Microtransactions in cars: An imaginative look into the future

J.G.
By J.G. Pasterjak
Aug 10, 2022 | BMW, subscription, Column, Heated Seats | Posted in Columns | From the Oct. 2022 issue | Never miss an article

Photography Credit: Courtesy BMW; Illustration by Colin Wood

The year is 2042. Your BMW has slid off the road and buried itself in a deep snowdrift on a rural secondary road west of Palatka, Florida.

Global climate change sends freakish fingers of frigid arctic weather south that slice into the roasting year-round tropical fronts that hover over the New Republic of Free Florida, producing intense localized frozen precipitation. 

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Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/9/22 5:01 p.m.

Completely out of subject, but why is it that when I open all these stories on my iPhone they are formatted with no spacing on the left side? Not sure why, but it makes them hard to read for me:

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/9/22 6:55 p.m.

In reply to Slippery :

I got the same issue. I think it is apple thing as everything reads proper on all my non apple devices. The weird part is in the forum the left margin is proper but articles don't have one. 

earlybroncoguy1
earlybroncoguy1 Reader
8/9/22 7:01 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

A story about subscriptions that requires a subscription to read.

The irony. 

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/9/22 7:17 p.m.

I read it as "cyber cows" not "cyber crows" and now I want an entire sci-fi thriller in this universe where the herd leader cyber cow somehow overthrows BMW.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/9/22 7:20 p.m.
earlybroncoguy1 said:

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

A story about subscriptions that requires a subscription to read.

The irony. 

I do not have a subscription and was able to read it ...

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
8/9/22 7:28 p.m.

In reply to earlybroncoguy1 :

Right, but your subscription supports us constantly writing new articles. BMW's supports.... using the hardware already in the car you paid for? 

superfund
superfund New Reader
8/9/22 8:52 p.m.

In reply to earlybroncoguy1 :

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/9/22 9:02 p.m.

I so hate this buisness model. $200 plus a year to use heated seats in your car.   That is 2k over 10 years. I guess that if they don't raise the price for 10 years the value of the dollar will be then worth less than now. They would better off getting there $$$ up front. And what is the cheepest BMW going for these days?  Would 2k added now really matter to the demographic that purchases them. What about a lease. I can see this being written in or out of leases so your $400 a month lease will creep up to close to $500 if you add in 4-5 options.    I get it from a business side but it just seems so slimy. I would have that I need a shower feeling every time I got out of my car as I would feel like I was being fleeced by the manufacturer every time I use it.  Why don't they just charge you for every minute you use your heated seats similar to the data or minute you use on your cell phone. BMW has reached a new low in my book with this. Puts a whole new meaning to the ultimate driving machine. 

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/9/22 9:05 p.m.

Soon there will be a cost associated with every button in the car every time you use it. I can see a one cent charge every time your blinker flashes or if you want to roll down your window it is five cents.  
 

This BS needs to be stopped now!!!  

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/9/22 9:18 p.m.

Oh how about you get charged a per minute rate for ac but the rate per minute is dictated by fan speed an temperature. Lower temp or higher fan speed increase your per minute rate to use the ac.   

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/9/22 10:06 p.m.
dean1484 said:

Soon there will be a cost associated with every button in the car every time you use it. I can see a one cent charge every time your blinker flashes or if you want to roll down your window it is five cents. 

BMW drivers are way ahead of the game in saving on blinker flashes cheeky

spedracer
spedracer New Reader
8/9/22 10:24 p.m.

In reply to Slippery :

Same thing happens to me on my Android phone, using Brave browser. So much so that an uppercase T has the left part of the upper line slightly off screen if its the first letter on a line.

 

On topic:

This is all terrible and I refuse to support it. Unless trends reverse, I'll be sticking to cars from ~2012 or earlier. No subscriptions, no spying and selling my location history. Not giving a single penny to an OEM that's selling this. I'll reconsider if it becomes trivial to somehow "flash" the car so that I can run open source code that benefits me instead of OEMs, advertisers, and governments.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
8/9/22 10:36 p.m.

Every year I go to a seminar for legal and purchasing contracting people that deals with Software as a Service as a Service (SaaS). Most of us view these companies as predatory. For software; nearly 100% of the industry is using this model.......I can't wait until some clever person figures out a business model centered around the customer.

No words can sufficiently express my disdain for companies that go down this route.

Not a shock  that a car company would be lured by this cuz......revenue stream.

I'd urge customers to vote with their feet.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
8/10/22 12:59 a.m.

I have a feeling that this has stirred up quite an automotive hornet's nest that it bites BMW in the ass.

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
8/10/22 4:05 a.m.

repost as I posted this in the meme thread....

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/10/22 7:59 a.m.

This makes me so happy I just bought a 91 C1500.  The future sucks.  

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/10/22 8:00 a.m.

NEWS AT TEN:

YOU CAN BUY A PERMANENT LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION FOR A ONE-TIME FEE OF APPROXIMATELY THE SAME COST AS THE HEATED SEAT OPTION USED TO BE.

Here's Tom with the weather...

 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/10/22 8:05 a.m.

So if you Florida types don't want heated seats, you don't pay for them. Then when one of us rust belt types imports your used car up north, we can just get them activated instead of scouring junkyards for a set of seats the right color that have heating elements, plus the rest of the related accessories.

I really don't see the issue here if you look even inches deeper than the screaming headline.

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltimaDork
8/10/22 8:50 a.m.

Did a little digging online, and couldn't find what I was looking for.  Is the lifetime subscription for the lifetime of the car, or is it just for the time the subscriber owns the car?  I know Tesla has disabled options on cars for the second owner, in an attempt to get more revenue.

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
8/10/22 9:11 a.m.

