Valve Has Lowest Customer Service Rating Says Better Business Bureau

Written by Neil Soutter on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 6:00 PM

Valve have done a lot for PC gaming, there is no denying that, but as any company gets bigger, the personal touch can fade. Companies need to make money and they do this by expanding, taking on more people, adding new services.

Well when the growth bloat really gets a hold the people who made it feel human just cant always be around at the front line to keep things feeling....personal. The Better Business Bureau represent a voice for consumers and help businesses support their customers. On a scale of A+ down to F, it seems that Valve have received the lowest customer rating possible, an F.

Part of the BBB report is as follows:

On June 25, 2013, BBB recognized a pattern of complaints from consumers regarding product, service and customer service issues. Consumers allege the games they purchase from Valve Corporation or Steam malfunction, do not work or have an invalid CD key. Consumers also claim the company blocks users from accessing their library of games. Consumers further allege they attempt to contact the company for assistance, but Valve Corporation fails to correct the gaming issues, does not correct credit card charges or issue a refund, or does not respond at all.

On July 1, 2013, BBB notified the company of the complaint pattern. To date, the company has not responded to BBB's request to address the pattern.

Valve dismissed the whole notion of BBB's report by pointing out that it is not a particularly high priority to the company. Valve has never been very flexible in terms of its sales policies and approach to customer service, but with this sort of report becoming a little more common, the faceless sales platform might have to step up its approach to quality customer service.

You can check out examples of complaints from the report yourselves here

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15:07 Jun-03-2015

Lol have you every tried getting a crashed fixed through Steam? If it was not for the Steam community Valve would have gone the way of the dinosaurs a long time ago, Steam does not fix crap it is the community that offers work around to get the games up and running.

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14:46 Mar-17-2015

Has anybody ever read Valve' T&C's? It clearly says that they are not responsible for the quality of the games or if your PC breaks down because of the game. As long as you agreed to this and downloaded the game, there is nothing more to be done: not from Valve's side and not from yours.

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14:48 Mar-17-2015

rekt

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16:37 Mar-17-2015

Why are you defending Valve? Why are you okay with their anti-consumer practices? Just because it's in a T&C doesn't mean it's okay. Basic customer service is something I'm pretty sure is good for literally everyone. Pros: helps all consumers, helps Valve's reputation. Cons: Valve has to hire a few tech guys and spend maybe a few million a year of their billions of dollars they make off of a 30% cut on every game sold on Steam. There you go. These are the pros and cons of tech support for Valve. It's something that helps literally everyone, and yet some people are still defending Valve not having it.

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16:48 Mar-17-2015

Yes, and that's exactly why they got an F. If even small timers like GoG help their customers when they have a problem I'm sure Steam can make an effort; if they care about us, of course.

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18:04 Mar-17-2015

I don't have the biggest game library on steam, but I've never had any issues with them over the years. I don't think you understand the sheer volume of possible problems from all the different hardware and software configurations 1/2

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18:05 Mar-17-2015

of the millions of steam users around the world. I think it's a miracle that they have the rep that they do and their overall success.

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19:32 Mar-17-2015

Again, Valve still has plenty of money to deal with it. They run very high value shops in DotA 2, TF2, and CS:GO. They also take a 30% cut off of every sale on Steam. I don't think hiring a customer service department will hurt them very badly. And even if they can't solve every issue, they can still probably solve a lot of them, and the ones they can't will at least be known to them, and they can report it to the dev who can make a patch. That helps Valve's rep, the dev's rep, and the consumer. See? Everyone wins.

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19:39 Mar-17-2015

Why would they do that? Obviously their support issue isn't that big a deal. They wouldn't be the biggest platform for games and software if this article was anywhere near true. There is a small percentage of deeply disgruntled customers -

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19:39 Mar-17-2015

-that make the most vocal people who give it a bad rep at the BBB. Look at actually statistics,pretty sure customer satisfaction is in the green for Valve. Every business is going to have those hard to please customers, who whine to the BBB

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19:54 Mar-17-2015

For one thing, you just said that I do not "understand the sheer volume of possible from all the different hardware and software configurations of the millions of Steam users around the world," and then proceeded to claim that the problems are from a very small percentage of disgruntled customers. Would there be too many problems or too few? Make up your mind. You also used one of the most common fallacies ever: that popularity equals quality. You said that since Steam is so popular, it must not have a service problem. By this logic, Mcdonalds is the best food chain ever. Never mind that there are numerous fast food places that do everything they do better. They're the most popular.

