Skype offers users $1 for lost service, explains cause of outage

Skype experienced a significant outage last week when many of their supernodes failed. Today the company has provided a post-mortem of the issue on their blog. In a nutshell, Skype introduced hundreds of "mega-supernodes" to the infrastrucutre, realized that the system was not recovering quickly enough, so followed up by adding several thousand more of these mega-supernodes. Service was restored by December 23rd.

Today the company sent out an email to affected users apologizing for the interuptions and offering a $1 credit voucher for the inconvenience.

As 2010 draws to a close, I would like to take a moment to thank each of you for your patience, understanding, and support during Skype’s recent outage.

We know how important your Skype conversations are to you and we take any disruption to our service very seriously. We are pleased to confirm that Skype is back to normal allowing you to connect with friends, co-workers, family and loved ones.

As a valued customer of Skype, we would like to offer you a sincere apology and offer you our gratitude with a credit voucher worth a call of more than 30 minutes to a landline in some of our most popular countries, such as USA, UK, Germany, China, Japan. Or spend it however you like on Skype.

While a dollar may seem like a pittance, if you consider that the outage was only a day and the cost of the service is low, it's probably a reasonable amount. It's currently unknown whether this code was sent to users of the free service or if it has only been sent out to paying customers.

Let us know if you have received the email from Skype and what you think of the gesture.

Poll

Is $1 credit a good apology from Skype?

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33 Comments

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I'd assume those who pay for the unlimited subscription wouldn't get the voucher because it wouldn't do you any good. 30 extra minutes on an unlimited plan...?

I don't use Skype enough to warrant the unlimited plan, but I do pay for $10 worth of minutes as I need them (which turns out to be like once a year), and I did get a voucher for the extra $1.

I had to run the older version on my server 2008 x64 installation because the latest version crashes when initiating a call to a landline. I also had the outage and I was expecting calls too. It was a bad time for that to happen!

Considering the amount of customers they have, that dollar will mount up to a costly error on their part for not having back up plans. The dollar almost seems to be an insult as well, unless you think of what that adds up to, and what average skype user is going to do that?

Might have been better to have a few million to charity.

You know, I could be ignorant, but I bet they don't guarantee 100% uptime. To all of you saying, "1$ is an insult", get the stick out of your ass. It ISN'T a dollar, it's a time credit that equals about a dollar. They didn't say dollar, Neowin did.

Anyways.. Any "business" worth its salt should be able to function in the case that something bad happens.

Funny, ya, I pay for a subscription, I was affected on all three of my devices, and didn't receive a coupon of yet.

I guess it takes time then.

warwagon said,
Did the outage effect people that keep skype open all the time? Because I didn't notice any down time.

If you were running 5.0.0.152, yes. It would have suddenly gone offline due to the bug b/c of the offline messaging server overload.
If you weren't running 5..152 (either on 4.x or 5.0.0.156), you would have noticed some of your contacts going offline and not coming back.

"As a valued customer of Skype, we would like to offer you a sincere apology and offer you our gratitude with a credit voucher worth a call of more than 30 minutes to a landline in some of our most popular countries, such as USA, UK, Germany, China, Japan. Or spend it however you like on Skype."

Yes, because a free 30 minutes is insulting.

Well, yes. That's not my point. Skype advertises itself as a premium telephony service, and many businesses use Skype in numbers to allow customers around the world to contact them cheaply. When Skype goes down, you can have all the backups you like but those numbers stop working and customers can't contact you.

iKenndac said,
Well, yes. That's not my point. Skype advertises itself as a premium telephony service, and many businesses use Skype in numbers to allow customers around the world to contact them cheaply. When Skype goes down, you can have all the backups you like but those numbers stop working and customers can't contact you.

I don't know about premium...

http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/business/

Everything on their info page for business screams "We are a cheap alternative to landlines." Their focus is not premium service, but rather cheaper service. You've got all the "save-money" buzzwords like: "smarter", "cheap", "great value", "cost-effective", "competative"...etc.

Nothing screams out premium service. Merely cheaper service.

One whole dollar! How on earth can they manage this without going bankrupt?!

Sigh.

A lot of people rely on Skype for business communication. One dollar is insulting for more than a day's outage.

iKenndac said,
One whole dollar! How on earth can they manage this without going bankrupt?!

Sigh.

A lot of people rely on Skype for business communication. One dollar is insulting for more than a day's outage.

That $1, multiplied by 500,000,000. Giving each user a $1 discount is going to cost them (potentially) half a billion dollars in revenue. There are limits to what they can give you without the outage going permanent.

Majesticmerc said,

That $1, multiplied by 500,000,000. Giving each user a $1 discount is going to cost them (potentially) half a billion dollars in revenue. There are limits to what they can give you without the outage going permanent.

Allegedly it was only around 30k users that were directly affected.

iKenndac said,
One whole dollar! How on earth can they manage this without going bankrupt?!

Sigh.

A lot of people rely on Skype for business communication. One dollar is insulting for more than a day's outage.

Yeah, but what do I get when my landline goes out? a big fat nothing besides "It will be fixed shortly" and thats it, $1 is more then nothing

iKenndac said,
One whole dollar! How on earth can they manage this without going bankrupt?!

Sigh.

A lot of people rely on Skype for business communication. One dollar is insulting for more than a day's outage.

I think it's a bad business move. $1 is is going to cost the company megaloads to distribute and is NOT going to make a difference to anyone's pocket (unless you're homeless, in which case you would not be reading this)

iKenndac said,
One whole dollar! How on earth can they manage this without going
A lot of people rely on Skype for business communication. One dollar is insulting for more than a day's outage.

I agree with you to a point. On the other hand, Comcast broadband experienced an outage in the midwest a few weeks ago, and they didn't give me anything for that. Losing Comcast broadband means you've lost VoIP as well... So I'm torn on it myself.

superconductive said,

I think it's a bad business move. $1 is is going to cost the company megaloads to distribute and is NOT going to make a difference to anyone's pocket (unless you're homeless, in which case you would not be reading this)

I am sure it was a few lines of code....

Anyone saying omg how can they afford this or this is lost revenue is inaccurate. The $1.00 they're giving out is something that will easily be used up and in reality is a dollar a lot of people wouldn't have added to their account, or would have added either way. They're really not loosing anything since they're providing the service thus they could give everyone $10.00 credit when they sign up. It's not going to bankrupt them.

neufuse said,

Yeah, but what do I get when my landline goes out? a big fat nothing besides "It will be fixed shortly" and thats it, $1 is more then nothing

If your landlines went out I doubt your phone company would do anything other than say sorry. A $1 is small but you can do a bit. Plus people who don't use skype's paid service get a free taster (like me) and may buy a plan or use more becuase of