Home automation company Wink under fire for surprise subscription mandate

Wink customers will soon have to pay a monthly subscription to access all of the smart home equipment they have purchased.

Wink Smart Hub

Wink says the move is necessary because the one-time cost of purchasing a Wink product is unable to support its business. The company will require all users to pay a $ 5 monthly subscription by May 13, which gives users less than a week’s notice.

Wink mainly manufactures smart lighting and home security devices, but also allows users to connect other brands’ devices to their Wink hub. Wink has partnered with Amazon, Google Nest, Honeywell, Ring, Philips Hue, GE, Sonos, iHome, Sylvania and many more.

They cite recent economic events – possibly the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – and long-term costs as a reason for the transition.

“Wink has taken many steps to keep the blue light on your Hub on, however, long-term costs and recent economic events have put additional pressure on our business,” added the blog. “To ensure continued development and growth, we are switching to a monthly subscription of $ 4.99, effective May 13, 2020.”

The company informs customers that if they don’t pay the fees, they will lose access to all Wink devices in the app, including voice commands and all automations.

The transition will not allow users to benefit from rights acquired on a legacy plan. If a customer has spent a significant amount of money equipping their home with Wink bulbs or a Wink security system, they will have to start paying a monthly fee on May 13.

Naturally, Wink’s customers were outraged. After Wink edited the update for their Twitter page, customers began to voice their complaints in the response section.

bye Bye @TheWinkApp. It is bad enough that you are trying to come back and get more money from loyal customers (your products are not really cheap), but giving us only 1 week is ridiculous.

– Chris Bentz (@ cbentz83) May 6, 2020

Less than a week’s notice for your long-term customers? No real incentive to keep it. I love my wink but it’s not the way in such a short time. You just dug your own grave on this one.

– Adam (@ Frayne182) May 6, 2020

It is not the first time that Wink has disappointed its customers either. In 2019, many users discovered that used Google Nest Cam Indoor models connected to the Wink hub would send images of their homes to the former owner of the device. Google quickly deployed a fix, but users were naturally upset.

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