Skype refuses refunds on unauthorized calls

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.
Written by Dennis Howlett, Contributor

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
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
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.

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