Skype +PC Home join forces in Taiwan & take a huge step backwards

#1

As my Skype credit had almost run out, Skype was directing me to the PC Home website to buy credit. So, I went about buying some credit (to call land lines abroad).
In the past this was a simple task that took about 1 minute (the last time about a year ago) with no issues.

However, that is not the case now.

Skype have got together with PC Home (and in other countries got together with companies there) to run its Taiwan end of Skype.
This has resulted in a backwards step that has caused many problems for foreigners/non Taiwanese and I maybe even Taiwanese should they travel abroad for long periods.

First, you have to verify your Skype account with a copy of your passport and a copy (a photo ID) of either your NHI card, ARC or Work Permit before you even think about buying credit.
A web search resulted in reading about others in similar scenarios.
Thankfully, I read some of the threads about these issues and realising it would be a waste of time even contacting PC Home (as I only have the passport as acceptable ID), I gave up knowing Taiwan bureaucracy wouldn’t budge.

Basically, any tourist, visitor, or business person visiting Taiwan would meet the same problem. That is around 6 million people a year who can not buy credit for Skype in Taiwan. Of course, most wouldn’t, buy credit but…

Now, another issue is even if you visit Taiwan, use Skype and are directed to the PC Home website then return to your home country, there is a strong chance you will forever be directed to the PC Home website, no matter where you are should you want to purchase credit.
The only way to stop it, would be to open a new account or contact PC Home with two copies of ID with proof of your address abroad (People who have done that said, nothing changed).
Someone even tried having a relative in their home country buy credit, using his account, but they were still directed to the PC Home website.

So, I am moving to Google voice now. A brief look at their layout to buy credit looked very user friendly and certainly not backward.
Skype is a joke.

Here are some links:
community.skype.com/t5/Rates-and … d-p/414743
community.skype.com/t5/Rates-and … -p/2332651
community.skype.com/t5/Rates-and … -p/2302219

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#2

What are you talking about? I added skype credit (25€) two days ago, using my paypal account (linked to my bank account in Spain). No troubles at all, exactly the same as always.

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#3

You must be one of the lucky ones.
Were you directed to the PC Home website?

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#4

Oh!!!the reason why…I attempted to buy skype credit and i was redirected to PC home saying that inorder to use Skype credit here, it should be coursed thru the NTC, which I couldnt because I am not a plan subscriber…thanks for the info!

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#5

Just tried to add credit and got the redirect as well, they do have a contact if you’re a foreigner in Taiwan, didn’t bother to try it. Oh well, Skype was good in the past, will continue to use it as a free service but am not going to go through any hassle in order to give them my money, next!

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#6

Briefly reading, it seems that you’re affected if you opened your skype account in Taiwan.
I added credit last week, and was unaffected, but my account was set up in the Uk.

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#7

I refused to do that… couldn’t read Chinese in those days… just go to skype in the us and pay via PayPal.

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#8

You must be one of the lucky ones.
Were you directed to the PC Home website?[/quote]

No, I wasn’t redirected at all. It might be because my account was setup in Spain and I always pay in Euros with a spanish credit card or my paypal account also setup in spain and also linked to my spanish card/bank.

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#9

just download skype from skype.com and not the PChome version of it… simple as that.

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#10

Doesn’t fix the problem

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#11

Just tried the paypal option - still need to ‘verify’ my account.
And all roads lead to PC Home.

Some one in a forum said they used the app store for their mac. I tried my mac and there was no option to buy credit from Skype at the app store. Also the mac takes me to the PC Home page.
Tried a VPN and it didn’t work. Took me back to PC Home.

It is just so much hassle.

I will try buying some credit for google voice tonight and switch to them.

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#12

Where did your accounts were created?

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#13

Try a VPN, then. But if you enter your address as Taiwan, I’m not sure what will happen. I think my address is probably the US. And I pay via Paypal anyway.

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#14

Last time I managed to avoid this new PChome shit and added credit using paypal: On the website, go to Billing & payments. There you enable auto-recharge. At pay with you specify your paypal (my paypal is still listed there). Once it’s paid you immediately disable the auto-recharge again (or leave it if you don’t mind). Of course the auto-recharge is done when your credit falls below a certain amount (2 euros in my case).

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#15

Yes, I had the exact same problem as the OP said. It’s a ridiculous requirement that was not well though out. Pretty much what I’ve come to expect.

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#16

Genius, thanks for this, worked perfectly! In my case I had my credit card details on the system and it automatically took from that, disabled it 1 min later.

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#17

Genius, thanks for this, worked perfectly! In my case I had my credit card details on the system and it automatically took from that, disabled it 1 min later.[/quote]

You’re welcome! And I hope this method will keep working…

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#18

I tried the paypal option, but again I was instructed I needed to verify who I was at the PC Home website.

Trying Google Voice it refused a Taiwanese credit card and immediately suspended my google wallet set up. They now want utility bill copies, etc to verify who I am. So, that was discarded.

Anyway, I kind of found a solution. Returning to Skype, I used the user friendly VPN program - Tunnelbear (the free version), turned on UK for as UK ip address and opened the skype home page. There I set up a new account and bought credit using a Taiwanese credit card. No PC Home bullshit to contend with thankfully. No verifying who I am etc. Such ease of use.

So, I have two skype accounts. One for credit to call land lines which is UK based and one for calling other skype users. I don’t have to log into the VPN to use it. However, if I reach a certain point with the credit, I will be asked if I want to buy more credit and there is a high probability (according to skype forum posters) I could be directed to the PC Home website where the bullshit would start again.
The poster above mentioned 2 euros - maybe the VPN should be turned on when I reach a similar amount to be safe…

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#19

You could try a simple voip/sip provider, should be less of a pita to setup. You can call from computers or smartphones with appropriate applications.

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#20

Still a huge pain in the ass. Bought skype vouchers with paypal (since I can’t just use PayPal for a Taiwanese account), but the vouchers don’t work, I assume because Taiwan PayPal is a totally separate beast.

Incidentally, PayPal Taiwan is similar… looks the same but very difficult to use or make changes; you can only connect Taiwan PayPal with one bank in Taiwan (E.Sun) and they routinely freeze your accounts or block you from sending payments.

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