It was quite a while ago that I had this experience, but I thought I’d share it here. I also submitted this into Choice’s submission to the inquiry into refund rights.
Some time ago I purchased The Elder Scrolls Online through Steam. After about a week straight of my computer downloading the game, I opened it to the launcher (a separate application that manages patching [updating] the game). I attempted to patch the game so I could play, but on reaching about 90% patched the update would ‘fail’ and need to start again. Another week of downloading and it still hadn’t successfully managed to patch the game so I was unable to play.
My first go to was to log a support ticket with the ESO support team. After several days I’d heard nothing, so I requested a refund through Steam, stating in my request that ‘I have 79 hours played according to Steam as that was the time I had the launcher open trying to patch the game. I’ve been totally unable to actually load the game itself.’ I rapidly received a reply stating I could not get a refund as I had 79 hours play time. I responded by reiterating that was 79 hours in the launcher and I hadn’t been able to launch the game itself. The next reply simply said that was not within their refund policy and they were closing my request.
I wound up uninstalling the game and spending another 2 weeks downloading it and that fixed the issue, but it was disappointing I had no help resolving what was a clear ‘major flaw’ with the product I purchased. As for the ESO support ticket, after a month I got an automated reply asking if I still needed support. So much for that.
I bring this up now because with yet another digital games store now available (Epic Games Store) this is STILL an issue in every digital game store available. They offer a minimal refund system that doesn’t allow for cases where you’ve received a faulty product or experienced an issue but didn’t discover it within 2 weeks of purchase/a set play time (varies by store). As consumers we need to make more noise about this!