BMW Listens To Customer Feedback, Eliminates Subscription Charges For Heated Seats


Battle over BMW’s Heated Seats Subscription Comes to an End

In a surprising turn of events, BMW has made the decision to stop charging customers a subscription fee for activating their heated seat feature. This move comes after a wave of customer backlash and complaints regarding the additional cost. The German automaker decided to listen to its customers and put an end to the controversial subscription model.

Key Takeaway

BMW has decided to eliminate subscription charges for activating hardware-based functions, such as heated seats, following customer protests. The move comes after customers expressed frustration, feeling that they were being charged twice for a feature they had already paid for as part of their luxury vehicle purchase. This decision reflects BMW’s commitment to listening to customer feedback and adapting its approach accordingly.

Customer Outrage Sparks Change

When BMW initially introduced the $18 per month subscription for heated seats in 2022, many customers were taken aback. The move was seen as an unnecessary money grab on a feature that was already included in the car’s hardware. The sentiment among customers was clear – they felt that they had already paid for the feature when purchasing their luxury vehicle.

Online forums and social media platforms buzzed with discontent, with one Reddit user exclaiming, “You’ve already paid for it! The hardware is already there in your car!” The backlash gained momentum as customers urged others not to support such practices from automakers, fearing that it would open the floodgates for more perceived greed in the industry.

BMW Listens and Learns

Responding to the uproar, BMW has now decided to reverse its decision. In an interview with Autocar, Pieter Nota, BMW board member for sales and marketing, confirmed that the company would no longer charge customers for activating hardware-based functions in the future. Nota acknowledged the low user acceptance and the perception that customers were being charged twice for the same feature.

Nota further revealed that BMW plans to focus on expanding its on-demand software services and functions with upcoming models, such as driving and parking assistance. The company aims to enhance connectivity in its vehicles through over-the-air updates, offering customers new features and services without the need for physical hardware upgrades.

The Rise of Software Subscriptions

Beyond BMW, other automakers are also exploring the concept of subscription-based software services to generate additional revenue. Tesla, for example, famously charges $12,000 for its “Full Self-Driving” driver assistance system. General Motors is also targeting a Netflix-inspired subscription business model by 2030, selling services like their popular OnStar in-vehicle concierge.

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