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Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless

The Skype/Microsoft Scam

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I've received 2 emails from Skype/Microsoft claiming that unless I update my payment info my Skype account will terminate on the day that my credit card expires (9/1/2013)
despite the fact that my paid in advance 1 yr subscription doesn't expire until 4/1/2014

Action Required - Your subscription will be cancelled next month due to expiring credit/debit card
"The credit/debit card VISA-SKYPE XXXX-redacted you currently use for your subscription payments will expire at the end of the month.

This will cause your subscription to terminate at the end of the current billing period, which is on Sep 1, 2013. To ensure uninterrupted access to your Skype products, please update your payment details by visiting your account.

Follow these steps:
1. Sign into your Skype account
2. Click "Subscription settings" on the Call Phones tab
3. Choose an existing stored payment method or add a new method

You can use another credit or debit card, PayPal or Skype Credit if available as payment methods for your subscriptions.

You have the following subscriptions currently active:

Talk soon,
The people at Skype"


Damn straight we'll be talking soon!
This is just a scuzzy, scamming way to get customers new card data so they can "Auto-Charge" a renewal at some point down the road.

Looking thru Skypes help forum, this isn't a one off event - it's a planned scam.
SOB's.


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
UPDATE:
The Skype/Microsoft attempt at scamming the soon to expire credit card data with the new credit card data continues.
I guess it should be seen as an attempt by Skype/Microsoft to go from outright lying to a game of words.

Rather than sticking with their original threat:
Action Required - Your subscription will be cancelled next month due to expiring credit/debit card
"The credit/debit card VISA-SKYPE XXXX-redacted you currently use for your subscription payments will expire at the end of the month.
This will cause your subscription to terminate at the end of the current billing period, which is on Sep 1, 2013. To ensure uninterrupted access to your Skype products, please update your payment details by visiting your account.
"

They are now playing with words:
"Upon checking our records, it shows that the credit card used to purchase for your subscription will (Sic) about to expire. If you will not update your credit card information, your subscription might be cancelled due to expired credit card. Therefore, we suggest for you to update the credit card information stored on your Skype account".

So now Skype/Microsoft claim that it "might" expire.
Bet your life it will expire Skype/Microsoft - it will expire at the end of June 2014 - I won't support a company that attempts to scam it's customers.


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
Not accepting Skypes/Microsft's word game playing I sent the following reply:
"Re-read my complaint & respond with a correct answer."

They must have figured out I wasn't going away until I got to the truth of the matter.
Their reply:
"We checked on your account and it shows that your subscription is active and the expiration of that is on June 29, 2014. We suggest to please disregard the email notification that you received.

Alleluia, Alleluia! they found the truth & it will set them free (from me).
So that's it - just disregard our BS since you are obviously not going to be fooled by it.

But first a debriefing:
1. Shameless lying should NEVER be tolerated by anyone under any circumstance.
2. Skype support pushes the self-help forums for issue resolution.
3. I found myself fumbling around the self-help forums looking for an explanation of how Skype/Microsoft could possibly justify prematurely cancelling a pre-paid active account just because the credit card used for the prepay was expiring.
It didn't take long to come to the truth of why they push the self-help forums.
I was wasting MY time on THEIR problem.
How convenient (for them).
4. Skype makes direct contact with them difficult by not making their contact address readily available.
Their contact address is:
en_support@skype.net
I suggest this be used whenever a Skype issue is present.
Their self-help forums are not what they used to be - just as Skype is not as they used to be - it is no longer a community - it's a business run with little regard for honesty - this thread is the proof of that.
5. This whole thing about expiring credit card prematurely terminating a pre-paid active account is centered on their "Auto Recharge" feature.
I don't use any form of "Auto Recharge" anywhere, including Skype.

Am I pissed at Skype's behavior?
Giving the option I'd introduce a new word definition into The English language:
Define:Skype
/skp/
adjective
adjective: deceptive
1. giving an appearance or impression different from the true one; misleading.
synonyms: misleading, illusory, illusionary, specious


DC DSL
There's a reason I'm Command.
Premium
join:2000-07-30
Washington, DC
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to Snowy
I take it this is actually an issue with Skype and not some clown pretending to be Skype to steal your account/personal info to rip you off. If that's the case, this is not a scam. Screw up, yes; scam, no.
--
"Dance like the photo isn't being tagged; love like you've never been unfriended; and tweet like nobody is following."


