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J.A. Watson

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Jamie's Random Musings on Video IM

Having spent a good part of the last year struggling with a variety of video chat and IM programs, I have decided to write a few things down and see what other people have to say about them.

Thursday 24 July 2008, 9:25 AM

Skype - The Roach Motel

Posted by J.A. Watson

Here is an interesting article from The National Business Review, pointing out once again that you can never delete a Skype account. Never. Period.

This is something I am familiar with from personal experience, and from the Skype User Forums. The ridiculous excuse that Skype uses for this massive security problem is that it "protects against identity theft", by preventing someone else from re-registering a Skype account in my name, after I have deleted my account. Would someone please explain to me what the difference is between someone registering James.Watson after I have deleted my account, or someone registering it before I do? The much more important and potentially dangerous problem is all those accounts left lying dormant, potentially with personal information, contact information and such still in them!

There are two real reasons why Skype refuses to delete accounts. The first is driven by marketing - first, keeping every account that has ever been created allows them to go around spouting their idiotic claim of having "320 million user accounts", when in fact the real number of active users is somewhere around 10% of that; second, since they have ABSOLUTELY NO CUSTOMER SUPPORT or TECHNICAL SUPPORT, there is no one to handle the delete requests. Combine that with the fact that they apparently don't have anyone with the technical ability to write an account delete script so users can do this themselves, and you're left with the position Skype is in today. User accounts are undeleteable, and Skype Marketing does their best to profit from that.

I suppose there are some people, somewhere in the world, who do not work for Skype and actually believe the stupid "320 million users" claim. There are certainly plenty of people in the press and blogs who have no problems parroting that number when it is fed to them by Skype.

jw 24/7/2008

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J.A. Watson

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  • J.A. Watson
  • Applications Development, Subingen, Solothurn, Bern, Switzerland
  • Member since: November 2007

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