In brief: Service cancellations are the norm in the tech industry, but they can still be quite frustrating for consumers. Spectrum Home Security customers are learning that lesson firsthand now. In a recently-published notice, Spectrum revealed that in February, the service will be unceremoniously "terminated," and all billing will cease.
According to Spectrum, suppliers that provide Home Security equipment or network service will be "shutting down or ceasing" their operations. Spectrum's Home Security platform provided customers with devices like security cameras, motion detectors, window sensors, and more.
Unfortunately, it seems that all those devices might be almost worthless moving forward, no matter how much customers paid for them. One Home Security customer told a local news station that he spent "almost $900" on cameras, sensors, and even a thermostat, none of which will be fully functional come February 5.
The news station in question, KSBY, says the "individual pieces" will technically still operate. However, the customer, Steve Rottinghouse, will no longer be able to access them from his smartphone or tablet, which makes them effectively useless. After all, a security camera isn't much good if you can't check the feed, and a door sensor is pointless if it can't alert you when it detects something. Spectrum is reportedly not granting users refunds or company credit for the soon-to-be-defunct equipment.
To make matters worse, none of this equipment can be transferred to other services (for now). Spectrum is giving Home Security customers access to "exclusive offers" for similar offerings from Adobe and Ring to ensure "as smooth a transition as possible," but they will probably still need to purchase new security gear (unless the offers include free or heavily-discounted devices).
Spectrum's latest move demonstrates the dangers of relying too heavily on tech firms in modern times. Companies can and will shut down services at the drop of a hat, sometimes with little warning. In this case, Home Security customers were not notified of the service's impending doom until last month -- a painful pill to swallow for newer subscribers.
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