A problem with Skype’s status system has now been fixed after customers were left unable to use the service yesterday.

Reports of problems with the software started around 9AM, with many business customers being unable to make calls. The issue locked many people’s status as ‘offline’, stopping these users making calls even though they were online and available.

In a statement, Skype-owner Microsoft said it had “detected an issue with the status settings” on Skype that show if someone is online or not.

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In addition to the UK, many skype users in Australia and Japan also reported problems.

In another statement published on its blog, Skype stated: “The status issue also doesn’t affect Skype for web, which can be used to make calls and send instant messages.”

However, the temporary outage was a wakeup call for many small businesses that didn’t have a Voice as a Service backup solution in place.

Several users contacted the BBC to discuss how they had been affected:

“What is annoying me is that my eldest son is far away in Japan and Skype is our main method of contact,” said Howard Wensley from Blackpool.

Florence Morimon from Norwich added: “I am a freelance translator and French tutor so this kind of problem affect directly my business. I had to use Google Hangouts to make a video call this morning, but the quality is not as good.”

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