It may be an immensely popular platform, but Steam’s terrible customer service is the stuff of legend. It’s something Valve has acknowledged in the past, and says it is constantly looking at ways to improve Steam Support.
In a recent blog post, Valve writes that it wants to bring more transparency to the process. Its new Steam Support Stats page shows how many support requests have been submitted on a given day - going back 90 days – and how many people are waiting for a response.
A slow reply time is often one of the biggest criticism of Steam's customer support, but, as the blog notes, it deals with around 75,000 requests per day, and usually around 9000 – 10,000 pending requests at any time. Back in February, that pending request figure was at 50,000, but Valve managed to get it down through extra staffing, training, and process improvements.
The page shows the most common request categories and their typical response times, giving you an idea of how long it’ll be before Steam answers your query. Refunds are the most common subject, with 48,460 requests submitted in the last 24 hours - thankfully, the response time is between just 1.3 and 2 hours. Account and Security Recovery is the second most common, receiving 12,427 requests at the time of writing; these are answered between 2.4 and 11.1 hours. Next is Game and Steam Technical Support (2544 requests, 1.85 to 15.9 hours to respond), and last is Purchase and Billing Support (1968 requests, 2.5 hours to 1.82 days to respond).
“We believe that increasing transparency will both help users understand how we are doing and will help make sure we keep improving over time,” wrote Valve.
The company said it would continue to invest in ways of reducing waiting times and “improve the quality of each [customer] interaction.” It still has a long way to go, But Steam customer support finally seems to be heading in the right direction.