And Skype’s customer support was useless.
Last night I noticed a subscription to a Skype package that I did not make. It was pretty obvious, as the e-mail came through in Chinese and I am in the UK. On checking my Skype account I could see a monthly subscription had been made, using my Skype Credit , for 120 minutes to Guatamala at the cost of £5.99.
The hacker fraudster had manage to use 1 minute only of the package before I locked down the account and changed the password.
Immediately I contacted Skype support using their live chat, and I have to say they were useless, and to my annoyance they would not entertain refunding anything that was due to fraudulent use of my account.
Today I looked into a bit more and was shocked at the number of forums entries etc that came up when I Googled ‘My Skype Account got Hacked’ and ‘Skype Customer Support’ is useless. Essentially it seems that lots of people are having their Skype accounts hacked.
Is there an inherent security weakness in Skype? Well I don’t know, but I do know my passwords are long and complex and should not be easy to break with brute force. What I don’t know is, if for instance the Skype developers API has inherent security weaknesses in it.
Do Skype care about their customers? Probably not, given their stand on refunds for fraudulent use. Unlike the banks which err on the clients side, Skype have it specifically written in their refund policy that they will not refund for fraudulent use.
10.2 Skype reserves the right to refuse a refund request if it reasonably believes (a) that you are trying to unfairly exploit this refund policy, for example, by making repetitive refund requests in respect of the same Product; (b) if you are in breach of these Terms or (c) if Skype reasonably suspects that you are using our Products or Software fraudulently or that your User Account is being used by a third party fraudulently.
Not only do they reserve the right, it seems it is their policy to refuse to refund.
In my case though, luckily they only used 1 minute of a 120 minute package (approx £0.06 worth) and also in the refund policy I can request a pro-rata refund
(ii) Other Paid-For Products: Subject to paragraphs 19.3(c) and 10.1(iii), Skype will refund any payment made for any Paid-For Products other than Skype Credit, so long as (a) you have not used the Product; and/or (b) the Product has not expired and; (c) you purchased the Product online directly from Skype and not a third party. Upon a valid request being received, Skype will refund to you the amount you paid for the Product on a pro-rata basis.
So great, simply ask for the pro-rated refund, get £5.94 back and only loose 6p. If only it were that simple, the customer support operative is only authorised to give refunds in certain circumstances, and apparently my circumstance isn’t one of them, so it has to go to a specialist department. So now I have to wait for an outcome. They are making hard work of this.
Unfortunately, I can no longer trust Skype, I have a business management account which autofeeds a couple of Skype accounts, and which self funds directly. I have had to turn all those features off now as I can’t risk it, knowing if I loose money Skype will be unsympathetic. I spend quite a lot on Skype, but now I will switch over as fast as I can to conventional telephony and just use Skype as a free chat service. Shame, nice idea destroyed by the implementation and customer service.
I know there are many more stories about Skype accounts being hacked and a lot more money has been lost than my small amount