Skype Poor Customer Service

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Skype Poor Customer Service

Last night I received an email from an irate Skype customer pleading for me to come to their rescue. Apparently, the woman was double-charged on her checking account, contacted Skype's billing department via billing@skype.com, and hasn't heard "boo" yet from Skype. I couldn't ignore a damsel in distress, so I contacted one of my contacts at Skype, but she was on vacation. I will be speaking with Skype's CEO, Niklas Zennstrom in about a week during the P2P VoIP panel I am modering at Internet Telephony Expo, so I can ask him them what his thoughts are on not only her billing issue, but other complaints I have been hearing about as well.

In fact, ironically as I was planning to blog about Skype's customer service, CNet posted an article today titled: Skype callers: 'Customer service, please?' which also discusses Skype's poor customer service record - at least according to some Skype forums.

Below is the email I received last night from her complaining about Skype's customer service. Note how she has three separate trouble tickets and according to her, no word from Skype. Ouch! I removed her identity for privacy sake, but she appears to be a student or teacher, since her email address is in the .edu domain. I get the feeling that this will not be the last time we hear about Skype's customer service issues. With their exponential growth, these kinds of growing pains are to be expected.


From: <removed>
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 6:36 PM
To: Tom Keating
Subject: Skype issues that I cannot get to a live person to address

Well, Tom - you are it.

I've been trying to get through to a live person at Skype since last week.

On February 8th, Skype debited my checking account for $12.93 TWICE. Now I know that amount is a mere pittance to you and everyone at Skype. It was not authorized. This is the only activity on that account for months. You might think that my account has been compromised, but it hasn't. Why would someone steal my account information and only charge $25.86? It's a mistake and I want it corrected. I can spend $25 X 2 to dispute the charge, but I'll also have to close the account and open a new one. I don't want to do that when there's no evidence that my account is being tampered with - except by Skype.

That's only the beginning of my issues with this corporation. I can send and email regarding a billing and I get a message saying that if my inquiry requires a response, they'll get back to me in three days. Let me tell you….they don't. There is no way to reply to this message and there are no links or phone numbers on the Skype website to contact for assistance.

Having not received any replies to my three website inquiries, I've done some checking on the web. There is a large group of people who are very vocal about charges to their accounts by Skype and Skype's lack of response. Apparently they do not respond. When they do respond, it is to say that it is a legitimate charge and the individual's account information must have been stolen. There are also accusations that Skype is the one who is stealing the account numbers, not your subscribers. Again, the purpose of stealing my account numbers and racking up the huge charge of $25.86 was what?????

You can imagine my frustration. Having failed to find anyone at Skype who cares, I decided to try to find a Skype board member and your name came up, along with your bio and a way to contact you.

Here are my ticket/inquiry numbers from the three times I've tried to get assistance from the billing department:

Ticket ID: <removed>
Ticket Key: <removed>
Subject: Billing
Department: Billing

Ticket ID: <removed>
Ticket Key: <removed>
Subject: Billing
Department: Billing

Ticket ID: <removed>
Ticket Key: <removed>
Subject: Billing
Department: Billing

I would truly appreciate any help you can give me.

Sincerely,
<removed>



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