Gabe Newell Shows Us How Customer Support Is Done

Gabe Newell Shows Us How Customer Support Is Done

When you have an issue on Steam, you typically send in a report, which Steam Support has to deal with. But one Steam user decided to take their problem to the man in charge of Steam itself, Gabe Newell. And, amazingly, Gabe actually took time out of his day to fix the problem.

In an imgur post that’s making the rounds lately, we can see the exchange between the Steam user called that_earlyguy and Newell. Apparently the Steam user originally sent their issue to Steam Support, but after a week of no response, he decided, hey, fuck it. Maybe I’ll have a better shot with Gabe:

“I may have got a little passive aggressive, but I didn’t want to end it without him knowing I was still a fan!” that_earlyguy wrote on imgur.

To that_earlyguy‘s surprise, Gabe responded — and offered help:

Thankful, that_earlyguy expressed his gratitude:

Two hours later, that_earlyguy’s issue had been fixed:

As is custom with Gabe Newell responses, the guy wanted to post it on social media. The problem being, of course, that if he did that, then people would likely start flooding Gabe with too many small support issues. Gabe Newell probably doesn’t have time for that, right? So, that_earlyguy asked for permission before posting the exchange anywhere, just to make sure…

Gabe, being the awesome guy that he is, said that posting it was OK: everyone at Valve is “support”, and people can definitely send him their Steam support issues:


Well, there you have it. Next time you’re having issues with Steam, the best person to talk to might just be Gabe Newell himself.


  • Contacting the CEO or anyone above customer support to get anything resolved is NOT how customer support is done (otherwise WTF have a customer support team/department in the first place!?)

    • Leaving a simple password reset for a week without a response is also not how customer support is done.

      • Totally agree, but what an amazing guy. I am going to email him about Half Life 3 right now!

      • Shouldn’t that be the focus of the article though, that steam support us so bad that a customer had to go to the CEO involved to resolve.

        Rather than typical praise Gaben garbage. Be the journalist you went to college to be Patricia, do some investigation, criticize or nothing will change.

    • But by god, it works. I used to work for a major international company, with a reputation for very enthusiastic, and difficult fans. People would always bypass the proper channels for getting things taken care of – it was super frustrating for the staff, but customers do it because they know businesses, no matter what their size, are scared of upsetting people and throwing out bad press.

      • Oh yes, it definitely works (hell, did it this week) but goddamn is it frustrating when you have to do to that length. This is why we cant have nice things!!

      • The downside to having corporate word from on-high to fix a particular ticket is that somebody’s else’s ticket will have to wait, and that person’s ticket will often be older or more urgent.

        It’s not universally true that slow support means that support is under-resourced – but it’s frequently the case. Often the support people wind up covering the gap themselves with unpaid overtime.

        In other words, the poor support this person was getting was, very likely, ultimately Gabe’s fault in the first place.

    • Actually, this is exactly how it should be done. When customer support takes a week to resolve a simple issue, something is wrong.

      In most cases the CEO would not respond to the email and may not even get it, depending on how it is screened. But whomever screens it will pass it on to the correct people. I’ve heard several cases of this happening with companies such as Dell etc.

  • It’s cool that Gabe replies to emails, it’s not cool that he had to contact the CEO to finally get support.

    I love Steam for many reasons, but customer support is not one of them. Steam support is notoriously shitty.

  • Maybe i should ask him yo unban me off steam.
    I can’t change my profile pic, name, accept friends or add friends all becuase of a salty steam mod that wouldn’t remove a pedophile steam group with cp as its pic.
    oh and because i’m a “troll”.
    I ain’t even mad!

    • If you’re not a troll, it definitely sounds like something I’d be sending to Overlord Gaben.

      • I wont bother.
        Steam mods do what they want, there is nothing you can do about it.
        I should elaborate:
        The cp group wasn’t the reason he thought i was trolling.
        He assumed i was a troll because me and some friendly half life source users turned a hls thread into a a TAY. All harmless banter. When i got banned i posted with my alt and called them out on banning a harmless steam user for posting on a 4 month 700 post thread, yet ignored a child porn group that i reported 20 times.
        madness -link gone- 25/
        that’s one thread.
        He had every reason to ban my disussion account, but then took it a step further and locks all community rights on my account.

  • Meanwhile some poor underpaid schmuck who has been banging his head against a desk for two weeks because the system is so fucking poor because the head honchos would rather pay themselves a few hundred thousands per year than spend a few thousand on upgrading internal systems has probably just had his arse handed to him…

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