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Complaint regarding age verification and credit cards

Casual Adventurer
6 days ago after logging into my account, I was rudely asked to verify my age and required to enter my birthday. Even though I entered my correct birthday, your form somehow changed the year back to 2017. Without asking for confirmation, you accepted that a 1 month old baby was using your system and now a "parent's permission was required" in order to continue using my account, in the name of child safety or some nonsense. Apparently, the only way to verify if someone is an adult is with a credit card. NEWS FLASH: children under 18 can be issued visa debit cards if they are signers on a parent's bank account, and not all adults (like me) have credit cards. Additionally, you make it next to impossible to contact anyone for help without signing in first. All account recovery options required a credit card. I spent about 1 hour going in circles before I found a contact form that didn't require me to log in first. 6 days later I still have not received any response. I had to wait 6 days until I visited some family and inconvenience them by explaining to them why I needed to use their credit card to unlock my Skype account. You have arbitrarily locked me out of my account for about 6 days due to a poor security policy, and prevented me from contacting friends, family, and business associates. Personally I will be using this experience to find an alternative communication platform and abandon Skype.
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Novel Adventurer
I'm having the same problem as well! What on earth, Skype?!
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Novel Adventurer

I am having the same problem, although I do have a credit card, the verification form does not allow me to change the country, making it impossible to fill in. I had to create a new account to even get to the 'community'

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Casual Tourist

TLDR - There is no help forthcoming.  Repair the damage and move on to another service.

 

Not much activity here so I'll try to help.  I was going to post this in another active thread that is now closed as "solved".  It will make more sense in light of that thread.  Scroll to the end of this post for a link to that thread.

 

This is far from solved. We might have different paths to how we got here but we all hit the brick wall. I decided to research the tech support as well as the issue and I have determined that I don't have time to follow in everybody else's footsteps going rounds with the defenders at the gate, those anti-support stooges that are responsible for countless heart attacks, lost opportunity and uncompensated outsourcing of problem resolution to their customers, hoping I'll be the lucky one to get escalated and disappear into the night with my problem resolved, but no improvement to the landscape for other users.

I was in a hurry, didn't respect the age verification box and lost my identity without any warning. Why would it even come up? So our longstanding accounts can be taken down like a house of cards by mischievous friends and family members, or even a simple mistake by ourselves? It's a feeble attempt to comply (cover their behind) with a stupid child protection law (the COPPA ACT Are you kidding me?, some perv named that one!) that barely waves a hand at really protecting kids from online predators. Are they going to monitor the 99.999% of the time that my child isn't hacking my account with an age verification box? I'll be the parent, thanks. Compounded stupidity. BTW, I hope you can read this. I just learned how to write. Everybody keeps telling me what a precocious infant I am.

Skype accounts merged with Microsoft accounts last year, but it is not an intelligent partnership, it's a broken one. There are different contacts when I log in to my "Microsoft version" of my old Skype account, as if the accounts were merged at some point, but the old contacts stayed behind and only new contacts registered. Now my original account has been hijacked by the vendor and I can't retrieve the contacts in a form that can be imported into the working Microsoft half unless I do some hacking. If you want to automate the recovery of your account, you are forced to use the "Microsoft method", but since one hand doesn't talk to the other and all my previous contact info resides on the Skype half, or whatever, I'm screwed.

 

Therefore, the web form at
https://account.live.com/acsr
won't work for me, but I tried it anyway and of course got what everybody else gets, the canned middle finger:

 

We recently received a request to recover your Microsoft account (redacted). Unfortunately, we were unable to verify your ownership of this account using the information you provided. Microsoft takes the security and privacy of our customers very seriously, and our commitment to protecting your personal information requires that we take the utmost care in ensuring that you are the account owner.

Please submit a new account verification form
At this point, your best option is to submit a new form with as much accurate information as you can gather. The more information you can include in the form, the better the chance you’ll have of regaining access to your account. We’ve included a few tips below to help you fill out the form as completely and accurately as possible.
> Submit a new form
Helpful tips for filling out another form:
Answer as many questions as you can.
Use the information you provided when you created the account, or last updated it.
Submit the form from a computer you frequently use.
You will be asked to list recently used email addresses and the subject lines from recent emails. Ask for help from family members, friends, or business contacts to confirm their email addresses and tell you the subject lines of the last three emails you sent them.
Make sure to use the correct domain for your account, such as hotmail.com, live.com, or outlook.com. Keep in mind that your email address may be country specific. For example, if you created your account in Sweden, your domain would be “hotmail.co.se” rather than “hotmail.com”.
Ready?
> Submit a new form
Thank you,
Microsoft Support Team
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
USA

 

Yeah, right, I'm going to have all my friends and contacts drop what they're doing and screw around with this for a 1% chance of success. They don't like me THAT much. On what planet are these people living? They would never make these preposterous demands of you in person because they know they would get their teeth knocked out. Ah, what they can get away with when they are unaccountable and at a remote location.

 

also
https://support.skype.com/en/account-recovery
redirects to
https://account.live.com/error.aspx?errcode=1086
There's a temporary problem with the service. Please try again. If you continue to get this message, try again later.

