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Is Skype worth the hassle??
Thread poster: Andrea Riffo

Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 14:58
English to Spanish
Dec 4, 2006

Hello everyone,

I downloaded Skype and have been using it for almost a month, because I thought it might be an asset to be reachable cost-free.

Unfortunately, so far all I've gotten are an average of 2 daily requests of the "Hello, U wan2 xat?" variety, usually in the middle of work.

I usually reply "thanks, but no thanks, read my profile message", and one person actually replied "if U don't want to talk then why do U have skype?" [see me growling].

So far, I've:
- Deleted my gender from my profile
- Deleted my birth date from my profile
- Unchecked "allow my status to be seen in the web"

And there has been no improvement.

So, I have a couple of questions for those who have been using skype for a while:

1- Is is really an asset when working with overseas outsourcers, or can MSN or Yahoo take its place?

2- When outsourcers or colleagues contact you, do they usually identify themselves ("hi, I found you on Proz")?

3- If I check, "only my contacts can call me/chat", can new contacts still ask me to add them?


Thank you very very much for your input
Andrea


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Francesca Pesce  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:58
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
I find it useful Dec 4, 2006

Dear Andrea,

I must say that I find it useful. And also that I get much more crap by email than hassling through Skype.

Clicking "ignore" when someone tries to chat takes less time than deleting an email.

That said,

1- I find it useful both in professional and in personal terms. If my client has Skype I can both "chat" and quickly solve problems in real time, but also have a telephone conversation to clear things directly.
And then I can speak to my sister, niece and nephews in another continent as long as I wish for free.

2- When colleagues contact me they usually identify themselves, just as I do. Outsourcers have never contacted me through Skype, preferring emails as their first contact.

Large companies don't use Skype. They prefer paying for their communications.



[Edited at 2006-12-04 21:03]


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Elizabeth Adams  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:58
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
very useful Dec 4, 2006

Hi Andrea,
I love Skype, and I've never been contacted by random people via it. However, I use my husband's name for my Skype profile. That might make a difference.
Best,
Elizabeth


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:58
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Not until now Dec 4, 2006

One of the largest translation agencies in the world recently announced that, effective January 1st, it will be using Skype for all telephone communications between project managers and translators/proofreaders, and other professionals.

In addition, effective on the same date, Skype will no longer be free


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
No longer free? Dec 4, 2006

Luisa Ramos wrote:

One of the largest translation agencies in the world recently announced that, effective January 1st, it will be using Skype for all telephone communications between project managers and translators/proofreaders, and other professionals.

In addition, effective on the same date, Skype will no longer be free


Is that so???????


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 14:58
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
It's worth for me Dec 4, 2006

Hi Andrea

Not only it's worth for me, but I like it, I recommend it and I do prefer it to other options (yahoo, hotmail).

I don't know why I don't receive requests but I did receive at the beginning and I know many people who do when they are new users, maybe something shows somewhere that you're a new user.

If somebody who sees your profile and wants a translator contacts you without introducing himself or saying where he found your contact, he's not very polite and you shouldn't hesitate either asking or disconnecting.

I use it most of all to check availability or to be easily reachable, but “serious matters” like assigning or accepting a translation must be done via email.
Once I refused further contact with a potential client because he only wanted to use Skype. A friend of mine said that I was old fashioned. I didn’t mind.

I think that there is an option to refuse to be contacted by unknown people. Maybe you could use that, anyway, others will be able to find you in the Skype Directory and they will be able to request to be accepted. I don’t know where this option is.

Claudia


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Francesca Pesce  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:58
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
No longer free? Dec 4, 2006

Am I missing on something. On the Skype website, the Italian sentence says:

"Con Skype puoi chiamare gratis chi vuoi, in qualsiasi paese del mondo. E potrai farlo sempre. Con Skype puoi fare tante altre cose che non sono gratis, ma che costano proprio pochino."

To make it short it says you can callo free of charge whoever you want all over the world. And this will be forever.

Has something changed?


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 14:58
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Anecdote Dec 4, 2006

Today I got three requests at the same time... for some reason, I accepted them (in chat mode) and the three people asked simultaneously: "hi, are you from Chile? Is the desert of Atacama pretty?"

At first I thought it was a virus of some sort.

It turned out, they were three 12 year-olds from Sweden who were given an assignment on Chile at school and contacted me (probably found me by country search).

Needless to say, I asked them to please contact me one at a time and postponed my work for a couple of minutes It's heartwarming to see that children and pre-teens from the other side of the world are interested in learning about my land, and that they have the tools to do it. The actual talking part was a little hard, though, between their accents and mine (hehe).

Still, my politics remain "work contacts and family" only... most of the requests I get have nothing to do with educational matters


Back on topic:
Luisa, where did you get that info from??? You cannot begin to guess how dependent I've become on Skype for personal issues. Do you have any more details?

Claudia, I will give it a couple of days to see if the requests die down a little bit. If they don't, I will search for that feature.

