Skype having problems?

My Skype has been logging me in and out all morning and it is showing “only” 3.3Mio users online – where have all the other 5 to 6Mio users gone?

And even when I’m online I only see a fraction of my contacts even-so they are online. Hope these guys let us know soon what is going on? Have not seen any statement?

UPDATE 10:36-BST: Online again, and so are also over 1Mio users – now back to 4.3Mio. Sorry I was too optimistic – I’m offline again?

UPDATE 10:48-BST: Online again, but lost 1.1Mio users again, can see only one of my contacts? I guess it’s official – problems at Skype! And I’m off-line again!!

UPDATE 10:58-BST: Online again, seems every ten minutes, but now only 2.7Mio users – soon there will be nobody left. I’m offline again!

UPDATE 10:59-BST: Skype admits login problem – they are not specific about it!

“Due to Peer-to-Peer network issues there are problems with Skype login. This issue is being investigated. We will give new updates when the issue has been resolved.

We apologize for any inconvenience.”

UPDATE 12:20-BST: Now we are down to 1.8Mio users. With only about 20% of its users showing online I think it is fair to say that Skype is down – a sad day for Skype and for us too – as we use Skype in our OnlineOffice console.

UPDATE 14:15-BST: Nearing the singularity – 764.324 people online and falling fast – the meltdown continues. Slowly I’m beginning to get worried about Skype – the US is about to wake up to the fact that Skype is down – now the homepage is no longer loading. No news from skype.

UPDATE 14:30-BST: Villu Arak from Skype says:

Some of you may be having problems logging in to 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.

With “some of you” he means over 90% of you – this is not the way to deal with this – what do they think nobody is going to notice they are down – give me a break. What a support and PR disaster – I guess not without reason has he filed his post under “Milestones”.

What is the problem anyway – a software problem or a peer to peer network issue – which one is it, or is it both problems, are there any other problems or is it something else altogether???

Just let us now – if you know – so we know what we are looking at!

UPDATE 16:35-BST: Reading some of the comments to this post and calls from clients, I would like to add the following:

  • we ( will not stop working with skype in the future and I think anyone should consider what skype has done for all of us in the past,
  • my concern here is the way this situation is handled not with the service skype has provided, my clients are loyal skype users and deserve more communication from skype,
  • I just hope nothing more sinister than, a typical screw-up, hardware failure is to blame for this,

So just let us know what is going on, read some of the comments here and elsewhere to realize how important the skype service is to some people.

UPDATE 17:32-BST: My interview with the AP- Associated Press/ Matt Moore on the Skype outage.

UPDATE 07:00-BST, Aug.17th: Situation much as yesterday – after hitting about 10k users online yesterday – we are now back to 1.9Mio users and I’ currently online. Rumors are flying about a possible external hacker attack (-> see comments below) – Skype’s last announcement on the website at 05:30 GMT:

Hello everyone,

Skype is currently working on resolving the sign-on issue. We’re fixing our networking software and monitoring the clients getting online with increased success.

Please see our Heartbeat blog for ongoing updates.

And the messages are still a little confusing but we are being updated on a regular basis – very good guys, I knew you had it in you. Sten seems to be doing a good job, as what he says can be seen on the “ground”. Back to 2.5Mio now – as he says things are improving – I can see two of my contacts again.

I hope I will post my last update on this post next!

UPDATE 11:45-BST, Aug. 17th: Despite Sten’s promise no update – no service, even-so I’m connected, but to what(?) I do not know – I’m still on- and offline all the time – no change then.

I hope my staff is watching this, for when this happens to us – trust me it will happen to us one day – and when we say we are going to make an update in about four hours – we better do it. We owe that to our customers.

UPDATE 12:20-BST, Aug. 17th: Villu posted a few moments ago:

Hello all,

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.

Believe it or not, that is good news in a way “…nor any form of attack..”, I am happy to live for another day or so without this “great & free service” – mind you I have SkypeIn & Out, in short I’m a Skype junkie – but if this would have been caused by an external attack I would have been worried for the future.

