As of June 19th, Steam will be offering refunds on games based on these guidelines:
- DLC can be returned within 14 days if they have less than two hours logged.
- In-game purchases can be returned within 48 hours if they have not been used, altered, or transferred.
- Pre-purchased content can be returned prior to launch or following the 14 days after launch if they have less than two hours logged.
- Steam Wallet purchases (adding money to your account) can be refunded within 14 days so long as you have not purchased anything with those funds.
- Bundles can be refunded if none of the items have been traded and the total playtime of all content combined is under two hours. Each individual content in the bundle must also be refundable.
- Purchases made outside of Steam (via sources like Humble Bundle or Bundle Stars) will not be refundable.
- If you are VAC Banned on the title, you cannot refund it.
- Movies cannot be refunded.
- Gifts cannot be refunded.
Abuse of this system has been noted and if titles go on sale after you purchase them for full price, your requests for refunds will likely be denied. Although there is little punishment if you do refund a game and then purchase it on sale, Valve has made mention of this method in their guidelines.
I spoke to a developer immediately after this announcement and found out that this update was unknown even to developers. I feel the refund policy is a double-edged sword for developers. Although it will allow many people to try games before they commit to the cost, it also allows abuse of shorter games, especially those under two hours. Many developers have commented on this point and can only hope that Valve considers this when going through refund request. Until we hear further on this, it would appear that the honor system is in effect.