Skype Technologies will offer refunds to customers
SAN FRANCISCO: Skype Technologies SA, the largest provider of international calls, will offer refunds to paying customers who haven't been able to use its service because of an outage that lasted more than 30 hours.
About 20 million users, representing 90 percent of the traffic the company would normally expect, are now able to make calls, Chief Executive Officer Tony Bates said today in a blog posting, after an outage yesterday rendered the service unavailable to almost all global users.
Year-end holidays are Skype's heaviest traffic period, Bates said in an interview this week. The disruption adds to challenges facing Skype as it tries to persuade companies to pay for calling and establish premium services, such as group video conversations, in the run-up to an initial public offering.
"We now know what caused a number of clients to actually crash," Bates said in a video on the company's blog. "We've been able to mitigate that crash risk and isolate that."
He didn't say what caused the crash and said the company had ruled out a malicious attack. Skype will give pre-pay and pay-as-you-go users 30 minutes of free calling, and active subscribers will get a week's extra subscription, the company said.
Skype has more than 560 million users. Of those, only 1.4 percent pay for the service, according to a regulatory filing. The Luxembourg-based company started as a way for consumers to chat for free.
Audio and video calls as well as instant-messaging capabilities are now working, the company said. Some features, such as group video calling, are still unavailable. Rival service OoVoo LLC said it received 100,000 new registrations yesterday, double its previous record for peak usage. -Bloomberg