Open Letter: Billing in case of traffic spikes

By Eric Selin - Founder,

Recent discussions on Hacker News highlight the need for trust and personal service - something that is often lacking on the Internet. In this particular case, a static site host issued a bill exceeding $100k for a personal blog, triggering a widespread debate on pricing fairness and transparency.

TL;DR: We would never send a bill like that, for sure. To be completely honest, while our pricing seems very specific, at the moment what we actually do is bill manually. We check each site periodically, and if traffic for a site starts getting over the free limit, we contact the owner to set up payment and discuss options. In any case, we want to avoid surprises for our customers.

In this specific case, we would probably have blocked the site in question and tried to find a reasonable compensation for the incurred traffic (together with the site owner). I would say that the maximum amount you ever expect to pay for a personal blog that usually has very little traffic is in the hundreds of Euros - even in the face of a DDoS or getting on the HN front page. So I would consider this the maximum we could ever charge, and it would be up to us to keep the site online for as long as possible within this limit.

I personally believe more in the value of relationships and mutually solving problems than I do in the value of contracts. Your personal blog is not the same as a huge e-commerce or news site, and will (although the contract might technically be the same) not be treated the same.

We are still working on implementing billing controls and reporting in our systems. Regardless, if you want, you can add credits to you account (say, 10 Euro) and we’ll never charge you anything else. If you want to stay within the free tier (10GB/mo), that is of course fine as well. :)

Here’s how we adress billing today:

In essence, while the Internet grapples with billing models and customer trust, stands firm in its promise: no unexpected bills, no unwarranted stress, only transparent, relationship-based service that puts you first. We understand that peace of mind - not only in terms of privacy, but other areas as well - is paramount for our users, and we’re here to ensure just that.

Static Site Hosting You Can Trust. That’s the guarantee.

I do understand how the situation discussed on Hacker News might arise, and strictly speaking the initial outcome was in line with the contract. However, I am a bit surprised that a (very unexpected) bill of this size just went through the system without any thought. But this is what can happen when David meets Goliath (in which case Hacker News is the fabled stone?).

At you’re not just another number in a billing system but a valued member of a community that values fairness and trust above all.

Best regards, and happy springtime from Stockholm!