Category Archives: doublespeak

Skype Security – Bah, humbug!

I don’t normally mix and match my blogs but for Skype I will make a dirty great exception to this rule.  I am re-printing here (somewhat out of context, but hey! let’s have some adventure here) a post I did on my art blog:

about my interaction today with Skype today.  I am a heat-seeking missile seeing revenge for getting the runaround and enduring stupid, condescending conversations which are completely dead-end. It happens so often when you’re dealing with huge, impersonal corporations and this is my little attempt at revenge! And to add insult to injury, as I began getting this post organised, I got ANOTHER unsolicited Skype call!

“Yet again something different from me today and this is personal – I have today conducted the most stupid, frustrating, dead-end conversation with Skype and today’s image reflects my absolutely cheesed off feeling about the organisation’s security and its condescending, stupid, load-of-bollocks approach to callers..

Let me explain:  for a few months’ now I have been getting unsolicited calls on Skype from a variety of men, despite my privacy settings being fixed for only calls from my contacts.  So far there have been about 100 of these wretched phone calls, with an amazing number being high-ranking generals running around in Afghanistan or the United Nations; or simply men asking for contact; or one bright spark who  optimistically called himself Prince William; and one who was charmingly direct: “Hi, I’m looking for a good wife for me and my children”. Aaarrgggh!

So today I got another unsolicited phone call, the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, although I don’t really consider myself a camel and you’re facing a sticky end if you call me that, and decided to contact Skype where you exchange words via typed messages. I have been bathed with a warm shower of soothing words, what I call “Gobbledegook Speech”. It’s when government spokespeople, company representatives or other such types come out with utterly useless phrases like: “We value our client’s privacy so we can’t comment on the fact that our bank has ripped them off illegally and they are having to spend thousands of pounds/dollars to seek redress, but we value the service we provide our clients.”  Or someone has been mistreated in a hospital and the spokesperson says sweetly: “We are dedicated to the welfare of our clients (no patients anymore, by the way!) and we have their best welfare at heart. Unfortunately due to current investigations and privacy laws, we cannot comment at present, but please be assured we regret any pain suffered by the dead person and their family.” Or it’s a bit like when you’re on hold on the telephone and a bland company voice says: “Thank you for holding, we do value your business, we will deal with your issue shortly.” One hour later you are still on hold and looking in horror at the mounting total of your phone bill, you have heard the message so many times, you know it by heart, and you are screaming out loud: “If you value my service so much, why don’t you employ more call centre staff so we don’t have to damned well wait!”

You know, doublespeak which means they don’t give a damn about what’s happened except covering their backsides and hoping it can all be bundled down with all the other crap stuffed down in the underground dungeons. This time I was assured sweetly that the chat room person really understood my problem, sympathised with how awful it is to be harassed by complete strangers, before admitting she had to pass it on to someone else involved with security. So off I went to the next person who uttered the same soothing smartspeak, then passed me off to someone else. In the end the last person (called “Princess” – I wonder if a Queen or Duchess could have come up with a solution?) advised me how to block unwanted callers and report them. To which I, of course, replied: “I know how to do that already and I’ve done it. I don’t want to have to bother with the time-wasting procedure of blocking them. I want to stop the calls altogether. How do I do that?”

And do you know what? After going all around the houses, it finally boiled down to the fact that Skype can’t stop these calls but they are of course, they assured me very seriously, most concerned about my problem, understand how I feel and hope they’ve been of help in resolving my problem. Which, of course, they haven’t!

So this post is my revenge on Skype – don’t bother trying to stop unsolicited calls because they don’t have the mechanisms to deal with them, they will just give you the runaround and refer you to their generic  advice on how to deal with  unwanted phone calls because, in the final analysis, you can’t stop them.. And their privacy setting is a heap of old cobblers because it just doesn’t damned well work! But at least I enjoyed creating this piece of digital art which gets all those frustrations out of my system! (and writing this blog too.)      😀

Skype Stupid

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