AWS Customer Support not like’s

AWS, or Amazon Web Services is’s cloud computing arm.

They do some pretty cool stuff like S3 storage and EC2 cloud computing.

Recently EC2 announced the availability of a free cloud “instance” (basically a linux box running in the cloud).  (google ‘aws free tier’ for info).  Publicaly they say it is to “To help new AWS customers get started in the cloud”.

Seems like a good deal to me.  Lets my startup save $200 in the first year and experiment with the cloud.

However, unfortunately I have already been using an AWS service – S3.  While many EC2 instances will use S3, the inverse is not true.  I use S3 on a standard shared hosting setup and it works well.  I would argue that this doesn’t mean I am using “cloud computing” yet (since I’m not running any programs in the cloud, just hosting some images there).

I applied to AWS Customer support to use the free tier, and I was denied, purely because I had already used S3 in the past.  Given my S3-using site is not even live yet, I even asked if I could “delete my entire account and sign up again” (what better way to prove I am new to cloud computing, if not a new signup?).

Regretfully, the AWS Customer Support refused (albiet politely).  Now I can’t understand why they would deny a free EC2 instance to a startup like me – given that I am probably the exact type of customer they want to attract with the free plan – new business, thinking of getting their feet wet with EC2, but unsure how to proceed.

So in conclusion, I have to say that the AWS Customer Support is not nearly as understanding or accommodating as their counterparts (who are absolutely amazing at acknowledging and re-shipping lost orders, for example).

All this has left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, because I can’t really work out why my startup should pay $200 for something almost everyone else who is in my position gets for free.  It seems like a poorly thought out, inflexible arbitrary policy.

And now I’m considering other providers.

2 comments on “AWS Customer Support not like’s

  1. look into cloudbees… we had the same situation… i “curiosity registration” prior to the free tier offer. I registered but never used it. Now that our small start-up is using AWS actively, we want to take advantage of Free Tier but can’t. Amazon wasn’t willing to work with us here and for the life of me – this is just semantics… my usage is no different from somebody that hasn’t registered before. Anyway – we were annoyed enough to go to Cloudbees and they have bottom-tier free usage to help you get off the ground – no petty nit-picking regarding the timing of your registration. Google CloudBees… check them out. Good alternative to AWS.

  2. Check out ZSL Inc – cost effective service provider, you get more compititive price than any other in the industry, we hosted our auction portal and account manager portal through them, they are basically a VAR and also handle everything including support services, we are asked to pay additionally for the migration or setup cost, that too pretty decent rate with 3 -4 days of effort, if you need a contact please call peter who the sales contact – hope this helps you…

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