Billing without warning

Website: stonks-2020

I’ve been using netlify for quite some time, I like the product and I advocate it pretty much everywhere. It is my go to choice for clients but also for open source projects.
One of these days I’ve added a website (open source ) and using your “free for open source” plan I setup a webhook. Then I got into vacations, a couple of friends of mine have been using it and triggering the webhook and that has resulted in 3 bills of extra minutes, without any warning (for instance at 80%).

The moment I discovered that, I canceled my website builds.I’m quite disappointed with a service that doesn’t warn me before starting to bill (specially using the play of “free for open source”) and that, on top of doing that exquisitely automatically doesn’t let me configure what websites am I willing to pay for builds.

It is very strange to me that I, being in the “free” plan, am billed of something.

Sending this to you to understand what can we do to solve it. I don’t mind paying I’d we get to a reasonable solution, which isn’t what is, in my opinion, happening at this moment.

Thanks in advance, keep up building a great service that people like.

Alexandre

Hey Alexandre,

Thanks for taking the time to share your insight! Whilst I agree that it’s never nice to get an unexpected bill, I do believe that we make it clear to customers when charges can be incurred.

Firstly, the site and the account which you referenced in your Helpdesk ticket to us is on the Starter plan (we have purposefully never called our plans Free, because they’re not). We do offer an Open Source plan that has largely the same provisions as our Pro plan – though even these plans may be subject to additional charges.

Specifically, you received 3 charges for $7 due to additional build minutes being used. I believe that our pricing page makes it very clear that the Starter plan includes 300 build minutes per month. When this is exceeded, an extra 500 build minutes are made available at the cost of $7.

This information can be viewed on your billing pane: https://app.netlify.com/teams/alexandre-santos/billing/general

An insight in to your build minutes usage can also be seen within the UI: https://app.netlify.com/teams/alexandre-santos/builds/insights

You should have received emails making you aware that your usage was on the up and you were set to exceed the limits of the Starter plan.

We have a great write-up from our Director of Support on how to optimise your build times, too. However, it looks like you found this or you were able to pause builds yourself! :+1:

All right, since I have no other alternative, I just paid.
Yes, I was informed with an email that the I was going to be billed for extra build minutes, but at that moment I was already being billed.

I find it strange, and definitely not a good user experience that I have no alerts (nor capability to set them up). Either that or a setting to disable billing if limits are reached should exist.

Automatically billing without warning is not nice, not having a way to prevent it is shady, and definitely not pleasant to the user.

Hey @asantos00,

So, there’s a few things we ought to point out and I’ll give you the good news at the end!

Firstly, we do ordinarily send out 50, 75 and 90% usage limit emails. However, because you went from ~50 minutes to >300 minutes within a day, our daily check wasn’t sufficient to warn you.

Secondly, there are options to pause builds on a site-by-site basis! You can find more about that here.

Thirdly – because we weren’t able to adequately warn you about your usage, we’ve gone ahead and refunded you the $21 :partying_face:! Do remember though that, in future, you will need to keep a track of your build minutes usage :slight_smile:.

I hope that this all makes sense and you’re happy with our action :+1:. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us again if you’d like any more information.

Just writing to say thank you. I wasn’t expecting a refund, just wanted to understand better and also to communicate to you guys how my “not so pleasant” experience was.

Gotta say you were amazing dealing with all this case, I’d previously described my experience on personal twitter which I’ve now answered and explained all the situation, giving you the deserved praises.

Thank you,

Alexandre

2 Likes

thanks for sharing, alexandre - glad we were able to work things out, and we appreciate you letting us know your experience :+1: