Users of the Wink smart home platform now have until May 20th before they’ll have to start paying a $4.99 a month for functionality that was previously free, the company has announced in an amended blog post. The company originally announced a May 13th deadline for the introduction of the subscriptions.
In an email sent to customers announcing the delay, Wink said that it regrets any inconvenience caused by the change. “We can appreciate that some of you may need additional time to subscribe or to make alternate considerations,” it says. The email can be read in full over on MacRumors.
Now, on May 20th, any users who decide not to pay for the service will not be able to access their Wink devices from the app, will not be able to control them through the API, and will see their automations disabled. These features did not require a paid subscription when customers initially purchased their products and, somewhat understandably, many owners have expressed their anger about the changes.
Wink has attempted to justify the changes by saying that its previous one-time fee from hardware sales couldn’t cover its ongoing cloud costs, product development, and customer support. It says that the new subscription fee will help it fund the development and growth of its platform. An October 2019 report about Wink by The Verge painted a picture of a company in financial trouble, and which at the time hadn’t paid its workers in seven weeks.