In a recent interview for Kotaku Eric Johnson, one of valve's business development authorities, talked about the bad state of steam's customer support service and why some tickets have such long periods of radio silence. He admitted that the situation is not only bad, but has actually gotten worse over time.

However, they have begun taking steps to alleviate the issue, the first visible mark of such change being the addition of the refund system.

Johnson has also mentioned that most of the support tickets they receive are about the same few issues so they are now working on a software solution that should help with those sadly common problems such as account theft or errors in transactions. Without an easy process to solve these issues the already small support team simply got overwhelmed by the quantity of tickets which created a backlog they are still working through.

The next obvious step was to hire outside companies in order to help with their customer support needs but, as I'm sure anyone that ever called customer support realized, they were more interested in metrics than helping the user by solving their problem. In order to ensure that their new support staff is actually qualified to help users Valve have begun personally training them but the training process is slow so Johnson believes we can expect the new support system to launch around Christmas, right on time for the steam sale.

While I've never had issues with steam I've seen many complaints about the system over the years so here's to hoping that this new support team ends up working out.