New billing model

Last change on 2024-03-01 • Created on 2024-02-29 • ID: GE-EDD38

Questions about billing changes between March and May 2024

What will change about the way that Hetzner calculates the invoice for March 2024 and why?

We are in the process of changing our billing structure to make it more unified; by doing this, we hope to make our products more user friendly.

As part of this process, we will change the billing for many of our products from monthly to hourly. For some products, we will not always bill you retro-actively for the service. This structure will be similar to our Cloud billing. It will take effect in March 2024.

If you use a product for the whole month, we will continue to invoice you for the same monthly amount as always.

During the transition period, which will start with the March 2024 invoice, you may see some unusual things on your invoice. Below, you can see an example of what these changes may look like during the transition period.

Just to make it clear, the montly price you will pay will NOT change, even if you see some short-term changes in monthly totals on your invoices during the transition period.

It is possible that you will see a smaller-than-normal total on your invoice for March. In April, we will retro-actively invoice you for March for any hourly-based products; the invoice will be pro rata (proportional to the amount of hours in March that you used those products.)

Why will my March invoice be different from my earlier invoices?

Starting in April, we will only invoice customers for the services that they have used AFTER the month that they use those services.

For that reason, the March invoice will NOT contain any products whose prices we already calculated in March under the old billing structure. That's why your invoice for March may have a smaller total that normal.

The affected products (the ones with hourly-based billing) for March will then appear retro-actively on the APRIL invoice, but with the new hourly based billing.

Please take a look at the example invoices below.

Why will my April invoice be different from my earlier invoices?

Your April 2024 invoice will be the first one that is based on hourly billing. It will cover your hourly usage for the month of March. The hourly billing will apply to most products, but not all. For example, it will not apply to one-time products (like setup fees) or to products like domains and SSL certificates, which will continue to have yearly payment periods.

For this one time, the invoice will retro-actively cover products that were NOT covered on March's invoice as part of the transition period.

After that (starting in April) all future invoices will have a service period for hourly-based products. The service period will start on the first day of the month and end on the last day of the month. If you use these products for a full month, you will see the normal monthly price.

For more details, please look at the section below ("Example invoices").

What will be new in the May invoice?

By the time you get your May invoice, the transition period will be finished.

The May invoice will show you the products that you used in April. For hourly-based products, you will see how many hours you used each product for April. If you have used the product for the entire month of April, you will see the normal monthly price. If you use the product for less than a month, and the hourly calculation is less than the monthly total, we will charge you the smaller hourly-based amount.

For more details, please look at the section below ("Example invoices").

Why didn't I get an invoice yet for April?

There may be a one-time delay in when we send you your April invoice. We apologize for that in advance and ask you for your understanding. Naturally, we will extend the time that you will have to pay your April invoice. In the months following April, we will send you invoices regularly and on time.

Why am I now receiving my invoice on a different day of the month?

We want to provide you with better and quicker customer service in the future when you have billing questions. That's why we have decided to spread out the days of the month when we send out invoices to customers. You will always receive your invoice on the same day of the month. But this day will be different from customer to customer. This will allow our support team to answer billing questions more quickly.

We sent you an email informing you about this change; it had the subject line "Changes to the billing model". We sent you this email between 29 February and 15 March. You can find a copy of this email below. You can find your new billing day by going to [your account][1].

Example invoices

Example: You have two servers, Server A and Server B under the old billing model.

Server A had a service period of 21 February to 20 March. Server B had a service period of 27 January to 26 February.

In February you received, as usual, an invoice for both servers with their two different service periods: alt text

In March, you will NOT see any products on the invoice that will have a service period that extends into April 2024.

To be specific in this example, only Server B would appear on March's invoice because its service period does not fall into April. It only goes from 27 February to 26 March.

Server A, on the other hand, has a service period that would extend into April. So it would NOT be calculated on the March 2024 invoice. That's why the invoice for this example for March would be smaller.

alt text

Now let's imagine that you order another server, Server C, in March, and Hetzner gives you access to the server on 15 March.

The April invoice will be the first retro-active invoice. It will include the service period of March for any products that have not already been calculated in March's invoice:

alt text

  • Server A for 21-31 March (previous invoice calculated in February)
  • Server B for 27-31 March (previous invoice calculated in March)
  • Server C for 15-31 March (new product; first invoice)

The calculation for these invoices is based on hourly usage.

Now let's imagine that you cancelled Server A and that cancellation takes effect on 31 March. To replace this server, you order a new one, Server D, which Hetzner gives you access to on 20 April.

The invoice for May will include the service period from the previous month, April. So you would see the full service period for April listed for each server. Since you used Server B and Server C for the whole month, you would see the full monthly price there. And since you only used Server D for part of the month of April, you would see the calculation there based on hourly usage.

alt text

Questions about your invoices and payments

Can I change the date that Hetzner issues my invoice?

Unfortunately, no. For the foreseeable future, it will not be possible to change the date that we issue your invoice to you. We're sorry about that.

How precisely does Hetzner calculate the hourly billing?

The beginning of the hourly billing starts as soon as the product becomes available to you. We always round up when calculating the hourly use. If you only use the product for a few minutes, we will charge you a full hour. If you use the product for close to a month, and the montly price is cheaper, we will always charge you the cheaper monthly price rather than a higher hourly price.

When will Hetzner charge me the hourly price?

We will always use the hourly price when it saves you money, meaning when you have used a product for less than a month, and the total hourly price is less than the monthly price.

When does the time for the hourly price start?

It starts when Hetzner makes the product you ordered available to you. This is true even for products that you use for just a short period of time.

Can I pay in yearly payment periods?

Unfortunately not. In the new system, we only allow monthly payments. However, you can make automated payments with two different payment options to help make it easier to make your payments. You can do automated payments using SEPA bank transfers or credit cards.

Important note: It is not always possible to do automated payments. There may be some exceptions.

I only use my product sometimes. Will I pay less?

The same thing is true for all products: as long as the resources are allocated to you, we will invoice you for them.

So if you order a product, but you do not use it, we will still invoice you for it because the resources are assigned to you. This is also true if you turn off your server or if your server is idle.

If you want to NOT pay for a product, you need to actively cancel it. (In this way, it is like our Cloud servers. Customers pay for Cloud servers until they actively delete them.)

Email from Hetzner

I don't have the email from Hetzner about the new billing structure at hand. What is changing?

On 1 March, we edited the information in the email that we had started to send out on 29 February. We hope that the newer version clears up some confusion.


We would like to inform you today about upcoming changes to the billing model for our products.

Starting in March 2024, we will invoice almost all of our products in a similar way to our Cloud products.

If you only use our Cloud products, there are no relevant changes for you.

What does this mean for you?

Retro-actively based billing: The invoices for these products are based on the services we already provided to you. This means you always receive an invoice for the previous month.

Precise, hour-based billing: When you use a product for a shorter time, the billing will be based on the precise usage time in hours. If you use the product for a longer time, the maximum price you will pay will be the monthly price. There are some exceptions: products with an annual fee (domains and SSL certificates) and licences. These products' invoices are based on the entire calendar month regardless of when during the month you order them.

What is important during the changeover in March and April?

During the changeover, we will invoice you for products on a pro rata basis (based on the proportion of the month that you used them).This may result in different invoice amounts for March and April The changeover will happen automatically. You do not need to take further action. Your monthly price will not change.

What is important after the changeover?

We want to be able to offer you even better customer service in the future. For that reason, we want to change the date of your invoice. Starting in April, your new permanent billing day will be the [xx] of the month.

With this change, we hope to make our billing even more transparent and make our products more user friendly. [1]:

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