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[ NNSquad ] Skype changes under Microsoft, and not for the better

----- Forwarded message from [withheld by request]

Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:17:01 [TZ]
From: []
To: Lauren Weinstein <lauren@vortex.com>

> On 07/28 10:11, [] wrote:

Lauren, it does sound murky.

What is not murky, however, that since Skype was bought by Microsoft,
things have changed noticeably and not for the better. The pace at
which it is updated seems to have increased. Some of the updates
require people to change their preferences in substantive ways, just
to maintain the services they had. Finally, the TOS have changed so
that when a person hacks your account, or makes unauthorized phone
calls, Skype no longer reimburses the customer for the cost. Instead,
they continually redirect you to their FAQ (!) or repeat the TOS to
you over and over until you simply give up trying to communicate with

I know this because last week, someone with a user name that does not
resemble mine (but is similar to my first name) got into my account
and charged about 15 calls t/f Indonesia-Egypt. The total amount of
money was not huge -- slightly over $6.00. It was clearly not a family
member.  *Skype alerted me to the breach, then went ahead and billed
my account* for it.  I wasted hours on the "live chat with customer
service" line trying to get it fixed, to no avail. The transcript
would be funny if it weren't so annoying. Example:

After saying I didn't need another copy of the FAQ's, & that I already
know plenty about hacking, the agent said to me:

"I am being triggered when you said that you are an expert hacker and
that is clearly against our Terms and Conditions."

I made clear that I knew a lot about hacking, but it comes from having
been a *target*. I in no way claimed to be an expert hacker (for one
thing, an expert hacker would never be stupid enough to say so on a
chat line with customer service!). His response: a reiteration of
Skypes' policies, most particularly the new TOS:

"Skype will continue our efforts to prevent fraudulent user account
activity and we will continue to take every precaution to ensure that
only genuine transactions get processed; however, fraudulent activity
can still occur. *Our terms have been revised to reflect that Skype is
not held responsible for a refund in the event of suspected fraudulent
activity.  *We strongly recommend that users contact their card issuer
immediately regarding any unauthorized transactions and ensure that no
further fraudulent charges are made with their card. All major credit
card companies have policies that protect against this type of fraud.
"(*Emphases mine*)

He also plopped in a block of canned text addressing the question:
"What is Phishing?". Argh. Thanks a bunch (not)!

There's no point in recounting the whole thing, but I wanted to alert
you to this change in case you were not aware, or your readers are not
aware, of it.



----- Forwarded message ends

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