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19:57 Mar-17-2015

Right, as in there are tons of people on steam with tons of different hardware/software combinations and a few of them are complaining... how was that hard to understand?

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20:00 Mar-17-2015

Name one platform for games on the PC with the volume of products and services that equals or exceeds that of of Valve. You can't. The quantity/quality that Steam provides is unmatched. Even at that, there will always be people complaining.

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20:01 Mar-17-2015

And McDonalds has banging fish burger things.

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20:01 Mar-17-2015

The fact is that there are two reasons why Steam remains dominant: one, Valve has a reputation due to their excellent games, and due to Steam formerly being an amazing platform. Two, people have way too much money invested in Steam, and therefore cannot possibly leave and go to a site like GoG, which has actual support and is DRM free. Because of that, developers also can't move to GoG, because everyone is trapped on Steam. It's a terrible situation that is not good for anybody except Valve, and it's the only reason Steam is still dominant. It's also the only reason why Valve gets away with their horrible business practices.

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20:10 Mar-17-2015

Point A: More services than Steam? Origin, GoG. Both of them have actual support. That's two.
Point B: If there are so few people complaining, then it's even more easy for Valve to just hire a small support team and help solve their issues.
Point C: The quantity of products that Steam has is kind of part of the problem. Since Valve has no criterion for entry to Steam beyond having a publisher, you can release a game that doesn't even work properly and Valve probably won't care unless it gets well publicized. The side effect of having so many games on Steam is that most of them suck or are buggy as all hell. So yes, Steam has a large quantity of products. High quality though? Nope.

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20:16 Mar-17-2015

Products and services, as in games and game hosting etc. Valve should in no way be responsible for the crappy products rolling out of random development studios.

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20:17 Mar-17-2015

It's like going to a restaurant, trying something new and not liking it. Then demanding a new free meal. It's your fault you downloaded some shtty game, not theirs.

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04:55 Mar-18-2015

No, buying a game bugged to the point of being unplayable is like going to a restaurant and getting an uncooked meal. That's a matter of being fundamentally broken, not being low quality.

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10:15 Mar-18-2015

How about the fact that Steam still sells games that are linked to Games for Windows Live and are mostly unplayable because of Games for Windows Live's shut down? How about the fact they still sell these games, knowing they are unplayable and don't give any warning? Steam isn't perfect and their customer service does suck. Too many fan boys suck at Gaben's enormous tits.

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13:04 Jun-03-2015

GOWL - ****ty.
Origin? Why do you care? I hate EA and it's boring optimization.
GoG - Nice :)
Steam - Mother of GOD.

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14:26 Mar-18-2015

It looks like you misinterpreted my comment. I wasn't defending Valve at all. I was just giving you probably the most important aspect of their T's & C's. Of course I don't agree with this practice. The problem is that not only Valve, but almost everybody does things like this. So, basically there is no choice for us.

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14:30 Mar-18-2015

After we click the "I accept" button, it's all over. Governments should adopt some legislation for companies selling products throughout the world in order to make them more responsible for what they sell to consumers. But, of course, it's not in the politicians' interest...

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16:24 Mar-18-2015

Okay, thanks for clearing that up.

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11:07 Mar-17-2015

Valve - Doesn't give a $ about your problem

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08:17 Mar-17-2015

Valve is too dominant in the PC digital downloads market and it's starting to show

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10:23 Mar-17-2015

Valve sucks anyways.

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07:36 Mar-17-2015

WOW, I used to think Origin has lowest reputation(bad experience)!

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10:24 Mar-17-2015

Origin is crap man.

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10:36 Mar-17-2015

While Origin is bad, it's support is still better than Steam's.

