Don't Buy A Digital Game And Expect To Return It For A Refund

Joshua heard you could play Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on the PC with an Xbox 360 controller, so he downloaded it through Steam, a digital distribution service. He hasn’t been able to figure out how to use his controller and suspects it may not be possible, and Steam is ignoring his requests for a refund.

He writes:

Just like to forward this onto you. I recently bought EA’s Bad Company 2 for the PC through Steam as some sites reported it was good and that I could use my Microsoft 360 WIRED controller with it. Well I can’t. Nothing on the developer’s site or Steam say it won’t. There are a few forum threads with people asking how to make it work and then people filling up multiple pages bickering about why someone would want to use a controller in a FPS. Now I own a $50 game which Steam says they will not refund and I cannot resell or gift to someone else. As you can see from the email below, EA’s online support was of no use. I waited 45 mins to talk to someone! I guess this is why people pay sales tax and buy from a brick and mortar.

Joshua’s plight is proof of how difficult it is to get a refund for a digital game. Had he purchased it on disc he could have returned it as defective and gotten his money back without a fight.

UPDATE: Several readers point out that it’s against the policies of just about all stores to accept returns of open PC games, and that the lack of compatibility with a certain controller does not constitute a defect.

I’m speculating that had Joshua bought his game at retail, he could have argued that since the game didn’t include a feature he expected it to have, a manager would accept the return to satisfy him.