Several companies have pitched plans at Google to shut down the free version of their old G Suite product.
As The New York Times reported, a number of business owners are understandably unhappy with Google's attempts to funnel them into paid Google Workspace packages (which start at $6 or $5 per user/per month).
The biggest source of frustration, however, is how Google handled the policy change, giving already cash-strapped companies a short slate to make a decision on whether to stay or move.
Goodbye G Suite
Google first announced that it would revoke free access to its productivity and collaboration software for all former G Suite customers in January this year. The backlash that followed was surely no surprise.
Google ultimately agreed to allow people running old G Suite accounts for personal use to continue using its software for free, but made no such exemption for businesses.
After pushing back the original May 1 deadline, Google will now automatically transition businesses to a paid Google Workspace subscription on June 27. Those who refuse to pay the bill will have their account suspended on August 1.
The move is part of an effort to extract more value from the products it already offers, amid rising energy and material costs associated with operating the large-scale data centers on which its services are based. An eminently sensible goal, from a purely economic point of view.
However, the policy change appears to have left some customers feeling aggrieved; they say Google lured them in with free services, which they now depend on, and failed to take into account the financial pressures they face in the current climate.
"I found it unnecessarily petty," said one business owner. “It's hard to feel sorry for someone who has been given something for free for a long time and is now told that he has to pay, but a promise was made. This is what prompted me to make the decision to go with Google. »
“It was less about how much they charge and more about the fact that they changed the rules,” explained another. "They could change the rules again at any time."
For its part, Google insisted it remained committed to meeting the needs of its customers and moved toward twelve-month discounts available to companies forced to make the switch.
“We're here to help our customers through this transition, including deep discounts on Google Workspace subscriptions. Upgrading to a Google Workspace subscription can be done in just a few clicks," said spokeswoman Katie Wattie.
Via New York Times(Opens in a new tab)