the "secret" one refund per customer.

                • reply
                  January 25, 2014 3:44 PM

                  Yeah, it wasn't something that Valve would advertise or talk a lot about, but preorders were open for cancellation. I know that I did cancel some preorders and many other people as well.

                  It was a hassle though.


                  An exception is made for games purchased during a pre-order period if the request is received prior to the games' release date.

          • reply
            January 25, 2014 2:29 PM

            #2 kind of confuses me or maybe I'm misinterpreting it. Wouldn't they have your "real" money and therefore collecting interest on it whereas you are sitting on stagnant steam cash.

            • reply
              January 25, 2014 2:31 PM

              yeah, that's what I meant.

        • reply
          January 25, 2014 1:11 PM

          #2 Unless of course the game is steam only and they could only pre-order on steam. They then decide they hate steam and get origin and swear steam and the steam only game off for life.

          Not particularly likely.

      • reply
        January 25, 2014 11:35 AM

        sounds like a ye olde page from retailers. refunds turn into store credit, right?

      • reply
        January 25, 2014 12:00 PM

        The issue for Steam is that issuing a refund to your credit card will incur additional interchange fees. So you get $60 back but Valve just spent $65 on the non-transaction (60+2.50*2 in interchange).

      • reply
        January 25, 2014 3:55 PM

        Probably contrary to at least one law in the EU, too.

        I know in the UK you can cancel a 'service' within 7/14 days if the service has not yet commenced and you must be given the money back. Just getting what amounts to a store credit is not enough. If the service is shoddy/doesn't work/isn't as advertised then you should also be able to get a refund after it has commenced, but we all know how good Valve are about refunds post release.

        Of course, digital distribution is a tricky one because it's never been defined as a service or a product (products get better protection post-sale) and publishers always call it a service because you dont own what you buy.

    • reply
      January 25, 2014 11:36 AM

      In a year, all titles will be early access as a result.

Hello, Meet Lola