I feel I need to add a footnote to my outburst about the difficulties of buying Skype credits in far-flung countries which may not have great reputations for handling fraud but which do maintain impressively high international call charges. One reader in the Philippines, John Richards, told me he’d had success using Moneybookers by transferring money there and using that to buy Skype credit while another, Vietnamese resident Duc Le, said he had used the same service via credit card with no success at all:
in order to register with Moneybookers, I allowed them to send a small charge to my credit card. I checked online, and it was a small amount, which I was then suppose to go back to the moneybookers site, and enter in the amount charged to my creditcard in EUROS, but my credit card only lists the amt in US dollars. The Moneybookers states if my creditcard lists the small amount in only USD, then too bad; I can’t register with them.
Needless to say, he wasn’t happy (and said he’d had similar problems with PayPal and Skype). I tried John’s transfer money method, moving money from a Hong Kong account to Moneybookers and, surprise surprise, within a few days got an email from them saying the transfer was successful. Buying the Skype credit has since then been a doddle. I’m not crazy about having to open another online account to store money at to pay for stuff, with all the costs and security worries that that incurs, but there you go. The only final hitch: The credit shows up on my Skype account page, but not in the Skype software itself, which despite a reboot and more than 12 hours, still shows the old amount. A minor bug.
Skype has declined to comment officially on the problems of payment, but their PR folk say they realise it’s not perfect, and, to their credit, have tried to add as many options as possible for folk in difficult places. Lets hope things get better. But for now, if you’re having problems, I’d suggest a Moneybookers transfer.