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Valve: Steam gets 75,000 complaints a day, so be patient

The company responds to accusations of slow customer service by pointing out it's not just you.
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skynesher via Getty Images

Steam, sure, everyone loves Steam, but there's something about Valve's overall lack of transparency that just rankles. Independent developers have called the platform a "big black box," and users often talk about the service's glacially slow customer service. Which is why Valve has issued something of a mea culpa, promising to do better at dealing with issues in the future and opening up about the task it faces.

Valve's John McCaskey, in a blog post, explains how the company has built better support tools and hired more staffers to deal with your complaints. But, as a way of showing folks just how big the task is, Valve is also releasing daily stats on how many issues Steam employees have to deal with on a daily basis. On a regular day, the company gets around 75,000 help requests.

Of that figure, only 8,000 are left waiting for a response, although that figure has been as high as 50,000 at the start of February. The bulk of all the complaints are around refunds, with the next biggest number being related to account security and recovery. Which, at least, explains why Valve has worked so hard to push Steam Guard and its other security tools, like Mobile Authenticator.

Valve has also published typical response times for each request, with refunds taking on average less than two hours. The deadlines for account recovery, technical support and purchase support get progressively longer, with expected times running from 2.43 hours all the way through to 1.83 days. That said, if you know that you're in a queue with 75,000 other people, it's a little easier to be patient.

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