Plan Limits Exceeded

I have a 4-month old account. For the last month, I’ve been getting an email on around Friday of the week informing me as follows: “Cloudflare has deactivated your website, because of a possible violation of the Terms of Service for the storage or caching of non-HTML content, such as video or audio files.”

Then, without me doing anything, after a few days the domain gets reactivated and returns to normal. That is until it’s deactivated again!!

Based on that notification one would think I’m caching a bunch of MP4s and MP3s. But here’s the thing: Notwithstanding the fact that am not caching MP4s and MP3s, the Cache Level for the ENTIRE domain has been on “bypass”. There are multiple Page Rules where “Cache Level: Bypass”.

Given that my Page Rules would prevent any actual caching violations, this appears to be a bug in the Cloudflare’s Account management system.

Incase anyone can shed light on what’s happening, appreciate hearing from you.
Thank you.

Regardless of the cache level, the terms prohibit you from using Cloudflare to serve video or a disproportionate percentage of pictures, audio files, or other non-HTML content.

You could put the mp3s and mp4s onto a different hostname which is set to DNS Only :grey:.

3 Likes

Thanks for your comment. As I wrote “am not caching MP4s and MP3s”. As hard to believe as it may be Cloudflare is not perfect. Its systems can have bugs! The “false positives” in my case seems to be one example.
An easy way for Cloudflare to resolve this issue is by attaching a trace log when issuing Plan Limits Exceeded emails. At the moment, Cloudflare is not providing any information whatsoever. Given that I have zero MP3 and MP4 files, how am I supposed to investigate or repond to Cloudflare’s assertion?
FYI, the first time domain was deactivated I emailed “[email protected]” requesting information about the offending files, but never received a response!

2.8. Use of the Services for serving video or a disproportionate percentage of pictures, audio files, or other non-HTML content is prohibited, unless purchased separately as part of a Paid Service or expressly allowed under our [Supplemental Terms](https://www.cloudflare.com/supplemental-terms/) for a specific Service. If we determine you have breached this Section 2.8, we may immediately suspend or restrict your use of the Services, or limit End User access to certain of your resources through the Services.

Note the limitation is on serving, not caching.

2 Likes

Unfortunately, that statement does not align with the Terms of Service, so I can see the confusion.

That is certainly good feedback I can pass to the team who manages that messaging.

1 Like

From my perspective the biggest issue is lack of any “actionable” information. Cloudflare needs to communicate in precise terms as to what has lead to deactivation, and what action the user needs to undertake in order to remedy the problem. At the moment, it’s extremely vague. I haven’t the faintest clue as to what part of this domain’s traffic needs to be managed differently, so as to be in compliance with Cloudflare TOS.

BTW what’s exactly “disproportionate percentage” (referenced by [cscharff]) mean? Is disproportionate defined somewhere? If yes, please provide URI to that information so that we all know what that threshold is.

Cloudflare tries to be as human and forgiving as possible, so if an issue has been escalated to Trust and Safety, it’s a highly visible issue that needs to be scrutinized.

And when I say highly visible, you’d be like the 6 foot tall kid in first grade. Maybe you’re standing on a stool. Maybe there’s a medical reason. Or…maybe you’re really not a first grader. Trust and Safety has looked and consider it an abuse of the system and have taken action against the violation.

Actionable? If Cloudflare sent me such a message, I’d take a look at my analytics to see what’s using the most bandwidth. Note that free plans don’t have this, but if you’ve attracted the attention of Trust and Safety, then a free plan probably isn’t for you.

1 Like

I’m not quite sure how “Trust and Safety” enters into this picture!? Are you taking issue with my comment about meaning of “disproportionate percentage”? If so, I would agree that Cloudflare has every right to shape the limits of its Free Plan. Having said that, in this case the reason behind deactivation remains opaque. If Cloudflare, in its infinite wisdom does not wish to provide clear and precise reason for deactivation to its users, then at the very least it should add the words “sole discretion” to its TOS. This would make it clear that users should not waste their time trying to discover why their domain was deactivated.

Cloudflare can’t have it both ways. If, as you wrote Cloudflare wants “to be as human and forgiving as possible” then it must provide clear and precise information for any deactivation. Otherwise, it should admit that under a Free Plan, any domain may be deactivated at any time for any reason at Cloudflare’s SOLE discretion.

What is Cloudflare’s position? If the former, please provide details behind deactivation. If the latter, please say so; in which case I’ll go about my business and terminate this thread.

That’s pretty much their legal department.


Section 8

Additionally, we may at our sole discretion terminate your user account or suspend or terminate your access to the Service at any time, with or without notice for any reason or no reason at all.


Section 2.6

termination of the Free Service by Cloudflare in our sole discretion.