Doug Haslam

Gischeleman: "To Create With the Mind"


Skype steals your lunch money


Dear Skype,

You stole $9.32 from me the other day.

Actually, I’m not sure it’s exactly $9.32, because I can’t see the balance on my Skype screen anymore.

Looky, here’s the email where you tell me you are taking my lunch money:

Hi there Douglas Haslam,Unfortunately. your Skype Credit balance has expired due to 180 days‘

inactivity on your account. As explained in our previous three reminder emails

this means that the balance you had in your Skype account has now been cleared.

Skype Name: doug.haslam

We're really unhappy that we couldn't help you keep your credit balance. Below

is the Skype credit expiry policy, detailing why your balance was expired.

=== What are the rules for Skype Credit expiry? ===

1. Skype Credit expires 180 days after your last credit purchase or action that

used credit – e.g. SkypeOut call, SMS message.

2. Each purchase, call or SMS message resets the expiry time to 180 days.

3. Unfortunately, if you don't use your remaining credit we will expire the

balance to comply with normal business accounting rules.

4. You will receive reminder emails 30 days, seven days and 72 hours before your

credit expires.

I know how you can help me keep my credit balance. Don’t take it away fom me. I understand the policy, sure it’s likely legal, though I didn’t get at first that merely using Skype a little wouldn’t qualify me to keep my money. But are you sure it’s a good idea to treat your customers this way? I’m not.

I hope the $9.32– or whatever the exact amount was,– helps you get out of the tremendous financial hole you have dug for yourself and your parent company, eBay.

You bastards owe me lunch.



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Tut-tut, Sunglass Hut– bad customer service heads its ugly rear

Sunglasses– Leo ReynoldsI needed new sunglasses, because I’m an idiot and can’t find the nice pair I have worn for the last two years. So, I go to Sunglass Hut because I have a $20 coupon, buy a nice pair and off I go– until they break one week later.

I return them, no problem, but they don’t have any more of that model so I do a refund and new purchase but– they won’t refund or re-credit the coupon. Excuse me? I am supposed to forfeit a $20 coupon? So I say no thanks and later send a note to customer service. I wasn’t expecting anything,but I got an infuriating bot-response (no name on the note) stating the coupons are non-transferable.

Unfortunately for Sunglass Hut, my business is transferable. Thanks for the lesson in how not to keep your customers.

(Flickr photo by Leo Reynolds)

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Comcast customer service: more cursive, less cursing

I was going to say, “Comcast couches customer service in personal notes,” but I had to make a choice.

For all the customer service horror stories we hear about Comcast and other big companies, I thought I would share this:

Last week I upgraded to a DVR service with Comcast for my new HDTV set, and today, what do I receive but a note with a coupon fora free movie! This after the I had trouble getting the box to work correctly and dealt with a number of quite helpful customer service reps on the phone before deciding I needed a replacement– no big deal, and good service all ’round.

But get this: the coupon came in a handwritten note from Regional VP Paul’Arcangelo. I was impressed.

Of course, asshat that I can be, I must point out the following:

The coupon was for an on-demand movie up to $3.99, while Comcast has just aised the price for on-demand HD movies to $5.99– oops.

The letter looked like a card from my parents, including what appeared to be my Mother’s handwriting. Sorry Mom and Dad, but I have a bad habit of not opening personal mail right away– ok, that’s my quirk.

All in all, an intersting take on customer service though.