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That awkward moment when AWS charges you BEELLIONS for Lightsail

Ahhh, it's a mistake. Not CEO Bezos' plan to get EVEN richer

AWS has a reputation for ratcheting up prices as customers migrate more workloads to its sprawling rack empire – but a bunch of UK users endured a sphincter-tightening moment today when they checked their bill.

Reg reader Alec Hendry, who manages digital platforms and a "bunch of crazy video stuff" for MTV, said he was confronted with a multibillion-dollar tab, one we imagine forced him to spit out his cornflakes.

Alec pleaded with AWS Support on Twitter: "Lightsail billing process has gone very very wrong!? Help!"

This equated to a month-to-date spend of $38.861bn for using Lightsail – which lets customers launch virtual private servers configured with SSD storage, DNS management and a static IP address – with $1.01 spent on Route 53, the Domain Name System web service, some $0.01 splashed on S3 and $7,772,213,084.79 in tax.

Forecast spend for the month currently stands at $233.3bn. Nice.

AWS charges UK customers in US dollars – prices soared overnight on June 23 last year following the Brexit vote that led to a crash in GBP – and handily did a quick calculation for MTV's UK ops based on an exchange rate of £0.77 to $1.

"Current month-to-date balance for November 2017... is estimated [to be] 46633,278,508.69 USD, which converts to 35,956,633,378 GBP," the AWS Account Billing Console stated.

Another Lightsail user, 0and1, warned AWS that his bill was £3,000,000,000 for the month: "I think you might have broken Lightsail... I don't think I have 61,807,263,744GBs in snapshots for my single instance."

And another, Joao Pereira, also leapt to Twitter to complain about the bulky size of his invoice. "3b of Lightsail usage? WTF @awscloud?"

AWS has contacted customers about "incorrect bill estimations" for Lightsail, which was unveiled in November last year.

"We are investigating incorrect bill estimations for Amazon Lightsail. If you have Lightsail instance snapshots you may see incorrect estimated amounts in your AWS Billing Console. This is only impacting your estimated bill and will not impact your final bill for November," the letter to punters stated.

El Reg asked AWS, part of the Amazon Group which is run by the world's richest individual, to explain the cause of the technical fault, and we will update the article when we hear from them. ®


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