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Skype no longer works on 3 Skypephone...
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# 1
Geiger
Old 30-04-2011, 8:36 PM
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Default Skype no longer works on 3 Skypephone...

and other older non-android phones. Bit ironic, eh? No Skype on a Skypephone.

Basically, it appears that the iSkoot platform which 3 uses to provide Skype to these older phones has been shut down - no warning from 3 to customers.

The first thing I knew of it was when I got a message on signing in to Skype to upgrade - when I attempted this I got sent to a webpage which stated that I couldn't upgrade on my phone, and to contact 3 to find out which handsets still offered Skype.

On ringing, I was offered the opportunity to "upgrade early" to one of these... but only at an additional monthly cost to compensate for the remaining 13 months of my existing contract.

In addition, I was informed that using Skype would no longer be 'free' as such, but taken from my monthly mobile internet allowance.

Seeing as I signed up to 3 in the first place because of its Skype provision, I'm rather miffed about all this. What happened to 3's 'Free Skype for Life' promise???

Strangely, Skype doesn't seem to have stopped working on all Skypephones at the same time... mine stopped working on April 26; a friend with a Skypephone still has it working on his; but a quick Google suggests that some stopped working as early as April 1.

Apparently the changes also affect Windows Live Messenger on the Skypephone (and other handsets) as well, but I don't use that.

3 appear to be fully aware of the problem but not willing to compensate Skypephone users for the loss of the Skype service. Considering their previous heavy promotion of Skype - and the Skypephone - this really doesn't seem right.

Anyone else in the same boat as me?
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# 2
jnm21
Old 30-04-2011, 9:25 PM
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Sounds like a change to terms to me - say you want to cancel free of penalty as they have increased the cost (free to ? per Mb) - if they say no, ask for details of their ADR (alternate dispute resolution) details - by OFCOM regs, they must have one. If they refuse to give details mention OFCOM & see if they move - possibly try going in store to see if they are more help than the forgetful/confused/non-english speaking/lying person you may have talked to on the phone (funnily they forgot one of two conversations I had with them - the one where they took my 30 days notice).
Certain OTT members have caused me to add this disclaimer: all advice given is free of charge & as such should be taken to be IIRC (as I don't spend hours researching all answers )!
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# 3
hackeron
Old 01-05-2011, 12:48 AM
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Angry

This is disgusting!

A few family members and friends invested in skyphones to be able to talk to eachother because of the "Free Skype for Life" promise. 2 of the 5 phones stopped working, the other 3 are still working but god knows for how long.

I just see a message "Sorry, this version of Skype no longer works. Click here to see if there is an upgrade available for your phone" - no option is offered to actually "Click Here" on the phones which are the "3 Skypephone S2" models.

It has been months since we got the handsets so the reseller (WHSmith) will not grant a refund. I hope Three do something about this.

First they installed malicious software so Skype is killed 15 minutes after launch on their ZTE handset and now they are killing Skype altogether

Last edited by hackeron; 01-05-2011 at 12:53 AM.
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# 4
MarkBargain
Old 01-05-2011, 11:38 AM
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It was only a couple of years ago that "free calls for life" were advertised heavily by Three online, in newspapers, on London Underground etc. You can still see the adverts if you look on Google images. To read that they have seemingly renaged on this already is disgusting. Perhaps someone with legal knowledge could take them to court, as surely phones/contracts were purchased on the basis of free calls forever?! One for BBC Watchdog perhaps?
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# 5
barjam
Old 01-05-2011, 2:21 PM
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i have a skypephone a and a ztef102 on '3' and they both have skype , they both still work i've just checked them

do you think its just a matter of time
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# 6
Geiger
Old 01-05-2011, 11:37 PM
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I reckon so - my friend's Skypephone is still working as of today. He never switches it off, but it does log itself out occasionally - he's just praying it doesn't, as that might be the point when he gets the dreaded "upgrade" message!

I have already contacted Watchdog (and Ofcom), but I fear the fact that not all the handsets have stopped working at the same time may prevent a mass outcry which would get their attention. I've also messaged MSE's newsdesk - I think this is something Martin L should be interested in, as he has previously championed the Skypephone in his 'cheap calls' articles and mail-outs.

I also put a complaint in to Skype itself, but they got back to me saying "not our problem, ask 3". They're probably right, but this is a product that they've put their name to, so it doesn't reflect well on them!

So, currently waiting to hear back from 3 customer services, Watchdog (you never know)! MSE and Ofcom...
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# 7
redux
Old 01-05-2011, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geiger View Post
I also put a complaint in to Skype itself, but they got back to me saying "not our problem, ask 3". They're probably right, but this is a product that they've put their name to, so it doesn't reflect well on them!

