Steam Currently Processing Around 49,000 Refund Requests a Day

Whether actual money is returned is a different issue, but that works out to more than 343,000 requests in a week and almost 18 million in a year.


Refunds are usually part of doing business, but with digital products in can be more tricky. Steam started offering refunds in 2015, and there is always is potential for abuse, especially when some devs even use the policy as an excuse not to put out a demo. That said, though, Valve is currently processing more than 49,000 requests for refunds a day.

The number comes from Valve's Steam support page, which shows that the number of refund requests exceeds all other requests by more than 3-to-1. The response time for refund requests runs between 1.35 hours and a 1.53 days, which is only exceeded by the time to process billing and purchase support requests. However, the low end number is the lowest of the four, perhaps indicating the Valve can easily weed out fraudulent or improper refund queries.

Request Category
Submitted Last 24 Hours
  Typical Response Times
Refund Requests 49,119   1.35 hours to 1.53 days
Account Security & Recovery 12,366   2.47 hours to 16.64 hours
Game & Steam Technical Support 2,211   3.69 hours to 1.26 days
Purchase & Billing Support 1,776   3.34 hours to 1.64 days

Valve's policy requires that a purchaser play less than two hours of the game and submit a request within 14 days for a refund.

If these stats are somewhat consistent and extrapolated to a week, you get almost 344,000 requests. In a year, that number balloons to almost 18 million. Keep in mind that these are just requests and not actual refunds, but just the customer support needed to process it all without some sort of automation must be incredible.

As for the last 90 days:

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 4, 2017 3:07 PM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Steam Currently Processing Around 49,000 Refund Requests a Day

    • reply
      May 4, 2017 3:13 PM

      I do this all the time, does that make me a bad person?

      • reply
        May 4, 2017 3:14 PM

        I won't judge you but yes

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        May 4, 2017 3:24 PM

        Nope, if a game sucks and you've played it for less than 2 hours I don't see a reason not to get a refund.

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          May 4, 2017 3:50 PM

          Yeah, and it's better than buying retail, where a refund is not an option if it has been opened.

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        May 4, 2017 3:52 PM

        Not at all, but if they decide that you're doing it too much, they can start denying you.

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        May 4, 2017 3:53 PM


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        May 4, 2017 3:54 PM

        No. I'm firmly behind the ability to return something if you're not satisfied with it, regardless if it's physical or digital.

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        May 4, 2017 5:15 PM

        Why are you buying so many games you don't like?

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      May 4, 2017 3:16 PM


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      May 4, 2017 3:30 PM

      I bet it's not being abused in the slightest

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        May 4, 2017 3:55 PM

        What's to abuse? There is a small set of games that you can finish in 2 hours.

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          May 4, 2017 4:08 PM

          There's probably a certain percentage that are abusing it for steam card drops to inflate their steam level.

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            May 4, 2017 4:46 PM

            Well then maybe Valve should do something about it. Since they, you know, own the platform.

          • Zek legacy 10 years
            May 4, 2017 5:26 PM

            I doubt the vast majority of those people would ever have bought those games for the Steam cards alone. Plus if you use it too heavily your account gets flagged and you lose the privilege.

          • reply
            May 7, 2017 1:06 PM

            Drops don't start until after the 2 hour mark.

    • reply
      May 4, 2017 3:36 PM

      I don't understand whats the big deal? Do we know how many products they sell each day?

      When did offering refunds become a bad or controversial thing?

      • reply
        May 4, 2017 3:48 PM

        They aren't. But that is a shit load of refunds.

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        May 4, 2017 10:44 PM

        Who said they were?

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      May 4, 2017 4:12 PM

      There is also a shit ton of crap on steam as well. I'd love a breakdown of how much of it is short game abuse vs early access returns vs aaa game returns.

      I'd also love to know how much of it is due to complexity of getting good performance on PC due to having to support so many different configurations

      • reply
        May 4, 2017 4:15 PM

        This. The only refund I've ever gotten on steam was because of a game that I couldn't play. Just so happens it was also the shitpile called no mans sky.

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      May 4, 2017 4:16 PM

      Wish i could return rage and brink

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      May 4, 2017 5:02 PM

      That seems incredibly excessive?

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      May 4, 2017 6:06 PM

      almost 50K demos ‎( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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      May 4, 2017 6:12 PM

      I have returned 2 games on steam. Within the first 45 minutes I figured out that they were not for me and returned them. I don't feel bad about it, and I'm glad that steam offers this.

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      May 4, 2017 6:14 PM

      Divided by how many total sales?

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