Canceling a Skype Subscription via PayPal is Impossible

I’ve had a Skype account since the service started.  I’ve never used Skype to make a single personal or business phone call — even though I always thought one day, any day, I would start Skype-ing like a madman.

With the advent of the iPhone 4 and its native video conferencing, and now with Google Voice powering up as your one-stop communications connectoid, I just don’t see the need to further complicate my life with yet another communication service like Skype that only can confuse people looking for one way, and one way only, to get in touch with me.  Email is always better for guaranteeing a quick and cogent reply.

Yesterday, I was surprised when two emails arrived.  One was from Skype.  The other was from PayPal.  Both emails told me my PayPal account had been “successfully charged” $30.00USD for another year of service.

What?

Huh?

How did that happen?  I don’t recall giving Skype permission to auto-charge me via a PayPal subscription every year.

I logged into my Skype account.  I saw no automatic charge authorization anywhere.  When I clicked on the most recent charge, and tried to cancel it — there was a link telling me to go to PayPal to cancel.  Clicking the Skype link took me to a generic PayPal page.  Not helpful.  There was nothing to cancel.

I was finally able to find a way to check all my PayPal subscriptions and, Skype was not listed as an approved vendor.  In fact, Skype didn’t appear anywhere else in my account except as that single, successful, charge.  Curious.

I went back to the Skype email and replied, telling them I was not interested in paying for a another year of service and that I would like the charges reversed.

The email to Skype instantly bounced-back as a dead address.

I went back to PayPal and found the Skype invoice and I wrote to the official email-of-record for Skype to dispute the charge.  That email, too, bounced back.

Now I was getting frustrated as I had to go back to the Skype website to try to find a way to delete my account and/or stop these charges from happening again.  I was able to cancel my paid service — effective a year from now!  Not adequate.

I did searches. I looked everywhere for 45 minutes.  I could not find a way, via the Skype website, to dispute a charge.  I finally found an “email customer support” button I could click, done did, and filed my dispute that way.

A few hours later, I received an email from Skype telling me the $30.00USD had been reversed and that my account would not be charged again in the future.

Why does Skype make it so hard to manage your account and to get in direct contact with them?

How were Skype able to charge my PayPal account when I never authorized that subscription and Skype are not listed as a recurring subscription in my PayPal account?

Why are Skype getting away with providing a dead email address to PayPal as the official means of contact to directly dispute a charge?

I never did find the link to permanently delete my Skype account.

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