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
Yup, that was my first thought but the email headers proved the emails were legit.
The difference I'm making between a screwup vs a scam is how Skype responded to my initial reply to them
*If* they had initially responded responsibly/truthfully it would have given credence to the screwup scenario.
But since they mindfully chose to reply with word game playing it took the possibility of being a screwup off the table, IMO.
short story: screwups are easy to accept if ownership is taken.

The main purpose of this thread is to hopefully help prevent others from wasting their time as I did sorting out what Skype is doing by publicly calling them out on this issue.
Skype is well aware of this thread & your reply is appreciated.


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
I just received this unexpected reply from Skype.
As I see this, they would have been better off not sending this one -
It makes the possibility of being chalked up to a "screwup" even more remote.

"Thank you for your reply.
We understand that you are having issues with the expiring credit card on your account. Please don't worry, we would be here to explain this to you.
Please note that as per the notice you received, when the credit card expires the subscription's recurring payment shall be cancelled. However, even though the recurring payment was been cancelled, you can still use your subscription until the end of the contract.


The email their referring to is posted in the first post.
Does anyone get the message that:
"when the credit card expires the subscription's recurring payment shall be cancelled. However, even though the recurring payment was been cancelled, you can still use your subscription until the end of the contract."???

I sure don't & that's what makes it a scam rather than a screwup, IMO.

"So, there's no need for you to worry about the subscription on your account as you already paid in full. But, just in case that you wish to enable the subscription's recurring function, you may change your credit card details on your account.

So at least now they are acknowledging that I don't even have "Auto Recharge" enabled on the account - sheesh.


sivran
Seamonkey's back
Premium
join:2003-09-15
Irving, TX
kudos:1
reply to Snowy
A poorly-designed script is a scam now?

Clearly, the email was generated by a script that checks credit card expiry dates and fires off an email--without taking into account the actual subscription's expiry date.

I find incompetence to be much more plausible than malice in most situations.
--
Oh, Opera, what have you done?


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless

1 edit

1 recommendation

said by sivran:

A poorly-designed script is a scam now?

What this says is quite clear.
"Action Required - Your subscription will be cancelled next month due to expiring credit/debit card"
The problem is that it's simply not true.
I'm not willing to believe that between Skype/Microsoft there isn't someone that understands the English language that has reviewed & approved the message.

If they knowingly put that message forward what other plausible options besides "scam" exist?

EDIT to add:
Not wanting to sidetrack the issue with what is the definition of "scam" would you agree that *IF* & that's a very big *IF* Skype/Microsoft purposefully put that message forward would that be deceptive of them?

BG5150

join:2008-08-14
New York, NY
reply to Snowy
Then don't use Skype. Problem solved.


vircotto

join:2002-06-04
searching...

1 recommendation

said by BG5150:

Then don't use Skype. Problem solved.

I say to Snowy, rant on! That's a purpose of this forum. And who's going to keep business on the (somewhat straight and narrow) if people don't respond to their going off track (intentionally or accidentally)?

My guess is that someone at Skype got a nasty-gram from the boss saying that people (with Skype subscriptions) aren't updating their expiring credit card info, which cuts in to their auto renewal revenue stream, and something better be done to get those numbers up, or else....


DC DSL
There's a reason I'm Command.
Premium
join:2000-07-30
Washington, DC
kudos:2

1 recommendation

said by vircotto:

My guess is that someone at Skype got a nasty-gram from the boss saying that people (with Skype subscriptions) aren't updating their expiring credit card info, which cuts in to their auto renewal revenue stream, and something better be done to get those numbers up, or else....

Most businesses that store credit cards for recurring charges send out automated reminders about impending card expiration dates. So someone or something screwed up and the wrong/poor wording went out. Big deal. This is very common when back-office functions are outsourced, particularly when English is not the primary language where the work is done.

The correct way to handle messages such this is to log in to the site typing in the address yourself, not a provided link, and checking your account. Most sites display an alert if your card expiration date is approaching (or passed) and prompt you to update your info. Even if there is no on-site alert, just looking at your account info should tip you off that you may need to update. There is no need to rant, or go on about evil plots by greedy companies...at least not with respect to this.
--
"Dance like the photo isn't being tagged; love like you've never been unfriended; and tweet like nobody is following."


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
said by DC DSL:

There is no need to rant, or go on about evil plots by greedy companies...at least not with respect to this.

You chalk it up to error due to incompetency.
What's one of the first things a company does when an error is discovered?
They apologize for any inconvenience the error caused.
No where in any of the emails from Skype is there an apology.

