This is the story of how a google cloud platform free trial that I didn’t want in the first place turned into “BOX TERMINATED” two months later.

I’m not sure whose fault this is – the google cloud console is deeply complex because it’s loaded with all the products they want me to buy rather than the products I have. It’s like struggling with the menu at a diner. Doesn’t help that it’s also really slow.

I signed up for a single VM instance in february and immediately ran up against two things:

  1. their payment system was hot garbage – it knew my credit card from other products, wouldn’t let me use that payment profile, and also wouldn’t let me reuse the card. Not sure how I ended up getting through this.
  2. it forced me to accept a free trial even though I didn’t want it. I just wanted to set up the product once and have it work.

But I went with the free trial (for lack of a better option), assuming that it would roll over to my credit card when it was finished.

How wrong I was. For those of you keeping score at home, here’s what happened next:

date message my reaction
2/14 Welcome to GCP free trial – $300 over the next 60 days this will be over soon
3/9 Your trial has been extended from 60 days to 12 months wtf
3/9 Your payment of $100 has been applied wtf?
3/29 adjustment: on 3/9 we mis-billed you. We’ll issue a credit wtf wtf
4/16 less than $25 left in free trial finally
4/21 your trial has ended ignore
4/21 can’t ssh wtf wtf wtf
4/21 BOX TERMINATED hello darkness my old friend


I really just wanted to trade money for cloud hosting. I didn’t want two months of schizo messaging followed by (surprise!) my box is down.

You’ll notice I didn’t react to the time they billed me during my free trial. I was so discouraged by the idea of interacting with their customer support I just chalked it up to experience. Around the same time they shut down a bunch of adwords campaigns for ‘punctuation’ (wtf?) and when I complained about that they were like ‘oh yeah, our bad’.

Is “BOX TERMINATED” my fault? I assumed that the free trial profile would bill me because why else would they need my credit card.

The good news is that digital ocean doesn’t seem to have a free trial and so my gcloud box can stay terminated forever. Good riddance.