Maybe it’s the way I murder Gangnam Style on Just Dance 4.
Whatever the reason, Skype are convinced that I’m Korean.
I discovered this when I went to renew my Skype number a few weeks ago. Instead of being directed to the usual payment page, I was taken to a Korean language page. I tried a few times, but always ended up on a Korean language page.
Foolishly, I thought that it would be as simple as asking Skype for the correct link so that I could renew my number, but life is rarely as simple as it might be.
My first issue was making contact with Skype. For a communications company, they don’t make it easy. Despite specialising in voice and video calls over the internet, you can’t actually contact Support by phone. Apparently, you can email them, but despite spending what seemed like an eternity looking around their website, I never found out what the Customer Service email was. That left Chat. Now, Chat I did find – thanks to a helping hand from Mathew Riches on Twitter (despite having a Twitter account themselves, Skype UK don’t reply to tweets from mere customers).
And this is where the whole episode gets rather surreal.
Skype will only give me the correct link for me to renew my Skype number if I can prove I am not Korean. Otherwise, I’ve to use the Korean language page.
This is what I was told by not one, but two customer service advisors, one of whom went by the name of Cinderella (I’m not making this up).
Why can’t you just give me the link to the equivalent English language page, I asked? Because you might be Korean was the answer.
The fact that all of my Skype activity is via a UK IP counts for nothing. According to Cinders, I could simply be masking my IP and my true location, Korea.
The fact that all payments made to Skype over the last how many years have originated from the UK means diddly-squat too. I could simply be a Korean with a UK bank account.
No, Skype needs irrefutable proof that I’m not Korean before allowing me to use an English language page to renew my Skype number. They want me to email them copies of identification that prove that I’m British.
Really? Just to get access to an English language payment page?
Maybe, I’m living in North Korea after all.