Google suddenly raised my monthly Workspace Enterprise fee by 38%

Experiencing sticker shock? Unpacking the sudden and steep price rise in Google Workspace Enterprise. It's a cautionary tale for cloud-dependent businesses.
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor
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It was a fairly quiet morning. Then, suddenly, an email came in, and I got a queasy feeling. It was from The Google Workspace Team. The subject was "IMPORTANT: Price change for zatz.com." Zatz.com is the main domain on my Workspace Enterprise plan.

Also: The other shoe finally dropped on my Google Enterprise cloud storage plan

I opened the email, and still had that feeling. That's because the email simply said that the price was going to go up in a month, but it didn't provide any details. I did appreciate that the email ended with a section entitled "We're here to help."

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

I quickly logged into my enterprise account with a bit of trepidation. Just knowing the rate I am paying is going to go up had me worried. Everything is getting so expensive these days, and I'm totally locked into Google's Enterprise Workspace plan due to the 57TB currently hosted on Google's servers.

Finding the bad news wasn't all that hard, due to the banner at the top of the main Admin interface.

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

I clicked into View Details, and was presented with this:

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Let's deconstruct what that means. Because I have so much stored on Google's servers, I needed to upgrade a couple of years ago, from the lower-tier small business Google Workspace plans to the full-on Enterprise plan.

Also: Why my two-person company bought a Google Workspace Enterprise plan

In order to be allowed to buy the Enterprise plan, you have to buy five "seats," essentially a license for five users. I only have two users (my wife and me), but what Google wants, Google gets. After all, it's getting almost impossible to find cloud-based storage at the capacity I need for a reasonable price.

While five seats times $20 per month is a bit hard to swallow, the $100 I've been paying is also fairly fair for 57TB of storage.

But now, or at least 30 days from now, that $20/month per seat is going up to $27.60. My $100/month fee is jumping almost 40 percent, to $138 per month.

How this might affect you

Google is very much not transparent about its Enterprise pricing plans. The main Google Workspace pricing page simply says "Contact Sales." The Google Workspace blog doesn't mention anything about a price increase, at least as of the time of this writing.

There is, however, a mention of a jump in price for the Enterprise Standard plan from $20 to $23 (less than I've been hit with) on a January 3, 2024 post on the Cumulus Global (a Google partner) blog.

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It is possible I've been hit with a higher price increase because of the amount of storage I'm consuming. But it's been hard to get any clarity on that. I have reached out to Google through a number of channels. If and when I get a clearer answer, I'll update this article.

The Fed may think inflation is under control at 2-4% annually, but cloudflation certainly still exists. In the last year, Hulu raised prices, Peacock raised prices, YouTube Premium raised prices, Spotify Premium raised prices, Apple raised some of its subscription prices, and the list goes on.

We recently did an audit of our cloud-based monthly expenses, and it's a fairly large percentage of our overall cost of doing business. The fact that it can suddenly balloon by inflation percentages you'd only expect in countries with unstable governments will probably cause every IT manager (and anyone with a cloud budget) to lose sleep at night.

How to change your plan

If it turns out you want to downgrade your plan to save money, it is doable. On the same main Admin dashboard, go to the Billing module and click the link that contains the name of your plan:

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

From there, you'll be taken to the plan details page:

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Click Upgrade or Downgrade, and you'll be able to modify your plan accordingly.

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Keep in mind that downgrading could have an impact on your already uploaded storage. While it's unlikely Google will remove anything you've uploaded, you will definitely no longer be able to upload more data (ask me how I know). Also note that the price increase we've been talking about in this article isn't shown in the plan chooser page. It's possible you could choose a plan and be hit by a price increase at a later date.

Have you been hit by a cost increase? Will you be upgrading or downgrading your plans? For what services? Are you staying with those services? Are you locked in? Let us know in the comments below.

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