London-based online backup biz Monster Cloud is under fire from customers after hiking its prices and switching up its subscription plans.
We've heard from Register readers who say they paid £50 for a year's worth of "unlimited" cloud-based storage for their files, only to be told on Thursday that they need to pay an extra £30 quid a month for 1TB. Meanwhile, the 1TB of storage space that once cost £2.99 a month is now going to cost £36 a month.
More ReadingQuick, download your stuff! SurDoc shutters consumer-grade secure cloudy storageLiveDrive drive by: Backup biz's price hikes will kill us, say resellersWeb hosting and domain name merchant UK2 Group puts up for sale signPC World's cloudy backup failed when exposed to ransomwareGoDaddy goes boldly into cloudy servers
"My original payment in February was £49.99 for one year of 'unlimited' storage, and an unlimited number of PCs," one Reg fan told us, who asked to remain anonymous.
"Today they told me that they will now charge me £30 per terabyte of storage per month in addition to what I have already paid.
"I assumed initially that my existing service that I have already paid for up to February 2017 would at least include 1TB of storage after their changes. This is not the case. My existing service apparently has gone from 'unlimited' storage to zero storage. If I don't pay up, they will suspend my service, despite the fact I have already paid for a year's service with them.
"I have not abused their service. I have backed up a few PCs with a total storage capacity way less than 50GB."
Monster's Twitter feed is filled with similar complaints after raising prices to £36 a month, or £360 for a full year, for 1TB of online backup space. In January this year, it was charging £2.99 a month, or £29.99 a year, for 1TB – or £4.99 a month (£49.99 a year) for unlimited storage.
"I signed up a week or so ago when it was £30 a year for 1TB backup; a pretty good deal," another reader told us. "I've just received an email saying they're raising the price to a whopping £36 per month or £360 a year. Maybe they've been hacked, or maybe they really are that desperate?"
Despite offering a year-long special offer, Monster says its service runs month to month, and thus as per its terms and conditions it can raise prices at any time. The new prices kick in on May 14 – 30 days from now. So people have 30 days to cancel and move their data elsewhere.
Monster, which launched in 2012, defended the price rise, telling us in a statement:
Monster Cloud has, over the past few months, made major improvements to our website, web portal and our software as well as a huge increase to our data warehouse infrastructure.
Oddly, the biz said "a customer who joined us last year would now only see a very minor increase in prices," yet it is clear from Archive.org that the outfit was touting "unlimited" storage for 50 quid a year as recently as March this year. It's now ditched that unlimited offer, and charging £36 a month for 1TB.
All in all, unless your provider can hit DropBox, Amazon or Azure levels of scale, providing unlimited or even 1TB of storage turns out to be rather expensive. ®