Skype Fraud -
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 committed 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.