Skype Journal Test

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Skype stops selling flat-rate all-Taiwan and all-Asia plans in Taiwan

PChome & Skype home pageTaiwan probably has the highest per-capita Skype adoption of any country. Politicians pose for Skype photo-ops. Their top portal drives Skype traffic. They invent the most stylish of USB and PC-free Skype phones.  

So I was surprised when Jan Geirnaert tipped me to Skype partner PChome backing off of some flat rate services as published in this DigiTimes story.

Skype's deal of a cheap flat rate to landlines in all of Taiwan and most of Asia was so good that some customers maxed out their accounts. They shared their accounts with friends and family. Some even set up shop selling access to their Skype accounts.

Skype continues to offer the all world rate, but the Go Taiwan and Go Asia rates are not for sale or renewal at  New pricing plans will replace Go Taiwan and Go Asia as soon as they can be defined and built. The new subscriptions "will better suit the calling patterns and price points for users in Taiwan" said a Skype spokesperson.

Large economic forces are in tension. The demand to talk still fuels a multi-trillion dollar industry. Skype serves five percent of long distance calls on Earth, yet unmet demand is enormous. As we've seen here, small changes in pricing dramatically change product adoption, calling behavior, and consumer psychology. It's still early and new skills, beyond simple market arbitrage, will become important to Skype's prosperity and success. 

PChome advert for Skype Go World by you.

Rough translation of the letter PChome emailed to customers, provided to me by Skype.

Dear XYZ,
Thank your kindly for supporting PChome and Skype for a long time.
We regret to notify you that we will stop the auto-renewal function of Unlimited Taiwan and Asia 200 starting 8/21/2008. It means you can not extend the subscription of these packages by paying with Skype Credits in your Skype account anymore. However, you can keep using active Unlimited Taiwan and Asia 200 until the expiration date.
PChome always tries to keep our users satisfied by offering the Skype Internet communication service with excellent quality and reasonable price. The new subscriptions are very popular. However as several months passed, we found some users abused the service, and the misuse made a serious impact on regular users. Therefore, we have to stop the auto-renewal of the service. We are quite sorry about the inconvenience.
Please notice that after the auto-renewal stops, you can still use SkypeOut to call the whole world and don't forget the chat, calls and video calls of Skype to Skype are completely free. Besides, we will release alternative monthly subscription packages that match users' requests as soon as possible.
Once again, sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for understanding. 

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