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EU Right of Withdrawal and Steam Refunds

EU Right of Withdrawal and Steam Refunds

European Union customers have a right of withdrawal from certain transactions under the terms of EU law. Steam offers refunds, as described here http://store.steampowered.com/steam_refunds/. How do these work together?

European law principally provides a right of withdrawal on software sales. However, it can be and typically is excluded for boxed software that has been opened and for digitally provided content once it is provided to the end user. This is what happens when you make a transaction on Steam: The EU statutory right of withdrawal ends 14 days after your purchase or the moment you start downloading the content and services for the first time (whichever is sooner).

At the same time, Steam voluntarily offers refunds to all of its customers worldwide in a way that is much more customer-friendly than our legal obligations. In particular, for hardware we offer 30 days instead of the statutory 14, and for digital games we allow you to try them for up to two hours, whereas your statutory right of withdrawal does not give you a chance to try out games at all. You can find the details of our voluntary refund policy here:http://store.steampowered.com/steam_refunds/.

As a result, even if your statutory right of withdrawal ends, you may still request a refund of your purchase pursuant to our own refund policy.

Legal Text

We are obligated as merchants to inform you of the EU right of withdrawal in very specific legal terms, which you can find below. If these should in any way differ from our more informal wording, the below terms shall prevail towards any EU consumer.

Right of withdrawal

As a Steam user domiciled in a European Union member country, you have the right to withdraw from any purchase on Steam without giving any reason.

For any digital content purchased online, you have agreed upon checkout that the withdrawal period will expire 14 days after you purchase such digital content or when you start downloading the content for the first time, whichever is sooner. For hardware, the withdrawal period will expire after 14 days from the day on which you acquire, or a third party other than the carrier and indicated by you acquires, physical possession of the goods.

To exercise the right of withdrawal, you must inform Valve Corporation of your decision to withdraw from the purchase by an unequivocal statement (e.g. by a letter sent to Valve Corporation, 10400 NE 4th St., Bellevue, WA 98004, United States). You may attach the model withdrawal form available below, but it is not mandatory.

The easiest way to exercise your right of withdrawal is by using the support form on our website at http://help.steampowered.com. If you do so, we will communicate to you an acknowledgement of receipt of such a withdrawal on a durable medium (e.g. by e-mail) without delay.

To meet the withdrawal deadline, it is sufficient for you to send your communication concerning your exercise of the right of withdrawal before the withdrawal period has expired.

Effects of withdrawal

If you exercise your right of withdrawal, we shall reimburse to you all payments received from you, including the costs of delivery (with the exception of the supplementary costs resulting from your choice of a type of delivery other than the least expensive type of standard delivery offered by us), without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days from the day on which we are informed about your decision to withdraw from this contract. We will carry out such reimbursement using the same means of payment as you used for the initial transaction, unless you have expressly agreed otherwise; in any event, you will not incur any fees as a result of such reimbursement.

For hardware, we may withhold reimbursement until we have received the goods back or you have supplied evidence of having sent back the goods, whichever is the earliest. You shall send back the goods to our returns warehouse without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days from the day on which you communicate your withdrawal from this contract to us. The deadline is met if you send back the goods before the period of 14 days has expired. You will have to bear the direct cost of returning the goods. You are only liable for any diminished value of the goods resulting from the handling other than what is necessary to establish the nature, characteristics and functioning of the goods.

If hardware you wish to return was bundled with a Subscription, the Subscription is automatically cancelled with your return of the hardware.

Exceptions from the right of withdrawal:

Pursuant to European Law, the statutory right of withdrawal is not applicable as regards the following:

  1. service contracts after the service has been fully performed if the performance has begun with the consumer’s prior express consent, and with the acknowledgement that he will lose his right of withdrawal once the contract has been fully performed by the trader;
  2. the supply of goods made to the consumer’s specifications or clearly personalized;
  3. the supply of goods which are, after delivery, according to their nature, inseparably mixed with other items;
  4. the supply of sealed audio or sealed video recordings or sealed computer software which were unsealed after delivery;
  5. the supply of digital content which is not supplied on a tangible medium if the performance has begun with the consumer’s prior express consent and his acknowledgment that he thereby loses his right of withdrawal.

WITHDRAWAL FORM:
To Valve Corporation, 10400 NE 4th St., Suite 1400, Bellevue, WA 98004
I hereby give notice that I withdraw from my contract of sale for the provision of the following item: [identify your purchase and insert your purchase], ordered on [insert date of purchase].
[Insert your name and address as well as the name of your Steam Account]
[Signature – only if this form is notified on paper]
[Insert date]

Again, for the fastest and easiest way to exercise your right of withdrawal, we recommend using the online help form provided at http://help.steampowered.com.

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