A Mind Lost

Anything and everything.

Steam(ing pile)

While waiting for the Lord of the Rings Online servers to come back up this morning, I figured I’d fire up Steam and see if there were any decent deals on.  Since I’m a cheap bugger, I usually check the <$10.00 section, occasionally they have some nice games in their digital bargain bin.  Two items caught my eye, Neverwinter Nights 2 Platinum and the Fallout New Vegas: Dead Money DLC.

Adding these to my cart, I proceeded to the checkout.  After filling in all my information and clicking submit, I was greeted with a message telling me that my credit card company had declined the transaction (I didn’t think to grab a screenshot of the pretty message, even after trying 5 times). Needless to say I know there’s nothing wrong with my credit; I am nowhere near my limit or the card’s expiry date.  I’ve also made purchases through Steam before, so I know that it can work.  The question is why isn’t it?

Checking my e-mail, I found 5 new items explaining with some boilerplate that my purchase was declined:

We are unable to complete your recent order under the account ************, as your credit card purchase was declined. For a list of reasons that a credit card purchase placed on Steam is commonly declined, visit http://support.steampowered.com/cgi-bin/steampowered.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=429.

Clicking on their link, however, does not help at all:

Fear not, for I am an intrepid computer user!  I shall get to the bottom of this.

Next up I try logging in to Steam via the website rather than the client.  After struggling to remember my password (the one in my KeePass database was out-of-date), I finally get it, hit submit, and see this:

No problem, open another tab, navigate to my e-mail account (again), grab the code, and I should be good to go, right?  Wrong!

10 minutes later, 10 minutes of fruitlessly searching their Support pages, and I’m still seeing the spinny graphic which is apparently an indicator of doing absolutely nothing! (I was gonna swear there, but I’m trying to clean up my potty mouth just a little bit).  In between all this, I also ended up creating yet another account, this time for Steam Support, just in case I have to contact someone to get anywhere.

Click on X, re-enter login credentials, same behaviour.  Close Firefox, open Firefox, try again, same behaviour.  Frustration really sets in.  Does Valve NOT want my money that badly?  I know $20.00 isn’t a lot, but c’mon…

At this point I’m suspicious that something in my browser might be interfering with Steam.  I’ve never had any problems on any other website across the vastness of the Internet, but there’s always a first for everything.  I contemplated installing Chrome or, as a very last resort, using Internet Explorer, but I really wanted it to work with Firefox.

“I don’t run a lot of extensions, but perhaps it’s one of them?” I sez to myself, I sez.

For plugins, I have Java, Shockwave and Silverlight (now disabled).

In theory, some of the extensions could be interfering with the proper loading of the website, but I have steampowered.com whitelisted in Adblock and no scripts for GreaseMonkey.  I am not about to go uninstalling extensions for one website.  Fortunately, Firefox includes a “Safe Mode” option which skips loading extensions, themes, and presumably plugins…

… which surprisingly worked!  I was able to log in via my browser (after retrieving yet another e-mail with yet another bloody confirmation code).  On a whim I decided to try a single purchase, for NWN2, via the web store.  Lo and behold, it worked too!  I then launched the Steam client and tried purchasing the FalloutNV DLC through it, and that too worked!

It took more than an hour beyond what it should have, and I still have absolutely no idea why I couldn’t make the initial purchase through Steam, but I got my goods.

Oh, and the Lord of the Rings Online servers came back up hours ago, too.

Thank you, Valve.


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