Ring video doorbell users have expressed frustration and anger in response to a significant price increase set to take effect in March.
The price hike applies to the subscription service, which allows users to store footage on the cloud, download clips, and receive discounted products. The basic plan subscription cost is set to rise by 43%, from £34.99 to £49.99 per device, per year. Owned by Amazon, Ring claims to offer some of the best value in the industry, but customer reactions suggest a growing discontent with the subscription fee adjustments.
Ring video doorbells, known for their security features, have gained popularity, especially among those seeking home surveillance solutions. Amazon's ownership of Ring has positioned the brand as a market leader, but recent changes in subscription pricing have triggered a backlash among its user base. Customers, after purchasing the devices, have the option to subscribe for additional services, and the upcoming increase has sparked concerns and criticisms.
Users took to Ring's message board to express their dissatisfaction, with some stating their intention to cancel subscriptions and boycott the company. The 43% increase in the annual fee for the basic plan without additional benefits has been a focal point of discontent. Customers are questioning the justification for the substantial price hike, and many have reported canceling their subscriptions. Some users, who were previously advocates for the cameras, have indicated a change in their recommendations due to the revised subscription costs.
Amazon, in response to the backlash, defended the pricing adjustment, stating that since Ring's Protect Basic Plan launch in 2015, they have consistently enhanced the plan to provide more value. The company emphasized ongoing investments in services as the reason behind the pricing update. The monthly charges for Ring customers are also set to increase from £3.49 to £4.99.
Consumer groups, including Which?, have raised concerns about the significant price rise, particularly during a period when many individuals are grappling with the rising cost of living. Natalie Hitchins from Which? urged Ring to justify the steep increases, especially when it remains unclear how the services are improving. The scrutiny suggests a growing demand for transparency in justifying subscription fee adjustments, especially in the smart security product market.
The smart security product market has experienced rapid growth, with a notable increase in the adoption of devices like Ring's video doorbell. According to consumer research firm GWI, the proportion of homes with smart security products has risen from 4% to 11% between 2019 and 2023. Ring's market leadership, coupled with Amazon's reputation for value for money, may be at risk due to the unexpected and unusual nature of the price increase. The consumer expectation of a certain pricing level from Amazon could be challenged by the subscription adjustments.
The backlash against Ring's subscription price hike highlights the delicate balance companies must strike between providing enhanced services and justifying cost increases to their user base. As the smart security product market continues to evolve, customer satisfaction and perception of value become critical factors in maintaining a competitive edge. Ring and Amazon's ability to address customer concerns, provide clear justifications, and adapt pricing strategies in line with consumer expectations will likely influence their reputation in the smart home security sector.
Riddhi Doshi trains and coaches corporate leaders, educators and parents on issues of mental health and behavior. She is an internationally certified Parenting & Behaviour Coach. In past 15+ years she has conducted 2540+ open workshops, delivered 87000+ hours of talks, 53000+ hours of counseling sessions covering 59000+ students and 62,000+ women from various fields. Parenting sessions conducted by Riddhi are housefull and recent;y she completed her 366th Parenting session. She has been a speaker and advisor at various institutions and organizations including IIM, Ahmedabad, Rotary Club, Tata Power, Larson & Toubro and The Time of India. She holds an MBA in HRD, LLM and numerous other professional certifications from prestigious international institutions including University of Cambridge, BSY University, London, City & Guilds, London, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and NMIMS, Mumbai. She has been awarded with “National Award for Cultural Activities by AVANTIKA- Delhi”, “Excellence in Wellness”, “Young Entrepreneurs Award”, “Self Made Diva Award” among various others. With a mission to “make corporate leaders, educators and parents empowered and more aware about mental health & wellness”, Riddhi regularly gives interviews on leading media platforms. She loves to interact with corporate leaders, educators and parents to discuss about women issues, child psychology and parenting challenges.