 

It's a colossal mess, one so thorough that you wonder if the company is being sabotaged from within and the suits and technicians are being kept clueless by the strings of a master puppeteer. More likely, Microsoft is being crushed under it's own weight and these are symptoms of a dying, incompetent company that has never demonstrated a care for the customer.

 

They have my account information on record. I was not happy, but willing and able to pay the credit card fee to verify my age (usually these fees are quickly refunded, but this one is "absorbed"), but was not able to due to a technical Bleepup that occurs across all platforms and browsers:

 

*****AS HAS BEEN MENTIONED HERE MANY TIMES AND MANY WAYS BY THE HELPFUL VICTIMS POSTING HERE, THIS IS THE TECHNICAL CRUX OF THE PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!*****

https://account.live.com/ChildConsent/PaymentCollection?mkt=en-us&uiflavor=web&cobrandid=90010

Try that again. Something happened on our end.
If the problem persists, please contact customer support.
(337681-[1]-42410fe6-4dfb-47db-befe-5883209749db)

*****FIX THIS AND 90% OF THE HELP GOES AWAY!!!!!!!!!!*****

 

According to the curators of this problem here, fixing this issue is Barbie math hard. This massive company is going to incrementally attempt to fix a web page...maybe. Meh, who knows. Even if it connects to a massively broken back end that is not being alluded to, then you put up a meaningful error page and employ people to deal with this issue in particular, from a direct link. You march towards a resolution. That is, unless you're Microsoft. Then you employ people to keep customers on spin cycle until they give up and go away, cutting their losses and taking their business elsewhere forever.

 

If companies have a problem complying with the stupid law without breaking their services, they need to change the way they implement it or petition Congress to repeal it. Your problem should not be our problem. Just as legitimate software buyers have been the ones to suffer most from misguided anti-piracy laws (the criminals just go around), I get the distinct feeling that this law has disabled lots of legitimate users, but the pre-teens are actually savvy enough to put in a date that makes them old enough when their express intent is to get to the stuff they aren't supposed to. They must have already shoulder surfed the username and passwords to get to that point so what does this law actually do? Well, it lets some lawmakers say they care about kid safety kids, and that's about it.  So instead of even remotely protecting children from harm, we have a policy that penalizes parents for having dumb hackers for kids, too stupid to get past such "stout" security as a date box. If we had any clue that the date box would effectively override our established account settings in one fell swoop, I'm sure us teens and adults would have felt the need to "hack" the date box too, but a normal person would not conceive of such an integral weakness in the service and there was no warning as to the ridiculous consequences. Skype only believes your birthday is correct if your hilarious nephew hits ENTER before you can stop him, not when you sign up for the account, and not when you try to recover it. Logic has just officially eaten itself.

 

I won't be faxing back and forth, or sending personal documents through the mail or into the ethers, I won't be giving my dog's third puppy's name. I won't be going rounds with the drones, who happily collect a paycheck while they do their best to make the world spin backwards. I wouldn't have lasted 2 hours in their place before I would be in the boss's face asking them "WTBleep is going on here? We have a real problem, my customer's concerns need addressing now! No more whitewash! No more FUD!" I would, of course, be summarily fired. I have no sympathy for the ones that stay and perpetuate it. I don't care how badly you need the money. If they paid me to egg houses, I wouldn't do it.

I will simply call my credit card company and put a stop to any recurring payments to Skype through Paypal. Then I will change my letterheads and resumes and contact details to reflect the fact that, through no real fault of my own, I no longer have access to my Skype phone number that I paid for. Then I will request my money back pro-rated and take it up with my credit card company fraud division if they balk. We are going to have a conversation, regardless. Then I will contact the BBB, FCC, and others to let them know that Skype is holding my account hostage and therefore they are in possession of personal information about me and my contacts that I would like destroyed. I will also of course go into detail about how Skype has effectively performed a permanent DOS attack against many of their customers or created the conditions in which this may easily occur and incurred damages to their customers that need to be addressed in a court of claims. After that, I will continue to excise Microsoft from my life by fully transitioning from Windows to Linux. I will be urging friends and family to steer clear of opening any new Skype or Microsoft accounts that they would like to rely on in the future. Heaven forbid you incorporate Skype into your business plan!

We are in dire need of broad reform in the tech support industry in general, as it is the most broken of our many broken institutions. I'm tired of people not being compensated for doing the job of others, or for having to deal with somebody who refuses to do their job and wastes our time and tests our limits of infuriation. I've been in the computer repair and support business for 15+ years and the only thing that comes close to this fiasco, in my experience, is the Seagate bricked HD bad firmware caper and how they blamed their customers for that for months initially. It's ok to make a mistake. It's not OK to pretend there isn't a problem OR that your customer IS the problem! I have never bought a Seagate drive for myself or a customer since. What we are experiencing here is what happens when a corporation gets too big for its britches. Monopolies suck. Thank goodness for alternatives. Just Google "skype alternatives". You'll get plenty of hits.

 

Thanks to sad_linux_user for your help on this forum topic.
https://community.skype.com/t5/Account-Setup-Maintenance/Parent-Permission-for-Skype-Mistake/m-p/458...

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