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Skype Fraud -
Posted by Jenniferatcoastal on 01/31/2008
UNKNOWN -- Skype was great when it was free. I made the mistake of investing in the company. I paid an annual rate up front just this month on January 6, 2008. All was well and good, I averaged about 240 minutes a day on what they described should be included in the premium annual rate.

On January 22, 2008 I started getting a per charge fee. I learned - they don't have a CUSTOMER SERVICE PHONE# or LIVE ASSISTANCE. I had to send a support email.

On January 23, 2008 I paid an additional fee to give them an opportunity to resolve the billing issue. I got a response stating the problem had been resolved and asking me to email back if I had any additional problems.

The problem was not resolved and I email daily for 2 days with no response when I found a supprot forum.

Now the moderators refuse to say if they are SKYPE employees or SKYPE volunteers. These folks allegedly have some pull with Skype and have an official looking logo as a MODERATOR. This allows the public to believe they can get answers.

Now this billing problem is system wide. There are a growing number of complaints daily.

The moderators dodge all the questions and ask the same clarifying questions over and over, in the forums and many times it appears as if they are intentionally inciting PAYING CUSTOMERS.

This got me angry. I hate being treated like I'm stupid by some pretentious ass and this makes me want to fight back not only for the fraud commited on my contract, but the fraud they are committing angainst folks who are being overbilled (in some cases by hundreds) and for the poor folks who just don't have the money for alternative phone services.

So this UK based firm is blatently using fraud collecting American dollars, promising a service, and not only failing to honor their end of the contract, but in some cases where folks made the mistake of trusting them by enrolling in the "autorefill program" for prepaid premium calls - they are being billed for calls under the all inclusive plan.

Also note, if you buy credits and don't use it all in 6 months - they steal the money and fail to provide the service.

I've experienced a lot of subterfuge, lies, and unprofessionalism.

My predicition is that SKYPE crossed a line and this will go class action - especially since they were bought out by E-bay/PayPal. There's a lot of bad blood in the on-line community and PayPal was already sued for stealing funds from bsuiness owners collecting payments through that system. This is just a further demonstration of the same lack of customer service and fraud that Paypal got slammed for a few years back.

Same people - same illegal activities. You think they'd learn.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-31:
We use Skype IM all day long. We have always been a bit suspect of the paid services. Thank you for the heads up on this problem. The ad based IM seems to always work well. Skype seems to run independent of eBay as they are in Luxembourg so I don't see eBay/PayPal messing them up to bad. (VH)
Posted by chow on 2008-02-03:
Skypes is the best among all the messenger service and telephony company, i used it all the time for all sorts of long distance call, it is great!!!!!never see any online company better than skypes so far.
Posted by jenniferatcoastal on 2008-02-03:
Just an update. After 10 days of no reponse from Skype and spending way too much time with their moderators in the forums playing their game of answering the same clarifying questions over and over. Skype now alledges they terminated service claiming I have multiple users on my account, however, they are unable to provide the IP address that initiated the calls. Again, if this is a true allegation, it is without my knowledge and part of THEIR PROBLEMS WITH THEIR HACKER issues.

They also claim that with Skype Pro (which they advise is for business use to reduce costs) I exceeded a 3,000 minute allowance of minutes and that as of February 1 I would be active.

Well, It's Feb 2 - account still not functing properly and I exxported all the calls and ran a total. I only used about 1/2 the allowable minutes. It was between 1400 and 1500 in the 11 days they allowed service to go uninterrupted.

I also requested their totals and how they arrived at their alleged numbers of minutes used to investigate potential fraudulent use of the account (remember, they opened this can of worms claiming multiple users have accessed my account). Of course, they refuse to respond to the inquiry.

Hands down, the Skype software and interface with professional databases for businesses is by far the best. But it is worthless when there is no customer service, timely response to inquiries, and all the stupid wasteful nonsense I witnessed and experienced on the alleged Help Forums. (Me thinks the moderators may have one of the power trip rushes thinking they are important. When they accomplishing something useful and productive, they can reach out and impress me.)

If reliability of service isn't an issue for you! By all means - take your chances with Skypw. But if you are running a business... SIP is clunky, but reliable. And there are a number of VOIP providers offering low rates (as low as $10 a month). IMHO a clunky SIP that needs occasional babysitting while running my business software is better than a service that doesn't work at all.

Now, the question is, who do I know with VOIP experience that I can partner with and re-develop the Skype efficient software.

Since I live in NJ, Headquarters on Vonage and their many disgruntled employees and developers that are worked like dogs for less than the going salary, I think I can do some networking and pitch my idea.

