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Experiences with the Skype Customer Care desk

Most of you occasionally have to deal with a helpdesk for support. In many cases, especially when your question is a bit out of the ordinary, the support you get is appalling. For that reason I prefer the use of e-mail, rather than the phone or chat; to record my dealings with a helpdesk. My recent discussion with the Skype helpdesk is an example of such an endeavor that I would like to share with you. As my resources are limited, I cannot treat Skype to the same prank as the one that was recently played on a Belgium phone company...
Check out the Skype Connect information at the Skype website With a bit of luck this posting will get my concerns to the appropriate management level in the Skype organization as the "official" path seems to be a dead end!

So what happened...!?

I have recently taken a subscription on the Skype Connect SIP service in order to use my Siemens DX800A PBX for national and international VOIP calls. I was triggered by this slogan on their website:

"Skype Connect provides connectivity between your business and the Skype community. By adding Skype Connect to your existing SIP-enabled PBX, your business can save on communication costs with ... little or no additional ... upgrades required."

The installation of the package was easy, though it turned out that using the system was not that simple. Any number that you dial manually needs to be prefixed with the country code, in my case 0031. Skype is the only SIP provider that requires this action; my other SIP providers add my own country prefix by default.

I felt that that Skype Connect did not deliver what had been promised and decided to ask them to amend their software. As a matter of fact I have seen similar requirements in many forums (since 2006) and I fail to understand why Skype is not fulfilling such a simple requirement.

So I send an e-mail to the Skype service center asking them to enable dialing without the need to enter the country prefix. That turned out to be the start of an e-mail exchange with the Skype Customer Service. The good news is that I got fast responses from many Skype Technical Support staff members; however they persistently ignored my arguments and cited apparently from an official list of responses. I even got the suggestion to discontinue my subscription...

Here is an anthology of the answers I received:

Ray, 4/3 2011: this would be a feature which you could program in your PBX... it is possible, but it may turn into a huge project [for me]…

Eric, 4/3/2011: SIP is a world based service and it can be used almost anywhere if you have a SIP based device making it problematic when trying to configure each and everyone’s dialing plan…

Victor, 4/3/2011: Skype is an International Carrier that provides incredibly simple service to Millions of user per day ... if you think there is some suspicious business rationale behind Skype’s position, please discontinue this service now…

... so I did ...

Mark, 5/3/2011: as per Skype's Refund Policy we are unable to issue a refund…

Roy, 5/3/2011: you will have to adjust your SIP device… it is not possible to issue a refund...

Teresa, 6/3/2011: you will have to adjust your SIP device … it is not possible to issue a refund...


At this point I decided to give up and try a different strategy to achieve my goals: this posting.

Click here for the complete e-mail discussion (pdf).



Thanks, Sebastian

Additional information: Check out the Skype Connect information at the Skype website
March 7, 2011
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