Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Steam Support Stats Filled With Refunds

You may not know this, but Steam's support site has an ongoing graph of commonly submitted issues. At the top of the list is refund requests. Yesterday, users logged over 68 thousand refund inquiries. Just think of that. 68 thousand games were asked to be returned after being purchased on Seam. And that's not the biggest day! With over 3 months of activity reported, March 25th was one of the biggest refund request days at over 106 thousand requests.

While it'd be nice to see what games make up those refunds, and more of the details, this chart does give the user a little more insight to just how much Steam has to handle on a daily basis. Maybe even provide a little bit of perspective to the unruly customer who wonders why Steam customer service can't respond to them immediately. They are not only dealing with 10's of thousands of refund requests, they also handle the nearly 14k account security/recovery questions, 2,000 in billing and another 2,000 in technical support, and so on. Even still, their response rate is pretty nice! Refund requests are answered in under 2 hours, on average, while most questions can be handled in 2-4 hours, if not same-day. Most fortune 500 companies would love to have that type of a response time for their customers.

Now it's important to note that just because 68 thousand people requested a refund, it doesn't mean they were granted. We know from Steam's refund rules that games have to hit the qualification markers:

- The game needs to have been purchased within 14 days or less.
- You can not be logged into the game for more then 2 hours via the Steam Client.
- In-game purchases have a 48 hour refund window.
- DLC with item packs and item boosts to a character can not be refunded (as they alter the base game).
- Movies and gifts to friends are non-refundable.

It's very possible that Steam denied a number of those refund requests that have stacked up. It would be interesting to find out from Steam what the exact total refund numbers are, what the common reason for return is, and how many claims end up being denied. Still, this is an interesting page to look at. Gives you a bit more insight into how busy Steam's team really is at keeping the wheels moving.

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