Archive for the 'response' Category

Lights, Sirens, Action!

August 24, 2006

AmbulanceToday started out like any other, I got up, checked email…everything was fine. In the United States today many radio stations will be carrying a story about my music video release of “Rock and Roll Heaven.” I was quite excited to start the day and I came downstairs, greeted my mom and Max my dog…and then all hell broke loose!

With an Arrrrhhhhhhh!!! from my mom, everything started, and everything went to hell. She was in screaming agony. She sat down on the sofa and for the next half hour as I sat there, she was in pain, and then not and back to pain again. I was of course very worried because my mother has an extremely high threshold for pain, and does not usually actually scream in pain.

I called the local doctors surgery to see about getting her in. I explained that my mother was screaming in agony and she needed to see someone right now! The absolute incompetence of our local doctor’s surgery followed with orchestrated precision. They were unwilling and unable to change from the programmed response. They said that she would not be able to see a doctor until 4PM. By this time I was getting irritated and told them that was simply not good enough, she needed to see a doctor immediately, and would not be able to make it to the surgery under her own locomotion. As expected, I was placed on hold while “she checked” with the doctor on call. She came back and told me that she was unable to get us in before more than an hours time had passed. I told her that an hour was too long, and asked her for the phone number for our local Hospital, I did not think it necessary to call the emergency number. She gave me a number that was incorrect, outdated. With another scream from my mother I made the decision to call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

The ambulance arrived about 20 minutes later with two very pleasant paramedics/EMTs. They talked to her and determined after taking blood pressure and talking about medical history, that it was necessary to take her to the hospital Accident and Emergency Room. When we got there the usual waiting game started and she was finally seen by an emergency room doctor, about an hour later. He said it was nothing serious, and offered her a pain killer that contained Codine. My mother is violently allergic to Codiene, and when informed of this the doctor was unable to offer an alternative other than paracetemol, which is of course not a strong enough drug for agony. She arrived back in the waiting room less than 5 minutes after she had gone in and is still in similar pain now that we are home. I hope this clears up soon.

We had to get a taxi home which started another game when the Taxi driver told us that he had absolutely no idea how much it should cost, and that he thought it would be around 10 pounds, He radioed to his dispatch, and was unable to raise them without incredible interference on the channel. He had a mobile phone in the car and never once considered using it to call his dispatch. We told him we thought it would be around 5 pounds and I actually ended up calling the taxi agency and asking them myself! They informed me it was 4.50 and I told the driver. He was visibly irritated that he was unable to swindle us. So we got home for 4.50.

An incredibly stressful and non-productive morning.

You can never tell what life if going to throw you at you, can you? I will add that I plan to contact the doctor’s surgery and launch an official complaint. I am pleased with the diagnosis of “not serious” anything not serious means we can breathe a little easier, well I can, it still hurts for my mom to take a deep breath. I am hopeful that she will be better in the next couple of days, and I am grateful for the neighbours who have come and asked if I need anything and if my mom is alright. Knowing people care, really helps.


Skype Responds to My Telemarketing Inquiry – Or Did They?

June 28, 2006

skypeLast week, following the telemarketing incident with my good friend Joe Klein, I attempted to contact Skype for their response; I left 2 separate messages for the media relations department at eBay, The calls were not returned. Undaunted, I attempted to use my own inside contacts to get a response, or at least some sort of inside information.

I felt it best to keep the name of the person I contacted anonymous. A short while ago, I received an email from Skype. it was not from my contact there, but, rather, from another Skype representative. As there is an ominous notice at the bottom of the message deeming the contents of the email to be “confidential” I am hesitant to release the name of the sender or the exact text of the message.

Suffice to say, I was not the least bit surprised that the message did not directly address my major concerns related to a possible telemarking plague. Rather, the text was nothing more than a “scripted” response advising me to adjust my privacy settings.

The email from the Skype rep did also contain a statement that the company may address the issue should it become more serious, but this was of little consolation to me personally.

The question still goes unanswered in my opinion. How widespread is this problem, and what are the chances of it escalating out of control?

Besides, what about those of us who don’t want to change our privacy settings and limit our incoming calls to just those on our contact list?

