Skype offers free service due to global outage

Posted by Mark Raby

The outage is over, and now it's time for the damage control. Skype's CEO took to the company's official blog to discuss the problems and offer compensation to the millions of affected users.

The world was in a tailspin over the last couple days as they found virtually every Skype service completely unusable. It couldn't have come at a worse time, as businesses were winding down their operations in time for the holidays and everyone else was trying to contact friends and families to set up Christmas plans.

For Skype CEO Tony Bates, the idea of a relaxing week before the holidays no longer exists. He went to the company's official blog to say the problem is now mostly fixed.

"We now understand the cause of the problem and we believe it was not caused by a malicious attack. But, we are still doing a full analysis and we will provide an in-depth post-mortem," wrote Bates.

Some services, like group video calling, are still having problems, but the vast majority of Skype is back up and running.

Still, it leaves many Skype users anywhere from frustrated to outraged, especially those who rely solely on Skype for their voice calling and instant messaging. As a result, Bates said the company will be issuing vouchers for 30 minutes of free calling to every Pay As You Go and Pre-Pay users - the majority of Skype users.

For those who have a subscription plan and pay a monthly fee to use Skype as much as they want, they'll all automatically receive a free week of service in the form of an extended service expiration date.

It's not the first time such a wide-scale Skype outage has occurred, but when it comes to voice-over IP services, it's really the only name most people know. It's likely this massive headache won't cause many people to stop using Skype, so hopefully Bates can still have a stress-free holiday.

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