Skype Support - "Artifical Stupidity"?

Summary:I have a coffee cup that says "To err is human - to really screw things up you need a computer!".

I have a coffee cup that says "To err is human - to really screw things up you need a computer!". I've always thought that it was kind of silly, but I am now starting to think that Skype's so-called "Customer Support" is the perfect embodiment of this "silly" saying. Take a look at the series of blog postings from "a1gjv" titled "And Skype Call This Customer Service". This is a sequence of events concerning a Skype customer who had purchased paid services from Skype, and actually wanted to purchase a lot more from them, if they would only fix this one problem. The end result was that the customer cancelled the paid account, and left in disgust to find some other VoIP service.

http://community.zdnet.co.uk/profile/0,1000000564,2000498653b,00.htm

Yes, it's long (five parts), and fractured, and sometimes a bit difficult to read, but it is worth spending five minutes to read through the whole mess. I started out laughing as I read it, because the answers from Skype's "Customer Support" sounded so ridiculous. But by the time I got to the end I was sitting in stunned silence, muttering "My God" under my breath.

I'm writing this now because this whole episode has made me reconsider somthing that I started to suspect when I was trying to help other Skype users by answering questions on the Skype User Forums. I wonder if, in fact, there are NO employees in Skype's so-called "Customer Support" department? Not one living, breathing human being? The whole operation could in fact be a poorly written keyword recognition and response system, which scans incoming requests and selects from a list of "canned" responses based on recognizing key words. If no keywords are found, it simply selects at random from the canned responses.

After reading the whole mess again, I am actually, seriously, starting to think this is really what is happening. No human being could be as stupid and incompetent as Skype "Support" appears to be. It can only be explained by machine-based "Artificial Stupidity".

Topics: Linux

About

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital... Full Bio

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