Now I have to add my credit card for the Legacy Hobby Plan?

I just tried to run fly deploy for the first time in weeks and now it fails and instead gives me messages like “WARN Failed to start remote builder heartbeat: failed to launch VM: We require your billing information”

Now I start digging into this and see that I am also now on something called a Legacy Hobby Plan, which is still ostensibly free, with a free amount of resource usage at least.

But it is really true that I now have to add a credit card just to use this free legacy plan?

I’ve never wanted to give my credit card info to any purported Heroku replacement because I’ve never intended to use anything beyond free limits, and don’t want a given platform hitting me with unexpected charges, instead of just simply preventing me from exceeding free limits, which seems like it would be logical and straightforward thing to implement to prevent crypto miners or such abuse.

If I’m not going to be able to use the free tier without giving my credit card info, I think it was shady to lure us guinea pigs in under the pretense of a genuine free tier, for those of us seeking a Heroku replacement.

For all I know, Fly will change its plans again six months from now, and I won’t know it, and I will suddenly be getting credit card charges. The simplest way for me to prevent such charges is to never give out my credit card number. And if I abuse my free tier account, I could always be kicked off the platform. Considering you could literally block free tier users from going over free tier limits, it’s not even reasonable to ask for them to give you their credit card information. It’s also an unnecessary risk for me because sites get hacked and billing information leaked all the time.

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Added billing, wishlist

hi @s0meb0dy

I realize it can be frustrating when something that you got for free for a long time seems like it might not be free anymore. But your plan hasn’t changed, you still have a free Hobby plan with the same free allowances.

We usually ask for a payment method for all accounts. I’m not sure why you’re only just now being asked, but if you want to confirm whether the answer to your question “But it is really true that I now have to add a credit card just to use this free legacy plan?” is yes, then you can email billing@fly.io.

There’s definitely a chance that plans will change. They already have, from a free Hobby plan, to a paid Hobby plan, and now a Pay-as-go plan for new orgs. That’s why your free plan is called the “legacy Hobby plan”; we kept you on your original plan despite the changes over the last year.

We don’t have a feature that shuts down your apps if you go beyond legacy free allowances. But we’re working on providing better usage breakdown and other new self-service features with our new billing system.

It would be nice if Fly might send us an email if such a basic feature does ever get implemented, removing the need to store credit card info that will never be used, and reducing the identity theft exposure for users who will never need anything beyond a free hobby tier.

As it stands no Heroku atlernative is truly innovative, you’re all copying each other with this lazy reliance on credit cards even on free tiers, and/or less-than-full-time availablity of an app and/or database (e.g., 50 free hours a month). Fly has an opportunity to stand out from this pack by implementing a simple way of automatically stopping free users from exceeding free tier limits. Such a feature is screaming “build me”.

In the meantime I’ll just continue with less preferable alternatives such as pythonanwyhere, and just basic Hugo static sites on GitLab.com, GitHub, et al., when a database isn’t absolutely needed, but would be more advantageous if it was an option. The former free tier on Heroky was truly the sweet spot, one could have a full-stack Django low-traffic site running 24/7/365 with a managed database leveraging the benefits of relational data models versus endless duplication, as well as the option to use Docker, and still have SSH access. Crypto miners are a lame excuse for taking that away, there’s other ways to stop abusers.

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