My monday morning letter to Amazon:

Well, its Monday and like most weeks I have a never ending full plate on my table. But, as seems to be how it works when there is an issue with a program or project, I get to try and resolve it. So, today was like any other in this fun stress filled world I live.

Over the last month we have been exploring the services of AWS and how they might better work with our needs in relation to our tech group. Things seemed ok, other than a total lack of transparency and ability to explain what they charge and how. After many emails back and forth with the assigned sales representative, and the same non answer, I sent a letter to Jeff Bezos regarding this silly mess they have. Where no one know what they charge, how, or even why? Seems convoluted to say the least.

So here is that letter:


I am the director of a nonprofit group involved in issues related to farms food families and freedom. Due to our ever growing technological assets and the need for server bandwidth in January we started exploring our options related to growing our platform. We explored your AWS platform and set up one of our 600 plus sites on your server. We have struggled to understand the billing and costs associated with use of your services. We have repeatedly reached out to the AWS representative we were told to in the beginning, but even after many attempts cannot get clear and definitive answers as to the costs associated with what we are doing.
Your representative repeatedly has instructed us to go through “tech soup”, when we have simply asked for clarity in what the actual cost to us is. We are willing to pay for what we are needing but need straight, concise, clear answers. That we are not getting. We are not interested in participating in “tech soup” at this point due in part to our political and deeply held beliefs.
It should not be this difficult to get clear concise straight answers. Our tech groups projects as they relate to your company are over 3 weeks behind schedule from this continued inability to understand what the charges are and will be. I understand that we may differ on our core beliefs and views but that is no reason to refuse open straight forward billing and costs. It greatly concerns me when I’m told this morning that if we want to know what and why the costs are what they are for the one site we set up as a test run that we have to pay for aws tech support… why should I be charged for asking what I am being charged for? That makes zero sense whatsoever.
As a nonprofit organization we have budgets and need to know the costs of what we are using and needing to meet our goals and timelines. Your company doesn’t seem to be able to disclose the actual costs and what they are for.
I look forward to working through these hiccups and getting this resolved.
The original aws account that our group at up just to see what it was and only accessed that one time, sent us a notice saying we are at the limit of the free tier. I find that hard to understand since nothing was hosted there nor has it ever been accessed again. We set up a different account when we uploaded the one test site we have on your companies servers. With zero additional access and nothing there your company says we have used it beyond the free level? This like your billing makes zero sense.
Please have someone reach out to me to resolve this: My cell is ***-***-****. And my office is 814-429-3276.
Ethan Abbott
Excutive Director
GTKYF Foundation Inc

Seems that big business is not behaving nicely…

UPDATE as of May 23, 2019:

We are exploring other avenues with which to service our needs. The issue with transparency was never address fully nor resolved. Basically, Amazon believes that it can do whatever it wants, and you as the customer take it or leave it… your stuck. Beware these guys play games with zero way to explain their actual actions. Eventually they will either control the whole tech arena, or the will go under. As consumers given a legitimate choice wont stand for this kinda nonsense.

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