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BMW drops plan to charge monthly fee for heated seats


BMW owners can now warm their buns with peace of mind knowing they won’t have to pay a ridiculous monthly fee for the sake of toasty butts during the cold winter months. BMW scrapped its $18-a-month heated seat subscription plan after customers balked at paying extra to unlock their car’s existing features..

“We thought we were providing an additional service to the customer by offering the option to activate it later, but user acceptance is not that high,” Nota said. automobile car. “People feel like they’ve paid double – which isn’t true, but perception is reality, I always say that. So that’s why we stopped that.

People first noticed BMW trying to lock the heated seats behind a paywall when the feature started appearing in the company’s digital stores in various countries. Depending on the region, a monthly subscription to heat your front seats cost around $18, with options to subscribe for one year ($180), three years ($300) or to pay for “unlimited” access for $415.

Heated seats and steering wheels will likely cost even more, but only as a point-of-purchase option for dealership customers. Other features, such as advanced driver assistance capabilities and adaptive suspension, are still offered in some regions as a subscription.

The heated seat subscription never made it to the US, a spokesperson confirmed, but it has definitely appeared in BMW digital stores in countries like the UK, Germany, New Zealand , South Korea and South Africa. A heated steering wheel subscription has also been removed from the company’s ConnectedDrive store, the spokesperson added.

It was not the first time that BMW had unsuccessfully launched into subscriptions. The company attempted to charge customers an annual fee for using Apple’s CarPlay in their car, first as a one-time $300 option and later as an $80 annual fee. The vast majority of car manufacturers offer free CarPlay as well as Android Auto.

However, subscriptions are increasingly popular in the automotive sector. Businesses are experimenting with new services for a monthly or annual fee, fascinated by the possibilities of over-the-air software updates to open up new ways to get money out to their customers.

In general, people seem willing to pay for things they might not otherwise have had, like active safety devices. But when you start charging to unlock features they expect as standard – or at least paying a one-time fee – you’re going to get embarrassing headlines like this here.