Are we slave of AWS? Share Talk website was off line for 8pm BST yesterday evening

A story very similar to the Share Talk experience, we thought we would share in case you wonder why the site was down for so long.

 We faced downtime of almost 12+ Hours today. And here is what exactly happened. As I think you deserve to know the full story.

We received an email at 10:12 PM ( Night time ) for document verifications from AWS. We’ve seen this previously, so not new. And as you can see, it asked us to provide documents by Tuesday, July 12, 2022. All fine. Let me reach the office in the morning, and arrange all the required documents, as it’s late already.

After 2 Hours, exactly at 12 Midnight, I receive another email.

Just 2 hours after our initial email, where they mentioned providing details by July 12, 2022. In just TWO HOURS they decided to suspend the account.

So we instantly connected with their support – and they asked us to arrange all the docs and provide them as soon as possible. Remember it’s 12 Midnight.

Somehow I managed all the documents and submitted them at 12:45 AM.

And now things started being worst. No reply or anything. I contacted support directly, but they have no access to the AWS Verifications team.

After struggling for 2-3 Hours, I got update that they want us to clear the pending invoice instantly, which was generated before 3-4 Days. Wow.

It was like a hostage situation. Clear your invoice now if you want your account back. Otherwise, we’ll delete every instance, backup, and everything.

Our invoices are huge with AWS, so suddenly managing invoice cash at 2:30 AM was like worst situation. I can’t call any of our financial team member or anything at midnight. Somehow tried to manage funds at midnight. Because we’ve billing cycle of 15th every month, we operate with planned caseflow. So this sudden expense need to be handled carefully being early-stage Startup.

So, finally we arranged funds and paid the invoice. And this was our mistake I can say. They stopped replying completely after that.

Not a single reply.

Almost 20+ tickets in total from 2:30 AM to 1 PM. Talked with 20+ different members from AWS Support to get at least some updates. But nope.

The only answer is, you’ll receive a reply in the next 24-72 Hours. It was like opening one ticket every 30-40 minutes to connect with new member, in hope of some update.

Moved to Twitter with no luck as well – as expected.

Moved to Facebook, but again NO. Literally, nobody cares.

And I was creating back-to-back tickets in hope of some help from their support. But everytime it was like, You’ll get update in next 24-72 Hours. And if everything is okay, your account will be back.

Now the points are

  • We had no warning or anything that you found anything suspicious. Just some random person decided that let’s shut down this account. And boom.
  • Okay, maybe you found some issues and this was a very rapid decision – which itself is weird with the sensitivity of business – but let’s accept that. So, why no reply after we provided all the documents.
  • But yes, we get update to complete invoice payment. That means our documents were accepted, so just need to complete invoice and done. So, why stopped replying after we paid.
  • Why a sensitive business unit like this has no way to connect. The only way to connect is with email, and the reply is in 24-72 Hours. So, you can shutdown the account, and move on with answer that our verification team will get back to you. Amazing…

And just imaging going through all this at night 2:30 AM. It started at 12 Midnight and completed at 1:30 PM approx. I am just randomly knocking all the doors whole night, in hope of some update. When we had zero fault of ours.

And the worst part – As soon as this action was taken – they suspended our Business Support plan. Those who’re not aware – Business support is paid support system of AWS to provide you help in critical situations. It can help with direct connections for fastest output, as you’re literally just paying for support every month.

And they disabled it instantly after the account was suspended. And blocked us from purchasing the plan, till “verifications team” provide any update. So, now even our path to emergency support is blocked.

Finally at the end at 1 PM, I got in touch with someone having direct connection with AWS and sorted out the stuff. But the question is, can we trust AWS again?

And yes, this is not first time. We have seen this before few months as well. Where they suspended our account with same reasons at midnight 2:30 AM I think, and I was literally standing on road with my bike trying to knock the doors same like today.

And that time, they reactivated the account after the same fight. But they messed up all the instances by disconnecting everything – after activation. And it took 1-2 Hours to connect everything back. It was purely their system bug, but hey, nobody cares.

The only question for me is – Can we rely on AWS anymore? I don’t know.

Definitely, AWS might be great for companies spending millions of dollars yearly, as they have direct connections. But for businesses like us, I don’t think they even care about. And definitely we’re paying 5-10x more to AWS, compared to other providers. Just on the name of brand. And here is the answer of everything.

Also this leaves open question to us as well – can we really rely on any provider like AWS? Because when things go wrong, we’re literally their slave only. None cares.

Either you need to be reseller to survive ( As the parent company has direct contacts due to heavy spend ), or you need to go for local providers for better service ( but lower quality ). Because companies like AWS or Vultr don’t care at all. They have their own kingdom with their own rules.

Luckily everything is under control now, but the first thing I want to do after all this is – what can be done to avoid being their slave. And it gives me answer of why we need decentralized systems. If you’re not moneybank for them, they don’t care about you or your business at all.

Hoping for the best. Thank you everyone for your cooperation.


Linking Shareholders and Executives :Share Talk

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