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Skype is a free VoIP service that specializes in video calling between users. It is an over the top (OTT) VoIP service, meaning it connects through your device's Internet connection and the installed Skype software rather than through a dedicated VoIP line. It offers unique supplementary services to further diversify telephone and long distance communication. First released in 2003 and purchased by Microsoft in 2011, Skype has accumulated over 663 million registered users and is one of the most popular communication services in the world.
Skype is available as a free download on a wide selection of devices, from smart phones and tablets, to TVs and computers. Skype-ready phones and devices are also available for purchase through its website. Calls can be made to anyone using Skype regardless of the device they are using. Calls can also be made to mobiles and landlines at a cost of 2.3 cents per minute (USA/CAN).
Basic features include voice calls, video calls, instant messaging, and the ability to send and receive files. Caller ID, call forwarding, and voicemail also come packaged within the service.
Paid premium features including video calls for up to 10 people, group screen sharing, and 24/7 live support.
It is easy to set up and as an affiliate of Microsoft, user account data can be shared between multiple Microsoft platforms, including the Xbox One gaming system.
Though there is no specific business calling plan, it does support businesses through the use of Skype Manager and Skype Connect, which allows business owners to set up unique phone lines and allocate Skype Credit and subscriptions to individual accounts.
No adapter or hardware outside of a previously owned device is necessary. This helps keep user cost down, as no additional equipment has to be purchased, rented, or shipped.
There is no additional fee applied to activation or cancellation of service.
Some users have complained that Skype's customer service is lacking and unresponsive, with the most frequent complaint being poor call quality. The service is dependent on high speed or broadband quality internet and may perform poorly in areas lacking Wi-Fi or strong mobile data coverage.
It does not support emergency calling. This is a critical detail to know if considering this service as a stand-alone alternative to your current provider.
Extremely limited features are offered compared to other providers and the premium features are also lacking for the cost.
Many services offered must be purchased with "Skype Credit", which is essentially a digital wallet tied to a user's account. Though it is stated otherwise, Credit does expire after 180 days if not used.
There is a 15 day "Cooling-Off Period" on all purchased services. If the paid service is not used within this time, the service may be cancelled and refunded. However, if the services have been used, any desired refund expires.
Skype's biggest draw is its free video messaging service and ability to communicate for free with the large number of existing Skype users. For contacting people outside the network, the service is reasonably priced and provides adequate call quality. It is one of the more popular and reliable OTT services, however, like other OTT services (such as Google Voice) it is limited by data networks. If you live somewhere with strong mobile data coverage, you may even consider using this service over a traditional mobile provider. Seamless integration across multiple devices is also a strong selling point.
If you are looking for a basic, low-cost calling and messaging service this may be a good option. However, if you are looking for a more feature rich service it is rather lacking and, unless you have a paid subscription, some support features, such as 24/7 live chat, are unavailable. While it is a strong service for conferencing and messaging, many other VoIP companies offer more robust features and flexible services. Yet there is a reason it is so popular, one of the most prominent being a lack of signup cost, which allows potential customers to try out the service risk-free.
At this time there are a limited number of user reviews on Skype. The overall review score is average and some people complain about the lack of customer service. There does not appear to be anyone you can call for help.
...I have been using Skype almost exclusively for almost a year and you cannot beat the price...
...I cannot contact anyone from Skype...
Skype reviews are listed in chronological order.
#13 : JAN 29th, 2016 : Lynette
Sound is not the best intermittently. Calls continually dropping out after about 25 seconds! After 4 weeks of this still doing it so I am looking for another company as I can't stand the frustration of drop outs any more.
#12 : NOV 6th, 2015 : Tony
Voice quality is getting almost as good as a land line. But still drops calls, fails at call connections and at times very poor quality voice, but it is getting to be less common.
#11 : NOV 13th, 2013 : Dan
I have been using Skype for my primary long distance for three years. No problems. You can have it identify as your cell phone number so people identify you when you call. Hour plus calls no problem. Video calls work fine. The price point is a real bargain compared to most other Voip service. Fora little extra I can get an incoming number but without it I can call for information from dubious sources without establishing a connection that would allow them to ignore my do not call status.
