An early adopter of Workplace cloud productivity software, named Alphabet Inc., claims the company reneged on a promise to give it free access to the program for life.
Google Apps and G Suite, formerly known as Google Apps and G Suite, provides a host of services including Gmail, Calendar, Drive for storage and Google Docs for content creation. Some of the programs are free to all but enterprise features such as custom email addresses and shared drive storage cost extra.
Stratford Company LLC sued on behalf of all early adopters who were lured into using the software in its early stages, allowing Google to fine-tune it and sell it for a fee. As long as Google offered it, Stratford Company said that the early adopters were promised a free version of Workspace.
In 2012, Google charged $12 a month for new customers to use the software. In 2022, Google notified legacy users that they would also be charged, although it later excluded non-business users of the software.
Google s abandonment of the credo don t be evil is well-illustrated in this case, Stratford Company said in the complaint filed Friday in San Jose federal court. Google, a conglomerate of nearly two trillion dollars, breaks its promise to loyal customers who helped develop a profitable product in order to pad its already grossly outsized profits. Stratford is seeking class-action status for all the early adopters and damages to be determined at trial, but more than $5 million.
Google didn't respond immediately to an emailed request for comment, sent after regular business hours.
The case is The Stratford Company LLCStratford Company LLC v. Google LLCGoogle LLC, 5: 22 cv 4547, US District Court, Northern District of California San Jose None Amazon s Roomba Deal Is Really About Mapping Your Home