2014 Mellow, Inc. spent $ 399 on Mellow for the world’s first smart sous-vide machine, one that promised to automatically weigh and then reheat and cool the food you specify to achieve great slow cooking. score, even adjust the time as the chef prepares to meet your changing schedule. But now the company is depriving existing owners of those scents unless they pay $ 6 a month or $ 48 for an annual subscription.
How SlashGear’s Chris Davies reports that Mellow owners were surprised that they couldn’t cook until this week until they upgraded the app, only to learn that the app̵7;s update banned them from using most of the stove’s previously free “smart” features without paying for a new Premium subscription.
Not everything is locked behind a paid wall: Mellow manual mode still allows you to remotely set the stove temperature from your phone, but for $ 129 you can buy relatively inexpensive sous-vide appliances – even well-viewed ones like the Anova Nano. Mellow initially cost a brand new $ 399, and although it is currently selling for $ 149, most buyers have probably paid the typical price of $ 200-300.
Late Monday night, Mellow posted a statement on Instagram explaining the rationale for his “premium” plan, citing financial hardship in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, claiming that many potential investors and buyers interested in the company have left, and claiming that servers are responsible for cooker smart features. , operation is too expensive. The Instagram post has since disappeared, but SlashGear first saved a copy of your text:
Mellow 2014 Started by 2 founders from Lisbon, Portugal. Unfortunately, these founders did not think about the future when building the Mellow V1. Mellow was developed using WiFi only and uses external servers to run its systems and software. Their [sic] there is no going back. These servers and systems cost a lot of money every month, and the accounts are based on the use of all Mellows. The founders not only lost more than $ 3 million in their investors ’money, but also had no plan of their own. [sic] will pay for future bills after selling their Mellows. 2018 Mellow was going to close. It would be useless for a company to close all the gentlemen in people’s homes. To save the company, one of the first investors began to try to do everything he could.
After 2 years, the company was closed again. Although significant progress has been made, with COVID reaching out to potential investors or acquirers, the company has said it has exited. The new owners delved into figuring out how to save the company. Passionate about the product and not wanting to see it, the new team came up with the only solution. This decision was to start paying a monthly subscription to use the app. Initially, we were going to charge for all features, but after a few rounds, it was decided not to enable manual mode and charge for other features. And it was done.
We know some of you are crazy, and we understand. We know that some of you understand, and we are very grateful. We hope you will forgive us in time and support us in these times of trial. Thank you [sic] you to listen.
True, other smart home appliance companies have abandoned their products altogether instead of constantly operating them. Logitech’s Alexa-controlled Harmony Express remote control is just one of the latest examples, although Logitech offered exchanges and full refunds.
After the upgrade, some users left negative reviews of the app on the App Store and Google Play to express contempt for the new paid services; one user wrote that the new premium plan is a “bait and switch”. Some Kickstarter sponsors, involved in funding a second-generation Mellow sous-vide device, demanded a refund after the announcement. The Mellow team says the pandemic’s travel bans and restrictions are forcing it to delay the release of the same second product for six months as well.
Mellow isn’t the only smart home technology company trying to ask for more money for things that were originally supposed to be free. In May, Wink announced that by requiring customers to pay a $ 5 per month fee for access to smart home features that were previously free, it reiterated the financial stress of the pandemic. Earlier this month, smart home company Wyze announced that you would like to use your AI-enabled personal identification feature to pay for what you want.
You can see some of Mellow’s early promises in the online archive.