I will make this my last update for now – as I feel you’ll be better served by going onto the Skype Heartbeat website, since they seem to update us all on a semi regular basis – I will only be back if there are “other & unforeseen” developments. Leaves me to wish the Skype boys & girls best of luck to get this fixed ASAP.

Moving On – waiting for my button to turn green.

UPDATE 16:40-BST, August 17th: Unfortunately Skype has decided not to communicate with it’s customers & clients. The situation is not improving – online, but can’t see anyone – about 2.2Mio users showing.

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

This was now about six hours ago – no improvement, no update – they should update us at fixed intervals. I would think Skype can get one person to keep it’s customers informed. What is going on – are we being told the real story? I’m beginning to wonder!!!

Needless to mention here that their own deadline – 12 to 24 hours – is up and gone.

Judging by same of the comments on my blog and others, things are getting pretty unpleasant out there – why is Skype behaving this way, when it is all so avoidable – any idea?

PLEASE NOTE: may I remind my readers that I approve your comments on an individual basis, there is a line I’m not willing to cross, so please don’t waste your and my time with abusive comments, they will not get published. Nobody understands better than I do, what Skype’s service has come to mean to us all – but that does excuse abusive messages.
I thank you all for your comments.

UPDATE 18:10-BST, August 17th: Not much change, no news, 3.5Mio users show online, service not available, get online and offline all the time, like I said, not much change.

I’m still stunned by this utter PR and customer support disaster so I decided to do one of my Small Business Checklists for my usual readers and on this occasion for Skype, it is about Handling Customer Care.

Maybe someone in Skype is still reading blogs, if so have a look at it – PLEASE.

UPDATE 21:20-BST, August 17th: There is no news from Skype on their Heartbeat website, the last message was over 10 hours ago, unbelievable. However I have found an article in the New York Times with some more insight. It reads something like this:

…… But they said that while they had pinpointed the source of the problem, they still did not know why it had resulted in a network failure, and they could not ensure that the service would be running smoothly again by Friday.

“There is a chance this could go on beyond tomorrow, but it’s our hope that it’s going to be resolved,” Kurt Sauer, Skype’s chief security officer, said. “What happened today was caused by a unique set of events, the genesis of which is not entirely understood ……

It gets more and more interesting, they say it’s a login problem, yet I login, but get no service – even if I see other contacts? Is that a login problem??? What remains is that I’m still stunned by their unbelievable customer service.

UPDATE 04:30-BST, August 18th: At 01:44 AM this morning Skype reported that all is back to normal, good news:

Hello again,

We are pleased to announce that the situation continues to improve. The sign-on problems have been resolved. Skype presence and chat may still take a few more hours to be fully operational. We know what our faithful users have been going through and we thank you for your patience and kind support.

If you are one of the minority who may still be experiencing problems, please be patient. You do not need to adjust or restart your computer. Skype will start working for you very soon.

We will issue a further update when we know that Skype is functioning normally, or if there is further material news.

We’ve commandeered extra supplies of pizza and coffee, and we can promise that the Skype people aren’t going anywhere until they’re happy that everything is back to normal.

(Posted at 00.02 AM GMT)

(Update at 1:44 AM GMT: Please ignore the “Problems with Skype login” text in the Heartbeat status box above, next to “Sign-in and registration”, as well as “P2P network core”. The text should read “All working normally”.)

It is showing over 4Mio users online, could not test it as most of my contacts are in bed and my staff in Australia is on weekend leave – so that will have to wait until the morning.

Let us hope that this is the end for most of the users and that this is not the end of the matter for Skype, and that they will perform a post-mortem in which the will establish a proper “Incident Management Plan”, especially in relations to it’s customers.

Here a link to my interview with Juan Perez of the IDG News Service for PC World and others.

And now finally ….. moving on.

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