Amazon tells cloud customers it's 'here to help' as businesses face financial hardship

Key Points
  • Amazon Web Services sent some customers an email, offering a way to ask for financial assistance.
  • The correspondence comes after reports suggested that Amazon has not been very willing to give some customers relief as they deal with coronavirus.
Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, speaks at the AWS Summit in San Francisco on April 19, 2017.
Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon Web Services wants to help. At least that's what the company is telling customers who are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"In this unprecedented time, you may need to change the way your business is operating," AWS told users on Monday in an email that was obtained by CNBC. "Whether you need to address financial pressures, support remote work, ensure business continuity or scale to meet unusual demands, we are here to support you and help however we can."

The message contained links to a landing page, which says "AWS is here to help" above a "Contact Us" button. Clicking that link takes the user to a page where they can submit an inquiry to AWS.

Employees at two start-ups told CNBC they received the email from Amazon. The correspondence followed reports from Bloomberg and The Information suggesting that AWS had not been accommodating customers' requests for financial relief while they deal with the fallout from Covid-19. The pandemic has led to historic unemployment in the U.S., with 22 million jobless claims in a month, and has killed more than 171,000 people worldwide. 

Amazon leads the cloud infrastructure market with nearly $10 billion in quarterly revenue, ahead of Microsoft and Google. The company gets a substantial amount of business from large enterprises and government agencies, but has also long provided critical technology for start-ups.

The top cloud providers have thus far not announced that they're giving credits or deferrals to customers, including to smaller companies that have been dealing with substantial employee layoffs.

Dharmesh Thakker, a partner at Battery Ventures, said that some start-ups have asked for help, but the vendors haven't issued any blanket statements in response.

"The big three have been saying, 'Look, it's fine,'" Thakker said. "They're looking on a case-by-case basis."

An AWS spokesperson declined to comment.

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