I don’t know about you but I’d still like to receive far more definitive and straight forward information from the powers that be at Skype.

To see my original article click HERE

Click HERE for the Post!


Skype – Telemarketing – Follow Up

June 21, 2006

See the parent article for this HERE See the article HERE



Skypes LACK of response to my requests for contact have spoken volumes.

Unfortunately, after numerous attempts to contact Skype both through direct phone calls to Ebay headquarters   in California, to messaging people who I know within Skype’s organisation, I have been left with nothing but answering machines, non-returned messages, and non-returned emails. It seems that Skype does not want to justify their position or offer a counter argument in this situation.

Skype has shown they do not take bloggers seriously in any regard, even with news and direct petitioning for a response.

Investigation on this matter has been suspended. All comments and emails are still welcome. Thank you for all your support during this investigation.

One final note.

This comment was sent to me by someone with whom I am becoming friends and I told him I would post it in the final word.

Artie Wayne says:


Sebastian, for the past month you and Joe Klein have
encouraged me to join the wonderful world of Skype.
You guys even shamed me into upgrading my computer to
Windows MP and next weekend, I was planning to install
Skype. Now I’m having second thoughts!


If Skype can’t respond to an overwhelming negative
response from it’s customers to the insidious practice
of allowing telemarketers to interupt not only
conversations, but train of thought…then that’s a
company I don’t want to be with.


Regards, Artie Wayne


UPDATE: 5:00 PM GMT Thursday, June 22

I am currently trying to engage a spokesman from Skype for an opinion on what has happened. I would also like to clarify the policy for the usage of their network for this kind of activity. Ebay has not responded to phone messages I have left for their “Media Relations” Dept.

Please continue to comment on this matter, and see the follow up article on DIGG.COM

If you have had a telemarketer call you on Skype, I would like to know about it.

-Also thank you to Cameron of G’Day World for having me on his show this morning!

END OF UPDATE – Stay tuned for more on this story.


First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has commented on this blog,, email, other blogs, and podcasts about this article since last night. I was and am really stoked when it appeared on G’day world this morning, thanks Cameron!

First of all let’s get my negative feedback to everything that has been said – off my chest, my keyboard, whatever…

Those of you who have suggested that the privacy settings that prevent someone who is not in your contact list from calling you need to consider a few things:

  • This is a application for communication, sometimes people you don’t know.
  • I am a podcaster and I like my listeners to be able to call me on Skype and leave voice feedback on my voicemail.
  • Does your telephone have a “firewall” on who can call you? When someone calls you do you have a recorded message play that says “Hi, this line only accepts pre-approved calls? If you’re not pre-approved you can’t speak to the line-holder. Good-Bye.” No, you don’t! So why should you have to set something like that up on Skype? Doesn’t Skype want to replace normal telephone communication in the long run? Doesn’t that implie they will make it above and beyond normal everyday telephone service?

A few of you have felt it necessary to point out how this blog entry was pointless or “idiotic” or whatever:

Until you can offer an argument of why it is pointless more than “What do you expect” or “Skype is free, stop complaining” I think your response is not only wasting your own time, but just shows why you don’t understand the significance of this.

For those who have said this entry was unwarranted because it only documents one victim and one attack,, and because of this it is not a big enough problem..Do your homework! Check the internet, there are loads of documented attacks from SPAM on Skype!

Alright. I am finished ranting.

I was pleased to see a passionate and immediate response from the Skype and internet community on this matter. It shows that you care. This is a good thing for Skype as a company that cares about its user base to see, it gives them an incentive to stop Skype-spamming and telemarketing once and for all.

There has been an interesting lack of response from Skype on this matter. One has to wonder if there are board meetings going on at this very moment or if they don’t care. I would imagine that they do care because it seems that a good number of the Skype community are shocked and dismayed to see this happening and would like to see some action.

I would be pleased to receieve an official reply from Skype on this matter.

A couple of final thoughts to mull over…

Do you think Skype might be encouraging telemarketing and setting up advertising rates for telemarketers?

Do you think this is Spam and Skype will be dead against it, and we will hear from them shortly?