Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Skype outage compensation and communication

Skype was down for a day causing many users major pain.  Shit happens, especially with software.  100% uptime is still a dream, I accept it.  But the response I received today was annoying for a few reasons.  Maybe I a being particularly aspergian about this; let me know.
1. If you are giving users a credit, just give it to us.  Don't make us follow a link, enter our user name and password, and finally enter a secret code.
2. Don't tell use in the initial email that you are giving us a "voucher worth a call of more than 30 minutes to a landline in some of our most popular countries, such as USA, UK, Germany, China, Japan. Or spend it however you like on Skype."  You are offering us $1.  Just say it so I don't waste any more time entering codes etc.  
I understand the communications gurus message/PR planning, I think.
1. We have to send something so we can say we did.
2. We don't want it to cost very much, so it wont be very valuable.
3. Because it's not very valuable we don't want people to see how much it actually is worth, so hide the value from most people.
4. We want redemption slippage and true value slippage so force code entry for redemption rather than just crediting accounts.
5. An alternative is that they are fooling to think the users will consider Skype generous for giving us $1, so want to make the experience more memorable by forcing code entry, but I doubt they are this foolish.
See email and post code entry text below.
To our valued customers:

As 2010 draws to a close, I would like to take a moment to thank each of you for your patience, understanding, and support during Skype’s recent outage.

We know how important your Skype conversations are to you and we take any disruption to our service very seriously. We are pleased to confirm that Skype is back to normal allowing you to connect with friends, co-workers, family and loved ones.

As a valued customer of Skype, we would like to offer you a sincere apology and offer you our gratitude with a credit voucher worth a call of more than 30 minutes to a landline in some of our most popular countries, such as USA, UK, Germany, China, Japan. Or spend it however you like on Skype.

To redeem your voucher:

1. Go to
2. Enter your Skype username and password
3. Enter your unique voucher code and click redeem

Voucher code V94BB3HYUPKTBFT8

Thank you for allowing us at Skype to be a part of your life. May your holidays and the New Year be a time of joy, peace, and health for you and your family.

If you require any additional information please visit

Kind regards,

Tony Bates
Upon redemption
Your voucher or prepaid card was succesfully redeemed, and we are now activating the following services:
$1.00 Skype Telephony Voucher for $1.00 


  1. Gotta admit, 30-minute does sound better than $1. It's all PR.

  2. Got the e-mail and a warning by my e-mail software: This may be a scam. Looked like a possibility, just like the mails that someone sent Hallmark Cards; follow the link top pick it up.
    So apparently it's not a scam, but Skype might given a message the next time I open Skype to say we have credited your account with $ 1,00.
    Don't think I am going to be bothered now. -- Kay