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Thread: Deceptive marketing pratices should be made a criminal offence

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Deceptive marketing pratices should be made a criminal offence

    I dont know if you have noticed but lately words such as unlimited have had their meaning altered such that they now mean limited.

    BUt it aint stopped their i found out today. Suddenly according to Skype the world only consists of 41 countries.

    So their version of the word Global has no reference to the dictionary definition and has limited countries included in the globe. Dont know where the other 160 odd have gone.

    By the way the same applies to Europe. It aint any longer meant to mean Europe as i was taught in Geography.

    I apolgize for the rant but i am raving mad.

    A few weeks ago my Skype phone packed up. So i looked into getting a new one and came upon the Freetalk modules that supposedly allow use of a normal line.

    Well not being one to shy away from new gadgets (something that is changing rapidly as my faith in tech world declines) i took advantage of a Groupon which i was directed to via the Skype homepage promotions.

    The Groupon was to be redeemed for the module inc delivery along with a 3 month Global unlimited calling subscription.

    Now this meant to me i get to call my family in SA for 3 months and not have to buy skype credit as i do to get a decent rate.

    Well being bitten so many times before made me check the deal out. Nowhere could i find the secret fine print that has naturally appeared after receipt of the unit. Of course SA is not included, i should have known it would be this way.

    Well i got on the chat with Skype et al and even after escalating the whole complaint up the chain got no satisfaction. I was prepared to settle for a transfer of say half the voucher value to my skype credit account or for a limited subscription trial for a single country for 3 months but no ways they were not prepared to do anything.

    This is the way of the future when these huge corporations get going we are going to be treated with contempt and as ants and just squashed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Bank of America just caved in and decided not to charge people $5.00/month for their debit card because of the public's outcry. Maybe if enough people are tired of Skypes practices it will get them to change.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gibson View Post
    Bank of America just caved in and decided not to charge people $5.00/month for their debit card because of the public's outcry. Maybe if enough people are tired of Skypes practices it will get them to change.
    Amen. Speak with your wallets folks. The big boys bet on us not being willing to put up with the inconvenience of changing the recurring things in our lives. They kinda sneak up on ya. Did you ever think you would pay for the privilege of watching commercials on television? Oh, don't worry about that little surcharge on the water bill. An extra tarriff for education that gets eaten up paying for the "department" that sprang into being to "manage" the fund disbursement???

    To quote Ferris Bueller: " Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 12-23-2011 at 12:51 PM. Reason: sp.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Rob, this internet thing is still growing rapidly. Businesses like Skype will change their ways when competition forces them to. The e-world is still evolving.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Independence MO
    I filed a complaint with my local Attorney General, after a national chain, was having sales on "ALL" x brand stuff, and of course the stuff I was looking at, that was that brand, wasn't on sale.
    Never used Skype, although I understand the needs. My big worries with it, would be the versions I have are built in (non upgradeable, on a quick boot partition), and the future of it since the current owner is strongly against open source platforms (what I tend to use).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    Maybe Skype is misspelled on purpose might the spelling be better as Scalp. Or Have it my way or the highway.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
    Remember it was bought out by MICROSOFT
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars

    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  8. #8

    This is class action waiting to happen

    BoB Skype pages are crafted to be purposefully deceptive and mislead in many other instances as well:

    Look at this page:
    Doesn’t this page says in its top right corner you will receive 50% discount on Online number once you are a subscriber of the service? Read page in full, follow all star marks, read all fine print and tell me what the offer really states.
    There is even some Joseph on Internet (see link below), who deceitfully claims he received such a discount:

    As it turns out however both Skype's and Joseph's claims are not truthful at all (which IMHO than begs of course for question who really Joseph is? Is he really some private blogger as his page might suggest, or could it be he is perhaps part of scheme paid by Skype to tunnel customers to their site? One way or another one thing which is sure, Google searches returns Joseph blog at the top of the result page).

    As it turns out, contrary to Skype’s and Joseph’s claims, once you buy subscription there is no any 50% $9 for 3 months discount. You can get only 50% off on 1 year $60 subscription.
    I contacted Skype customer service through chat and have been told that “50% off” on first link (in my post) means “50% off 1 year subscription” – which becomes clear once “buy now” button is pressed.
    But just a second!
    “50% off” does not mean “50% off 1 year subscription”. “50% off” means “50% off” and “50% of 1 year subscription” means “50% off 1 year subscription”. Those are two completely different statements which are not equal to each other and offer use phrase “50% off” not “50% off 1 year subscription”.
    Meanings of the words in English is defined by definitions provided in dictionaries and it means what it means, not as Skype tries to put everyone into believe means what they want it for it to mean.
    What’s more “buy now” button say’s “buy now” unlike for instance “additional offer details”. Reasonable person will click it ONLY once it tries to make a purchase and NOT to seek explanations of an offer before purchase is made.