#10 : DEC 12th, 2012 : Noel
Skype will get your funds and your credit card info, and you will not receive all you paid for. You must buy credit, but when time goes by without use, that credit is forfeited. They deactivate your account and keep your funds. Navigation on this site is dizzying. You'll navigate in circles trying to find what you need. It took me 10 minutes to locate a way to contact customer service. When I did find them, they would not assist me. In trying to sign up for one service, I accidentally signed up for something else (easy to do given how confusing their site is!). I contacted them immediately and they refused to help me, transfer my $18 toward the service I wanted, or refund the amount. They said I'd used the service, which I had not! Skype is a scandal. There are better, more affordable alternatives: WhatApp, Viper, Phone.com, Huddle, many more. Their customer service is 24/7 and they deal fairly with customers.
P.H. (December 26th 2014) : This product was lame enough
before but now that
the Microsoft nerds
are busily changing
lame to hopeless,
Verizon looks real
good. As to
Mitty (January 18th, 2015) : Very true!! I have been a loyal Skype customer for many years. Back in October, I was billed EIGHTEEN TIMES for renewal of a $20 subscription, which forced me to cancel the credit card used to stop the charges. I disputed seventeen and since then my Skype service has been blocked, reinstated, blocked, etc. many times. Customer service is unresponsive and lame. The amount of time I have wasted, and I say wasted because it has been useless, is staggering. At the end of 2014 I thought the problem had been solved but three days ago I was blocked AGAIN! It has only gotten worse since that behemoth Microsoft gobbled up Skype. Honestly, with all the technology at their command you would think Skype would be more than able to do a decent job but it just goes from bad to worse. The comments angry customers post on their website show that I'm not alone. Wake up, Skype! There is competition out there. Look at your dismal ratings! Shape up or prepare to die.
#9 : AUG 8th, 2012 : David
I have money on account, cannot use service at all. Username password was given do not work. I cannot contact any idiots with Skype. They are NOT a VOIP 'service' provider, but a con job extrordinare.
#8 : FEB 14th, 2012 : Mike
#7 : JUL 10th, 2009 : White little
#6 : JAN 21st, 2009 : Eve
The advertisement of Skype is misleading and confusing. Their customer services has never been able to provide any useful resolution when I met problems through Skype system error. The phone calls were charged incorrectly, and my refund request was never been answered.
#5 : APR 7th, 2007 : Vavl lvanlvn
SKYPE SUCKS big time.
#4 : MAR 11th, 2007 : Donovan
Skype advertises "Unlimited calls to any phone in the US and Canada for just US$29.95 per year ? No connection fees. ? No per minute charges. " I paid my dues, used the service calling local and in Canada only and watched my account lose "skype" money/points or whatever they call them? I emailed skype several times requesting clarification on this issue receiving no response at all. As expected when my account reached "0" my phone connection was cut off. The issue I have with them is not the amount (that's a great deal), it's the extremely misleading advertising and absolutely no response from them. I rate them "Bad" for value for money because I only used the service for approx. 3 weeks before getting cut off. My opinion, DON'T BUY, they can't be trusted!
Robert (August 15th 2015) : I totally agree with this reviewer. Skype customer service is abysmal, you can't talk only text and they give absolutely no refunds even if you didn't get the service you paid for. They wouldn't even give me extended service on a local dialing number I had before I got them to sort it out. I changed my mind about dialing a local number and wanted it transferred.
Disclaimer: The opinions, views and ratings expressed in these VoIP Reviews are those solely of the reviewer who submitted the review. Whichvoip.com does not necessarily agree with any of the expressed opinions, view or ratings.
#1 : Posted by Clifford Mills on May 15th, 2014:
Can I pay for Skype credit with a Canadian bank transfer, a Canadian debit card or etransfer from a Canadian bank.
-> Response: The simplest way is to use Paypal to buy your Skype credit. You can set Paypal up to connect to your bank account and/or a credit card.