A while back (September 27, 2006 to be exact), I purchased some Skype credit so that I could make some cheap calls from South America... Very useful, loved the facility.
Fast forward a bit, now we're in Australia, so happens that I don't have a complete Skype setup, missing a fairly crucial component of a microphone, so while Skype would be fantastic and cheap, I can't use it (my own slackness for not getting a mike, but it's not too long till we'll be back in the UK where I have all that stuff).
Add to this, I have a bunch of email addresses that I very infrequently check, basically they're spam catchers. So whenever I sign up to stuff on the web, or can possibly expose my email address, I use one of those addresses. This is what I did with Skype.
Now we get into the why I think Skype = Bad. I found out today that the €9.59 That I had left on my account, is no longer there, searching around all over the place, I just find obscure references to 'Balance Expiration'. Hmmm... what does that mean? More searching, and I find in the help page (about 20 or so items down) a page titled 'Why does My Account page show an expiration date?' (I don't check my account page often, and don't recall seeing an expiration date on the skype window..) which refers to:
The Skype credit balance expires after 180 days of inactivity. As soon you succesfully connect a SkypeOut call your expiration date will reset to 180 days. It can take up to 10 days for your expiration date to reset after placing a call.
30 days before your expiry date Skype will send an email to your registered email address to remind you to place a call so that you do not loose your Skype credits.
oh! I must of missed/forgot a term, and 'cause I don't check that email address... feck! So login, and sure enough there's 4 emails:
- You're going to lose your credit in 30 days
- 7 days
- 3 days
- You've lost it
I will contact Skype and there's probably a good chance they'll refund or reinstate my credit, but to be honest it'll still leave a bad taste in my mouth. I think I'll start looking at other voip providers, one's who don't steal my money without delivering.