The Microsoft Cloud: lured, locked-in and loaded up with a price rise

01 July 2017

Rahiel Nasir, editorial director, Networking+

Rahiel Nasir, editorial director, Networking+

Despite extolling the virtues of cloud for many years now, it wasn’t until 2016 that we decided to migrate after our 10-year-old in-house server finally gave up the ghost.

Fast forward 12 months and our publisher has just been hit with a renewal notice for Microsoft 365 services with prices jacked up by 21 per cent. No explanation.

A call to the software giant’s customer services centre proved even more infuriating. The sales department could not account for the rise and suggested we speak to someone in retention. Far from offering any incentives to retain Microsoft’s services, the retention agent was also unable to offer any explanation for the price hike. He passed us back to a sales agent who asked if we wanted to speak
to someone about cancelling the account.

In short, none of Microsoft’s customer facing team were able to give us an official explanation for the increased bill, and there was no one we could speak to about it. 

Last year, Microsoft did warn it would be raising its prices at the start of 2017 after the pound fell against the dollar following the Brexit vote. In a blog dated 21 October, the company said this was necessary to “harmonise” prices within the EU/EFTA region. It stated that sterling prices for most enterprise cloud prices will increase by 22 per cent to realign close to euro levels. The blog ended with: “If you have any questions, please speak to your Microsoft account manager or Licensing Solution Provider.” Good luck with that.

So where does that leave us? Microsoft certainly did not appear keen to retain our business and, unlike many other suppliers we have come across, did not offer anything to sweeten the bitter pill of a price rise. 

Of course, we could just switch to an alternative cloud services provider. But that is perhaps another headache for another time. And while we are a small outfit with less than 10 seats, I pity larger organisations with hundreds or thousands of staff that have been, or are about to be, hit with massive bills. 

For now, it looks like Microsoft has got us all well and truly trapped in its cloud. Let’s see what happens next year.