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Previous skype fair usage policy

Previous Skype Fair Usage Policy This policy is an old one, please refer to the new policy published on Skype’s website.

For customers who use the Skype subscription plan ($2.95 for unlimited calling), it is import to conform to Skype’s fair usage policy:

SkypeOut calls and Skype To Go* calls are included in your subscription subject to a fair usage limit of 10,000 minutes per user per month. If your subscription includes more than one country, then this is the total amount of minutes allowed per month on your account, and is not a separate limit for each country. Once this limit is exceeded Skype will charge normal SkypeOut rates and a connection fee for any additional minutes used. Subscriptions are for individual use only. Each subscription is to be used by one person only and is not to be shared with any other user (whether via a PBX, call centre, computer or any other means).

Basically for each subscription account:

  • do not exceed 10,000 minutes per month
  • do not share the same subscription account for multiple Skype instances (lines)
  • Do not exceed 6 hours per day
  • Do not exceed 4 hours of continuous call

Failure to do so will result your Skype being blocked by Skype. The last two rules are unpublished, they are based on an email communications between one of our customer and Skype support.

I need to make a lot of phone calls each month, way over 10,000 minutes overall from my small call center. Does that mean Skype is not for me?

Absolutely not. The rule listed above is for each subscription skype account. You can get multiple Skype subscription accounts for different Skype instances to increase the usage. This is no different from traditional call centers getting multiple phone lines for their operations.

I don’t mind to pay for multiple Skype subscription accounts. Three dollars per account is pretty cheap. To have heavy call volume without getting accounts blocked, what is the recommended way of using Voicent with Skype?

The following are the recommendations:

Use a different Skype account for each running Skype instance (line). This is what Skype fair usage policy dictates.

Switch to a different Skype account after a line is used more than 6 hours. After 6 hours of usage, or even 4 hours of usage, log out from the Skype Window and sign in using a different Skype account. If you want to make continuous calling from a line, allocate 2 Skype subsciption accounts to each line, so you will get 12 hours of usage per line.

Setup Interval Dialing to Avoid Heavy Usage Pattern Skype also seems to use a Usage Pattern, in addition to the published fair usage policy, to decide which account to block. If you are using a dialer like Voicent Broadcast By Phone, it is sometimes easy to generate heavy call patterns even you use separate Skype account for separate line.

Please note that there is no difference between a call that is made by human and a call that is made from a dialer software. A human can produce the same usage pattern as a dialer. He just need to continuously call one number after the other.

Most unlimited calling plans have limitations, including services from regular phone companies. Interval dialing is a feature used by Voicent customers to work around the problems. To set up Interval Dialing on Voicent gateway, please select Setup > Options > Outbound tab and set Call Interval. With Interval Dialing, you can slow down the calls and generate a less heavy usage pattern. For example, you can set to make 1 call every 5 minutes per line.

In order to make more calls while using Interval dialing, you can use more lines.

Use Skype Business Control Panel The following is a quote from our customer:

However, it is plain and simple a policy that they either manually but more likely automatically over time enforce that if Calls exceed X amount over Y period of time the account is either being compromised, or is exceeding ‘personal’ usage. Which is why I signed up for the business account. Which, btw, is free — I simply added it to my account and thus far the account has not been blocked.

Sometimes Skype won’t even let you purchase multiple unlimited accounts from the same computer or credit card. Use the Business Control Panel should help solve this problem also.

Use Skype Public Support Forum. If your account is blocked by Skype, your should contact Skype through Skype’s public forum. Skype does not provide phone support. The forum moderator is usually a Skype employee.

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