Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

Summary: Over the weekend It seems my Skype account was compromised. I only found out today and took immediate steps to resolve the problem by changing passwords etc.

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Over the weekend It seems my Skype account was compromised. I only found out today and took immediate steps to resolve the problem by changing passwords etc. But for two days €28.75 was taken from my account using Skype's auto renewal service. Skype for their part blocked my account temporarily due to unusual behavior which is fair enough. I didn't know about any of this until I saw today's emails at around 4pm local time. In part because I didn't have Skype on (so would have seen the balance and thought 'Duh?') and also because I was doing other things.

I get in touch with Skype and ask them about a refund. Not happening. They acknowledge that unauthorized calls were made, they blocked the account and got me back to the service. Which is all good stuff. But unlike other telephony companies and banks where this sort of thing happens, it's down to you if your account has led to financial loss. That sucks. Imagine if I was a business user with a dozen or more accounts?

Skype has just lost me as a paying customer after seven years of using the service. I'll use something else.

Here's the thread:

Roan Cheryl M.
Hello! Welcome to Skype Live Support! My name is Roan. How may I help you?
17:52:17 dahowlett
I have changed my password so hopefully the account will not be compromised. I have also disabled auto credit renewal.
17:53:15 Roan Cheryl M.
I am sorry to hear that a third party was able to access your account.
17:53:35 dahowlett
What can you do about the amounts taken out of my account over the weekend? On 2 days €28.75 was sent. Looking at the call history it seems someone hijacked my account and made calls to Egypt and an Indonesian mobile. You suspended my account for unusual activity which is fine but I never made any of those calls
17:54:22 Roan Cheryl M.
Let me pull up your account so that I can assist you further.
17:54:32 Roan Cheryl M.
May I please have your name and Skype Name?
17:54:53 dahowlett
skype name: dahowlett - number? what's that please?
17:55:06 dahowlett
sorry - misread: name is Dennis Howlett
17:55:57 Roan Cheryl M.
Thank you for the information, Dennis.
17:57:49 Roan Cheryl M.
May I know where you are currently located?
17:58:18 dahowlett
At my home in Spain
17:59:57 Roan Cheryl M.
May I also have your registered email address, please?
18:00:46 dahowlett
dahowlett@gmail.com
18:01:47 Roan Cheryl M.
Thank you.
18:03:47 Roan Cheryl M.
Your account is now verified and unblocked.
18:05:02 dahowlett
Right, now what about refunding for the amounts lost please?
18:06:33 Roan Cheryl M.
Unfortunately we are not able to refund any money that may have been lost due to this incident.
18:08:01 dahowlett
Why? The account was hijacked. I have no idea how so it isn't down to me. It happened at a weekend when I would not necessarily notice unusual behavior and remember that auto renewal is done out of trust to Skype
18:09:03 Roan Cheryl M.
Although we have security systems that monitors Skype accounts' usage. Skype users should maintain their own security systems on private computers.
18:09:41 dahowlett
MY COMPUTERS WERE SWITCHED OFF at the weekend
18:09:48 Roan Cheryl M.
In order to avoid such incidents, Skype strongly advises you to regularly update your PC's security software - such as firewalls and anti-virus programs - and to pay attention to safeguarding your Skype account.
18:10:03 Roan Cheryl M.
For more information on staying secure, please visit: http://www.skype.com/go/security/
18:10:52 dahowlett
I have been in this industry 40 years, I KNOW about security. You're simply saying 'Tough - your problem.' that's not good customer service in these very unusual circumstances
18:11:13 dahowlett
That's OK though - I'll simply blog it at my ZDNet place - thanks and goodbye
18:11:38 Roan Cheryl M.
I acknowledge that you are not the one who made the calls.
18:12:48 dahowlett
Well - like any other service including Vodafone and all of the banks, I'd expect a refund.
18:13:23 Roan Cheryl M.
However, as mentioned earlier we will be unable to refund the credits used on the unauthorized calls.
18:13:46 dahowlett
Fine. Goodbye - you've just lost a paying customer. I'll use another service.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Collaboration

Dennis Howlett

About Dennis Howlett

Dennis Howlett is a 40 year veteran in enterprise IT, working with companies large and small across many industries. He endeavors to inform buyers in a no-nonsense manner and spares no vendor that comes under his microscope.

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Talkback

127 comments
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  • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

    Did you use a very strong password with the following requirements?

    * Lowercase letters with no vowels
    * Uppercase letters with no vowels
    * Numbers
    * Symbols like !, @, $, etc.
    * 8 characters minimum or longer
    * No consecutive letters and numbers (like 123, rr, ss...)
    Grayson Peddie
    • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

      @Grayson Peddie Police to homeowner.
      Do you have an Iron door with triple pad locks?
      Do you have bars on the windows?
      Do you own a gun?
      A large dog?

