DO Ideas 2

Do not destroy droplets *and* backups when accounts are suspended for non payment

Today if the credit card(s) on the account expire but the "contact on file" is (for instance) an old email address, or a customer that doesn't understand its implications, or to a corporate email that isn't checked often, then after 15 days it appears that all droplets *and their backups* are destroyed.

This causes bad experiences (and bad press), and fear for people evaluating DO.
ex: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11036554

Suggestion: since destroying droplets will 'send a guaranteed message' to vital parties ("why is my website not up? better contact somebody to fix it..."), I suggest that when accounts are suspended, perhaps power down the droplets and "take a snapshot", and keep the snapshot+backups" (for "a week" or "a month"?) so responsible parties can be alerted, and get back up to business with minimal delay, vs. the potential for catastrophic delay since even the backups are automated-ly destroyed today. (see that link). Cheers!

  • roger pack
  • Sep 11 2018
  • Shipped
  • Sep 11, 2018

    Admin Response

    Thanks for the feedback, the actual process for an account going on hold and then finally having resources destroyed is closer to about 35 days. There are numerous emails that are sent out and droplets are powered off as you also mentioned as that sometimes alerts customers to an issue when they login and then can coordinate with the support team.
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  • roger pack commented
    September 11, 2018 16:27

    I guess what I would suggest here is for "long paying customers" don't destroy their droplets (just disable them) for a a few days after automatically suspending their accounts. After that point you can guess they're done :)

  • roger pack commented
    September 11, 2018 16:27

    OK I'm just saying that there needs to be some time before "account going on hold" and "resources destroyed" in case the emails accidentally get sent to some corporate unchecked email. At least a few days in case it happens to be on a weekend. If that's already the case then how did that ycombinator account occur, or has it changed since then? Cheers!

  • Zachary DuBois commented
    September 11, 2018 16:27

    I believe not paying for a service where you are paying for usage vs. prior, 15 days is more than enough notice to delete it. A lot of the time, you can just open a ticket if you won't be able to make a payment on time and they understand and will hold the account from the suspension.

  • Ben Yanke commented
    September 11, 2018 16:27

    Perhaps even charging a larger fee for recreating the droplets from backups after the initial 15 day window.

    I know a lot of businesses would happily pay a $200 instantiation fee 20 days after their payment fails if it means all their data isn't deleted and they don't need to completely set up their servers from scratch.

  • Ben Yanke commented
    September 11, 2018 16:27

    Annon, no one is saying it should be free. Backups add little cost compared to actually running the droplet.

    If people are relying on DO for critical infrastructure in their company or personal life, they really should have a good grace period, because things occasionally do get missed...

  • Marco Colli commented
    September 11, 2018 16:27

    I've never been suspended for non payment. However I perfectly agree with you. This thing is very scary... Now I'm afraid to go on vacation or that the email fails for some reason.
    I think that they definitely should power off the droplets first for some days (so that everyone notices) and then if you still don't pay remove the droplets and backups.

    Does the snapshots destroyed too? *_* You cannot even download them... this is scary.

  • Pawel commented
    September 11, 2018 16:27

    its not about being free but i get what he is saying.

    currently for such a backup theres a paypal.
    it takes credits from CC first, if it fails then whats on acc by paypal (or at least as i understand it).

    thats good enough for now.

    But i like your idea with taking snapshot down, powering off, and waiting for a time being.

  • Anonymous commented
    September 11, 2018 16:27

    So... the service should be free when the CC or whatever payment you use, fails?
    That does not make sense.
    The 15 days is already quite generous if you ask me.