Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

Ryan Price vs. Skype, PayPal, Gizmo, Verizon

Sat, 02/03/2007 - 15:27 -- rprice

I have a girlfriend who lives in England. I have a Skype account. Hell, I even have a Skype phone in my Sony Mylo, and I got it mostly because I wanted a more telephone-like experience when talking to my girlfriend. I have, however, not been having a fun time with Skype today, nor my Verizon Wireless phone, nor option number 3, the Gizmo Project. I'm not even going to qualify any of these services with a link.

First off, Skype's online store is down. WTF Skype? Did your developers fall asleep at the wheel? I'm sure you're getting ready for some fun pre-Superbowl beefing-up because you'll be running ads or something, but I need to buy more credits! The site has looked like this all day:

skypeskype Hosted on Zooomr

Second, I figure I'll just dial my damn cell phone, it can't cost that much, right? Well Verizon seems to think that there's no reason you'd want to make an international call unless you authorized it! Sure, your phone might get stolen or the kids might get a hold of it, but when I'm in a situation where my mobile is my only phone this starts to get very frustrating. Thank you Wendy at customer service for being so nice, but why don't you people want to take my money? BTW my account is under the control of my business partner and his wife, I can't add the international "Hoo-Ha" to my phone.

Lastly, I remember reading about a number of new VOIP services over on Techcrunch, so I check out the Gizmo Project. OMG they have a Mac version. Create an account, I want to buy some credit, hooray for PayPal, and then my transaction is immediately cancelled!

gizmogizmo Hosted on Zooomr

I have decided against leaving the house for a phone card because I'm afraid that if they don't have any more cards at the store I will throw things at the nice service industry workers.

Update: About 10 minutes after posting this, the Skype store was functioning again and I got my credit. In the interim, I was talking to my friend Emily and she offered to try and get her Verizon international calling turned on. Turns out this will take until sometime on Monday.

The prologue to all of this is a major annoyance with Skype: their international calling rates are some of the cheapest around. To call England is supposedly just 2.1 cents/minute. Apparently this rate doesn't apply to international mobile calls. My calls end up costing more like 22 or 23 cents/minute instead. Why Skype, why? Luckily Kait is getting a landline this week.

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