    There is not a shred of doubt in my mind that entire wording is not accidental but purposefully crafted, to mislead people into false believe that once they buy subscription they can get online number for $9. Of course once they pay, they are for a bitter surprise. There is no any “special” 50% discount in existence. There is only a discount of 1 year $60 subscription which has nothing “special” in it and which is listed on Skype's "regular" Price page:
    after pressing Online Number link at the bottom of the page:

    Offer presented as special is however accessed through entirely different link (see pic below) which does utilize word “special” in its context creating impression of its special character and which what’s crucial DOES NOT mentions 1 year subscription at all in its context:

    That’s not however where deception ends.

    Check this page:

    If you owe iPhone as me, after reading this page you might think: Aha! So I can download app for my iPhone, buy minutes or subscription and than use it as phone through home or free hot spot WiFi.

    Well, again that’s not the case at all!

    To find out what really Skype even offers on this page you have to go to Skype forums as page yet again uses purposefully crafted misleading language, for what possible other reason than to deceive customers?
    Only if you go to forums you will learn that to use VOIP Skype client on your phone to call other phones, you have to pay steep 17-22 cent/minute charge and you cannot connect through any WiFi but only WiFi’s of providers with which Skype have a contract with, given such even exist near where you live.
    But just a second again!
    Whose role is to make clear what the very offer is: forums or Skype website itself? I always thought forums exist for technical problems, while explaining clearly offer lays in responsibilities of provider.
    Why quoted page do not mention clearly in its context at all 17-22cents/minutes charge and necessity of connecting only through specific WiFi providers – if not for other reason than to mislead people?
    In any case, even I said what I think, it doesn’t really matter what I think, what is important however is what reasonable person should think since this is a standard used by the courts and reasonable person should and will be mislead by statements made on the page.

    That’s however is still not where the lists of controversial and deceitful practices ends. I bet very few people have a slightest idea that Skype:
    - places third party tracking cookies of “dobleclick” and “atdmt” – which from technical point I’m sorry to say CANNOT SERVE ANY OTHER PURPOSE than spying on someone Internet habits behind their backs (which usually is hidden behind fine print and vague language of TOS (terms of service) agreements)
    - changes people home computers into free Skype servers through which hundreds of conversations of other people are routed every minute, slowing customer Internet connection, again behind their back, without adequately informing them about it.

    I didn’t bother to check all Skype offers even simple Google search produced even more accusations. Bellow few of them:

    Its obvious there was way more complain of fraud on Skype’s own community forum, which Skype is quick to delete obviously wishing it to hide from public eye view. Problem is, they lack technical sophistication to hide traces of this practice.

    Look at the very first link of this Google search:

    You will see number of links (list of links might change over time) from their community forums referring to fraud which you will not be able to reach while clicking the links:
    Instead you ill be redirected to main forum’s page. This is because threads have been deleted. Unfortunately (for Skype) Google engine does record that thread has existed in the past.

    Newest post which has not been deleted probably will be possible to find with this link:

    It simply takes time for Skype machine to react in effort of hiding flood of complains of customers. Some less offensive it seems they allow to stay and if you look carefully link above offers 100+ results to search with a word “fraud”.

    Personally I would not put faith in General Attorney Office. Question which I ask myself is however, how much more time will it take for some ambitious law firm, to slap big arrogant Boo Hahas with class action law suit and remind them what conducting business fairly really means?
    “Corpus delicti” is already here, further evidence easy to collect even by average literate computer expert and investigator. Skype itself collapses under its own volume of deception and number of its customers. They crossed the line, where hiding hundreds of complains becomes impossible, illegality obvious and easy to prove.
    Most class action has it roots only thanks to existence of some pissed off customer which either has minimum know how to, knowing who in litigation industry to call and what argument to use to persuade them to act, or someone simply persistent enough who simply decides to dedicate time for calling around and finding this out for themselves.
    Some firm do it for money some will do it for name. Whatever the reason money are definitely there:
    Last edited by Mike Tarnowski; 12-23-2011 at 07:32 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Caughron View Post
    Remember it was bought out by MICROSOFT
    As in their brains you can't swap 1's & 0's for to long before something goes small & soft .
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

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