I'll stick with my analysis of the event.


DC DSL
There's a reason I'm Command.
Premium
join:2000-07-30
Washington, DC
kudos:2
More and more large companies don't "apologize" for mistakes, especially if their CS is based in India. It's not an evil plot. Speak with your wallet, or get off your duff and pester politicians to change the rules so businesses have to return to treating customers with courtesy and respect. Simply ranting here won't do a thing.
--
"Dance like the photo isn't being tagged; love like you've never been unfriended; and tweet like nobody is following."


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
said by DC DSL:


...get off your duff and pester politicians to change the rules so businesses have to return to treating customers with courtesy and respect.

I truly didn't see that coming.
I'll do my best to respond off the cuff.
What the hell are you talking about?


DC DSL
There's a reason I'm Command.
Premium
join:2000-07-30
Washington, DC
kudos:2
You left out "Speak with your wallet, or..."

Companies get away with crap like this because consumers simply take it. They take it a step further by working behind the scenes to eradicate consumer protections against deceptive advertising/business practices, complaint resolution, accountability by businesses. Check out ALEC and the litany of anti-consumer legislation they have already pushed through, and what they have in store. If you are convinced that this is a scam, then take it up to the people who can actually do something to put an end to it. Merely complaining about it online won't do a thing about it.
--
"Dance like the photo isn't being tagged; love like you've never been unfriended; and tweet like nobody is following."


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
said by DC DSL:

You left out "Speak with your wallet, or..."

Yes, I purposefully left that out since I knew what you meant by that whereas suggesting that I contact my politicians over the lack of courtesy & respect by a commercial concern still has me deeply concerned that you're serious.
I had hoped you'd come back with a missing sarcasm tag or something.

You've been consistent in your opinion but now your arguing both sides of the coin.
On one hand you say

"If that's the case, this is not a scam. Screw up, yes; scam, no.

So someone or something screwed up and the wrong/poor wording went out. Big deal. This is very common when back-office functions are outsourced, particularly when English is not the primary language where the work is done.

There is no need to rant, or go on about evil plots by greedy companies...at least not with respect to this.

It's not an evil plot."


But now you come back with:

said by DC DSL:

Companies get away with crap like this because consumers simply take it. They take it a step further by working behind the scenes to eradicate consumer protections against deceptive advertising/business practices, complaint resolution, accountability by businesses. Check out ALEC and the litany of anti-consumer legislation they have already pushed through, and what they have in store.

I don't know to reply to the totality of what you're saying.
You've gone from this being an inadvertent, unintentional error to it being "crap like this"

said by DC DSL:

If you are convinced that this is a scam, then take it up to the people who can actually do something to put an end to it.

I have, I've taken it up with the ONLY people that can effect change, Skype.
I'll pass on your suggestion to take up the matter with my politicians though.

said by DC DSL:

Merely complaining about it online won't do a thing about it.

I'll agree with you that the new "home" of my concern over Skype's practices diminishes the message, but if you are so sure of that why not change the forum title to
Raves & Praise?


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
reply to Snowy
UPDATE: received on 8/31/2013 from Skype
Action required - Your subscription is expiring in days as your credit/debit card has expired
Finally!
A truthful email from Skype re my accounts subscription end.
It's true, my subscription will end in days.
~240 days!
Anyway, it's totally lost on Skype that I never authorized Auto Recharge so whatever their blabbering about is not based on anything ethical or real.
SOB's.

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
That is very disturbing since Skype is owned by Microsoft. It would appear that Skype/Microsoft have decided to pull a Dell Financial. Being compared to a scam like Dell Financial can and will (eventually) land them in a world of hurt. Claiming poor English skills won't cut it either. This, unfortunately, is the sort of thing that happens when a once powerful, successful company begins its final descent into obscurity.

I also find disturbing the attitude of those replying here. Of course, this is a planned scam. It reeks of similarity with Dell Financial scam. It should be obvious that this is not a screwup/mistake due to poor English or any other reason. Save your breath though. You can't win although you might be able to embarrass Skype/Microsoft. Contact the Consumerist with your experience. And then spend the rest of your subscription time before the actual expiration figuring out what you can get/do as a substitute for Skype.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson


DC DSL
There's a reason I'm Command.
Premium
join:2000-07-30
Washington, DC
kudos:2
said by Mele20:

a scam like Dell Financial Financial

What is that scam?