I emailed this to Gabe Newell and Doug Lombardi about 5 minutes ago. Hopefully it doesn't fall on deaf ears.
I thought you should know of my recent experience with your company, so I thought I would take a moment and share it with you.
My Steam account was stolen on Monday. You can imagine I was a bit freaked out, as my account contains hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of games that I have amassed over the years. Additionally, I also had a credit card linked to my account, making the theft even more concerning.
When I notified Steam Customer Service of the theft, other than the immediate auto-reply stating my request was received by a computer, I did not hear anything else for three days. Three days it took to get a response. When I finally did, it was yet another form letter, this one requesting that I verify that I was the real owner of the account that had been hacked. I did so within two hours of the query. That was two days ago. I have still not heard back from anyone. It has been five days since my account was stolen and, not only can I not access my games, but I have no idea if Customer Service is even doing anything about it or if a human being has even seen the request at all (as, to date, I have only received two form letters).
I have loved Valve and Steam for years. I have advocated, encouraged, and just about proselytized on behalf of the Steam software, largely because of Valve's obvious valuing of its customers. Valve is a company that has always recognized that it exists because of its customers, not in-spite of them. In essence, you have earned my loyalty by treating your customers with the respect that they deserve. But has become clear to me that that respect only goes so far.
To be frank, I find it appalling that any company, let alone Valve, would not respond to a customer service request for three days, and would, furthermore, leave a customer wondering if their issue is being addressed for five (and likely more days after this letter is sent).
Meanwhile, yesterday I bought the wrong version of something on the Google Play store. When I went to look up what to do about it, I saw on Google's Customer Service page that you could put in your phone number and, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, they will call you back. Within 60 seconds a live person had called me back and within 5 minutes he had refunded my money so that I could re-order the right product. THAT is customer service! And that is what you are competing against. And I have the same exact experience when I call Amazon.....every time!
While this is an example of extremely good customer service (and truly what customer service SHOULD be), I understand if not everyone can provide this level of care. But a response and action within 24 hours seems like a more than reasonable expectation, don't you think?
Here's the bottom line: Steam is not the only game in town anymore. Many other digital distribution platforms are emerging, and many with similar sets of features. Customer service is, and will become even more, a big differentiator for companies like yours. That being said, even without the competition, customer service should be one of the pillars of every company. I thought Valve had already figured this out. Turns out I just hadn't had the need to actually contact Steam Customer Service before now to find out that that is clearly not the case.
Either way, all of the fierce loyalty that I have developed for Steam over 8 years has been 100% destroyed in one incident (and it seems from the forums that I am not the only one). It is sad, really, that a company that is so focused on community would disappoint its most fervent supporters, or any of its supporters, when they need them the most.
As I said before, I thought you should know of my experience.