Posted July 21, 2010 8:18 am by with 3 comments

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SkypeFreeCallButtonSkype has partnered with Marchex to offer a new pay-per-call advertising service in the US, Canada and Western Europe. The Click & Call program works with a “Free Call” button that can be placed anywhere on the web. When a customer clicks the button, the Skype software launches and the call is connected at no cost to them. The advertiser pays a fee only for the calls they’ve received and they can set a budget so they won’t be surprised by a large bill at the end of the month.

Skype’s Click & Call system might seem like a good alternative to acquiring an expensive toll free number, but there is a downside to the system and it’s a pretty big one. In order for the call to connect, the callee must have Skype software on their computer and Skype’s browser plug-in. The system is also not available for Macs and it won’t work on Skype mobile.

On the other hand, since you only pay for the calls that come in, there’s really nothing to lose by setting up an account with Skype. If you’re running a service business that gets a large number of referrals on line, an instant, free phone call could be the deciding factor between you and your competition.

Marchex will be handling the day-to-day operations of the program which include detailed call analytics. Skype emphasizes that only standard metrics will be included in the reports and that the personal information of the individual Skype customers will be kept private and protected but I can see that becoming a concern if the program takes off.

You can click here to watch a short video that shows how the system works.

Advertisers wishing to participate in Click & Call Advertising with Skype supported by Marchex, should visit

  • George

    I paid for a unlimited subscription that includes Landlines and Mobile. Several hours later I decided to reach out and connect with some (7) friends through my skype window. Every time I tried the call feature, I received a message that I need skype credits to make the call. Why do I have a subscription?
    I have a high tolerance for technology and maybe I was doing something wrong. But what really fried my ass was the poor customer support, the lack of respect for my time and the inadequate reliance on existing users to help people that just gave them money. I must have spent about 1 and1/2 hours looking for an email or instant message interface so that I could find some avenue for help or hope. Instead Skype relies on a FQ list and a blog that contains user-generated content.

    If we can rely on companies that make a living online to respect and value the online consumer, how can we ever expect brick and mortar business to step to the plate?

    • Cynthia Boris

      I’m a fan of Skype. I use it to talk free to friends in other countries and I have a Skype in number (which I pay for) in order to facilitate recording the interviews I do. But when it comes to customer service, Skype’s solution is to send you to a help forum. If you can find the email blank, they will respond to an email request but generally it’s with a canned response that isn’t what you’re after.

      The upside for this program is that it’s not being administered by Skype, so that’s a plus. But I still have to wonder what percentage of your audience is likely to have Skype on their PC so they can use the service to call you.

      • George

        I agree with you about the product, I use it and so do my friends.

        In today’s e-business, e-marketing, e-commerce, e-life, economy online customer services is very much apart of a brand’s reputation. Skype is accountable for the services that represent its brand even it the services are provided by a third party.

        Saying “we use someone ells to provide that for us” or “we outsources that” does excuses the brand for a poor client experience and therefore will remain a reflection on the brand.