I could grab investors off Beadstreet. I just wonder what the profitability would be. Much research to be done to see if it would be profitable to throw my hat into the ring.
Posted by chow on 2008-02-09:
skypes provide their users with $0.00 per month telephony service, in return for adv. viewing, i think they are the best among all others. yahoo n msn are no match at all.
Skype is doing the right thing terminating your service,why wasting their times and technology on senseless and unreasonable customer.
Posted by jenniferatcoastal on 2008-02-09:
Maybe Chow misunderstands the concern since he never provided Skype info for billing as a paying customer and just uses the free services.

What is happening is not that I am being unreasonable. There are serious illgal business practices the Skype Business has in place.

If you read the Skype PRO service agreement. You are paying to use their service. You can register your business (if you have one) as part of their "hook" to get you in. They are fraudulently using misleading terminology (as outlined by the FTC and FCC) to increase businesses. On a larger scale, this is what happened in the banking industry and why the housing market is in a turmoil. Fraudulent advertising and non-dsclosure up front. I think a few folks from ENRON may have wound up in jail for that if you recall.

They provide an accounting of calls like every other service provider. Now based on their records, I am not "over-using" the service. (Let's refer back to the business contract and the fraudulent advertsining that there would be unlimited calls if you PAY up front for an annual and REGISTER your business).

Now in the interest of business interruption, if my clients didn't get customer service responses in 2+ weeks crippeling their business, I would be out of business not mention I would end up in small claims court for fraud.

Because the Skype service is under $50 a month, it isn't worth my time to sue. Quite frankly, they should reimburse the entre unused portion of funds received... but they refuse to do that.

Now, let's talk about fraud and illegal charges. I am very careful about providing billing information to companies. Skype automatically sets up an "Auto charge" through paypal which I quickly terminated once the contract was in place. I was only hit with another $20 overcharge.

Many people on the forum affected by the illegal business practices have been hit for hundreds and even thousands maxing out people's credit cards, wiping out checking or savings accounts etc.

it isn't about the technology. I agree that is superior. But to say they had a right to cancel a contract and assume I am wasting their time, when they are wrong on so many legal levels is insane.

Skype's free service is EXCELLENT - but I maintain - BUYER BEWARE and recommend everyone steer clear unless you plan to risk losing the monthly fee. Whatever a consumer does, don't sign up for auto charge.

I think Skype really crossed some lines and if the people who did have funds stolen from the autobill feature - they will be fined heavily and the company is too young to take the hit. They will go under.

Posted by chow on 2008-02-11:
jennifer, whenever you provide personal information to a company, you will never know where or how the inf. going to be used, it is part of the risk of everyone has to deal with in today world, unless you can prove skypes is using your inf.for illegal activity, it is just your word against them, as bank, IRS, school, hospital and many other institutions also have your personal info., you will never know who is passing that out.Since you claim so ,why you do n't file a law suit?
Posted by jenniferatcoastal on 2008-02-11:
No law suit because the time spent filing one (even if I did it myself), isn't woth my time. Ine hour of my time worknig is double what I could ever hope to acheive. I was smart and didn't have significant damages because I stopped that autocharge as soon as I saw what was happening.

True, there is risk dealing with anyone. Look at Enron, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Verizon, and other companies that illegally sold or used information for their own personal gain. However, there is reasonable expectations one could expect for a company to justify billing, provide responsive customer service ina reasonable time frame (3+weeks and counting is not reasonable).

I think considering the damages I have been reading about all over the net, it's only going sink the company's reputation and people will not invest into them. You aren't investing your money into them so you must see the point I am making.

On the law suit front, it's just too damn time consuming and would cost more money than it's worth. I can write the losses off on my taxes and recoup 100% with no muss/no fuss. I just need to have my record of emails and the accoutning of minutes used showing Skype did not provide services paid for.

I turn into a bleeding heart sometimes because I came from an underpriviledged childhood and until 5 years ago when my business took off, I worked 2+ jobs and had very little disposable income. I remember what it's like unplugging the refigerator during the day when I was at work to "save the electric" because I was struggling to make ends meet.

People who I have seen complaining of fraududlent billing and loss of service seem to have been promised an alternative phone service to save money and we billed 10X's or even more in a few cases I saw that Ma Bell's extortion.

My advice is go with a SIP provider paying $25 a month like Vonage or Voip Your Life. It's US based, governed under our FCC regulations.

People need to realize you get what you pay for, but at least when you take the loss, you can write it off on your taxes to recover expenses.
Posted by chow on 2008-02-12:
skype software is good for p/c 2 p/c use only, not the pay service, jennifer, their technology is not realible for land line.
Posted by bigalman on 2008-05-08:
I have a similar complaint:
When I signed up just last month for 1 year the policy was any calls in the US and Canada are free per minute and there is no connection fee. Now they changed the policy when I have 11 months left in my contract.
The new policy is only calls to Canada are free and a connection fee applies. That is Fraud!!

