How Skype Steals Your Money
I received an email from you today informing me that my Skype credit would expire in 30 days if I did not use it. In English this translates to 'spend your credit or we will steal it'.
I thank you for taking the time to email me this fine piece of news, including handy hints to avoid your impending theft, such as making a call to a landline (if only for one second, you so jovially point out.)
I don't thank you for sending this to me from a 'no-reply' account. That's a weasel thing companies do when they know very well that people will have something to say about an email and they just don't want to hear it. If you're going to send me an email, Skype, make it possible for me to return the favor. Instead, of course, this reply now goes out on the Internet, where it will be search-able and indexible and very possibly put people off using your service. Google is going to cache this page, most likely forever, (or at least until the last server burns out a billion years from now on a far off planet.) Because unlike monies paid to you, dear Skype, a commitment to the great God Google lasts forever.
I wonder however, where on earth your policy makers got the idea that it was a good idea to have credit expire. I know, I know, it's sort of an industry standard. There are plenty of cell phone pre-pay contracts in which credit expires if you don't use it for a certain period of time, but Skype, my dear Skype, the once bastion of the freedom to call, those companies are blood sucking parasites.
I thought you were different, Skype, I thought that perhaps you would be able to avoid the traps that other companies have fallen into. We don't use you because you're prettier, or easier, or better than other phone services, Skype, we use you because you're cheaper. When you start stealing credit for inactivity, you make yourself indistinguishable from the myriad of other carriers out there.
In case you haven't noticed, there's a recession on, and people get tetchy about companies (especially large ones like yourself,) taking advantage of the paying public. The service you offer is not irreplaceable, Skype, and I'd appreciate it if you would refrain from joining the 'screw them all' bandwagon the larger telco's have been on for years.
We, the public, are not stupid. Sending me a pretty email letting me know you're taking my money doesn't make me feel better about it. It annoys me, it patronizes me and it destroys your public image.
So, for the love of all that is good in the world Skype, wait until I actually use your service before charging me for it. Or go the way of other internet telephony services.
(You know MSN pretty much offers the same service you do for free, right?)
Skype User 10110111000010101 (As if you cared.)
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