Several companies have joined Google’s plans to end the free version of its legacy G Suite product.
As reported by New York TimesSeveral business owners are naturally unhappy with Google’s attempts to funnel them into Google Workspace packages (which start at $6 or £5 per user/per month).
The biggest source of frustration, however, is the way Google has navigated the policy change, giving already cash-strapped companies a short lead in making a decision to stay or cheer.
Goodbye, G Suite
google first announced that would revoke free access to your productivity and collaboration software per all legacy G Suite clients in January this year. The reaction that followed was certainly not surprising.
Finally, Google agreed to let people who run old G Suite accounts for personal purposes continue to use its software for free, but it didn’t make such a waiver for businesses.
After pushing back the original May 1 deadline, Google will now automatically switch businesses to a paid Google Workspace subscription on June 27. Those who refuse to pay the bill will have their accounts suspended on August 1st.
The move is part of an effort to extract more value from the products it already provides, amid rising energy and hardware costs associated with running the large-scale data centers in which its services are built. An eminently sensible goal, from a purely economic perspective.
However, the policy change appears to have left some customers feeling disadvantaged; they claim that Google lured them with free services, which they now depend on, and failed to take into account the financial pressures they face in the current climate.
“That struck me as needlessly petty,” said one businessman. “It’s hard to feel sorry for someone who’s been given something for free for a long time and is now being told they have to pay for it, but there was a promise made. That’s what forced me to make the decision to go with Google.”
“It was less about the amount they are charging and more about the fact that they changed the rules,” explained another. “They can change the rules again at any time.”
For its part, Google insisted it remains committed to meeting the needs of its customers and pointed to the 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. Switching to a Google Workspace subscription can be done in a few clicks,” said spokeswoman Katie Wattie.