Doug Haslam: Gischeleman’s Blog

October 5, 2007

Skype steals your lunch money

Filed under: Customer Service — Tags: , , , — doughaslam @ 10:15 pm


Dear Skype,

You stole $9.32 from me the other day.

Actually, I’m not sure it’s exactly $9.32, because I can’t see the balance on my Skype screen anymore.

Looky, here’s the email where you tell me you are taking my lunch money:

Hi there Douglas Haslam,Unfortunately. your Skype Credit balance has expired due to 180 days‘

inactivity on your account. As explained in our previous three reminder emails

this means that the balance you had in your Skype account has now been cleared.

Skype Name: doug.haslam

We're really unhappy that we couldn't help you keep your credit balance. Below

is the Skype credit expiry policy, detailing why your balance was expired.

=== What are the rules for Skype Credit expiry? ===

1. Skype Credit expires 180 days after your last credit purchase or action that

used credit – e.g. SkypeOut call, SMS message.

2. Each purchase, call or SMS message resets the expiry time to 180 days.

3. Unfortunately, if you don't use your remaining credit we will expire the

balance to comply with normal business accounting rules.

4. You will receive reminder emails 30 days, seven days and 72 hours before your

credit expires.

I know how you can help me keep my credit balance. Don’t take it away fom me. I understand the policy, sure it’s likely legal, though I didn’t get at first that merely using Skype a little wouldn’t qualify me to keep my money. But are you sure it’s a good idea to treat your customers this way? I’m not.

I hope the $9.32– or whatever the exact amount was,– helps you get out of the tremendous financial hole you have dug for yourself and your parent company, eBay.

You bastards owe me lunch.



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  1. Out of curiosity, did they really send you three emails to remind you?

    I got one such email before, and was able to reset my Skype credit by sending an SMS message for a few cents.

    I guess 180 days haven’t passed since then because I haven’t received a further reminder.

    Comment by mdy — October 5, 2007 @ 10:40 pm

  2. Might have been three– definitely two. I misunderstood what they meant by SMs, and used IMs. It just seems ridiculous that they would take my money because I wasn’t using the credit.

    Comment by Doug Haslam — October 5, 2007 @ 10:48 pm

  3. I guess I’m more sensitive to this type of billing because so many of the services we use here in the Philippines are “prepaid.”

    We’ve got prepaid internet, prepaid landlines (POTS), prepaid mobile… There’s even talk of prepaid electricity (but I haven’t actually seen that yet).

    In our case, unused prepaid credits expire after 60 days even if you’ve been consuming part of it. The only way we can prevent the expiration of the credit balance is to ADD more credits.

    So I actually felt that Skype was being generous because they gave me a much longer window (180 days), and I didn’t have to add to my balance to prevent expiration. I only had to use a few cents.

    Everything is relative, I guess. 😎


    Comment by mdy — October 5, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

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