How do you people think about the Windows Azure pricing model and the way it is presented to the user? I just found out that Azure keeps charging hours for STOPPED instances. I just received a bill from more than 100 euro for 3 STOPPED instances (not) running "HelloAzure".
I the past I also played around with Amazon Web Services. Amazon doesn't charge for stopped instances. I was wondering: "Should I have known this before, or is Microsoft doing a bad job in clear communication in the pricing model?"
Quote from http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/pricing/ :
Compute time, measured in service hours: Windows Azure compute hours are charged only for when your application is deployed. When developing and testing your application, developers will want to remove the compute instances that are not being used to minimize compute hour billing. Partial compute hours are billed as full hours.
I read this, so I stopped all instances after a few hours playing around. Now it seems I should have deleted them, not just "stopped".
Strictly speaking, all depends on the definition of the word "deployed". If you upload an application, but it is not running, can it still be regarded as being "deployed"? May be, but when you read this for the first time, with AWS experience in mind, I don't think it's 100% clear what this means.
Technically speaking, an uploaded application only uses (read: should only use / needs only) a few MB harddrive space. It doesn't require any CPU time. If Azure wants to reserve CPU's for not running instances.. well, that's Azure's choice, not mine.
I don't want to spread a hate campaign at all, but I do want to know how people think about this subject. Should Microsoft be more clear about their pricing model or do you think it's clear enough? Second question: did anyone got refunded for a similar case?
Thanks in advance!
I sent an email to customer support a few days ago, but I guess that didn't reach anu human being because I didn't hear anything from it. So, I made a telephone call today with a Dutch customer support representative (I live in Holland). She totally understood the problem and she's trying to get a refund for me. However, she mentioned that "usually these refund requests are denied", but she's going to try. She also mentioned that I'm not the first one with this (or similar) problem.
UPDATE 28-01-2011 I just received a phonecall from Microsoft support. The lady told me some good news: the money will refunded. However, the invoice has not been made yet, and my creditcard will first be chardged, after which it will be refunded, but hey, that's no problem for me! I'm glad the way it's solved!