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Unauthorized Charges on a Skype Account

Posted By Jim On 12/02/2011 @ 1:35 pm In Personal Finance | 12 Comments

At around noon today my email inbox is deluged with about a dozen emails from Skype, notifying me that I’ve successfully completed a series of transactions. In total my account had amassed about a week’s work of talk to to Poland. I spent about an hour on the phone with Citi (the card on file) and online with their ridiculously slow “chat” service (I’ve been too spoiled by Ally Bank’s awesomely responsive chat representatives) only to find out that my only recourse is to file fraud reports and dispute the charges.

As it turns out, Skype can’t do anything. As Karina A. says, five minutes I ask a question, “No. Since we do not refund any unauthorized orders.” And once I dispute the orders my account will be blocked for security reasons until I enable it again with verification (which you do through online chat!). This doesn’t sound like customer service you should expect from a company that Microsoft paid $8.5 billion for. It reminds me of that Capital One commercial where the customer rep is some shady looking dude sitting in his basement.

Here are a few tips when working with Skype’s customer service:

  • Don’t. If you try to go through the support tree, you will end up with two options – Chat with a Slow Representative and Posting to a Forum. I didn’t try the forum but chatting was abysmal. I’d write something and get a response about 3-4 minutes later (companies: if you’re going to do this, don’t timestamp the messages so it’s not that obvious).

Ok, that was only one tip. But here’s another one – don’t save your credit card account on file anywhere unless you have a really good reason (I only kept it on Skype because I had auto-recharge set up). And use a strong password [3].


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[3] strong password: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/how-to-create-a-strong-password-you-can-remember.html

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