Wink, formerly one of the largest players in the smart home industry, recently decided to move to a mandatory subscription model. Users had a week to pay up or lose access to their smart homes. That turned into two weeks. And now, due to “incredible support from users,” Wink is not charging for subscriptions until further notice. Confused? You’re not alone.
Just two weeks ago, Wink sent out a notice to its users announcing it decided to move to a mandatory subscription model. And users would lose access to their smart home gadgets and Wink hub without subscribing.
Wink gave users one week to subscribe (or move to a new system). That quickly turned into two weeks after a great deal of pushback from customers. And now, the company is holding off on charging users until further notice. In an email, the company said:
We want to start this message with a huge and sincere THANK YOU to everyone who subscribed. Wink was in a very rough spot, but thanks to your support, we are able to keep moving forward! It was not an easy decision to switch to a paid service, and we know that the short timeline put a lot of pressure on all of you, but we had no other way to continue the Wink service as it is currently known.
The support we have seen for our subscription service has been incredible. We feel we can extend Wink’s free service for the time being, confident that we can set a new start date for the subscription service to begin, giving you all more time to use Wink (subscription-free) whether you signed up or not.
For those customers who have signed up, we want to assure you that the first month’s payment has not yet been processed, and we will notify subscribers before we move forward with Wink Subscription.
The company reiterated the statement on Twitter as well:
The support we've seen for our subscription service has been incredible. We feel we can extend Wink's free service for the time being, confident that we can set a new start date for the subscription service soon, giving you all more time to use Wink whether you signed up or not.
— Wink Smart Home (@TheWinkApp) May 21, 2020
It sounds like the company is saying so many people agreed to pay for service that Wink doesn’t need to charge anyone, but that’s somewhat confusing. Wink users can probably use any good news they can get, considering the company also announced its hubs would no longer work with Chamberlain smart garage door openers.
We continue to recommend switching to another hub, whether that’s making the jump to Wi-Fi powered devices and an Echo or Google Home to control them, or a local-control hub like Hubitat or Home Assistant.