Will there ever be a monthly fee for the features that are now free?


(Kyle Ramsey) #1

I’ve seen conflicting information on this site and elsewhere regarding a monthly fee for the SmartThings service. For example, the terms now essentially read that SmartThings can charge a fee at any time. Furthermore, I know SmartThings was originally not going to charge Kickstarters a monthly fee, strongly implying others would someday be charged.

Could someone from SmartThings definitively answer this question: Will we ever be charged a monthly fee for the services we currently receive for free?

Thank you.


(Chrisb) #2

I don’t know if SmartThings can definitively answer that as they don’t definitively know right now.


(Jeff DeWolfe) #3

I believe the announcement for this was made during the Kickstarter campaign. Originally, any backer on Kickstarter would have the fees waived. I believe around halfway through the campaign they announced that the service would always be free, end of story.


(Cory S) #4

Well, They have kind of back peddled on that statement. It sounds like there will always be a free tier, but it may not be as powerful as what we have now, I fully expect there to be fees at some point. They have an infrastructure to support which is impossible to do on just hardware sales. They need some type of recyclable revenue stream, and I personally hope they go with fees rather than data mining :slight_smile:


(Jeff DeWolfe) #5

Interesting, this is news to me. I’ll be sure to ask about this during the next office hours meeting.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #6

What bothers me (even though as a “Backer” we supposedly get special treatment…) is that the SmartThings Shop does not clearly (i.e., in BIG PRINT) mention that SmartThings requires the SmartCloud to function, and that they may impose fees for use of the service.

These caveats are only listed in the Terms of Use link, which the shopper does not have to acknowledge before completing their purchase.

Also, it’s news to me that the SmartHub supports IP-accessible devices (except through cloud API’s…):

Our Ethernet-connected Hub plugs directly into your Internet router and supports ZigBee, Z-Wave as well as IP-accessible devices –which means it is compatible with hundreds of "smart" devices today...

…CP.


(DawgOnKing) #7

With all due respect, ST has a long way to go with reliability before they can consider any type of fee tier.

I would say that the system in my home is more novelty than functionality. Of course I hope to see that change…


(Wamble J) #8

Was there ever a more definitive answer to this? I see Alex Hawkinson’s response in March was that with the financial backing it would be free. This is a big factor in me wanting to switch from Lowes Iris. It is frustrating to me that to use any of the “magic” rules or IFTTT type actions that I have to pay a fee. Thanks.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #9

@WambleJ:

As long as the “Terms of Service” apply, then SmartThings is reserving the right to charge any fees, any time, with no compensation for your investment (product purchases and setup efforts).

I’m concerned, also, that purchasers of SmartThings are not made more aware of these Terms BEFORE purchase; but that is typical, of course – who reads licenses and terms before clicking “OK”, anywhere?

A relevant quote from the Terms of Service:

These Terms of Use (the “Terms”) are a binding contract between you and Physical Graph Corporation (“SmartThings,” “we,” “us,” or “our”). You must agree to and accept all of the Terms, or you don’t have the right to use the Services. Your use of the Services in any way means that you agree to all of these Terms, and these Terms will remain in effect while you use the Services. These Terms include the provisions in this document, as well as those in the SmartThings Privacy Policy, and Copyright Dispute Policy. ... We are constantly trying to improve our Services, so these Terms may need to change along with the Services. We reserve the right to change the Terms at any time, but if we do, we will bring it to your attention by placing a notice on the Services and/or by sending you an email.

If you don’t agree with the new Terms, you are free to reject them; unfortunately, that means you will no longer be able to use the Services. If you use the Services in any way after a change to the Terms is effective, that means you agree to all of the changes.

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. 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.

Will SmartThings ever change the Services?

We’re always trying to improve the Services, so they may change over time. We may suspend or discontinue any part of the Services, or we may introduce new features or impose limits on certain features or restrict access to parts or all of the Services. We’ll try to give you notice when we make a material change to the Services that would adversely affect you, but this isn’t always practical. Similarly, we reserve the right to remove any Content from the Services at any time, for any reason (including, but not limited to, if someone alleges you contributed that Content in violation of these Terms), in our sole discretion, and without notice.

In other words, there is “definitely” no protection for us customers of SmartThings against major (or minor…) changes to the system/service, including fees of any amount they decide to implement.

…CP.