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    NevOn is the archive weblog of Neville Hobson, a British business communicator based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a record of commentary and conversations from December 2002 until 22 February 2006. This site is no longer updated - please visit www.nevillehobson.com.
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    For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report - A bi-weekly podcast for professional communicators from Neville Hobson, ABC, and Shel Holtz, ABC.

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2006 Public Speaking

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    Blogging for Business - London, April 4, 2006

    Summit for the Future on Risk 2006 - Amsterdam, May 3-5, 2006

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    Melcrum workshop on New Media - London, November 29, 2005

    Making the News: Blogging, Really Simple Syndication and The New PR - Sunderland, UK, November 18, 2005

    Emerce E-Day - Amsterdam, October 12, 2005

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    New Communications Forum 2005 - Napa, USA, January 26-27, 2005

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12 January 2005


Neil MacLean

Absolutely right. I called a friend in Vancouver last Saturday on his landline. Listened to a 15 minute description of snowing falling on Beach Avenue. It cost something less than 18p. Great value - because frankly 15 minutes of long-distance snow is not that exciting.
I can't work out why it's not been taken up more widely yet - you would think they'd have a billion subscribers by now - though maddeningly it wouldn't work for me until I got a new machine last week. Now I'm looking for people - anybody - to Skype just so I can see how much more money I can't spend. Sad really.


thank you for keeping me updated....it's amazing how these computers have evolved over the years.

Heather Hollick

Consider yourself lucky that you have been able to purchase SkypeOut credit. They continue to reject all of my credit cards. It is not possible for me to give them my money to buy SkypeOut credits. The SkypeOut discussion forum on their website is awash with hundreds of similarly dissatisfied potential customers.

I agree that Skype is awesome. But they have some serious problems with their credit systems and their ability to collect money.

Neville Hobson

Another good example, Neil. One interesting thing, too, is that the per-minute call cost is the same no matter where in the world you are. So your 15-minute call from the UK to Canada is proportionately the same cost as my call from Holland to the US.

I think Skype is growing in leaps and bounds. I recall a few months ago that, every time I logged in, I could see something like 700,000 others on the service already. Now, I see the number often at something like 1.7 million.

Jennifer, you're welcome. And congrats on your new blog!

Neville Hobson

Heather, I have a friend who had some issues with buying SkypeOut credit last year. His card was refused by Skype, but not becuase of any problem with the card. It turned out that Skype can't accept credit cards issued in certain countries (his was a card from a bank in Spain).

I don't know if that's still the case, though. I think Skype also now accepts payment via PayPal or something similar. Check Skype's website as there is lots of info in the help pages.

Karsten Jeppesen

Skype is not really ready for general use just yet. Amongst other problems its payment system fails to meet minimum consumer standard.
Phone and other communication systems must work to a level were you can depend on them, otherwise they are just toys. Nice toys granted - but just toys.
Skype uses a third party to collect payment for its skype-out service which is a very important part of the system - if you are concerned about general usage. Unfortunately Skype does not really have any influence on this partner which means that if a problem arises in the payment process, then Skype is incapable of devicing a solution.
What that means for the user is (as many people have experienced) that the skype-out at best can be described as a dangerous venture or in other words - just a toy.
You can't rely on it because you have no recourse when Skype fails its obligation regarding payments.
At this time my bank accordingly to their fraud department has Skypes billing partner listed as fraudulent which means that I too am barred from using skype-out since there is no acceptable way for me to pay for the service, and so it remains for me also - just a toy.

Neville Hobson

That's quite an issue you've highlighted, Karsten, so I can well understand your views.

My experience with Skyepout and payments has been wholly different. While I don't know the detail re your bank situation, in my case making the online payment for Skypeout credit was no different than making online payment for any other type of service. As easy and problem-free as with Amazon, for instance.

But I have heard of stories similar to yours. Difficult to comment on that, frankly, as each case has differences.

Did you know Skypeout also accepts payments via Moneybookers, a service similar to Pay Pal? Maybe that's a feasible alternative.

James Human

About Skypeout credit puchases.
Something is radically wrong outside of the EU
when one wishes to purchase credits.
And it is not just myself.
Skype is going to miss the wave big time unless they get jacked very, very quickly.
As it now stands, monetary fraud accusations against them will stand the test in just about any court of law. It's actually so very sad when you have a most remarkable product whose implementation is so awry.

Neville Hobson

James, I agree - Skype really do need to address users' concerns on such matters. I do find it quite astonishing to see the volume of complaints in the SkypeOut user forum.

You might want to take a look at two other commentaries I've posted recently re SkypeOut -

Skype has a problem with SkypeOut:


Use VoIP and go to jail:

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