Yesterday morning, I woke up to a notice on my fridge alerting me that one of my favorite features was going away. No, it wasn’t about to stop making ice. Instead, my Samsung Family Hub smart fridge told me I would no longer be able to watch Samsung TV Plus on its built-in screen. And while that turned out not to be the case — the confusion highlights how precarious smart appliance features can be.

Here’s the message I was greeted with over my morning coffee:

Thank you for using Samsung TV Plus service. After the SW update scheduled for June 2024, Samsung TV Plus will only be available within Mexican territories. Please note that this is Samsung TV Plus’ policy, and use of the service may be restricted if you wish to use it outside of Mexican territories. Thank you.

I was not the only one who received this message. The Samsung Community forum was full of people crying foul over this possible bait and switch, with many wondering — as I did — whether this was the end of Samsung TV Plus everywhere or just on older fridges (my Family Hub is from 2019). But the notice said the service “will only be available within Mexican territories,” which made me think this might be a licensing issue more than a software one.

It turns out that the notification was sent out by mistake. “Samsung will not be removing Samsung TV Plus from the US Market,” Samsung spokesperson Chris Langlois confirmed to The Verge. “The notification was sent in error, and a correction will be released.” I also asked Langlois if he could explain why this happened and how many fridges sent out this message. I’ll provide an update if I hear back.

a:hover]:text-black [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-e9 dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray-63 [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-13 dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63″>The notification on my Samsung Family Hub smart fridge.
a:hover]:text-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray”>Photo by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge

Samsung’s TV Plus is Samsung’s FAST service that has gotten better and better since it launched in 2015. It’s available on Samsung smart TVs (released after 2016), Family Hub fridges, smart monitors, Galaxy devices, and the web. It offers hundreds of live TV channels with news, sports, and plenty of classic TV (there’s an entire channel dedicated to Baywatch reruns and another to Degrassi Junior High), alongside movies on demand. And it’s all free.

I’m still waiting for that pop-up telling me all is good, but I’m definitely relieved I’m not losing the option to watch TV Plus on my fridge. It’s not like I stand in front of it and watch a whole movie in my kitchen. But I like to have the T2 Tennis Channel on while I scramble eggs or pop on a news show while cooking dinner. Plus, it’s nice to have a kitchen screen that doesn’t take up counter space.

However, while this feature isn’t going away — this is another warning that internet-connected devices can and will break your heart. Yes, a big benefit of smart home devices is that they can get smarter with over-the-air updates. I didn’t have Samsung TV Plus on the fridge when I first got it — it arrived with a software update in 2022. But they can also get dumber. And there’s not a thing you can do about it.

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