Skype Caught With Pants Down

Millions of Skype users offlineMillions of Skype users woke up this morning to find they were disconnected, including this SEO.

I first thought my inability to connect to Skype had something to do with the new Linksys WRT350N router that I recently installed and have had so many problems with, but now, I can’t blame this one on Linksys. After rebooting computers, routers and cable modems, I finally went to the Skype site to find this message:

Some of you may be having problems logging into Skype. Our engineering team has determined that it’s a software issue. We expect this to be resolved within 12 to 24 hours. Meanwhile, you can simply leave your Skype client running and as soon as the issue is resolved, you will be logged in. We apologise for the inconvenience.

According to the comments left on the Skype blog by frustrated users, “some” was an understatement. Apparently millions are affected. I also couldn’t get to the Skype support forums, probably due to an overload of frustrated users trying to find out what was going on.

As of this writing (12:30 pm Pacific Time), I am still unable to connect. Considering that I (along with a few million others) use Skype VOIP services for business (I have two Skype numbers along with SkypeOut), this is not so good. My client is stuck in a perpetual “connecting” state for my desktop computer, Skype/Belkin wi-fi handset and laptop.

Turns out Skype is not as bulletproof as many of us might have thought.

Update: At 3:15 pm Pacific Time I was connected for a few seconds, long enough to see Skype reporting all of 149,608 users online. Yep, I’d say we’re shy several million!

Update 8/17/07: It’s 7:45 a.m. Pacific Time on day two of the outage and Skype shows me online, along with 3,154,444 others, but none of my contacts appear to be online. Also, connection still appears sporadic. Looks like some progress, but still not stable. Guess I’ll continue using my cell phone today. 😉

Update 8/17/07: It’s now 11:15 a.m. Pacific Time and things look worse to me. The number of online Skype users that appears whenever I connect for a few minutes (very few) seems to be dropping, down about a million from earlier.

Here’s the latest from Skype:

As Europe has woken up to a new day and Asia is entering the evening hours, here’s the latest on the sign-on problem.

We’re on the road to recovery. Skype is stabilizing, but this process may continue throughout the day.

An encouraging number of users can now use Skype once again. We know we’re not out of the woods yet, but we are in better shape now than we were yesterday.

Finally, we’d like to dispel a couple of theories that we are still hearing. Neither Wednesday’s planned maintenance of our web-based payment services nor any form of attack was related to the current sign-on issues in any way.

We’ll update you again as soon as we can. Thanks for hanging tight.

Update 8/17/07: Maybe we’re making some progress. At 3:10 p.m. Pacific Time, I appear to have been connected for about 30 minutes, the longest I have stayed connected in two days. Skype is reporting 5,426,986 people online. I actually received a SkypeIn call a few minutes ago which I let go to voicemail as I don’t trust the stability of Skype enough yet to try to carry on a conversation with the service. Keep your fingers crossed.

At any rate, businesses have gone two days without use of the service. No telling how much money has been lost. I’m sure Skype will be hearing about it for a while.


3 thoughts on “Skype Caught With Pants Down

  1. This is a voice from a among the millions. I am based in Belgium and manage a digital magazine that relies on me having constant contact with Australia. I have been hooked up with Skype since it started and until now have been mostly satisfied with the service. No longer. I lost Skype Thursday morning (my local time) and I guess, like millions of others, tried to find a cause within my computer set-up. It was only a few hours later that I began to get e-mails and phone calls from other user-colleagues that the penny dropped: we realised the fault was at Skype’s end.

    I find the fact that Skype has treated it all in such a seemingly casual manner (the late and incorrect message you quote is an example) most unbusiness-like: they would have been better off getting a service message out a lot quicker and being more upfront about the true nature and depth of the problem.

    Indeed, as I write this, the Skype button has gone grey/green/grey/green constantly. In fact, it now sits more in the grey zone.

    Like others I will stay with Skype (I am wrong for being an optimist in hoping they will solve the problem). But I have now installed Wengophone as a back-up. Hope Skype are reading all this stuff — and that they react

  2. Cindy says:

    Thank you so much! I was wondering what the heck was going on and just didn’t take the time to troubleshoot it. I will be patient…

  3. Pingback: » Skype Apologizes for OutagePalm Springs SEO | Palm Springs Search Engine Optimization and SEO Training by The Web Optimist

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