Skype users who have paid for London based 0207 SkypeIn numbers have been given a months notice that their phone numbers will be terminated. Users are faced with choosing a new number from an 0208 or 0203 range as Skype hands back the 0207 numbers to their supplier.
Users on the Skype forums complain that a month’s notice (the date numbers will be terminated is the 20th December) is simply not good enough. Many have business literature printed with their exisiting SkypeIn number and of course every previous customer will still have their old SkypeIn number.
Anyone who’s inherited a phone number will know it takes years for calls to the old user to cease and that’s part of the attraction of a SkypeIn number. When you move it stays the same, or was supposed to. The big question of course is will people trust Skype with their business again? Cheap calls are great, but are they worth the price of losing your telephone number with practically no notice?
Skype appears to have simply rented the numbers that they then sold for SkypeIn but rental agreements can and do end. The affected numbers appear to be allocated to Gamma Telecom, but there may be a third party in the chain between them and Skype.
Affected users are being called by Skype with the offer of a new SkypeIn number and voicemail free for a year. Voicemail is always free with a SkypeIn number. There’s also a post on the Skype Blog which in typical Skype fashion thanks all of their disgruntled customers for their kindness.