I rent cloud-computing services from a large and reputable company. Each year, I charge $500 into my account, and use the money to buy droplets, which cost between $5 and $20 per month (depending on their size). All went well for several years. But a few days ago, I noticed that my account has a debt of $681, which is much more than the monthly cost of all my droplets together. I checked and found out that someone hacked into one of my droplets, and used it for some activity with outgoing traffic at a rate of about 2 GB per second. The company charges extra outgoing traffic at a rate of 1 cent per GB, which means $72 per hour. I was lucky to catch this on time - if I had been in a vacation for a week, my debt would have been more than $10,000, which is way more than I can afford.
My questions are:
Can I dispute this debt? My claim is that, when I pre-paid $500, I bought services for $500, and did not agree to buy any further services. When my balanced drops to $0, the company should just stop serving me (e.g. stopping all my droplets); it should not continue selling me services that I did not pay for.
In the future, how can I rent cloud services without taking the risk of getting into an unaffordable debt? For example, would it help if I use an anonymous pre-charged debit card?
EDIT: here are the TOS. The most relevant section seems to be 6.3:
By entering into this TOS and using the Services, you agree to be billed on a recurring basis and to be automatically charged by us or our Payment Processors using your Payment Methods upon invoicing. If your Payment Method or payment of fees is subject to other terms and conditions, as set forth in order forms, invoices or otherwise, then those other terms and conditions apply in addition to this TOS. You may also be billed an amount up to your current balance at any time to verify the accuracy of your account information. We reserve the right to deactivate, terminate, prevent access to, disable services for, and/or delete any Accounts or access to the Websites and Services at any time at our sole discretion, including for nonpayment, late payment, or failure to charge your Payment Methods upon invoicing".
It does not say what happens when I have no payment method on file - only a previously-charged balance. Also, it does not explicitly discuss debt; it only says that, if I do not pay, they can delete my account (which is fair enough).