Arma 3 Alpha Refund Denied (Letter to Steam)
I have amended my original title (as well as your change) to something fair.
I have used Steam for a few years now and always been satisfied with the product. I am not the best customer, spending thousands of dollars, but I am far from the worst. I have purchased about 40 games from Steam, spending several hundred dollars. Recently however, a bungling by a tech named Trevor is going to cost Steam a loyal customer. I would remind Valve that while Steam is convenient, it is not the only way to purchase PC games.
Anyway, on to my point: A couple of weeks ago I was looking for a new game to purchase. Every time I logged in the advertisement for Arma 3 Alpha was the first thing I saw. I went to Youtube as I naturally do, and looked for gameplay videos. I found a couple, watched a little bit and decided it looked like a fun game. So I went onto Steam and purchased the game. That is where the rub came in.
I assumed (wrongly) that the "Alpha" in Arma 3 Alpha was intended as a military call word, like "Alpha Unit". Other games have the word Alpha in them (Street Fighter: Alpha) and have nothing to do with being in its alpha infancy. In this case however, that is exactly what the state of this game was in. Upon further investigation I found that you can even play the alpha version of this game for FREE on the developer's website. So I paid a little over $32 for a free game. That wouldn't be such an issue because I discovered that I would eventually receive the final product of the game for no additional fee. The big problem is, THERE IS NO RELEASE DATE FOR THE GAME! This means I paid a little over $32 for something that I may not receive for 1-2 more years. That is not acceptable.
So, I went to Steam support who by the way has credited me for games that have caused me trouble, TWICE, and asked to receive a credit for the game. I did not ask for my money back to my credit card. I asked to have Arma 3 removed from my account and to have a credit to my Steam wallet. I would still purchase products through Steam and have gone on my merry way. One way or another Steam would still get my $32+.
But that's not the way it played out. My request was received by a tech named Trevor who was apparently taught customer service in North Korea. After several back and forth emails, Trevor stated that he was going to hide behind the Steam policy to not offer refunds, firm that they do not offer refunds. When I told him Steam had credited me before, he stated that it is allowed one time per account. The funny thing is, I have been credited twice. Finally the discussion ended with Trevor telling me he would not discuss the matter any further and if I sent in a ticket again, it would be treated as spam and my support account would be banned. Real ace worker you guys have hired. Was he the only guy who went to the meeting on "How to Lose Customers 101?"
With Trevor's one star performance leaving me no other option, I did what had to be done. I refuse to pay for an incomplete product that has no release date, simple as that. I tried to work with Steam on a solution that would benefit both parties and was promptly told to go jump off a bridge. So, I forced a chargeback through my bank. I was hoping maybe Steam would contact me and attempt to mediate the situation in a reasonable manner. Instead of that happening, Steam suspended my account for 9 weeks and has banned the use of my debit card from their client. Since I am not going to get a new debit card, just so I can buy Steam games, I will just not purchase anything from Steam ever again.
If anyone who has any authority at Steam reads this, I will offer you a deal. Remove the suspension on my account, allow me to purchase with my current debit card, put a credit on the account, and I will remove the chargeback. You don't have to do that of course, but the next place this post will go is on Reddit. I know it won't put even a dent in your company, but any single person I can get to bad mouth your company (and not purchase products from) for pulling crap like this, is a small victory for me.
A Once Loyal Customer
TL;DR: Purchased a game on Steam i assumed was complete. The game was in its alpha stage with no release date. Asked Steam to credit me to my Steam wallet and they could remove the game. They told me to go away. I forced a chargeback under principle. Steam punished me by suspending my account and banning the use of my debit card.
Last edited by Rythless
Mar 26, 2013 @ 8:03pm