Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A reply to Google Maps

I received an email from Google Maps with a subject line of ‘Action needed: Contact Google Maps Platform for volume pricing’, as follows. I thought I’d translate it and reply since it came from a no-reply email address.


We are following up on our most recent announcement. This is a reminder that Google Maps Platform’s new terms and pricing will go into effect July 16.

Translation – we are massively increasing our prices on July 16

The 2 months of credit we extended to you will automatically apply to your billing account on that date.

Translation – this won’t cover the increase in prices

You are eligible for a significantly discounted price on your monthly bill, based on your usage over the last three months.

Translation – the discounted price is not that discounted and will still be more expensive than our competitors

If you have not yet contacted us, we strongly recommend that you contact us to learn more about our volume pricing and how it can benefit you.

Reply – I did contact you. Your support staff seem kind of stressed. They sent me off to one of your partners who was only able to offer me a deal that would mean all of my advertising revenue went to Google Maps

Thank you for using Google Maps Platform.

It was fun while it lasted but I’m busily moving all my maps to another provider with more sane pricing. I would really love to know the rationale behind this move because it makes zero sense to me.


Breen Whitman said...

In our city a local IT company made a bus route tool for the bus service.
You are here - your bus is coming in X minutes type thing.
It used google maps. Obviously the service had quite a few lookups as passengers all stared at their phones.
The cost of the google maps component was $1000 per month(approx).
Under the new price model this jumped to $20,000 per month.

Generally speaking, this is called bait and switch. And Google are masters of it.
About 6 years ago, I gave a talk that one day Google will "call in" their services, like a bank calls in the loans they have given out.
That time has come.

The other 2 products are Gmail, and YouTube.
I saw a new TV the other day, it has a youtube button on the remote, and when it starts it defaults to a 3 item menu, you tube, Netflix, TV. The salesman's comment was very interesting to me - they are selling a lot to people with holiday homes and small motels. YouTube channels keep the kids entertained and they no longer have to subscribe to expensive Sky/Satellite services.

One day YouTube will do the same as maps. Tens of thousands of small hotels will suddenly be restricted till they pay.

Chris Bell said...

Agreed, but Google seem to have failed to notice one crucial thing, there's a lot of other companies providing mapping services at a fraction of their new prices. Unless you're using something that only Google provide, you'd be insane to continue to use them or start using them. Even websites without the time and/or resources to make the change are going to find the time if they are paying 20 times what they were paying before.

Vitali said...

What are your thoughts on using open source map solutions? Like OpenStreetMap or Leaflet?

Chris Bell said...

I would have preferred to go down that route but I ended up using Here Maps since they have great KML support