I think we have our answer.
I think we have our answer.
Per the dated comments on the Article, it was first published in Jan or Feb 2017. I don’t know what has changed since the original publication date. … Oh… Here’s an archival record. The monthly premium features were already common knowledge in January:
It is not surprising for a company to deprecate integrations or features with minimal notice.
SmartThings’s own “Terms of Service” state that they will give as little as 10 days notice if they suddenly decide to charge fees (including mandatory fees just to keep your Hub running):
Does SmartThings cost anything?
SmartThings reserves the right to require payment of fees for certain features of the Services. Should you elect to subscribe to such features, you shall pay all applicable fees, as described on the Services in connection with such features. Subject to any subscription agreement or other restrictions, SmartThings reserves the right to change its price list and to institute new charges at any time, upon ten (10) days prior notice to you, which may be sent by email or posted on the Services. Use of the Services by you following such notification constitutes your acceptance of any new or increased charges.
Consumer pressure is the only possible way to influence Blink’s strategic decision, as there reputation is critical for future sales. Who’s to say that they won’t suddenly change their $19.99/month offering to be $39.99/month? I presume their Terms of Service are similar to SmartThings.
However, if Blink is offering full refunds for purchases as far as a year back, then they are obviously confident and resolute in this week’s strategic changes.
my Amazon Review:
DO NOT BUY> HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE. The camera’s themselves are very very good. But the way Blink has treated their customers is horrible. They pull options the cameras had with less than a day’s notice. Those of us using these in our smart homes as part of our security setup are shot in the foot. Blink… if you read this, please answer this for me: OK BLINK… tell me how to do this… you offer IFFTT so how do I AUTOMATICALLY turn on my 3 outside camera’s when I go to bed at night? Turn off AUTOMATICALLY when I get up in the morning? Turn all 9 camera’s on AUTOMATICALLY when BOTH my husband and I leave? Turn all 9 camera’s off AUTOMATICALLY when I open the front door from having been gone. Just let me know … LIKE TODAY. I feel a one day window is sufficient since that is what you gave me and all your customers who had bought these cameras to integrate with SmartTHings. Please respond.
I agree with this. I think this decision was based on something that none of us have knowledge of that makes them very confident they can afford to essentially say “sucks to be you guys, sure you can have your money back.”
Maybe they’re right, maybe they’re wrong.
Yes, you can use IFTTT, webCoRE, simulated switches, and simulated motion sensors to have the Blink cameras act as motion sensors:
- Connect Blink and ST to IFTTT.
- For each camera, create a simulated switch and simulated motion sensor in ST.
- In IFTTT, set a trigger for each camera that when motion is detected, the corresponding simulated switch you created in ST will turn on.
- Create a webCoRE piston that when the simulated switch turns on, the simulated motion sensor is set to active. As a last step in the piston, set the switch and motion sensor back to off and inactive after a few second delay.
You can then treat the simulated motion sensors as physical ones and add them to things like SHM.
Or one Virtual device and no webcore with this
I think they are looking at the fact that most of their customers are not ST users. Most will buy from Amazon or straight from Blink. For Blink, a few refunds is nothing. The non-ST users will have the same service as before. There are even a few commenters on here that say they will just use IFTTT like it’s no big deal.
Blink might be getting ready to roll out a price plan similar to Ring or others. Blink just announced a camera doorbell like Ring.
When companies only see dollar signs floating in front of them, they forget the customer base that helped them grow.
For them to offer refunds to customers going back an entire year, there is definitely some sort of plan in place. Is it a good plan? Time will tell. They could be ramping up for some sort of major acquisition that conflicts with ST. There could have been some sort of major breach in security and they are somehow doing this to avoid a lawsuit or create one.
It was just kind of amusing to watch people losing their minds and screaming and posting the emails they sent and wanting to send those emails to the CEO with every other word misspelled and swearing at customer support. That’s going to get the point across, or change the end result. Was like community Road Rage.
I’m curious about that too, specifically whether Blink’s current or future customer base has a huge overlap with ST’s, or practically none?
I think @JDRoberts’ previous comments in other threads about the millions of homes that Comcast reaches with their xfinity home automation services, and the very different nature of their home automation interests compared to (a few thousand?) ST power users, could be relevant here as well.
Agreed, the meltdowns here and in the blink forum have been pretty amusing to watch.
It’s also interesting to note that most commenters seem to take it as a self-evident fact that without the support of home automation enthusiasts, Blink is dead in the water.
