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Azure Deceptive Billing: A Nightmare Story RRS feed

  • Question

  • They charged me over a thousand on something I wasn't using. WTF. They do not provide a cancel subscription just an opt out. I selected opt out a month ago and thought that would be it it would just go a way. But this pile of a service just spun away doing nothing. No warning with no use on my sise. I would have thought the hundered plus a month I was spending would have been plenty for something I wasn't even using. We are requesting that the credit card company refuse payment and investigate fraudulent billing practices.
    Monday, April 18, 2011 4:34 PM

Answers

  • Sorry to hear about your unintended billing. My understanding is that, Opt out  is related to control auto renewal of subscription rather than canceling existing subscription immediately (atleast for MSDN premium subscription, not sure how this looks like for subscription used for Production). Either way, I think best way to avoid bills would be to make sure that all paid Azure components are deleted when not in use.

    Regading alerts, you could probably contact Azure help desk to troubleshoot further. I got my issue resolved by Support team in the past, when I got wrong alerts of 120% of usage , but lot of my usage quota was still there to use.

     

    HTH.

     


    Please mark it as answer by clicking on "Propose As Answer", if it helps. My Blog : http://dotnetizen.blogspot.com
    Monday, April 18, 2011 5:08 PM
  • As Rajesh stated, the "opt out" is for subscription renewal, not ongoing services. If you still had instances hosted, you would still be billed for them as that capacity has been reserved for you (think of it as renting a car then leaving it parked in your driveway). You still pay for the car even if you aren't driving it.

    I would recommend you immediately go to windows.azure.com and delete all hosted services, storage account, SQL Azure databases, and Azure AppFabric service endpoints. Then go to the Windows Azure Suppot site at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/support/ and request a credit for services. Be sure to provide your subscription ID and explain that you mis-understood how billing usage was calculated and this resulted in the additional charges.

    Others have been successful in getting charges reversed. So just work through it and please remember that the folks you'll be talking with don't make pricing decisions. :)


    Monday, April 18, 2011 6:39 PM

All replies

  • Sorry to hear about your unintended billing. My understanding is that, Opt out  is related to control auto renewal of subscription rather than canceling existing subscription immediately (atleast for MSDN premium subscription, not sure how this looks like for subscription used for Production). Either way, I think best way to avoid bills would be to make sure that all paid Azure components are deleted when not in use.

    Regading alerts, you could probably contact Azure help desk to troubleshoot further. I got my issue resolved by Support team in the past, when I got wrong alerts of 120% of usage , but lot of my usage quota was still there to use.

     

    HTH.

     


    Please mark it as answer by clicking on "Propose As Answer", if it helps. My Blog : http://dotnetizen.blogspot.com
    Monday, April 18, 2011 5:08 PM
  • As Rajesh stated, the "opt out" is for subscription renewal, not ongoing services. If you still had instances hosted, you would still be billed for them as that capacity has been reserved for you (think of it as renting a car then leaving it parked in your driveway). You still pay for the car even if you aren't driving it.

    I would recommend you immediately go to windows.azure.com and delete all hosted services, storage account, SQL Azure databases, and Azure AppFabric service endpoints. Then go to the Windows Azure Suppot site at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/support/ and request a credit for services. Be sure to provide your subscription ID and explain that you mis-understood how billing usage was calculated and this resulted in the additional charges.

    Others have been successful in getting charges reversed. So just work through it and please remember that the folks you'll be talking with don't make pricing decisions. :)


    Monday, April 18, 2011 6:39 PM
  • rick,

    I've just been playing around with Windows Azure under the partner offer, I was also shocked to find a charge of $20 after 2 days even when the service was in a stopped state without any warning email as stated in the sign up process.

     

    I rasied a call with Microsoft which hasnt been resolved, tonight I find the charge is now $44 dollars so I've phoned up this time....not sure where the warning emails are, maybe Microsoft has switched this service off.

    Apparently even when the service is "Stopped" you are charged for compute hours which seems stupid to say the least...arent compute hours based on a process doing "something".

    So I've removed the service and hopefully get a refund.

    Microsoft really need to sort out the whole billing and charging process, I cant see us selling this to our clients the way it is at the moment.  A simple host service hosting $44 is mad !!

    All support calls are forwarded to India which doesnt help either.

     

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011 12:54 PM
  • You may find these billing tips useful: http://davidpallmann.blogspot.com/2010/08/hidden-costs-in-cloud-part-1-driving.html

    From the Windows Azure Consumption Pricing page:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/offers/popup/popup.aspx?lang=en&locale=en-US&offer=MS-AZR-0003P#

    Compute Instances

    Windows Azure compute hours are charged only when your application is deployed. When developing and testing your application, you will want to remove the compute instances that are not being used to minimize compute hour billing. Please note that suspending your deployment will still result in compute charges since the compute instances are still allocated to you and cannot be allocated to another customer. Compute hours are billed based on the number of clock hours your service was deployed multiplied by the number of compute instances. If you have two tenants deployed for a hosted service, one for staging and one for production, both will be charged as both are utilizing Windows Azure platform resources.

     


    David Pallmann GM Application Development, Neudesic Windows Azure MVP
    Tuesday, April 19, 2011 2:12 PM
  • I think compute hours are the riskiest in terms of possibility of costs going way out of control. Many of my friends have gotten burned on compute hours. Can't wait until they accept pre-paid cards that run out of funds and then the service stops. :) Can you do this with a PO now?

    It would be interesting to hear how the credit dispute goes though. It might be easier just to negotiate the bill down or ask for a waiver.

    Thanks,


    If this answers your question, please use the "Answer" button to say so | Ben Cline
    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 4:36 AM
  • I just had the same problem. "Compute hours" is really deceptively named. I mean, if my application is in the Cloud, but stopped, how is that an hour of computing time? Its not even using a virtual machine at this point let alone doing any computing. The term "compute hours" should really be called something like "hosted hours". Luckily we got onto that early when the bill was only $4.22. 



    Tuesday, May 10, 2011 3:22 AM
  • --  if my application is in the Cloud, but stopped, how is that an hour of computing time? Its not even using a virtual machine at this point let alone doing any computing.

    Regardless of run state, each deployed instance is allocated its own virtual machine which consumes resources that Microsoft can no longer allocate to someone else. Realistically, the appropriate person to bill for that usage is the person consuming the resource.

    The term compute hour comes from the modern usage of compute as specifying the computational resources allocated to a service. As in, compute costs 12 cents an hour while storage costs 15c / GB /month.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011 5:22 AM
    Answerer