Tag Archives: compliance

Usability? Your problem, according to Skype

Isn’t it great to be told that when a site does not work, it is YOUR fault?

I went to skype.com to download the latest release for my Mac, went to the downloads page, and landed on the default Windows download page. OK, I’m used to this and expect it, even though I thought they used to sniff out my OS and browser and deliver me to the MacOSX Download page automatically. (For those of you not aware, all browsers tell the webserver what browser and operating system the visitor is using. It is trivial for a web designer to utilise this when it needs to.) So I click on the well signposted MacOSX Downloads link and click on the helpful big green button saying Skype 2.7 for Mac OS X Download.

So far so good.

So you’d now expect to see a download progress bar right? No, I get redirected to the Windows download page, which does not allow me to download the Win version either. To my experienced eyes, this is a clear example of some logistical loop on the web server. Someone has tried something clever, some web redirect to make the site deliver the file according to the OS given, right? No problem, all developers are human so I pop over to the poorly signposted help button and several clicks later (where there is no mention of the possibility that one would have trouble downloading) I manage to get a message off to support to get some assistance. The form asks me my OS, browser, skype version, etc… and leaves me space to tell them I am trying to download the latest Mac release, and would like a direct link to the file or dmg as required.

Guess what the reply, 24 hours later, is?

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Hello Joe,

Thank you for contacting Skype Support.

You should try to download as follows:
Close your current Skype by clicking the Skype icon in the system tray (the green spot in the bottom right hand corner) and choosing “Quit” from there.

It is suggested to clear your web browser cache to make sure you don’t get the old version again.
How to delete cache in Internet Explorer:
Go to Internet Explorer –> Tools –> Internet Options –> General and under Temporary internet files select ‘Delete files..’
How to delete cache in Mozilla:
Go to Mozilla –> Tools –> Options –> Privacy –> Clear cache.

Go to http://www.skype.com/download.html
Click download -> Download File -> Open… and off it goes. *If you again experience the issue, please repeat the downloading process while using an alternate browser.*

Later when you have logged in, check Help -> About to see whether you have the right version

Please reset your firewall for Skype as sometimes the old settings may need to be completely refreshed after an upgrade.

*Please note, that firewall does not completely disable Skype from connecting, but may be causing this connection quality.

1) Make sure your status is set to Online. Go to Skype > File > Change Online Status > select “Online”. You can also right click the Skype icon in the taskbar > Online Status > select “Online”.

2) Download and install our latest Skype version found here: http://www.skype.com/download/

3) If you have recently upgraded or installed Skype then your Firewall needs a new rule in the exception list. Even if the previous version of Skype is already in the exception list, delete it and create a new rule for Skype. If you have more than one Firewall each of your Firewalls will require a rule allowing Skype to connect to the internet. Sometimes Firewalls allow Skype to connect for a number of days before blocking it.
For firewall setup – http://www.skype.com/help/guides/firewall.html

4) Another reason for that may be a proxy that is blocking your access to the Internet. Ask your Network Administrator to help you on that matter.

5) If none of the above helps and you fail to connect to the Skype network, it is likely that your firewall is blocking these connections and you need to open up some outgoing ports. Note that this refers only to outgoing connections, not incoming connections. In most firewalls, you have to specify a destination port or port range to open. There are four options for Skype to work:

*Ideally, outgoing TCP and UDP connections to all high-range ports (1024..65535) should be opened.
*If the above is not possible, open up outgoing TCP connections up to port 443 & 80. Some firewalls restrict traffic on port 80 to HTTP protocols only, in this case Skype can not use it since we do not use HTTP. With some firewalls it is possible to open up all traffic to port 80, not just HTTP, in this case Skype will work.

* If none of the above is possible, Skype can use a HTTPS/SSL proxy. In order to do that, you have to configure the proxy address in Internet Explorer options. Then Skype will be able to use the proxy as well.

6) You may also try the following:
* Close Skype
* Go to C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone and rename Skype.exe. E.g. rename it to Skype1.exe or similar
* Start Skype using the new renamed file (if renaming the Skype program file helped you then it is definitely a matter of a firewall blocking Skype.exe

Best regards,

Brigitta – Skype Support

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Those of you who know your way around a mac can see this is a reply for WindowsXP users. I’m not saying that Mac users, a clear minority, deserve top line attention. I do believe that if you do offer software and support to Mac users, you retain awareness they are using a Mac. So in short, Brigitta

  • did not read the form Skype creates, clearly displaying the OS
  • did not direct me to a direct download
  • sent me a stock answer, after I filled in a detailed form with my problem

So on my reply, where I ask them to both review my original support ticket and note that I am using a mac and therefore WindowsXP support instructions will not help, received the following reply:

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Hello Joe,

Thank you for contacting Skype Support.

Please try to download Skype for Mac OS X using Safari, if using Mozilla Firefox fails.

Best regards,

Mihkel S.
Skype support

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Once again, I ask them to send me a direct link to the download, after I tried Safari, Camino, Flock and Opera.

The thing is, I clearly asked them to test this link with a Mac from outside their network in my original email. I am certain that no-one did any such thing nor did they post a ticket to the web team to ask them to do so either. Most sites that offer downloads also offer options and direct links to the downloads as well as these automated options.

What one does not want is to be told the problem is mine, but to be told the problem is under investigation. Surely I cannot be alone?