Sending emails to support is not helping so far!
Posted by kshdzines on 2009-03-08:
Is there not somewhere we can report internet service fraud? They have done me dirty as well and I am very upset. I wrote a review explaining the issue. They removed a $30 online number credit/discount I had in my account when I was trying to use it. They acted as if it was never there. After 10 days of emails trying to use it, they ironically removed it..GRRRRRRRRRRRR Do I have "STUPID" written across my forehead or what??
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Skype Price Jacking - Scam, Beware
Posted by Kool on 04/12/2007

I have been using skype often for making pc to landline calls. I was very happy with quality of service . I used to charge 10 $ every time. Never cared to check account thinking every thing would be okay. But off late when I saw even for 5 minutes local north american call over 0.25 $ or more is deducted,or 2 minutes were charged as 0.11$ without any mathematical basis.

I got suspicious and started traceing last one month account, i found total random charges with wrong amount, hijacked price with no mathematical basis. ( time multipled by rate/minute) .

In many instaces per minute charges were 0.10 $ or even higher to the fancy of skype management-(FYI published price is 0.021$ per minute)

I immediately tried to contact them , but there was no phone or emails. Only solution was to send them mail by online form.
Fortunate enough to get reply after 4 days which was not an answer to my complaint, rather they just send me a link to check FAQ.(Misleading practice)

I was irritated with their response. Again I sent them email specifying issue of price jacking and over charging. Till today in last 2 weeks there is no second response from them.

Now I feel(confirm) Skype cheat customers with random charges,with jacked prices/minute.They Never respond to complaint or resolve anything. Price we eventually pay is much higher than local reliable services or phone cards.
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Posted by lobo65 on 2007-04-13:
If you are not under a contract with them, just stop using their service.
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Skype keeps your money and refuses to refund it
Posted by Genewst18353 on 05/27/2011
After 180 days Skype disables your credits and they are no longer avaiable to you, EVEN if you use their utility to restore the credits. If you try to get your money out, they use the fine print in the policy to inform you that you gave them permission to keep it. In my country, this is called theft.

My policy is to rag on Skype whenever and wherever I get a chance. I wonder how they like me now.....
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Posted by Alain on 2011-05-29:
The fine print in a contract often has unwelcome surprises.
Posted by Mike on 2012-11-20:
Regardless of the fine print in a policy, it still isn't allowed to break the law.

Keeping unused credits is theft, plain and simple. If my bank refused to let people take money out when they were in credit, they would go out of business very fast.
Posted by Carmen Z on 2013-05-26:
I have $19 and I can not use. It says account blocked!.... they blocked my money! Thieves!
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Skype Customer Service is a Joke
Posted by C3PO on 09/25/2010
I've used Skype off and on for years. Recently, I decided to go all out and get all their features and subscriptions. Their online menus suck. They advertise many things you can do in Skype, like "pick up your voicemails from anywhere in the world," but they tell you nothing about how to do it.

I tried contacting customer support. This in itself was a joke. After a long search, I finally found the link to email Skype with my question/s. They did get back to me fairly quickly, but the answers I got had little or nothing to do with the problem stated.

Skype has a lot of really cool features and could be a very useful service, but they need to actually read the customer questions and send meaningful responses, as well as improve their online menus. I'd be willing to pay a bit more to help make this happen, but for now I'm not sure if I can deal with all the frustration.

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Posted by Alain on 2010-09-26:
These are good suggestions for Skype, C3PO. Perhaps you could pass them on to Skype at contactus@skype.net
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Skype Operated by Thieves and Liars/Website Not Secure/No Customer Support
Posted by Low tolerance on 04/17/2010
I have been a skype customer since 2008. Originally purchased credit, then switched to unlimited monthly plan. The call quality was often poor, but the price was cheap. Figured you get what you pay for.

Recently, some of my credit went missing. Tried to find somewhere on their site to contact them and find out where my money went, but found no way to do so. I had to search google, and finally found a post on yahoo answers by another frustrated person that had the same problem. Had to go to a third party site to find out how to contact them at: https://support. skype.com/support_selection (the site is only partially encrypted and is not secure)

They had billed me for an SMS to a number I never heard of. I didn't even know what an SMS was, and certainly never sent one. I consider this a fraudulent charge by skype. Asked for return of my missing money which was only a dime, but it was MY dime and the remainder of my credit.

