A big warning for readers who use Wink-based products: Wink has now introduced a monthly subscription fee for their products. If you don’t start a payment plan before the deadline, your Wink gadgets will cease to work until you start paying.
What is the new charge, and why is it happening now?
What Is the New Wink Subscription Fee?
Wink is introducing a subscription fee of $4.99 a month in order to use the Wink network. This means that any Wink smart devices you own will require this subscription to continue working.
By the looks of the announcement, it appears that this subscription fee covers all the devices in your home. For example, if you own three Wink devices, you won’t need to pay $4.99 three times over – just the one monthly fee will cover them all.
Worst of all, this payment needs to be made by May 13, 2020, to have an uninterrupted service. If users don’t pay by then, their Wink devices will cease to work until payment is made. Payment can be made at Wink’s subscription page.
Why Wink Changed Their Free Plans
Why is Wink doing this now? As per the blog post, Wink lists several reasons, with one being the long-term costs that accrued over the more than five years of Wink trying to keep devices connected for free, relying entirely on product-purchase profits.
They also claim that “recent economic events” has also forced their hand. It is true that companies are taking a loss these days as the economy crashes down, so Wink is using this subscription fee to make ends meet.
Finally, Wink claims they have “great ideas on how to expand on Wink’s capabilities and satisfy the many requests from [their] user base.” Given the desire to push the Wink service further, they feel a monthly fee is now required to meet this demand.
A Worrying Trend in IoT?
This announcement is, unfortunately, a nasty sign of potential future trends. It shows that a manufacturer can and will bring a mandatory monthly fee out of the blue with no prior warning.
This is bad, as IoT devices by themselves aren’t cheap. It’s good for users to know what they’re financially getting into before they buy. For example, a $100 to $200 device can leave a dent in the budget, but if there’s no monthly fee, that dent can be mitigated in the long term.
Now, however, we’re seeing an instance of a monthly fee enforced after people have already bought Wink products. Suddenly, people who created a smart home using Wink are faced with two options: pay the fee or rebuy different hardware from the ground up.
Wink on the Brink
In response to long-term costs and the current downtrend of the economy, Wink has enacted a mandatory $4.99 monthly fee to use their products. Wink owners should pay as soon as they can, as if they don’t pay by May 13, their smart homes will go offline until payment is made.
If you’re thinking about changing from Wink in light of this news, be sure to read about the five biggest smart home companies.