11 Comments

Summary:

Every new technology goes through a phase, where the sheer newness makes early adopters like myself put-up with all sorts of bugs. Hey that’s all part of living on the bleeding edge – you will bleed a little. Actually first couple of million users will put […]

Every new technology goes through a phase, where the sheer newness makes early adopters like myself put-up with all sorts of bugs. Hey that’s all part of living on the bleeding edge – you will bleed a little. Actually first couple of million users will put up with any kind of crap. Remember cellphones back in 1980s? I have put up with poor performing VoIP services for one simple reason – they keep improving and well teach me a vital lesson in patience. But as the popularity of VoIP continues to surge – check out all those new companies at upcoming VoN – I have a feeling that the honeymoon phase for the technology is over.

Vonage is having problems with other phone companies. A few people have told me they have to wait too long for getting customer support, or have them address billing questions. Which is quite understandable since the company is growing faster than mushrooms after a monsoon shower.

Yesterday, Skype’s problems became buzz of the moment after C/Net posted a story. Which actually I think might have been inspired by this post by Neville Hobson, who posted problems with SkpeOut almost ten days ago. Many others have been bitching about this for a while over on Skype Forums. The problems are about billing and support services.

Much as we like to bitch and moan about the incumbents, they do get the backend part right. For any new technology to succeed, there is a need for a special focus on backend and making sure that the customers are happy. Skype for instance is adding new partners by the day, but I fear that their infrastructure and support costs are going to go through the roof. And given how little their margins are, I am once again left shaking my head.

  1. Skype keeps the entry cost low with per minute tariff. But then it is faced with ongoing customer support problems and potential dispute arbitration which grows with the customer base. Contrast this with subscription model (see the post by Tom Evslin). It will be interesting to see how this model fares, now that Teleo is also using this model.

    By the way some of the Bellheads suggested the subscription model some 20 years back but was rejected by Ma invoking political reality.

    Share
  2. I don’t know if the subscription model makes sense as of right now. unless the whole transport business and the interconnect business is transparent. it would be difficult to make the subscription model work

    Share
  3. Skype leaves money on the table: not clear how much yet ?

    Om just posted a piece Skype, VoIP Honeymoon over? related to what seems to be a growing dissatisfaction of the Skype user community around SkypeOut billing issues, and the quality of the service. He follows up on a CNET piece

    COMMENT:
    AUTHOR: Jonathan Boutelle’s home on the net

    Skype is going to keep getting into bed with as many companies as possible.

    This will increase the value in the buyers eyes.

    Yes that’s right, they will sell skype…that was their true plan all along. They will sell it to an entity that doesn;t know anything about voip or the prolems they are having, all they will see is the same thing that skype has conditioned other people to see “THE NUMBER OF DOWNLOADS”, which people unlike OM, equate with success. We know it really isn;t so.

    Did they want to een provide service? Why do people expect it?..from them I mean. They create, exploit and sell…thats what they do. And now I guarantee you will see even more companies crawling in their bed in an effort to create the illusion of success to their potential buyer.

    I cant believe out of all the communication gurus you have that read this page OM that they don;t know this. They too have been put to sleep by the skype lullaby me thinks.

    I am SURE that the creators of skype would have taken it as far as they could, i am sure they would have thought it quite cool that they created the end all be all in next generation communications, but how could they KNOW this would be the case. They are experts only in the field of disruption. They are novices in substance and deliverability.

    So, predictios.

    -even more partners come onboard
    -even more writing takes place about skype
    -henshall starts to wonder what voip company to focus on next or if he should even bother.
    -people like OM, ISEN, Gedes, Aswath etc…stay just as they are, ‘in the know’.
    -Skype sells.

    craig

    COMMENT:
    AUTHOR: Stuart Henshall

    I just got through reading Peter Cochrane’s pro Skype piece. http://comment.silicon.com/0,39024711,39127916,00.htm and suggest that it is hardly over. There is too much right. Skype should be more forthcoming however. It takes some digging to find out what’s creating some of the “account” issues. Similarly on the call issues. Some of these could be cleaned up real easily. Let’s just hope they do it.

    Share
  4. Sticks n Stones

    I just left a comment on Om’s honeymoon blog post. What’s required are creative solutions, not 100’s of new call center operators. That would be yesterday’s model and entirely the wrong way to handle these issues. Instead engage you and me in repor…

    Share
  5. Sticks n Stones

    I just left a comment on Om’s honeymoon blog post. What’s required are creative solutions, not 100’s of new call center operators. That would be yesterday’s model and entirely the wrong way to handle these issues. Instead engage you and…

    COMMENT:
    AUTHOR: Joey Derek

    A friend told me of your site. That´s definitely what i was looking for. I will surely recommend you.

    Share
  6. Glitches at Skype ?

    Cnet has a bad story about Skype’s PC-to-real-phones service, SkypeOut. In my experience with them, I’ve only had one glitch: quality of calls to mobiles is sometimes bad for people receving the call (lots of noise on the line), while

    Share
  7. Skype coming on strong

    After hearing more and more buzz surrounding Skype, I finally downloaded the software to see what it was all about. As far as VoIP providers go, I think Skype has a great business model – free calls t

    Share
  8. I just got skype a few days ago and it’s the best kept secret out there. I’ve looked at several paid plans and for the money (actually free) skype has them all beat hands down.

    Share
  9. I am not a big fan of Skype.

    Skype’s core competency is clearly marketing,that’s it.

    Jair

    Share
  10. VONAGE Tel. Comp ( A REAL SCAM -FLIM-FLAM – OPERATION – With telephone “BOILER-ROOM ” – Operating out of Alhambra, Ca.- They promised & Advertise that I could keep my telephone No. ( I had for over 30 years ) BUT , as soon as I hooked up their ” ADAPTER’ THEY CALL A GIZMO , My long time No. went into cyber space – never to be returned to me again. My tel. compantis informed me it is lost forever… This leads me to believe that VONAGE, also SUNROCKET digetal telephone service, and Global Crossing do have thier problems with the big name companies. — THey are spending several millions of dollers advertising this false information to the unsuspecting public … I thought you could pass this along to your readers.Please, send me a copy of the above comments.

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post