Can You Renegotiate Your Cloud Bill by Refusing to Pay It?

Twitter has reportedly withheld payment to Google Cloud as it haggles over price. Is it a risk for other companies to try such methods?

Joao-Pierre Ruth

June 30, 2023

2 Min Read
Can You Renegotiate Your Cloud Bill by Refusing to Pay It?
(Credit: Kiyoshi Takahase Segundo via Alamy Stock Photo)

Saving money on cloud services may sound like simple goal but flat-out refusing to pay the bill as a negotiation tactic might be a bridge too far.

It came out recently that under Elon Musk’s ownership, Twitter reportedly stopped paying for Google Cloud services it uses to augment its own infrastructure as the social media platform angles for lower pricing on its contract. Earlier this year, Twitter also reportedly delayed payment to AWS for its cloud services, again to cut costs.

Such an extreme approach to reduce cloud computing spending will surely get the attention of a service provider. Musk’s influence, power, and control over a large enterprise are factors, obviously, in such a decision. That does not mean it is a wise approach.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s the smartest way to conduct business,” says Eli Katz, director of cloud and consumption services with PKA Technologies. Finding the right balance of technology that an organization needs to make purchase decisions, he says, can help avoid going down the road of nonpayment for services.

“To stop paying a bill puts yourself in a position of immense risk,” Katz says. When other types of payments are not made, vehicles and equipment might be repossessed; fees, fines, and interest can increase; and service can be summarily shut off.

Finding a Tempered Approach

It is possible for a company to realize it is paying for cloud services it underutilizes or does not use and wants to cut back. Katz says companies might overprovision, buying ahead of their actual demand because they have the cash at the time. “Use it, depreciate it, and hope they see a 100% return on that investment. More often than not, they fall short,” he says, “because they had the money available, they bought more than what they needed, but they never actually end up using the entirety of a technology.”

A company may find itself spending money and without being able to align that spend to a line of business and see value out of it, Katz says. The other side of that coin, he says, is a hope that a sales rep or technical engineer works with an organization to pair a technology back to a business goal instead of selling the latest, shiny resource on the shelf. “Why are you looking to make a change now? Why are you looking to make a purchase? What has changed in your business?” he asks. “What is the value the business is looking to get out of an investment approach?”

Read the rest of this article on InformationWeek.

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About the Author(s)

Joao-Pierre Ruth

Joao-Pierre S. Ruth has spent his career immersed in business and technology journalism first covering local industries in New Jersey, later as the New York editor for Xconomy delving into the city's tech startup community, and then as a freelancer for such outlets as TheStreet, Investopedia, and Street Fight. Joao-Pierre earned his bachelor's in English from Rutgers University. Follow him on Twitter: @jpruth.

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