I have used Skype for many years and was nearly always happy. It did occasionally not work perfectly but it was free and even when the service arrived so that we could call private numbers I added my credit card number and it took 10 every time the amount of credit was low. This was only perhaps once in three months. Then Microsoft became involved and as could be expected they wanted to make money and the result was more fiddling, less service and charges increased. I am stopping this Skype software as soon as my money has been used up and I hope that it is possible since I KNOW about the telekons how they make it DIFFICULT to STOP any lucrative source which they have. There are other VOIP providers and several have been recommended but since getting an email last week warning me that Skype would be closing all use of the version which I have (Version 6.15 (334)) I have been forced to check for reviews and found this at the top of the Google list. I see many critical answers but none very recent.
It is important for consumers to CHECK the reviews (by ordinary people who are not paid to write nice things!) before they start a service. Hence I found this site and immediately logged in to write my own comments. If we would ALL demand good service then companies like Microsoft who deliver goods which are just barely satisfactory would be put out of business. Get yourself a life and do some research first before you buy crap and when you are tricked then tell the world about it!
We used Skype for years and appreciated that it was the 'original'. So when it came time to find an international calling service to keep in contact with our family member overseas, Skype was the natural choice. Unfortunately, the service failed miserably. First, you must purchase a subscription...seems like it makes sense, except that you must use your minutes each month or lose them. Unless you know exactly how long you're going to talk, you're better off finding a plan that charges by the actual minutes used.
However, more importantly that this, it simply did not really work. Our first call went through and the quality was decent. However, we were never able to make any calls to the same number after that. When I tried to reach customer service, I discovered that you had to go through about 5 layers of FAQs before you could finally choose to either live chat with a rep or send an email. The 1st rep said we had tried to call when the line was busy; we accepted that explanation and tried again...no luck. This time, we had a back up plan and used another service - Bingo, no problem connecting! Guess it wasn't busy after all, just crappy service from Skype.
The kicker is that we were unable to get a refund for the unused minutes (even though we could never actually use them because the calls wouldn't go through) because that's their "policy". Buyer beware...wasted money, unreliable service and no recourse if you aren't satisfied except to cancel service!
Skype is my number 1 messanger. However I'm working in mixed envrionments and sometimes I use Linux. The Linux version is stripped down and very simplified alternative. I doubt that Microsoft - the new owner of Skype - we'll pay more focus on the Linux version to make it catch up with the Windows counter part.
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