IBM: An Unexpected $400 Charge
I recently decided to evaluate a number of Cloud Service providers. One of which was IBM Cloud AKA Softlayer. This is a Public VM instance, nothing dedicated or reserved.
After running a few VM's for a total of no more than 6 hours...I was completely blindsided by a charge of close to $400. I opened a support ticket right away. Reviewed
everything I could find on their website to determine whether I missed something...
Neither their provisioning page nor their 9 page cloud agreement states anywhere that customers will be billed for machines that are completely powered down and unused.
If I had overlooked something or not read the terms correctly I would admit I was wrong and deal with it.
So they are basically hitting me with a $400 bill according to terms which are listed nowhere on their website.
The provisioning page states us an estimated cost, with an asterisk stating the actual costs are based on usage.(See screenshot below)
Any suggestions on delaing with these unreasonable charges? Last time I checked...it's not legal at all to bill customers according to terms not shown, and never agreed to. I've gotten absolutely nowhere with their support / management in over 4 months. (They've offered me 2 / 3 the charge as credit toward future services. )
I've since gone with Google Cloud who offers a free $300 credit for evaluation, few to no restrictions on provisioning the VM's, you can completely max them out. No free tier. I set up a domain controller, SQL Server, Exchange, Server and have been using them regularly for a few hours a day over 4 months...and the charges are now far less than what IBM is trying to hit me with.
Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure...all of the big players bill according to usage, and do not bill if a machine is powered down. Nowhere is it stated otherwise.
Anyone have recommendations for recourse?
Here is what their provisioning page says.
This was the repsonse I got from their ticket on the billing for Virtual Public Cloud instances
Their public page on provisioning and shutting down VM's according to meet the needs of your environment.
Read responses in arstechnica.com