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10:44 Mar-17-2015

What abouth UPlay?
Based on my experience, Steam and Origin would make UPlay look crap

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08:24 Mar-18-2015

Never try Uplay! what is Uplay? :D

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12:27 Mar-17-2015

Origin is not that bad. They are really trying to bring people over and I hope its user base will increase to make some competition for Steam. Origin offers free EA games from time to time, has a 30 day refund policy and its costumer support is amazing. I really hope Steam gets some competition because they have done some some bad decisions because they are so popular cough regional restrictions

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18:14 Mar-17-2015

Origin also has a game library of about 30 games.

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05:35 Mar-20-2015

then you haven't download any game from it, it rolled back to 0 or 5% when my computer shut due to power cut, but i haven't find such problem in steam!

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07:04 Mar-17-2015

Wow, 717 complaints, omg, the sky is falling down =/ Get real people. Unity had many times that on release day. I think the majority of the complaints are from people who download Indi games or betas and alphas which are not yet complete (H1Z1 and DayZ for example) then flip out. Steam sell games. Its not their problem if you get a game with bugs or a game does not run, its the developers.

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10:00 Mar-17-2015

Well i was playing TF2 last week i had a game with a 35 kill streak, i was going insane myself, 1 hour later got banned from VAC-server without giving a reason.
So now i'm banned i also lost everything in counter-strike because vac ban

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14:16 Mar-17-2015

Because you were probably hacking. Did you use any mouse software that has an effect on aim/recoil stuff?

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15:02 Mar-17-2015

There are a lot of complaints about stolen card numbers, hacked accounts and other stuff as well

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04:47 Mar-17-2015

Hmm... lets be real people. Do we want a free PC game client with crap customer support, or a subscription based PC game client that has excellent customer support? I personally prefer Steam to stay free. If I have to deal with terrible customer support to keep Steam free then so be it. I mean how many extra people can they hire to shore up customer support before they decide to charge us for it?

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08:59 Mar-17-2015

Why choose between quality and price? When you pay for a product, you pay for its support/warranty too. It wouldn't kill Valve to hire a dozen people for customer service, they're not exactly bleeding money right now.

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11:25 Mar-17-2015

exactly! Steam keeps about 30% of any game you buy from it! it's 'free' to you cause you pay anyways! they must get quality support ASAP

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04:15 Mar-17-2015

Valve, you know your customer service is awful when EA of all companies beats your refund policy. Valve really needs to step it up, and more to the point people need to stop forgiving them for everything they do just because they're Valve. The problem is that all of us are far too invested in Steam to try to bail and go to another, better platform like GoG. I for example own 176 games on Steam. I can't just leave to go to a platform with better service, because it would cost probably upwards of thousand dollars to replace all those games. The problem is that games don't work sometimes, and the best way to solve that is refunds.

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04:27 Mar-17-2015

And its not like Valve has to pay. They collected their cut back when people original bought a broken game, now the refund money will come out the developer's pocket.

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07:26 Mar-17-2015

Precisely, and as it should be. Valve can't be held financially responsible for the quality of games other people developed, but they as the vendor still need to provide a quick and easy way to contact the dev for a refund. They put a game on their platform, they need to be able to guarantee that people can get their money back if it doesn't work properly. Make it a requirement for getting on Steam that you agree to pay for refunds, that'll reduce the level of crap games on Steam for sure, and if anyone has the power to do something like that, it's Valve.

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05:52 Mar-19-2015

Atleast on Early Access, a 7 day return policy should be there. EA does it for their mainstream AAA games. They wont have the responsibility if someone continues to cuss about a game being broken and still wants to own the game after the initial 7 days.

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00:00 Mar-17-2015

A lot of this is true I bough a game,(Sky Scraper Simulater) that took a fix from the forum to get working, never did get a reply from Steam.
I also bough a Game collection (Railway Tycoon) and Steam failed to tell me that part 3 would not work on Windows 7. (It is on the Railway Tycoon 3 individual page.)

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02:16 Mar-17-2015

steam are really good for the general discussions,i always got my answer in less than few hours,but when it's time to speak for a tech guy,i waited 3-4 months...never got 1 reply!

