05 September 2007

An example of bad customer service, Skype.

So I have an issue with Skype, I have problems with it crashing all the time and it hardly ever works skype to skype but hey that is free, my complaint is Skype out, that is a paid service.

I sent an email to Skype as below:-

"Every time in the past two weeks that I have used skype in my skype-out paid for service, I have had to hang-up and re-dial as the recipients never every hear me for more than 10 seconds then it cuts out or freezes. I have 8mb line and frankly expect better. I now have red warning saying skype balance low, not surprising as the damn things eats money and provides no service, I spent $.80 trying to get a call connected, cheaper to use the land-line. I expect to see some kind of credit as this is simply not on, $10 spent, probably 2 minutes of talking in total. Disgusting. I have 5500 bloggers on my site and was going to recommend skype as a platform for our chat service, not now."

I then got a standard response, check the firewall etc..

"Thank you for contacting Skype Support.
We are very sorry to hear of your troubles with Skype.
Here are some ways to help you experience enhanced call quality:

1. Check that you are using the most recent version of Skype. You can download it for free:

2. Follow the simple suggestions here that resolve many call quality issues:

3. Follow our visual sound setup guide to make sure your audio settings are correct:

4. Follow our visual firewall user guide to ensure that your firewall or router is not blocking Skype:

5. Make sure that all the drivers for your PC are up-to-date (sound, video, motherboard controllers etc). The manufacturer of your hardware will supply you with these.

If you are still not happy with the quality of your calls, then let us know, so that we can help you further.

Hmm..unhappy, make that pissed off, a standard response so I replied, a bit stroppy I admit:-

"Thanks for the standard response.

I am no fool and have used skype for a few years. It is only recently
that the service is shoddy, you guys simply eat up the users money with
no service, everything works on my PC just not every time. It is simply
not consistent. In fact I would say I have to restart 70% of my calls,
that is 70% losses of calls and costs that are obviously incurred.

Of course all sounds are correct, version is up-to-date, firewall
obviously is fine as skype does work for a bit (mind you as this is a
standard reply I am guessing nobody read my mail).

Once again, you fail to provide a service and I am thinking of reporting
the service as it is simply ripping off users."

Sooo..good old Skype came back with another standard mail:-

"So here are some more suggestions to help resolve the issue:

1. In Skype, Go to Tools > Options > Connection. Select the option to use ports 80 and 443. In the "Incoming Connections" box you can chose any port between 1024 and 65535.
2. Reconfirm that your firewall is correctly configured. Follow the simple visual guide here:
3. Quit any file sharing applications or high-bandwidth usage applications.
4. For more detailed security setup on a network: http://www.skype.com/security/guide-for-network-admins.pdf
5. If these suggestions do not resolve improve cal quality, follow these steps:
* Quit Skype
* Locate the shared.xml file found in
C:\Documents and settings\Your Windows Username\Application data\Skype\shared.xml
* Delete the file called shared.xml
* Restart Skype ( shared.xml will be recreated )
Note: Showing hidden folders and files has to be turned on: please navigate to My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View. Once there, please make sure that the option "Show Hidden Files and Folders" is enabled.

5. Disable Quality of Service packet scheduling. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Network Connections. Right click on the connection you are using. Select Properties. Untick the "QoS Packet Scheduler" option.

If you are still not happy with the quality of your calls, then let us know, so that we can help you further."

Hmm..more standard crap..doesn't once solve the fact it works for the first 10 seconds does it, proving everything is actually set up ok, so, I sent another mail (PS. I did all of the above about a year ago, no customer records obviously so how would they know?):-

"Hmm same response twice, third time and you get me blogging it word for
word. "

Then Skype customer services, Marko L to be precise, replies:-

"Hello Kevin,

Thank you for contacting Skype Support.

Our apologies for pointing this out, but they're not the same.

Actually if you look closely you will note the difference in the steps. But judging by your reply you have not even read them, let alone followed them through on Skype. Unfortunately if you don't do that we can not narrow down the problem. These guides are carefully designed and not just some random suggestions thrown together, even though they may not look much.

Please "reset" the exception for Skype in your Firewall software. The old exception can become useless and this can affect Skype connection quality.

If you are using windows built-in firewall,
Go to Start menu --> Settings --> Control Panel --> Windows firewall
If 'Don't allow exceptions' is ticked, please untick it.
Go to the 'Exceptions' tab
If there is Skype listed below, delete it.
Start Skype, you will be prompted to allow Skype to connect to internet, accept it.

If you are using some other firewall,
Go to Start menu --> Programs and select your firewall
Make sure that exceptions are allowed.
Go to 'Exceptions' tab
If there is Skype listed below, delete it
Start Skype, you will be prompted to allow Skype to connect to the internet, select 'Yes'.

Best regards,

Marko L.
Skype Support"

So. tell me Skype, why do you keep charging me for a service that doesn't work? All of the above is bullshit standard response email that I have had many times, if you had records, you'd be able to see that. I did the above standard email responses last year, your service is simply not up to the same standard as last year, it has deteriorated.

I have now blogged it as I promised. I still am unable to get a telephone conversation without it freezing or crashing yet you keep charging me. I may only have a small blogging community, there may only be 6000 bloggers signed up but I reply personally to every mail, I take every complaint personally, maybe the Skype team ought to too..?



Anonymous said...

Forget Skype! Try www.jajah.coma nd www.zoippe.com

Patrick said...

I can completely relate to how you are feeling. I have no problems with skype to skype calls, however ever since I upgraded to (ironically a suggsted fix for another problem I was having) i cannot get through to either of the two numbers I bought skype out credit for. I get a #1001 error (internal error) which suprise suprise is not listed in the knowledge base. I have had three standard repsonses, none of which acknoweldge the fact the problem is with skype out rather than reaching the network in the first place. It is obvious that no-one is actually reading my emails - even after I posted the full technical information related to the call:

host = patvanbeek
inVol=46, outVol=75
oList.Count=1, memberCount = 1
446:+441481XXXXX:2(1/1001 SIP gateway connect failed):+:0

ObjId: 446
Jitter: 0
UDP status local:Good remote:
CPU usage 0.0% 0.0%

BW(avg/60sec): upload<1kBps download <1kBps

totally pathetic. Unfortunately I paid for my credit months ago so I probably can't reverse the charges. Any one know what a SIP gateway is used for? Probably have more luck troubleshooting this way than through Skype.