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On the evening of Thursday, July 25th, a bug was introduced that allowed some older crates to grant an Unusual hat on every opening. We fixed the bug the following morning and decided to trade-lock the hats from the bugged crates while we evaluated the situation.
Over the past week, we have been discussing ways to address this situation with the goal of minimizing the impact on the TF2 community as a whole, while preserving the experience of customers who had simply opened a crate, made a trade, or purchased from the market on the 25th, unaware that a bug produced their item.
During our investigation we discovered that a small number of accounts acquired these hats and a smaller portion of those accounts acquired an exceedingly large number of them. Based on this, we've decided that if you currently own one of these Unusual hats, the first one added to your account will be made tradable. Any other Unusual you have received due to the bug will remain permanently trade locked. If you decide that you would rather not have these trade-locked hats on your account, you may instead elect a full refund on any number of them.
The number of Unusual items being made tradable represents about one month of the regular Unusual drop rate.
A few of you were concerned that you had done something wrong by opening a bugged crate, and proceeded to delete your hats. While we appreciate the concern, you didn't do anything wrong, so hats from bugged crates deleted before the tradable date will be restored to your accounts with the same restrictions described above.
Item tradability, restoration, and the refund support page will be made available in about a week's time. Refunds will be the full price paid for any hats, crates or keys bought on the Steam Community Market or Mann Co. store. We will post an update when that exact date becomes available.
We apologize for the inconvenience of this incident, and we’ve added safeguards to prevent incidents like this in the future.
Update Aug 16: One unusual per account has been made tradable as described above. Affected users should visit the following support page for information about affected items and to submit refund requests if eligible: https://help.steampowered.com/en/wizard/HelpWithItemBug