Wink, a company that makes a smart home hub that links smart home devices together, last week upset customers with the announcement of a new surprise subscription service that will be required to use the Wink product going forward.
Wink, which was not a subscription service when customers purchased the product, at the time said that it would give customers a one-week grace period before charging a subscription fee. As of today, Wink announced that it has extended that grace period for another week, and customers won’t be charged until May 20. The subscription fees were originally set to kick in on May 13.
Wink customers who do not start paying $4.99 per month on May 20 will not be able to continue using their Wink products. Those who choose not to pay the fee will not be able to access Wink devices from the app, with voice control, or the API, and automations will be disabled.
Current Wink customers have reacted negatively to the new subscription fees, with many complaints on Reddit from customers unhappy with the requirement to pay up or lose access to their smart home interface. From Wink:
Should you choose not to sign up for a subscription you will no longer be able to access your Wink devices from the app, with voice control or through the API, and your automations will be disabled on May 20th. Your device connections, settings and automations can be reactivated if you decide to subscribe at a later date.
Wink says that hardware sales are no longer able to cover the cost of ongoing cloud services, development, and customer support, and to support continued growth, a subscription fee needs to be implemented.