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How long does it take to investigate billing issues


We have opened a case to question a billing issue and request a refund, as an unused instance was created on our account. My dev team is adamant that they did not turn on the instance, so we're not sure how the instance was created. In any case, AWS has already billed us a five figure bill for December, and the size of the bill has caused undue hardship on the business and family. We are trying to be patient while we wait for AWS to help us resolve this issue, and perhaps give us a reprieve on the amount, but it is taking a long time.

Does anyone have any experience as to how long AWS usually takes to respond and resolve billing issues? Do they play hardball with customers, or are they more flexible and thoughtful with their resolutions, especially with long-time customers?

4 Answers

While we don't know how long it may take to resolve your issue, I can certainly say that support team will do everything they can to help you. In the meantime, it's really recommended to take a look at how you can implement controls or monitoring to make sure that this doesn't happen in the future.

Few other things to consider in addition to what @Swwapnil mentioned in their response:

  • Are you logging in to account using IAM or using root credentials? Make sure root credentials are not used for every-day tasks and are properly secured. Make sure you don't accidentally post your IAM access keys on github :) that mistake happens often, and rotate your access keys regularly.
  • You can set up daily / monthly notifications with AWS Budgets or utilize Anomaly Detection in AWS Cost Explorer to get notified when your cost or usage goes out of control and notice these issues before you receive your monthly bill. Note that billing works hourly, and charging starts as soon as you start running resources; the earlier you detect abnormal behaviour of your bill, the easier it will be for you to prevent it.
  • Support team will provide additional recommendations. Follow them and check the resources they'll share.
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answered 8 months ago

To debug more on the issue (to know, how the instance was created), you can always check cloud trail logs to know more about the activity that happened in your account.

answered 8 months ago

The resolution will depend based on the support plan you have ie Basic, developer, business or Enterprise. With basic the response from support is usually within 24 hours, but resolution would depend on the issue type. In this particular case relating to billing issue, it would be good if you could provide evidences to support your issue. It is possible that your account credentials may have been compromised. I would advice going forward as suggested by @Natalyia, to secure your root account by MFA authentication and do not use it. Create another Admin user within your Root account that could access billing details and create budget (daily/monthly).

answered 8 months ago

Thank you for your replies. I am a paid support user. The staff get back to me promptly to say they are "looking into it", but the resolution is still pending. This issue has caused financial hardship on my small eCommerce business, and I'm hoping to get a resolution in a few days, but I've been waiting weeks. Has anyone else had experience having their billing issues addressed, and how long it takes, as this issue is taking a financial and mental toll.

answered 8 months ago

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