questionshelp: skype isn't sticking with their refund…

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After multiple chats and emails they say it was a "technical" error on their end after they clearly shut down my account. In their refund policy they clearly say that I can get a refund if: “"You are experiencing technical issues, which we determine to be Skype’s fault."

So, according to me:
-they promise a service (with calling rates) and don’t hold true
-they promised a refund and don’t give it
-and they have defined my problem a “technical issue” which is “Skype’s fault”

At this point, I don’t think they’re even reading my messages anymore and I don't know what else to try.

Any tips?

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Go on an internet message board and drag their name through the mud?
Sounds good to me.

Seriously, if you're due a refund or payment from anyone and they refuse to acknowledge it, your options are limited.

+You could try to sue in small claims court, but you'd better have your ducks in a row.
+You could contact and complain to the BBB in whichever state they are based in, but that only works if they are members of the BBB.
+You could try to complain to the FCC and FTC about it, but getting someone to care will be difficult.
+If you think the problem is widespread and systemic, you could try to contact the Attorney General for the state they are based in. See if criminal charges could be applied (not likely).

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Can't you call the credit card company and start a dispute with them? Most companies will back their customer before a vendor.

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@coondogg97: The purchase was with a debit card, would that still work?

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@lumpthar: is there a better place to drag their name through the mud than here? ;)

Skype is actually located in Luxembourg... at least their headquarters are. Does that make a difference?

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@luvche21: If it was run as Visa or Mastercard (didn't use your PIN) then they are bound by all the standard credit card rules.

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@omnichad: @omnichad: Thanks! ...do I call them up and say a vendor is not holding up to their end of the deal? I've never had to worry about this before.

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@luvche21: Yes, it will still work if the debit card has a Visa or Mastercard logo on it. Call your card issuer and tell them you wish to dispute a charge. Have all the details of the transaction at hand, and be prepared to give a nice concise explanation of what happened. Be prepared to tell them who you spoke to (if you have a name, that's fine, but if not it's not a problem). It's helpful to be able to state date/time you spoke with someone and what they said to you. The info you explained here will do nicely. There shouldn't be a problem with getting the dispute resolved in your favor, since you can't use their service according to their own representative and they refuse to issue a refund.

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@luvche21: Part of my job is handling these disputes for our credit union members. You should be fine, given the information you've told us. Of course, I can't guarantee you'll get a refund, but it seems very likely you will.

Oh, and ask your card issuer if you can get provisional credit while the investigation is pending.

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@luvche21: More or less. They have taken your money but not provided you with services, and will not offer a refund. Skype will have some time to respond to your dispute.

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@all y’all (@coondogg97, @omnichad, @magic cave, @lumpthar) You guys are awesome, that’s why I’m here on Woot, thanks.
I guess lesson learned is never use Skype again (except for the free stuff, because they aren’t stealing my money for that).

@magic_cave: What’s provisional credit?

Also, does my bank then take the dispute to Skype and they work it out with them? Do they just take back their money? Thanks!

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@luvche21: Provisional credit is money your bank puts into your account for your use while the dispute is being investigated. The concept is that you should not be "harmed" by loss of the use of your money until there's a final resolution.

Your bank will probably handle the dispute action, but it's usually Visa/Mastercard, whichever backs your card, that makes the final decision.

If V/MC agrees with you and decides in your favor, then any provisional credityou received is considered permanent credit. V/MC takes the money from Skype's account with them to repay your bank, and the case is closed.

If Skype convinces V/MC that they are right, then Skype gets to keep the money they originally received from you and your bank would take back any provisional credit they put into your account; they have to give you 10 days notice before doing that, by the way.

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[cont'd]
At my credit union, the dispute process can take up to 90 days. Each party has a set number of days to reply to the other party, so it can go back and forth a couple of times.

Remember, though, that while I know my own credit union's procedures and am fairly sure they're similar to those at other financial instituions, I'm only giving you a rule of thumb. Also, there's frequently a significant difference between how banks treat their customers and credit unions treat their members.

I hope this all works out well for you!

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@luvche21: Just another thought about your use of Skype. They're a big, well-known company with (as far as I know) a good reputation.It's very seldom that a legitimate company will intentionally screw over a customer (well, except for Big Banks and their mortgage customers, anyway). I suspect that you've run into a situation that is being badly mishandled by the Skype employee(s) you've dealt with thus far, rather than discovering an intentionally dishonest company policy.

Oh, and one more idea for you: if there's any way you can qualify for a credit card, you might want to consider doing so. This sort of uproar is much easier to handle when your money is not being held hostage during the dispute. If you can't qualify for one with your bank, look for a local credit union, which is much more likely to want to help you do well financially throughout your life. Most credit unions are actually owned by their members, so we're all in it together!

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@magic cave: Thanks!
I do have a credit card, which I use for everything else, but Skype doesn't take Discover. So the one time a company screws me over is the one time I wasn't able to use it. I used to be a member of a credit union, but that was clear back when I was a kid - maybe I've grown up enough now to join one again!

Skype hasn't responded to my last email which I sent them on Wednesday (after promising less than a 24 hour response time). I'll wait just a little bit longer to hear from them. If I don't, I'll add that Skype is ignoring my emails to them now.

Thanks again for all tips!