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Caution all Skype users: here's today's BIG Skype teachable moment

Update: As some readers have pointed out, it does seem that when you place a call on SkypeOut, the folks you call see a generic Skype number even if you have SkypeIn. I have revised this post to reflect this information.

Update: As some readers have pointed out, it does seem that when you place a call on SkypeOut, the folks you call see a generic Skype number even if you have SkypeIn. I have revised this post to reflect this information.

As some readers will know, you need a SkypeOut account to place calls to non-Skype phone numbers.

And if you want to get calls to your Skype from non-Skype users, you should have a SkypeIn number.

Currently, I have a SkypeOut account, but not a SkypeIn number. And today, I paid the price for this oversight in terms of initially perceived flakiness.

I needed to place a business call at 2 p.m., and chose to use SkypeOut to do so.

Ring, ring.. their voice mail didn't pick up.

So then I waited about 30 mins and placed the call via my cell.

They called back, re "I saw your call coming in, saw '000123456' on my Caller I.D. So Russ, because I thought your call was spam, I hung up and didn't bother to answer."

Well, "duh on me", thought I.  If I had SkypeIn, I would have an actual number - not only handy for call-ins but for those who justifiably watch their Caller I.D. like a hawk.

But now I have learned that even with SkypeIn, that nonsensical series of digits will still appear on the Caller I.D. displays of folks I call using SkypeOut.

Lesson learned: if you use SkypeOut to make calls, and even if you really need you have SkypeIn, too. Or else, some will prejudge you a spammer or junk caller.

You aren't one, and you don't need that vibe.

BTW if you use another softphone to call regular phone numbers, you should call your own land or cell and see what your Caller I.D. shows as the originating number.

If is is gibberish like Skype's, consider getting an inbound number from your softphone provider that will show up as such on Caller I.D. displays.

If your softphone provider doesn't offer inbound numbers this capability, only use the softphone service to call other users of that softphone service.