Nest today responded to a torrent of criticism over its decision to deactivate Revolv smart home hubs. Following a viral Medium post from a displeased Revolv owner, Nest now says it's working with customers to find a better solution. In lieu of reversing the decision, the company may compensate people for the $300 they spent on a product that, starting next month, won't work anymore.
"We’ve been working with the small number of Revolv customers on a case-by-case basis since we sent out the first customer notification in February to determine the best resolution, including compensation," a company spokesperson told The Verge. It's unclear if Nest plans on refunding customers the full amount for Revolv's hub, which lets you control various appliances and home automation systems with a central app. Nest urges those interested to contact customer support at email@example.com.
Nest may compensate customers, and urges Revolv owners to contact support
Nest first acquired the smart home startup in October 2014, and it was upfront at the time about discontinuing Revolv's product so the team could focus instead on the "Work With Nest" program. That initiative aims to make it easier for third-party products to communicate with Nest's thermostats, smoke detectors, and security cameras. However, Revolv's smart hub and mobile app remained active until an announcement in February notified customers that the product would cease functioning entirely starting May 15th. "The Revolv app won’t open and the hub won’t work," reads an FAQ on Revolv's website.
Revolv customer Arlo Gilbert, an entrepreneur and CEO of medical app company Televero, took to Medium to voice his complaints, and the post made waves in the smart home and greater technology communities. Gilbert laid out how shutting off Revolv's products meant "my landscape lighting will stop turning on and off, my security lights will stop reacting to motion, and my homemade vacation burglar deterrent will stop working." He also called into question the longevity of any and all smart home products, regardless of whether the maker of those products was acquired by Google, as Nest was in 2014. "Is the era of IoT [Internet of Things] bringing an end to the concept of ownership? Are we just buying intentionally temporary hardware?" Gilbert wrote.