Ring subscribers are upset about price increases going into effect July 1, 2022. Starting with a subscriber’s next billing period after July 1, the Ring Protect Basic price increases from $3 a month or $30 a year to $3.99 a month or $39.99 a year per device. In the U.S., this equates to a 33% price increase. In the U.K., the price increases from £24.99 a year to £34.99 a year, a 40% difference. Ring, which is owned by Amazon, tried to soften the blow by touting the new features subscribers will be getting along with the price hike.
“When we first launched the Ring Protect plan in 2015, we started with basic features: you could record, download, and share videos of Live and Motion Events. Since then we’ve come a long way, adding benefits to your subscription that bring you more value and add functionality to your Ring devices. And we’ll keep building new features that will give you even more peace of mind,” said Ring in a June 1, 2022 blog post.
“With new storage capacity, the ability to bulk download, and additional discounts on Ring.com, the enhanced Ring Protect Basic plan adds even more value to your subscription and further expands how you can use your Ring devices. And down the line, with alerts that you can customize to your needs, you’ll get even more precise context about what’s happening at home, no matter where you are,” the company added.
The Verge and Forbes both report that users are upset about the price increase for features they didn’t ask for. In fact, many of the new features aren’t even available yet as noted in the table above. Here are a few reactions on Twitter:
Another interesting aspect of the pricing is that only the Ring Protect Basic plan price is increasing and that is a per-device charge. Ring Protect Plus ($10 a month or $100 a year) and Ring Protect Pro ($20 a month or $200 a year), whose prices will remain the same, cover all devices at a subscriber’s location. If a subscriber has more than three devices, it is more cost effective to upgrade to the Ring Protect Plus plan.
Prices for virtually every product and service are rising right now, and like it or not, Ring is following suit. The company could have made the news more palatable, however, by following industry best practices for announcing the price increase. Though they did show they are providing more value, the increased value is not perceived to be useful to subscribers. In addition, subscribers felt like they weren’t given enough notice of the price increase and that Ring is not following the market for similar products and services. And, let’s be honest. Many subscribers didn’t like how they were treated.
I am a Blink camera user, and I have three cameras. Amazon owns Blink too. I pay $30 a year per camera for a subscription that auto renews annually. Like Ring, my subscription supports one camera per subscription, and I have 60 days of unlimited video history stored in the cloud. I also have the option to upgrade to a Plus plan for $10 a month or $100 a year for unlimited devices. At this price point, if I add a fourth camera, it will make more sense for me to upgrade. So far, I have not received notification that Blink’s pricing will increase, but it seems likely that it will, if it follows the Ring model.
I can see why customers would cancel when they’ve had a negative experience with a subscription service. This price increase required those subscribers to make a new decision – should I stay or should I go? Did this company treat me the way I believe a customer should be treated? The reaction from customers was most likely not about the dollar amount, but the way the price hike was handled.
In my case, Blink’s business and pricing model are the same, but that is subject to change. Blink gives me exactly what I need, and I’ll pay the monthly fee even if it increases 33%. (Please don’t tell Amazon.) It is still at a low enough price point, and I can always switch to the $10 a month/$100 a year plan if that better meets my needs at the time.
Raising prices is always risky, but sometimes it is necessary. How subscription companies handle those price increases makes all the difference. Perhaps Amazon could have handled this situation a little more delicately and saved itself some voluntary churn along the way.