Feeling the pinch? How about a 160% hike in your data centre fees

Energy price rises trigger bigger bills at cloud and network provider M247

Think everything is getting more expensive these days? Spare a thought for customers of M247 on the receiving end of a 161 per cent uplift in charges, with rising energy prices blamed.

The business, based in the northwest of England, this week published a notification on its website headlined: "General Terms and Conditions Price Changes."

"From the 1st December 2021 there will be an uplift of 161%* to your Manchester Ball Green Data Centre Power rental and overage charges as per our T&Cs (*for services billed inclusive of both rack space and power, this uplift will only affect 60% of your rental fee)," it states.

Customers received a rather longer and – perhaps less sweet – note directly from M247's Group Commercial Team assuring them it works "hard to absorb power, inflationary, and external cost increases with no impact to our customers."

"Unfortunately, due to these unprecedented times in the European energy markets with prices soaring to 550% since January we have not been able to achieve that this year. As a result, we have had to make the difficult decision to increase your data centre power cost relative to these price increases," the letter states.

The 550 per cent figure cited by M247 was given by Norwood Paper Sales Chairman Paul Fecher in an October BBC story concerning price increases.

Curiously, M247 did not mention the rest of the Beeb's story, which noted the jump for consumers was around 12 per cent. Industry rates vary from those paid by consumers, but there remains quite the leap to 550 per cent for data centre power costs.

M247's letter to customers continues:

We appreciate the significance of this change, and we will continue to explore options to pass on future cost saving to your power rates once the market stabilises. M247 do of course offer other alternative cloud services such as IaaS, BUaaS and DRaaS, so if this is something you would like to discuss further with your account manager, we would be more than happy to explore other options to mitigate against these unforeseen costs.

However, for many that won't be an option, and using an email warning of an impending price hike to plug other services at the company is perhaps a little distasteful.

One Reg reader described the move as "underhand." An increase of around ten per cent would be understandable, he said.

Simon Hansford, CEO at UKCloud, told us "energy prices are part of the overrall cost of delivering a service." He said UKCloud has no intention of hiking its prices and was not aware of other cloud providers upping theirs.

The bigger data centre providers typically hedge energy prices to avoid wide fluctuations. Even so, a hike of 160 per cent smacks of ill preparedness.

The Register contacted M247's communications and sales teams for comment, and pinged its CEO via LinkedIn. So far the business has yet to respond. ®

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