      Your questions about passwords are absurd - as if its his fault someone hacked his "Hype".
      Bodazapha
      • Actually not

        @Bodazapha<br>It is your fault if you get hacked. <-- Full Stop<br><br> Do you want Skype (or for that matter any service provider) to ensure you have virus protection, do not use your name as password, the same password for all your various netaccounts or have a sticky with it on your work computer.? <br><br>Howlett's words though is priceless - 'The account was hijacked. I have no idea how so it isnt down to me. " and "MY COMPUTERS WERE SWITCHED OFF at the weekend" - lolz - and whoever used your password did not get it earlier?<br><br>If somebody wanted to perpetuate fraud - they would have taken more than 28 Euros.

        By climbing up the soap box and broadcasting this Dennis is probably saying more about himself than about Skype.
        lou@...
      • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

        @Bodazapha

        http://xkcd.com/936/
        WarhavenSC
      • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

        @lou [i]It is your fault if you get hacked. <-- Full Stop[/i]

        Actually, maybe not.

        The financial institution that held information for my debit card was hacked a few years ago. They stole the information from inside, and used it to spend on my debit/credit card. It's not necessarily always the case that the user was hacked.
        Badgered
    • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

      @Grayson Peddie
      "strong" passwords do nothing. In fact they are as secure as extra TSAs at the airport. Its only there to make you think its secure. No length or number of symbols will help you if the hacker bypasses the password security.
      rengek
      • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

        @rengek Lenth of the password matters. do you know bruteforce attack? Shorter passwords are more vulnerable.
        sandeep.splash
      • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

        @sandeep.splash You obviously missed the most important sentence in Badered's reply:
        "No length or number of symbols will help you if the hacker bypasses the password security."
        David A. Pimentel
      • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

        @sandeep.splash
        Length of password or lack thereof doesn't abdicate skypefrom exponentially rate restrict incorrect password guesses. So brute force should only be possible if attacker acquired hashed password table from skype. And if that happened, it is an entirely different problem.
        colinnwn
    • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

      @Grayson Peddie
      I'm guessing after 40 years in the business he knows how to suck eggs ...
      nigebj
      • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

        @nigebj ,
        I guess it is your beliefthat anyone has a right to steal your login inf , by whatever means available, and go on a spending spree using stolen access info, N'est pas?
        A thief is a thief and the providers have a resopnsibility to protect the information of their customers.
        I blame this gentleman not! He did exactly what he should have done and closed the account.
        kennethepeterson@...
    • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

      @Grayson Peddie It looks like some people done understand sarcasm..
      MallusLittera
    • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

      @Grayson Peddie, lou@...
      even govt installations around the world were known to have been hacked with their 24/7 technical support (not just with one guy but with computer security department, manned by engineers and technician whose technical expertise are beyond our capability), how on earth can we justify that an ordinary user can mitigate attacks against his/her account. and as for lou@, please don't discount the technical expertise of the writer. this thing happen whether we like it or not. as soon as we connect to the internet, we are vulnerable.
      kc63092@...
    • Personally I wouldn't post my account name and email address

      But then what's the readership of ZDNet!

      I like the bit about security software. Another windows machine. I'm sure just another coincidence;-)
      Richard Flude
      • RE: I'm sure just another coincidence

        @Richard Flude

        There are plenty of people that have had their account information phished and stolen on any OS. In fact I am sure the method his information was stolen wasn't dependent on the OS anyway, but you already knew that and are just trying to be the troll that you are.
        bobiroc
    • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

      @Grayson Peddie
      Actually one has to wonder if Skype didn't get hacked directly. My Yahoo accounts were hacked, but so were thousands of others at the same time. My password was upper, lower and numbers. That doesn't help when the vendors systems are compromised exposing tens of thousands of accounts passwords directly to hackers.
      Cynical99
    • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

      @Grayson Peddie

      Actually - as amusingly illustrated <a href="http://xkcd.com/936/">here</a>, there are much simpler, stronger and <i>easier to remember</i> password-generation algorithms.
      fairportfan
    • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

      Obviously he was read to from a script. That he never had the audacity to demand a supervisor or call an actual support number is kind of silly.

      I'd be climbing up the support chain to the highest supervisor I could contact. Sometimes it requires that.

      He gets on the soapbox for no effort at all. Lame.
      ZazieLavender
    • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

      @Grayson Peddie

      Hi.

      I think everyone is missing the point. It is not to know if it was his fault if he was hijacked, but it is about Skype's policy in response to it.
      Any company will have some protection built in for such a case....
      Any phone company, credit card company, anyone doing business with customers, especially online.
      even PayPal and Ebay have some protection policy on fraudulent usage of their services.

      The problem is that Skype, although bought by a Fortune 500 is still a European (UK) company where that usage of a refund for fraudulent use of your account if still not in the customs....
      patbot
  • RE: Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

    Doesn't matter how he formulated his password, if there were unauthorized charges, he should be able to report the problem and have it taken care of. From the sound of it, he didn't use a credit card to pay the bill, or he could easily get that charge disputed. This is why I no longer use paypal to pay Skype.
    teetee1970