Do not, do not, make offers that you don't intend to honour based on the assumption that nobody could possibly hog that many of your company's resources and products.
A case in point: An offer of "unlimited" cloud storage. An offer which Microsoft's 'droids made for OneDrive users when they subscribe to Office 365, because hey, "Unlimited", it's a great selling word, right, right?? (OneDrive is formerly SkyDrive, but it had to be renamed because far too many individual judges and large chunks of the alleged "justice" system frequently tend to be pathological in their stupidity, but I digress.)
"Unlimited" is a pretty unambiguous word. Microsoft apparently used it assuming that no users, anywhere, ever, either would or could stick their snouts that far down in the trough.
No matter what offer a company makes, then unless reasonableness limits are placed on it there will always be some Homer J Simpson, somewhere, who will take you at your buzz-generating word and suck down your resources like there is no tomorrow.
Which Microsoft has just discovered to its shock and surprise.
And as a result of this, OneDrive users the world over are getting screwed, to a greater or lesser extent.Since we started to roll out unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 consumer subscribers, a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. In some instances, this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average. Instead of focusing on extreme backup scenarios, we want to remain focused on delivering high-value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users.
This isn't a wholly unreasonable deal, especially as with an Office 365 Home subscription as I have it is effectively 1TB per person for each of the 5 licences. But the thing is this... it's not a wholly unreasonable deal if that's the deal that you signed on for in the first place.We’re no longer planning to offer unlimited storage to Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscribers. Starting now, those subscriptions will include 1 TB of OneDrive storage.
Hmm. 50 whole gig, you say? My photos folder is 614 gigabytes. So if I wanted to archive that in the raw I'd need 13 lots of 50 gig (and I would have to manually tweak the amount as I took more and more shots, and in the meantime I'd be paying for space that I'm not using) * 12 months = 310 bucks per year.100 GB and 200 GB paid plans are going away as an option for new users and will be replaced with a 50 GB plan for $1.99 per month in early 2016.
I was going to compare this unfavourably with Amazon's offering which is cents per gigabyte but that appears to be its commercial offering. It has a retail offering as well which offers unlimited photos plus 5 gig of videos and other files for $11.99 per year. Hmmm, tough call, would I rather pay $310 or just $12?
But wait, there's still some free storage, right? Indeed. Let's go back to the future:
Meanwhile, Google Drive still offers 15 gig, which is more realistic in this day and age. I checked my own OneDrive folder and found it to be 5.26Gig, though I'll admit that it does need a cleanout and in any case I still have 1TB from Office 365.Free OneDrive storage will decrease from 15 GB to 5 GB for all users, current and new. The 15 GB camera roll storage bonus will also be discontinued. These changes will start rolling out in early 2016.
So between Google's offering and Amazon's offering, and making an offer that it should have been blindingly obvious would be rabidly abused by some and which Microsoft therefore never meant to honour... Microsoft would appear to have shot itself in the foot. And not just with a pistol, no no, I'm talking about loading up a Napoleonic era cannon, loading it with canister shot, and sticking their collective foot in front of it. Because it is one thing to endure the embarrassment of having to admit that your offer wasn't real. (Again, "unlimited" is a word that leaves little to the imagination.) But it is quite another to then not only fail to improve your services, but rather reduce them and hike up the charges for them. All in all, it's not a good look.
So, Microsoft, the next time a creative type suggests making an unsustainable offer, I suggest... a Nerf ball. Squarely between the eyes. Or use any substitute material that may be to hand.
And then get someone who understands what your competitors are doing.
 Blindingly obvious to anyone who doesn't have a goatee beard, their hair in a ponytail, and the label "Hi, I'm The Creative Talent" written in crayon and pinned to their Calvin Klein T-Shirt, anyway.