Oh Skype. What happened, Skype? We used to get on so well. I used to call people even when I didn’t have anything to say, just so I could say “no, using Skype, it’s free: isn’t the internet amazing?”. I told everyone I know to use Skype, because you were exciting and new and just starting out. I put my SkypeIn number on my VCard and told people it was as if my PC had its own number. I watched you get your first gradients with pride, thinking how nice it was to watch you growing up, and I shook my head and smiled ruefully when I saw how big your API was now.
I should have seen the signs, of course: easy with hindsight to see that the gradients I thought were so fresh and new would look slick and corporate in only a few months, or that the bustle of new blogs and plugins and features meant you’d forgotten what brought us together, forgotten that it used to be all about the magic of calling people on the internet. I turned a blind eye to the Ministry of Sound ringtones and took you with me to Singapore. I trusted you, didn’t even think about it: I use Skype.
And then I couldn’t sign in. And someone else bought credit on my account – pre-approved Paypal, like a reckless fool. Paypal were fantastic: they had a number I could call, and a woman who sounded like she wanted to understand the problem and solve it, not tell me it was my fault or cover her back, and they sorted it out for me. And I heard nothing from you. I’d thought me saying “I think someone else has accessed my account” would provoke a reaction from you (I admit it, I was trying to provoke you, just to see if you still cared) but nothing. And then, almost a day later, an automated email saying that you might get back to me in 72 hours, but couldn’t promise anything. This – this was what I’d fought your website’s feedback form for? Pressed the button that said “no, I already searched the knowledgebase, I really actually want to send the mail, not read a patronising reminder to check the FAQ”: looked in vain for a telephony company’s telephone number, searched for any kind of a clue to a way I could reach you, give you the chance to show that you understood why I was upset?
Priit K emailed me a day later to say that my account was registered to [email protected]. I’d thought at least that someone might acknowledge that I thought someone had stolen my account, even it was just to say “don’t worry, it’s probably just us making a worrying mistake, calm down”, but nothing: just a customer service agent who didn’t take the trouble to sound as if they’d even looked at my mails. I understood: finally, I realised what a fool I’d been to care.
And after that it was as if I couldn’t do anything right for you: I couldn’t register my new account, I couldn’t pay for my new account with Paypal, I still hadn’t heard from anyone about what you thought about letting someone else use my account (or what would happen to the credit left in it). The final straw came tonight: resetting the password on my old account, I was told the password wasn’t recognised. But it was the one you sent me! I checked! I typed it in exactly, each time you told me it wasn’t right, not believing the red box, still placing my trust in the email that when I read it again said “do not reply to this email”, but I was wasting my time.
So that’s it. Had enough. I don’t need your creepy, un-asked-for “extras”, with their spooky requests to use last.fm and impenetrable brand names (KishKish? eMotive Ringjacker? skySpace? Who are these gatecrashers?). I don’t care about your painful, uncle-dancing-at-the-wedding, “web2.0” Skypecasts, or importing Outlook contacts automatically. I liked it when it felt like I mattered, and when I had a problem you went out of your way to make me feel like I didn’t.
I’m going to try Gizmo: it’s too early to commit again, but now I’m free there’s a whole world of VoIP I’d never even bothered to explore while I was with Skype. Good luck, no hard feelings: don’t try to call me.