So, currently waiting to hear back from 3 customer services, Watchdog (you never know)! MSE and Ofcom...
Well, Skype say ask 3, and 3 say ask Skype, as the mobile client is down to Skype

Basically, the arrangement between Skype and iSkoot has ended, where iSkoot was actually the provider of the software.

There are new versions for some but not all phones.

When I asked 3 about this about a month ago, about the client on my Nokia 6120, they tried to sell me an 18 month contract and I said if they started one I'd repudiate it and we'd end up in court.

The new version sort of works on that N 6120 phone, but not as well as it ought to, as one of the access numbers it calls isn't recognised by 3, which really proves to me that these 2 partner companies aren't very good at talking to each other
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# 8
Geiger
Old 02-05-2011, 7:10 PM
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As far as I can tell, of the phones now offered by 3, only the Samsung Galaxy S comes with Skype pre-loaded. I'd be reasonable happy if they offered me the 30pm contract on that offered on their website to new customers, but I don't see why I should pay an extra 12pm for the remainder of my existing contract.

I previously had a Nokia phone on 3 (can't remember which model), but it kept logging Skype out. The Skypephone was so reliable with Skype (until now) - I loved it for that. The Inq phones were good with Skype as well, just a pity they were a bit pants with everything else!
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# 9
mrochester
Old 02-05-2011, 7:46 PM
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So basically what appears to be happening is this:

3 phones use the iSkoot client to login to Skype.

The iSkoot client ceased development in Jan 2011.

Skype now require you to update to a never software version to be able to use their service.

This new software version isn't available because iSkoot has stopped development.

3 phones that rely on iSkoot are now snookered.
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# 10
redux
Old 02-05-2011, 11:10 PM
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Something like that, or my understanding would be

The contract with iSkoot and Skype seems to have ended, for whatever reason I don't know, and Skype is forcing updates on some phones to use a replacement which they seem to have written themselves (according to the copyright in the program's About comments on my Nokia). They aren't doing it on all phones though, and neither 3 customer services nor Skype are much help with this in the past few weeks.

3's marketing slogan free Skype calls for life looks rather in question at the moment, if it's conditional on them trying to sell a new phone and a contract at random and short notice.
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# 11
1pds
Old 13-05-2011, 9:08 AM
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Question OFT an option?

My PAYG "Free Skype for Life" Three Skypephone S2 has also stopped providing a Skype service. When I called Three, I was told I had to buy a new phone to continue getting Skype. Does anyone know if the Office of Fair Trading might provide a avenue to nudge Three into finding a solution?
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# 12
johnk
Old 13-05-2011, 11:50 AM
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I've raised a complaint at http://www.ombudsman-services.org/communications.html after Three refused to do anything and said that I have to upgrade in order to use the service again (so much for "free calls forever").
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# 13
1pds
Old 13-05-2011, 12:39 PM
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Default OFT Complaint

I've now raised a complaint with the Office of Fair Trading. I'll let the Forum now how they respond.
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# 14
1pds
Old 13-05-2011, 12:52 PM
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Default Complain to the Ombudsman Services

Thanks JohnK. I've also submitted a complaint to the Ombudsman Services - you can do it online (see link in previous thread) and it only takes a few minutes. If we all make complaints to the Ombudsman I'm sure they'll sit up and take notice!
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# 15
Also
Old 24-05-2011, 5:48 PM
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Angry

OK, I had the information from Three that the turn off hadn't been notified to them and the first they knew was when customers complained and that after that Skype had informed them.

As such "older phones" can't use Skype, my INQ included
After 1 hour arguing on the phone about loss of service they agreed to upgrade me to a Nokia C2 (from an INQ) for free with a 3 month contract extension (I'm on a roll over monthly plan).

We'll ignore that the Nokia C2 is really poor build quality to the INQ and that it didn't seem so nice to use.
The bigger problem is that I can't even access Planet Three on it.
Another 1 hour call later and they agreed to send out a replacement (thus starts a debacle with DPD which means a week alter I'm still without a working phone!).

What's worse is that I now have the letter from them stating SIX months longer contract!
So I am *not* happy.
Then again, I am paying 5.64ish a month for 500min, 100 text, MSN and skype...

But if they offer you a C2 think twice!
Trying to save money to err... spend it...
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# 16
mobilebuyer
Old 25-05-2011, 2:21 PM
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The skypephone s2 also can use the "skype for brew" software which is a different provider that 3 uses. My sister uses this on her mobile and it works well but on mine, i had the iskoot version which has stopped working. I told this to three, but they are adamant that this will stop working in due course.