Perfect example of this from the other thread a few minutes ago:
I read one earlier today that said if we yell loud enough and send them a barrage of emails and poor reviews, we might be able to change their minds. Just couldn’t help but laugh. I feel everyone’s pain, but at the end of the day, there’s is absolutely nada that you can do about it. Be thankful they are refunding your money for the product.
That is the only part of this catastrophe moderately annoying situation that I was genuinely surprised by.
That’s not something done as common practice. Maybe purchased within the last 30 days, but an entire year. There’s definitely something big in store that they are planning.
I would be curious to know what small percentage of Blink cameras sold are SmartThings customers. I’m guessing it’s a pretty small fraction of their total with as many different platforms that there are and the many different reasons and uses for all customers.
Also the total they take in as part of the refund process would be interesting to know.
While I agree with the level of reaction has become a bit extreme I do your position too is on the extreme side, in the opposite direction. This was a zero-day shutdown. It came without any warning and a vague and alarming explanation. It’s hard to argue that it was a poorly executed strategy by Blink. Had this been handled properly, with advance notice and more truthful, disarming language I’d agree completely.
I have no dog in this fight, I steered clear of Blink after they pulled RBoy and other 3rd party integrations back in January. Blink was pretty clear back then that their support of RBoy’s integration was temporary. Keeping that in mind, it’s hard to argue that RBoy is completely absolved of responsibility. He has continued to advertise his as the official integration ever since despite offering no disclaimer that Blink had signaled their intent to stop supporting SmartThings at some future time.
I didn’t say it was fair by any means in the way that they went about it. But they are going to do what they want at the end of the day, and for them to do it without notice, I’m going to bet there is a pretty big reason behind it.
Nor do I. I was interested in getting a couple earlier in the year as well and this also had me rethink purchasing those.
And as for what ultimately caused the demise of this integration, I’m sure more news will be forthcoming over the next few days.
For those that paid RBoy for just this SmartApp, I’m not going to touch that. Dont need another frenzy stirred up out here. I’m a paying customer for the Door Lock SmartApp and Universal Device Handler only and it was money well spent.
Clearly. It’s just a shame that Blink is not being forthcoming about this. In the absence of details people use their imagination to fill the void. It’s this human nature why some are reacting as they do.
Spot on, and good choice to avoid Blink! I’m a lifetime customer of his too and have not regretted that decision. But again, a little information, an honest and transparent disclaimer.
Ya, that’s a fine line there. Not going into all the legalese. Even though it wasn’t supported by SmartThings, he worked directly with the engineers at Blink to create this integration and they even documented that it integrated with SmartThings and so if it wasn’t Official from their side, I don’t think they would have marketed it the way they have on their website. Outside of the pandemonium that ensued back in January. Official Unofficial version?
My whole thing is people went just a little too crazy. Counterproductive crazy. Some people posted some great constructive emails that they sent to the company and others just went into an uncontrollable panic and frenzy. I understand the frustrations and being upset, but absolute insanity that went over the top, especially when there is nothing that anybody could do about it. This won’t be the last time that something like this occurs. As they say, plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Haven’t done my homework to see/know if Blink is publicly traded or if it is a private company and/if this applies… But, I recall hearing if/when a company is compromised from a security breach, they have “n” number of days to publicly broadcast/announce the event so that users can take required/necessary actions to better protect themselves. If this applies to Blink, they might still be within that window before announcing and just stopping/shutting things down… We would know soon if that was the case, else they would be slapped with huge fines and lawsuits for not properly disclosing.
Or like someone else mentioned, the blink security system they are gearing up for release is in direct competition with ST and they may have to withdraw all connections to the community as a conflict of interest prior to release…?? Perhaps the same crap that Samsung did to Sonos (been in the Labs area for years).
Either way, I decided to call the Blink Tech support number and file a RMA/Case to return my 5 Camera Setup I purchased in October. I used this everyday with @RBoy 's Device Handler and SmartApp, which worked GREAT!.. Looks like a lot of us that are upset and returning are back to the drawing board for another product.
Damn. This is annoying. I’ve been running Blink for years as my inside system (with Ring on the outside). I’d love just one system to rule them all, but Ring is ill equipped for inside use… I’m halfway leaning toward ripping everything out and doing hardwired Hikvision throughout, but I love the Ring doorbell features.
Honestly I don’t think we know if they offering refunds yet. After the original email, they have gone completely silent on me when I asked for clarification. Even in their forum, a support guy will ask my case number and then crickets…
Last thing I want is to send my cameras for refund for them to tell me refund isn’t possible and have trouble sending me back cameras.