Skype is offering free, unlimited “worldwide” VoIP phone calling today only. The offering is being made to promote their new $13.99 Unlimited World monthly calling plan.
We use worldwide in quotes, because Skype currently only offers their plans (previously called SkypeOut) to 40 countries globally.
To lock in the deal though, you have to hand over your credit card. You are basically signing up for Skype’s Unlimited World plan, with a free month of service. Cancel within the first 30 days, and you won’t be charged.
The concept has worked effectively for other modern Web 2.0 companies, such as Hulu Plus, which routinely offers the first month of service free, in exchange for getting access to your billing information, and setting up a recurring charge schedule.
Downside to consumers? Those that forget, will get billed $13.99. Skype is betting that users will take the jump to unlimited calling.
We have received reports from some that not all accounts are being extended the offer. It may be restricted to accounts that have not made a landline VoIP call, or previously signed up for a Skype monthly plan.
Skype is owned by Microsoft, and has become their main Messaging provider. Within the past month, Microsoft has unveiled plans to shut down its MSN / Windows Live Messenger service, and replace it with Skype exclusively. Skype is now available for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, as well as Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Symbian, Kindle Fire HD, and PlayStation Vita.