A brewing PR problem for Skype

I’ve been hearing more about some people’s unhappiness with Skype over the withdrawal of London 0207 SkypeIn numbers.

I’ve not had any email from Skype to say my SkypeIn number is one of those that will be withdrawn. Is it safe to work on the assumption, therefore, that the number will simply continue?

I’m not so sure, especially after Shel’s comment.

There is nothing about this issue on any Skype site other than a couple of general posts on the Skype Heartbeat blog. Plus a lengthy user discussion thread in the Skype forums.

But no formal word by Skype of exactly what’s happening with this number withdrawal.

So I’ve sent in this note via Skype’s main website to tech support:

Subject: Withdrawal of London 0207 SkypeIn number?

Hearing about many people who are losing their current 0207 SkypeIn numbers. Is this going to happen to me? I’ve received no email from Skype re this, so my assumption is that I will not lose my existing number.

Can you confirm that please?

Thanks from a long-time Skype user and supporter.

There must be plenty of SkypeIn users with 0207 numbers who might also be wondering about the continuity or not of their numbers. There’s certainly plenty of commentary that’s filling the vacuum in the absence of any official communication from Skype.

Is it a PR disaster? If we see more mainstream media reporting like that in the Daily Telegraph and the Washington Post, it looks like it will be. And don’t forget the Facebook group which while it hasn’t gained much traction – only 32 members so far – could become a forceful voice that gets attention.

I don’t understand why Skype hasn’t made the picture clear for everyone.

A pretty poor state of affairs by Skype from the communication point of view.

[Update Nov 27] I had an email reply from Skype, which said this:

We are glad to tell you, that your number is not affected in this recall.

I’m thankful for that news.

What I think Skype should do is proactively tell everyone who has an 0207 SkypeIn number, and who won’t be affected by the number recall, just that.

Wouldn’t that be an example of good ol’ CRM?