Skype versus Yahoo
With the influx of complaints regarding Skype’s fall from grace, Danny Wirken measures up the top competitor and internet giant Yahoo!’s news internet telephony service.
Cheaper, faster, better quality, better customer service and a brand you can trust. These are the things Yahoo! want you take away from any of their promotional material for the new Yahoo! voice VoIP service.
The weird and wonderful continues to dominate the Skype debate. A recent complaint published on a blog from a Skype user illustrates the issue at the heart of Skype’s fall from grace well:
“I recharged my account and then couldn’t use it. When I emailed support I got a response four days later saying that my account was not over 3 months old. Yet I am. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I asked Skype customer service to recheck. They then said it was because I have under 5 euros in my account. Yet I had over 5 euros. At that point I gave up.”
It’s hard to blame the customer support staff though – with the daily torrent of complaints they are no doubt having to deal with the blame and responsibility falls squarely in the lap of Ebay who now own Skype. Yahoo! aims to offer a more competitive service.
The published list of prices are now available on the Yahoo! site and it’s plain for all to see who will eventually be leading on price for national and international calls.
Yahoo! certainly has the market – the users of its chat software are a rival market for Skype’s exclusively VoIP based service. By adding value to the service Yahoo! can already offer their users, they are making a far smaller step than Skype or any other company seeking to offer competition in this fast paced market.
With MSN and AOL also entering the fray, Yahoo! is keen to gain immediate respect as the new internet telephony Mecca. There is essentially no difference between Yahoo!’s business model and Skype’s business model except that Yahoo! bundles many services into one piece of software.
Customers are predicted to trust Yahoo! with their personal details and payment information more readily than Skype who already has a poor history of random charges, incorrect charges and general customer service problems that have had the user base up in arms for several months now.
Yahoo! claim that their top priority is to provide the best communications service possible by blending the VoIP into other services such as mobile communications and search. It is this kind of integration that holds the key to the future marketplace – but is it one which Skype can easily keep up with? They have no instantly recognisable equivalence to the broad network of services on offer from Yahoo! and this is a fact that customers will be aware of.
If you’re fed up with the problems permeating the world of Skype right now then I strongly suggest you check out Yahoo!’s offering. You might just be thankful that you did. There are many more competitors on the books however – pushing prices down across the industry.
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