After spending far too much of my time responding to the obfuscating emails informing me of everything except how to get my money back, they told me that they were refusing to return the monies they were holding. It was 64 cents, but is was MY 64 cents, they didn't work for it.

They lied by billing for a service that was never rendered (fraud) to get part of my money and flat-out stole the remainder by refusing to return any of it.

I am forever finished with skype. Perhaps they think that people will not bother with a missing dime here or 50 cents there. I however, have principles and am ethically minded. I have canceled my account.

After reading from the multitude of complaints about skype stealing other peoples money, I took the precautions of calling my credit card company to cancel card used for skype purchase and had them re-issue with a new account number. Also made sure to log in to Paypal account where original monies were transferred from and canceled billing agreement to ensure that they did not steal more money from me, as has happened to countless others. You can't be overly careful when dealing with these criminals.

Beware, chances are good it is only a matter of time before they get around to you as well.

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Horrible Customer Support!
Posted by Springs03 on 05/08/2009
Skype is a great program that allows people to talk from their computer using the internet ANYWHERE in the world. It's amazing...until you use their paid services. Ironic, since this is how they make money. But yeah, every now and then the company will "block" your account. This is annoying, but what's more annoying is that there is no REAL person there to unblock it. You get these "bot" messages saying that your account will be reinstated shortly and it never is. Then you submit a new request and it seriously takes weeks to months for the problem to get solved. I would pay double or triple the price just to have real customer support. I really would. The thing is they would probably get so many more customers and more money if they fixed these problems quickly rather than taking weeks to months and for all the customers they just straight up lose too.

All that being said, in between customer support issues, it is a great service. If they can just fix that, they will thrive and I will continue to use them. Otherwise, I will probably stop once I come back from overseas.
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Fraudulent Activity on Account
Posted by Suvoth99 on 11/01/2011
I have been a user of Skype and purchaser of their subscription services since 2008. I noticed that on October 15th, I was charged for a new subscription to Pakistan for $12.99. I subsequently changed my password on my account, removed my credit card and cancelled both my valid subscription and the fraudulent one. I contacted their customer service and asked them to remove the charge but they refused. I spoke to a Roan M. at first and then escalated to a supervisor named Christopher A. Both advised me to contact my credit card company and told me they could not issue a refund to me even though I have never had an issue with my account before. I have checked some of my credit card statements and do not see any other unauthorized charges. I advised them it was their program or website that was hacked but they still refuse to give me a refund. I even offered to let them close my account early (I still have until January, 2012 for unlimited calls in the US and Canada) if they would simply refund the money owed to me, and still they refused. I don't even know anyone in Pakistan and whomever hacked my account used $2.00 of the $12.99 subscription.
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Posted by Old Timer on 2011-11-01:
File a charge-back on the amount. Often it's the only way to get the attention of a do nothing mega company. Keep in mind that if you do they may tag you as a trouble account and not let you use Skype in the future.
Posted by suvoth99 on 2011-11-01:
I'll have to contact my credit card company. Such a wasteful thing to have to do since it's only their charge that is the problem. I think it's completely unfair that I should have to jump through the hoops. Shame on them.
Posted by suvoth99 on 2011-12-02:
After complaining to the BBB, they've finally given me back my money! Wish I didn't have to go through that hassle!
Posted by Carmen Z on 2013-05-26:
The same to me, they start to charge $25 each month...I finally closed my credit card account because of them!.... They stole my money!
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Skype Steals "Credits"
Posted by Choltrn on 03/04/2014
I had a Skype account, only used it once, although I had put $10 down as a credit. They still owed me $9 and some change. I got an email announcing my credits had "expired" and all I had to do was sign into my account and click on the "retrieve credits" icon. Unfortunately, there is no such icon, and the account they want me to access isn't even the same one I put credits on. I have had multiple emails from them each claiming they will "absolutely help" with this problem, but no one seems to actually read the previous email and their solutions do not work because they aren't really solutions.

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Poor Service Not Responding to Emails
Posted by Ilentini on 11/25/2013
Something happened to my Skype account .I contacted Skype to change primary account email address after few emails we exchange to almost finalize my problem they never set my new email .I send them several messages I am very disappointed I am using Skype for many years for my business . Looks like Skype its a monkey business .
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Skype Automatically Keeps Charging Me for the Premium Account and I Cannot Get It Stopped
Posted by Smart2know on 11/20/2013
I disputed with my credit card company. Several months later I received a letter from the credit card stating that Skype confirmed that I authorized the charge and I got charged again. I don't know what to do. I cannot speak to anyone because there is no phone number. Chats are impossible wait times. This is not a customer friendly company. Its one of the worst I've seen.
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