AWS SNS - Spending All My Money

AWS SNS - Spending All My Money

AWS SNS and their pricing changes

AWS recently underwent some changes to their SMS pricing and billing. They rolled out a new service, Amazon Pinpoint, and now they work hand in hand. I am kinda surprised about how little I’ve seen written about this since SMS is such a convenient way to notify yourself of changes in your accounts. I set it up and I’ll write down what my thoughts.

How I Used SNS for SMS Notifications

I plugged in quite a bit into SMS notifications. Billing notifications, various account automations, and other things would send me a covenient text message. This was also one of the easiest ways for me to go from AWS to the “real world”, no portal I had to check for updates, no chat rooms or anything that might have their notifications silenced, just good ol fashioned text messages.

The typical flow was something like

AWS Lambda -> AWS SNS -> Text Message

This was easy an convenient and basically free, I was limited to thousands of text messages per month before I passed the free tier and I never even got close.

The Changes

It was too good to last. AWS published a notification of their changes that I didn’t appreciate at the time. It notified customers that in several months, they would no longer be able to send simple messages without taking some additional steps.

In short, users had to rent a phone number, whether short code, 10 digit number, or toll free number from Amazon to route your requests through. These numbers come at at an additional charge, outlined here.

Moving on

Working with this new requirement is pretty easy, unfortunately it will cost you. My amazon bill was typically $2-4 dollars a month and this will effectively double my AWS monthly expenses. Unfortunate, but manageable.

To make the change, go to the Amazon SNS console. If you go into AWS SNS > Topics > Subscriptions and you’ll see a banner that you don’t have a number registered.

add number

Click View Origination Number and then Provision Pinpoint Number. Click Provision Phone Number, Choose your country (I’m doing US), and then select Toll Free. Uncheck Voice, because least privilege and all that, and the rest can remain default. You’ll almost instantly be provisioned a number.

Go back to your SNS topic, send a test message, and you shoulkd receive it shortly.


Then hang out and wait for your bill I guess.

That’s all

I’m disappointed this happened but it happened as a result of regulation and it’s really targetting potential abuse far above the scale I’m operating at. There’s other ways to connect things to each other that will take more work. I have built a discord bot and that’s pretty easy, so I’ll probably be sending messages to discord or slack if I get tired of paying the $2 a month.

Thanks for reading