Wink's switch to mandatory subscriptions gets pushed back a week

Wink users now have seven more days to decide whether to pay a monthly subscription fee or jump to a new platform.

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Wink, the embattled smart home company that abruptly announced last week that it would switch to a mandatory subscription model in a matter of days, will now give its users one more week to either pay up or jump ship.

Wink users, many of whom were furious that they’d been given only a week’s notice about the sudden change, received an email from Wink on Tuesday with the new deadline: March 20 rather than March 13. If users don't sign up for the $5-a-month plan by then, their Wink hubs will go dark.

“We understand that this is a sudden change during a difficult time for many and we regret if this change has caused you any inconvenience,” reads the email, which was obtained by MacRumors. “We can appreciate that some of you may need additional time to subscribe or make alternate considerations.”

Wink said it was “extremely grateful” that “many of you” had moved over to the new subscription plan, according to the email.

If there are “many” Wink users forking over for the new subscription plan, few of them were in evidence on the Wink subreddit, where users continued to complain bitterly about the sudden change while plotting their migrations to other smart home platforms.

“I disconnected my Wink Hub today,” wrote one user. “[Wink is] learning fast that customers have options and being forced into a subscription is very low on the list of choices we have.” Another user neatly summed up the prevailing sentiment: “Too little, too late.”

The once-promising Wink smart home platform is—for a few more days, anyway—free to use once you buy the $100 Wink Hub 2.

In its original email announcing the switch to a subscription model, Wink said that “long term costs and recent economic events” had forced the sudden change, and that users who didn’t pay the new subscription fee will “no longer be able to access your Wink devices from the app.”

Wink hasn’t released any substantial new hardware or software features since 2017, while its parent company, the Will.I.am-owned i.am+, was reportedly bleeding cash as recently as last October.

While many users on the Wink subreddit are (quite understandably) still venting, others have moved on to more practical concerns—namely, which smart home platform they were planning to migrate to, with Samsung’s SmartThings being one of the top picks. Other popular choices include Hubitat, a local smart home platform, along with a pair of open-source options, Home Assistant and OpenHAB.

You can check out migration how-tos for each platform right here.

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