Like any other scratch cards, Steam cards can get damaged and unreadable. When that happens, you will need instant help from Steam to get your gaming back up.
Here are simple steps to follow when you have a defective card on Steam.
When The Steam Card is damaged from Excess Scratching
When your code is damaged, and you cannot recognize most of the numbers that were on the card, you should contact Steam support. Follow the following steps:
Scan or take a photo of the front and back side of your Steam card
Attach the photo or scanned steam card to the support ticket
Wait for the Steam support to get back to you
Your scanned photo should look like the one shown on Steam support.
Note that, the photo of the receipt you send to the Steam support should not be edited or marked in any way. By so doing, you will have rendered the card useless.
Again, if the damaged Steam codes are printed directly on your receipt, Steam support will not redeem them for you. Instead, you should return the receipt to the store and get help from there. The store operator should be able to give you new codes to redeem on Steam.
For Cards Purchased From Paypal
When your Steam wallet code from PayPal is defective, you need to contact PayPal support. Either PayPal or WebMoney will direct you on how to redeem your defective card. This is the same case when you are using prepaid cards issued by WebMoney or PayPal.
When You Keep Getting an Invalid Code Error
In instances where you keep getting an invalid code error, the problem might be:
You are entering the wrong letters or numbers
You are skipping some numbers on the codes
The code you are using has already been used
You have the wrong code
In most cases, invalid code errors are due to users confusing certain letters and numbers. If you keep getting an invalid code message, try any of the following tips:
For the number 0, try entering letter O, Q, or D and see whether the code goes through
For number 1, try entering letter I in its place
Try interchanging letter B with number 8
Interchange letter G with number 6
Check other instances of numbers and letters that might be confused
Re-enter the code ensuring that you do not skip any numbers or letters
Defective Cards from In-Store Retailers
Because digital codes and cards cannot be spoiled, most damages are witnessed on cards from retailers in stores. If your code is damaged or unreadable, take the card or CD back to the retailer and have them give you a new code.
If you had not used the code, most stores would issue you a replacement card with a new code, and some will help you figure out the damaged code. If only one of the numbers or letters has been damaged, the retailer will help you determine the missing number/letter.
Get Help from Steam Discussions
You can also get help from the Steam Community. However, the community cannot help if you scratch your code beyond numbers/letters recognition, but they can help you when your code doesn't go through. Some issues have already been tackled on the community. If you cannot get help from the issues already tackled, you post your question by:
Visiting Steam Community
Search for discussions on the search bar
If you do not get help, select Help and Tips on the list of discussions
Select Start a New Discussion and post your question
However, do not share your code with the members, instead share your problems.