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.

22 Comments

    1. HI Gordon —

      I don’t think that link does it. That tells you how to cancel a subscription — as I did — but it doesn’t remove your account from Skype. Your username stays active in case you want to reactivate later.

      PayPal, on the other hand, has one link you can follow to close and delete your account. Clean. Simple. Intuitive. Skype is not that way at all.

      Like

    1. Yeah! Outrageous! Skype should do what WordPress.com does: If a user deletes their bog and/or username — they’re Graveyarded. Dead forever never to be resurrected unless and until some very rare and specific terms and needs are met and proven — and then it’s still at the discretion of the higher-ups if a username or blog URL can be used again.

      Canceled Skype accounts and usernames should work precisely the same way.

      Skype just keep hoping to drag you back as your friends keep calling for you. The personal phone number I bought from them better not automatically “update” with a payment to Skype next month, or I’ll be really steamed.

      Like

  1. To cancel the Skype auto-payment in PayPal,

    1. Log into your PayPal account and go to My Account
    2. Click on Profile (ignore the drop-down options)
    3. Click on “My Pre-approved payments” under “Financial Information”
    4. Click on Skype (in the Merchant column)
    5. Click on the Cancel link

    Like

    1. Right, I tried all that, Julie, but Skype doesn’t appear anywhere in that list as an active/inactive, authorized or canceled vendor: So how were they able to auto-charge my PayPal account without my permission?

      Like

  2. If Skype doesn’t appear anywhere in the My Pre-approved payments, then…

    1. Log into your PayPal account and go to My Account > Overview.
    2. Click on Payments sent link.
    3. Locate your Skype transaction.
    4. On your Skype transaction click on the Details link.
    5. From the Transaction Details page you’ll be able to cancel your Skype subscription via PayPal.

    Like

  3. Thanks, Binaryfish. This worked. I remember the first time I cancelled was quite impossible too.

    Now that Google Voice is free, what do I need a paid Skype subscription for 😉

    Like

  4. How do I cancel a Billing Agreement?

    Question :
    Answer :
    We’re introducing a new and improved Profile to some customers. Until all customers are using the new Profile, there are 2 sets of instructions on how to do this. Please follow the instructions that match what you see on the site.

    Use the following steps to cancel a Billing Agreement:

    1. Log in to your PayPal account.
    2. Click Profile at the top of the page.
    3. Click the Pay List link in the Financial Information column. (Don’t see this step? Follow the instructions below.)
    4. Find the merchant whose agreement you want to cancel.
    5. Click the merchant’s name or email address.
    6. Click Cancel.

    Or

    1. Log in to your PayPal account.
    2. Click Profile at the top of the page.
    3. Click My money.
    4. Click Update in the My preapproved payments section.
    5. Select the merchant’s name or email address.
    6. Click Cancel.

    Like

  5. Google “skype paypal”. Top searches are paypal scams. Scammers are sending fake emails using fake addresses with paypal to lure you into writing your account and password to charge your paypal automatically, which is the reason why paypal is no longer a valid payment source for skype.

    Like

  6. SCAM EXPLAINED
    Here is how the scam works:

    1- When we (scammed people) subscribed for Unlimited Europe with a Monthly recurrent payments, skype had the obligation to notify us whenever there is a change in the price of the service: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/servicesagreement/
    Check PAYMENT TERMS section K:

    k. Price Changes. We may change the price of the Services at any time and if you have a recurring purchase, we will notify you by email at least 15 days before the price change. If you do not agree to the price change, you must cancel and stop using the Services before the price change takes effect. If there is a fixed term and price for your Service offer, that price will remain in force for the fixed term.”
    The price for Unlimited Europe with only 7 destinations mobile and landline is £30.59. Obviously, competitors had better prices and thus Skype had to reduce that price to £16 and increase destinations to 25 (landlines and mobiles). However, some Scam Genius in Microsoft found an opportunity there: “why notify subscribers?”, he thought, “let us just create a new service and call it EUROPE UNLIMITED instead of UNLIMITED EUROPE…”, this way, loyal subscribers (who stupidly trusted skype) on recurrent monthly payments will keep paying £30.59 while they still can attract new joiners to the EUROPE UNLIMITED for £16, and apparently, that would not be considered a violation of the terms… I am not sure whoever like me was a victim of that obvious scam can take a legal action, probably the all-knowing tough lawyers generously paid by Microsoft have thought it through before execution, I will check with a lawyer…Nevertheless, are we aware people how we get scammed daily by greedy unethical dollar hungry filth who hide behind status, large desks and suits? Enjoy the new millennium, also scam is globalised now… what a shame…

    Like

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