Thanks



[Edited at 2006-12-04 22:35]

[Edited at 2006-12-04 22:38]


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Paula Greyling  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:58
Member (2004)
English to French
+ ...
If you don't want to speak to strangers... Dec 4, 2006

A useful tip:
Make sure that you keep the Skype Me option unchecked. See
File menu, Change Online Status.

I make very sure I don't leave it on. I live in Germany and during the run up to the football World Cup last spring I got more than my share of messages from eager young men from Brazil or Nigeria putting their souls at my feet for a space in my Frankfurt flat....

Cheers,

Paula


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xxx@caduceus
United States
Local time: 12:58
English to German
+ ...
change your online status Dec 5, 2006

Change your online status to 'Online'. It will change itself to 'Away' if you haven't used your computer for a while. You can also set it to 'Not available', 'Do Not Disturb', 'Invisible' or 'Offline'.

Here's more info:
http://www.skype.com/help/guides/stepbystep/skypeformac/howtouseskype/status.html

If you have it set on 'Skype Me', you'll get skyped from anyone who wants to chat. That should take care of it. I haven't gotten a single call/chat from an 'unwanted' person.

Actually, if someone wants to contact you via Skype (who is not yet in your list of contacts), they will have to send you an authorization request first, which you will have to accept before you can skype each other.

I also bought SkypeOut minutes to make calls to my family in Germany (landlines/mobile phones) for $0.02/minute. Works great! In fact, I don't use a regular phone for any of my international calls.

Lia Fail wrote:

Luisa Ramos wrote:

One of the largest translation agencies in the world recently announced that, effective January 1st, it will be using Skype for all telephone communications between project managers and translators/proofreaders, and other professionals.

In addition, effective on the same date, Skype will no longer be free


Is that so???????



I was also wondering about Luisa's comment on Skype being no longer free starting January 1st. The Skype website clearly states that its service is free FOREVER!

[Edited at 2006-12-05 00:57]


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Jessica Klingberg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:58
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
My understanding... Dec 5, 2006

is that making Skype calls to landlines within the U.S. is free at the moment, but the service will no longer be free starting January 1st of next year. Calls within the internet will remain free, as always.

My guess is that this is what she's referring to...


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:58
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
That exactly Dec 5, 2006

Jessica Klingberg wrote:

is that making Skype calls to landlines within the U.S. is free at the moment, but the service will no longer be free starting January 1st of next year. Calls within the internet will remain free, as always.

My guess is that this is what she's referring to...

-----------------------
My comment fell short. I should have said:
All calls from Skype to land lines and mobiles within the US and Canada are free through the end of 2006, with heavily discounted per minute call rates thereafter.


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 13:58
English to Russian
+ ...
Another question Dec 5, 2006

Andrea, I have a dumb question: did you publish your Skype ID in your profile or are you talking about some kind of general "Skype scam"?

Maybe instead of disclosing such information a simple mentioning that you have Skype and will provide the ID should the client be interested would solve the problem?


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:58
English to French
+ ...
I just love it... Dec 5, 2006

My husband downloaded Skype for his work about a year ago, and he has free three- or four-way conferences between two cities in the USA and Latin America for hours. It is as if him and his colleagues were spending all that time together.
So I downloaded it very fast too, and I speak with my family in Europe almost everyday. Last week I had a "conference" with my aunt in Luxembourg and my mother in Belgium.
Last week an outsourcer asked me by e-mail if I had Skype, I answered yes, and we could talk immediately without spending one cent.
I also had a few crazy messages at the beginning, and I just left only my name and country on my Skype profile. No more problems. I think I also chose to oblige people to ask first if I agree to answer them. I don't remember well how I did that though. That makes those people who have nothing better to do, think twice before asking.


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 14:58
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Paula, Renate and IreneN, Dec 5, 2006

Thank you for your replies!

Paula and Renate, I have never set my status on "skype me" for the very reasons you stated. Whenever I set it to "do not disturb" there is no problem... but when I have it on "connect" the requests begin.

Perhaps Claudia is right


Claudia wrote:

I don't know why I don't receive requests but I did receive at the beginning and I know many people who do when they are new users, maybe something shows somewhere that you're a new user.


Anyhow, from what I gather I cannot opt out of the skype directory (please correct me if I am mistaken), and it might have something to do with my location.


IreneN wrote:

Andrea, I have a dumb question: did you publish your Skype ID in your profile or are you talking about some kind of general "Skype scam"?


You're right, I did publish my skype ID in my profile, but none of the people who have contacted me have found me through Proz. In fact, the first thing I ask is "where didi you find me?" and the usual reply is "on the skype directory"... or "eeerrrmmmm.... why?".

I believe this is true because the usual question is "what is Ur name?" (please believe me, I am not mocking... that is how messages have been written). Considering my Proz profile shows my name, that would be a silly question.

Add that to the fact that I also show both my MSN and Yahoo IDs, yet have never received strange requests on either... the only one I've gotten so far was a legit one from a fellow Prozian from China who wanted to ask me a few questions.

Anyhow... unless I see a polite introduction I will henceforward establish an automatic "deny request" policy.


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