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22:17 Mar-16-2015

i say Steam should have a chat system where their's help 24/7 then people will get help and the support wont suck but you know know about steam.

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20:44 Mar-16-2015

Damn steam and there vac bans. I only got 5 hours in BlackOps II and then I was vac ban!
I tried to call for help but cant ever get in touch with them. Activision didn't help neither!

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02:08 Mar-17-2015

Please don't take this the wrong way but very rarely has vac ever wrongly banned people. You probably had something on your computer that edited the game in some way to trigger a vac ban.

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07:15 Mar-17-2015

Usually the VAC goes through a process to determine if you cheated or not by scanning your game as you play. Any modifications that are different from the server result in a vac. Rarely, but sometimes a virus messes with your game and VAC picks this up. I have never seen someone VAC ban without a good reason (i have seen alot of people with VAC on their profile).

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14:03 Mar-18-2015

Well dont take this the wrong way either but VAC very rarely bans anyone either xD. It sucks so much. one of the reasons i abandoned the COD series a few years back was the fact that hackers were doing anything they wanted. It was COD modern warfare 3. seriously what a mess. especially after half a year since release (and even more when the next COD came out) i encountered hackers in 1/3 games i played. such cr@p.

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20:41 Mar-16-2015

it's normal after so many time of hard work. lately, I used steam just for sales or Indie-games. well, I'm an old guy, I need to touch with my hands the things that I'm buying...btw, thanks to the GaBeN!

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20:38 Mar-16-2015

sent 2 tickets about account releated issues, both were closed without a replay. 10/10 would contact again

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20:29 Mar-16-2015

I've only used steam support once so far in my few years of using it, around 2 years ago my account got stolen, it took about 2 weeks for me to get my profile back. It was kinda awful, just like the company I work for :P

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20:31 Mar-16-2015

how was your steam account stolen? I mean how?

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20:02 Mar-16-2015

Meh, atm I'm fine, they gave me back my stolen csgo items.

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20:38 Mar-16-2015

How can you lose csgo items?..
They made the trading so incredibly safe, people who get scammed or hijacked these days deserve it, they kinda ask for it..

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19:00 Mar-16-2015

My digital edition COD:AW was once removed from my game library and customer support didn't even respond to my messages. Eventually after a lot of work, the retailer where I bought the key from agreed to a refund. So yeah, I would rate it F.

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18:59 Mar-16-2015

luckily I can live without Steam :D

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20:19 Mar-16-2015

I have always suspected you of getting your games... you know, the old fashioned way. And you are proud of it, too.

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20:20 Mar-16-2015

Yes, he buys physical copies! I actually just bought a boxed copy of Doom BFG edition myself. Got it for 7 USD!

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20:24 Mar-16-2015

How does that work? All his games comes in physical copy?

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20:26 Mar-16-2015

I would hope so, or we have a heretic among us...

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20:30 Mar-16-2015

well... I think you just read my mind.


Lets see if he will come around and speak for himself

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20:49 Mar-16-2015

I try to buy box editions as much as I can, but some need steam anyway which is really pissing me off (or origin like DA)
The best digital seller is GOG, no drm, no idiotic software you need to run your games, no crap around like items or achievements

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18:57 Mar-16-2015

While I can say that the Steam Support can certainly improve in terms of the time it takes to respond, I haven't really had that many major problems with Steam.

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18:57 Mar-16-2015

Yea, i had an issue with roveked gifts once, I did a ticket, took them around 2-3 weeks to even reply to me, telling me that they will look into it, nothing since then, sadly for me :(

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18:42 Mar-16-2015

Not surprising. I've had tons of issues with my games, especially older titles (they don't ensure that everything remains compatible like GOG does). Sure, the community is huge and the sale prices are amazing, but Steam has some of the most atrocious customer service and quality control of any storefront. It is essentially a glorified DRM platform that has tons of nice things wrapped around it.

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Ryzen 7 2700 8-Core 3.2GHz Radeon RX 5600 XT Gigabyte Gaming OC 6GB 16GB
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50% Yes [6 votes]