I WENT TO LOCAL 3 STORE AND SENT THIS OFF TO REPAIR CENTRE FOR REFLASHING WITH THE SKYPE BREW VERSION. I GOT BACK A LETTER SAYING ALL IS DONE AND CHECKED AND THAT IT WORKS!! BUT WHEN I CHECKED THE MOBILE, IT WAS THE SAME AS BEFORE I SENT IT OFF!!

Last edited by mobilebuyer; 25-05-2011 at 2:26 PM. Reason: HAD MORE TO SAY
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# 17
RupertRoker
Old 13-05-2012, 2:40 PM
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Hello everyone,

I purchased one of the phones affected by this issues (one of the original INQ phones) on the back of promises that I would receive ‘free Skype calls for life’.

I’ve been trying to get this problem sorted out with Three but I’m not having much luck. (They are not admitting that they’ve done everything legally wrong).

If I can’t get them to agree to fix this problem or compensate me I intend to bring a case in the small claims track against them. I’m very confident that what Three are doing isn’t legally right. The argument that I’m intending to run is:

(1) The promise of “free Skype calls for life” has contractual force because of Section 14(2b)(a) and s14(2)d) of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (which relates to adverts being incorporated into the contract of sale).

(2) That any assertions that they make that they have a contractual entitlement to not provide anything other than voice, texts and data services is wrong because section 3 of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 which provides that a company may not "claim to be entitled... ...to render a contractual performance substantially different from that which was reasonably expected of him." (and the ‘reasonable expectation’ of anybody buying a INQ phone/skype phone etc was to ‘free Skype calls for life’.

Therefore I think that I and other similarly affected consumers are entitled to compensation. I would suggest that the cost of finding alternative performance (i.e. getting the benefit of ‘free Skype calls’) is probably the best option to go for. I’m still trying to work out precisely what this works out to in pounds and pennies but I think this should at least be the cost of a new phone that Skype works on and the costs of providing data services to that phone to use Skype.

If anybody would like to join me as a co-claimant that would be really good and would probably concentrate Three’s mind a little. If you’d rather not be a claimant yourself but just want to know how I get on so that if I do get compensated you can ask Three to give you the same settlement let me know.

Just to be clear and to avoid any confusion later on. I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a claims handler and I’m not offering to fight your case for you or provide a legal service. I’m a law graduate and consumer rights professional. I’m doing this in my own time and off my own bat. If you’ve got the same problem as me I’d like to give you the opportunity to join any case I bring against Three as a co-claimant in the small claims track, I’m looking to do this with people rather than for them (though I can sort all of the paperwork/statement of claims etc. out and then confirm that anybody that would like to join me is happy with what I’m saying for everyone). I’m suing in small claims because then Three can’t ask me to pay their costs even if we don’t win. As I’m not a lawyer or claims manager I won’t be taking a cut of any compensation that Three offer or are ordered to pay in relation to anybody elses part of this claim.

If you’d like to contact me, in the first port of call please message me through the MSE forums.

I’d also be be very interested to hear from any lawyers who would like to help me with this as I think that for the right law firm this could make an excellent case for a Group Litigation Order.

Thanks

Rupert Roker
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# 18
adnan-2010
Old 18-06-2012, 7:57 PM
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Default How did your communication with the Ombudsman go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnk View Post
I've raised a complaint at after Three refused to do anything and said that I have to upgrade in order to use the service again (so much for "free calls forever").

After exhausting all my options and having pain for listning to the rubbish of Three CS, I am planning to write to ombudsman too. If you have success stories, please share.

I am planning to use 5.8(a) from Terms & conditions (withdrawal of service giving right to free cancellation) as my argument. Also they did not bother to notify changes per 4.1.

Thanks
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# 19
adnan-2010
Old 18-06-2012, 7:58 PM
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Default Any luck so far with Ombudsman?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1pds View Post
Thanks JohnK. I've also submitted a complaint to the Ombudsman Services - you can do it online (see link in previous thread) and it only takes a few minutes. If we all make complaints to the Ombudsman I'm sure they'll sit up and take notice!
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnk View Post
I've raised a complaint at after Three refused to do anything and said that I have to upgrade in order to use the service again (so much for "free calls forever").

After exhausting all my options and having pain for listning to the rubbish of Three CS, I am planning to write to ombudsman too. If you have success stories, please share.

I am planning to use 5.8(a) from Terms & conditions (withdrawal of service giving right to free cancellation) as my argument. Also they did not bother to notify changes per 4.1.

Thanks
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# 20
adnan-2010
Old 05-07-2012, 2:20 PM
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Default Ombudsman

I submitted my complain aboout it few days ago and someone called back from Ombudsman services saying they don't think any breach of terms has happened because I can't prove detrimental effect ibecause I had always been in my dfata limits and I said well am I being penalised for being prudent to which they say they understand but can't help. Useless option!
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