Ring announced a handful of new features for its Ring Protect Basic plan this week. Subscribers will get access to 180 days of video (up from 60), some more alert options, and the promise of a lot of “coming soon” features. The catch? It comes at a cost: the price of the Protect Basic plan is going up starting in July, to $3.99 a month or $39.99 a year in the US. (Until now, it has been $3 a month or $30 a year.) Existing customers will see the price jump whenever their subscription renews after that.
For some Ring owners, the increase will be steeper than it sounds. The Protect Basic plan only covers one device, but the next cheapest Ring plan, Protect Plus, covers all your devices and costs $10 a month or $100 a year. For those with two or three devices – say, a doorbell, a nursery camera, and your in-home drone — it was cheaper to have three separate Basic plans than to spring for Protect Plus. Those customers are now being asked to cough up another $20 or $30 a year, or to go all-in on Protect Plus, which is likely what Ring hopes they do.
Many customers are predictably upset. (Ring sharing the news, with no warning, in a note that starts with “We’re continuing to innovate for you, our neighbor,” probably didn’t help.) The Ring subreddit is filled with users debating which platform to switch to, checking the end date of their current Protect Basic plan, and wondering why Ring thinks 120 days of video storage is worth $10 a year. Even the promised future features, like smart alerts for cars, breaking glass, or open doors, don’t appeal to all Ring users. But all are being asked to pay for them.
“The price increase is an obvious cash grab to punish subscribers with 3 or less devices on the basic plan,” one Redditor wrote. The leading takeaway among some seemed to be that the prices are just going to keep going up, and the best thing to do is find a non-subscription option.
It’s worth noting that many basic Ring features, like doorbell alerts, two-way talk, and the live camera view, don’t require a subscription to work. And from the looks of things, Ring may have a lot more subscription-less buyers on its hands going forward.