My Poor Experience With Azure (or why I'm sticking with AWS)

AWS has a lot of haters. Lots of horror cases where people thought they were on the free account but ended up with a $20,000 bill.

We are told Azure has a much better model. You have to manually move to a paid service. No surprise bills.

Like AWS, Azure has a free plan. They even promote it heavily.

So I jumped through the hoops to create an account, confirm it via text, give a credit card for security (Aws also ask for it, so I'm used to it).

Great. Azure tells me to try my "free" services:

So I clicked on it.  The very 1st service is Virtual Machines. I choose Linux and press continue. (And the page assures me the services are FREE! 12 Months!!)

But I soon hit a problem. Evidently, I'm not allowed to create a VM in my region. No probs, I'll choose a different region. But every region shows the same error:

I spend some time googling. It seems multiple people have hit this problem. During Covid, Microsoft reduced the services available on the free account. Evidently, you cannot create VMs. There are several workarounds suggested:

  • Try different regions --> nope, no in all of them
  • Raise a ticket asking for approval for regions --> The ticket is rejected because a free account cannot add regions

The final suggestion is to move to a paid plan.

Wait what?

After all that heavy marketing about how they had this great "free" plan, seems I have to pay after all?

But I wasn't done.

Surely there must be a solution somewhere? I decided to turn to the wise people of Reddit. The first answer was a nice "F*&^ you, didn't you read the terms and conditions?"

Pictured: Average Redditor

Not helpful. I googled a bit more, some people suggested you can still create a database on the free account. But what would I do with a database? Put it in a pipe and smoke it?

What the hell. I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. Clicked on upgrade to pay-as-you-go.

And nothing happened.

The page opened a big white "Verify Payment Method" screen that just sat there for minutes. Like it was frozen.

Now I was using a hippie no-one-uses-me Firefox, so I decided to move to the more Manly-now-with-extra-Electrolytes Chrome.

Same result. Same blank screen stuck at the verify payment details screen.

I couldn't upgrade my account.

The only thing common between my Firefox and Chrome is they both use an ad blocker. And if Azure expects me to turn off my ad blocker to give them money, I have some suggestions about where they can shove their "free" VMs.

All that hype and I can't even give them money.

Seems I'm back to evil AWS for now...