back to article That awkward moment when AWS charges you BEELLIONS for Lightsail

AWS has a reputation for ratcheting up prices as customers migrate more workloads to its sprawling rack empire – but a bunch of UK users endured a sphincter-tightening moment today when they checked their bill. Reg reader Alec Hendry, who manages digital platforms and a "bunch of crazy video stuff" for MTV, said he was …

  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
    Coat

    The title is optional. And possibly a giraffe.

    This is a feature, not a bug. Oracle Microsoft Amazon don't have customers, they have hostages.

    Mine's the one with the empty wallet -->

    1. John Sanders
      Holmes

      Re: The title is optional. And possibly a giraffe.

      Willing hostages.

      Nothing Amazon does can't be reimplemented with some work, they do nothing special.

      I have been saying for years that what most business need is not cloud but managed hosting.

      Specially in the UK.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The title is optional. And possibly a giraffe.

        "Nothing Amazon does can't be reimplemented with some work, they do nothing special."

        But it's nearly zero work in comparison to move from say Azure to Azure stack on premise....Good luck ever exiting AWS if you use it!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The title is optional. And possibly a giraffe.

          @AC Azure fan: put down the Koolaid for a moment and revisit that. If you want to get away from any particular cloud vendor, whether Amazon, Microsoft or otherwise, you are screwed. Whether it's on-prem or hosted is irrelevant to that argument.

        2. Walter Bishop Silver badge
          Terminator

          Azure hybrid cloud deployment stack on premise

          @Anonymous Coward: "But it's nearly zero work in comparison to move from say Azure to Azure stack on premise....Good luck ever exiting AWS if you use it!"

          How about moving from Azure-stack-on-premise to a standalone system, next to impossible, from what I've seen. But then again I figure that's a major part of the strategy. One Cloud to rule them all and in the darkness bind them. Something dotNET was less successful at doing.

          Azure-stack-on-premise: The 'cloud' didn't deliver so you'll have to replace all the hardware you threw out with 'azure stack on premise' and rent it back from us into perpetuity. And you'll have to replace all the old-style sysops with 'azure solution architects' 'azure administrators' and DevOps .. er .. developer operations .. developers :)

      2. ckm5

        Re: The title is optional. And possibly a giraffe.

        It depends on what you are doing - if you are relying on auto-scaling features it would be very hard to replicate without spending a shedload on standby hardware. And the associated personnel to maintain it all. For quite a few online-only businesses, that delta is their profit margin.

        That said, anyone using AWS or any other provider would do well to architect their backends to they can be moved between providers...

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: The title is optional. And possibly a giraffe.

          "That said, anyone using AWS or any other provider would do well to architect their backends to they can be moved between providers..."

          I used to think that too. Now I know how much it costs I don't anymore.

        2. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: That said, anyone using AWS or any other provider would do well to architect their backends

          "architect" is the $44 billion word for "design" then?

    2. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: IS this not how...

      all utility companies work? Especially gas, electric and water... not to mention phone and insurance?

  2. Augie
    Gimp

    Isnt this standard procedure for AWS

    Put your wallet (or purse) put your hands on the desk and bendover..the cough or lube are entirely optional and at AWS discretion.

  3. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    They must have employed some new programmers ...

    ... with the experience in the estimated billing from the UK energy companies.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: They must have employed some new programmers ...

      Tell Sid

  4. x 7 Silver badge

    blame the North Koreans, they must have hacked the system

  5. Alister Silver badge

    I wonder if Jeff Bezos calculates his wealth based on the same algorithms - maybe he isn't a multi-billionaire after all?

  6. DNTP

    I'd feel a whole lot better

    if there was anything concrete in the article about how AWS clearly admitted specific instances of charges being in error and then hostages victims clients clearly providing anecdotes of not having to pay these bills.

    1. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: I'd feel a whole lot better

      The article said it was the estimated usage, not the final bill. So no anecdotes of paying or not paying at the moment.

  7. DontFeedTheTrolls
    FAIL

    This is all very funny for stupid amounts of money, but how do you challenge the billing for small errors.

    Even something like 10 times over is likely to be given a "you must have used it" before someone properly investigates.

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      You put a billing enquiry ticket in with the support system, and someone investigates.

  8. Haku

    I did wonder how Amazon are avoiding paying tax

    They're getting their hostages victims customers to pay it all for them.

    In lump sums this time by the looks of things...

  9. gregthecanuck
    Devil

    Thank you for calling Amazon

    Please hold. Your estimated wait time is 3,343,613,645 minutes.

  10. johnnyblaze

    Give it a few years, and this is what cloud services *will* be costing. Once they've got you - they've really got you. Prices will soar as companies who thought it was a good idea at the beginning finally start to realize that moving everything to the cloud is bankrupting them. I'm just waiting for BAAS - Bankruptcy as a Service!

    1. ckm5

      Because it's not like there isn't ANY competition in cloud services.....

  11. This is my handle
    Headmaster

    On this side of the puddle, ...

    .... we typically use comma (,) as the thousands separator, but we put it between thousands.

    > on S3 and $7,77,213,084.79 in tax.

  12. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Mondays, right?

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Mondays on Mars. Thats it - Mars. New DC on Mars, slight increase in latency, but guaranteed geo segregation. It *has* been a bit pricey to set up though, so we might have to subtly increase pricing......

  13. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Bezos: Worlds richest individual

    And now we know why.

    Of course, if it's all based on receivables .....

  14. kain preacher Silver badge

    Based on that bill, I'd say a man for mars 1 has moved into AWS billing Dept.

  15. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Simple accounting error

    What happened is that they invoiced their customers to the tax that they should have been paying on their profits. Somebody referenced the wrong cell in a spreadsheet and applied the full tax, not the tax that they negotiated after passing the money through half a dozen virtual countries on the way to the bank.

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