Google slugs Australia with extra G Suite price rise

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Google slugs Australia with extra G Suite price rise

Google has revealed that the new Australian pricing of G Suite will increase more than in other nations.

Prices of the Basic and Business plans will increase from $5 and $10 per user per month, respectively, to $8.40 and $16.80 per user per month. That is an increase of 68 percent.

In comparison, the price increase for US customers is 20 percent, with basic plans increasing from US$5 to US$6 per month per user, while business plans will increase from US$10 to US$12 per month per user.

That disparity has not gone un-noticed in the channel. Christopher Barnes of Sydney-based reseller Email Connect pointed out that the annual plan for G Suite Basic will have a 101.6 percent increase, from $50 a year to $100.80 ($8.40 times 12 months). Office 365, by contrast, starts at $6.90 a month per user. Micro-businesses can probably find a way to use the Office 365 family plan, which covers six users for $129 a year.

A Google spokesperson confirmed to CRN that the price increase covers exchange rate fluctuations, using a rate of US$1=AU$1.40.

"Over the last ten years, G Suite has grown to provide more tools, functionality and value to help businesses transform the way they work. The one thing that hasn't changed over this time is price. And in markets that have experienced currency fluctuations, this helped provide price predictability and stability for subscribers," the spokesperson told CRN.

"To keep pace with the value customers get from G Suite today, we increased the global list price for the Basic and Business editions of G Suite and made local market adjustments for certain regions. While Google reserves the right to make price adjustments in the future, we don’t expect to make any additional changes in the near term."

Google also removed the annual plans and the included discount, citing "consistency" and "alignment" by keeping only the month-to-month plans.

G Suite price increase comparison
  Basic Business
Current Australian pricing A$5 A$10
New Australian pricing A$8.40 A$16.80
Percentage increase 68 percent 68 percent
Current US pricing US$5 (A$7.10) US$10 (A$14.19)
New US pricing US$6 ($8.52) US$12 ($17.03)
Percentage increase 20 percent 20 percent

The spokesperson added that existing Australian customers can avail of a 10 percent and 15 percent discount for a full year of G Suite Basic and Business, respectively, as Google's way of softening the price increase.

She added that customers are also encouraged to speak with G Suite resellers to negotiate the prices where possible to further soften the increase.  

Markets getting one-year discounts

New Zealand is listed under Tier 1, or the "least sensitive markets" tier, as G Suite is only available for purchase in US dollars there, so there won't be any discounts.

Google first revealed the price increase in January 2019. The vendor's global channel chief Carolee Gearhart said value, not price, will "drive successful G Suite practices" since the former has increased at a far-faster pace.

Sydney Google partner itGenius posted a video on YouTube explaining the price changes, even comparing the price with G Suite's main competitor, Microsoft's Office 365.

itGenius managing director Peter Moriarty told CRN he hasn't heard any major complaints from customers so far.

But Email Connect's Barnes pointed out that Google's pricing doesn't include GST, meaning the price will rise effectively be even higher.

While he hasn't also heard major complaints from customers, Barnes told CRN that the price increase was "rough" and a bit high, and the exchange rate used "did not make sense".

Updated 12 March 2:17pm: fixed errors in the price comparison table and added clarifications from Google.

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