In reply to Duke :

I think the issue is they have already paid for the hardware when they bought the car. There is no way BMW is just installing it and not turning it on. That cost is already in the purchase price of the car.

Now, BMW has decided they want more money to turn them on. 

BMW gets the best of both worlds. They have an option that is now standard and they get to invoice for the option again if the customer actually uses it. 

That would be like you designing a building, including the bathroom plans but locking them so the customer has to pay again to unlock that "option." It's a E36 M3ty way of doing business. 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/10/22 9:33 a.m.
Duke said:

NEWS AT TEN:

YOU CAN BUY A PERMANENT LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION FOR A ONE-TIME FEE OF APPROXIMATELY THE SAME COST AS THE HEATED SEAT OPTION USED TO BE.

Here's Tom with the weather...

 

Is this transferred if the car is sold or would any subsequent owners need to re-purchase it?

zordak
zordak Reader
8/10/22 9:50 a.m.

How long before someone figures out a work around and get sued by BMW?

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/10/22 9:51 a.m.
GameboyRMH said:
Duke said:

NEWS AT TEN:

YOU CAN BUY A PERMANENT LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION FOR A ONE-TIME FEE OF APPROXIMATELY THE SAME COST AS THE HEATED SEAT OPTION USED TO BE.

Here's Tom with the weather...

 

Is this transferred if the car is sold or would any subsequent owners need to re-purchase it?

How does BMW know the car has been sold?

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/10/22 10:18 a.m.
Toyman! said:

In reply to Duke :

I think the issue is they have already paid for the hardware when they bought the car. There is no way BMW is just installing it and not turning it on. That cost is already in the purchase price of the car.

Now, BMW has decided they want more money to turn them on. 

BMW gets the best of both worlds. They have an option that is now standard and they get to invoice for the option again if the customer actually uses it. 

That would be like you designing a building, including the bathroom plans but locking them so the customer has to pay again to unlock that "option." It's a E36 M3ty way of doing business. 

EXCEPT:  the whole reason BMW is doing this is because it's cheaper to just have a single standard seat and wiring harness that is common across all option packages.

So rather than costing more to put the elements and harness in the car, it actually costs less.

 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
8/10/22 10:22 a.m.

In reply to Duke :

Makes no difference if it is cheaper or not. Optics matter. It's a E36 M3ty way of doing business. 
 

(and I doubt it's cheaper to build)

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/10/22 10:26 a.m.
Tom1200 said:

Most of us view these companies as predatory. For software; nearly 100% of the industry is using this model.......I can't wait until some clever person figures out a business model centered around the customer.

As someone that was on the manufacturing software side of things, I can tell you that's REALLY hard to compete against the subscription model.   The break even point of our software was 2.2 years vs. the competitors' subscription pricing.  As in, every month the customer uses their software 2.2 years after purchasing was straight up profit to the competitor.  And there's enough people out there that are only focussed on this quarters' profits that having the subscription kept their C-levels happier since there was no large up-front bill.

It sucks. 

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
8/10/22 10:28 a.m.

In reply to Duke :

Maybe true, but the smart way to do this would be to pass those savings on to the customer and have heated seats as standard. Look, everyone! We are giving you heated seats!

What BMW has done is said berkeley You. You have to buy the heated seats but if you want to use them, you get to pay again. 

They have taken what could have been a PR positive and decided to screw the pooch. 

 

hunter47
hunter47 Reader
8/10/22 11:05 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Speaking of - does GRM still send print? I love reading print. Avants does quarterly print releases and they're beautiful magazines with very well written articles and outstanding pictures. 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
8/10/22 11:08 a.m.

"Hey customers!  We at BMW have decided to give EVERYONE free seat heaters on every car we build. You won't have to pay anything at all for them, unless you use them."

Yeah, that's NOT a thing.
 

BMW has charged every customer for the hardware, and is charging customers in cold regions additional amounts to use them.

RX8driver
RX8driver Reader
8/10/22 11:11 a.m.

I hate the idea of subscriptions for something like that where there's no need for it. At least with the BMW model, you get the option of not paying for something you won't use. GM is now going to force you to pay around $1500 for a 3 year subscription to OnStar when you buy a new car, for access to a bunch of stuff where there are lots of free services available to do those tasks. 

 

https://www.thedrive.com/news/gm-makes-1500-onstar-subscription-mandatory-on-gmc-buick-cadillac-models

 

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/10/22 11:40 a.m.

That article was hilarious! Thanks for the laugh this morning. Damn glacier iguanas... they can take my outright-owned vehicle options from my cold, dead biomechatronic hands.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
8/10/22 11:44 a.m.

In reply to hunter47 :

Absolutely! You can subscribe here:

Subscribe to Grassroots Motorsports

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
8/10/22 12:00 p.m.
WonkoTheSane said:
Tom1200 said:

Most of us view these companies as predatory. For software; nearly 100% of the industry is using this model.......I can't wait until some clever person figures out a business model centered around the customer.

As someone that was on the manufacturing software side of things, I can tell you that's REALLY hard to compete against the subscription model.   The break even point of our software was 2.2 years vs. the competitors' subscription pricing.  As in, every month the customer uses their software 2.2 years after purchasing was straight up profit to the competitor.  And there's enough people out there that are only focussed on this quarters' profits that having the subscription kept their C-levels happier since there was no large up-front bill.

It sucks. 

That is why I don't use Adobe Lightroom because I am not about to pay a monthly subscription to a software. I would have bought it if it was a one time fee.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
8/10/22 12:13 p.m.
93EXCivic said:
WonkoTheSane said:
Tom1200 said:

Most of us view these companies as predatory. For software; nearly 100% of the industry is using this model.......I can't wait until some clever person figures out a business model centered around the customer.

As someone that was on the manufacturing software side of things, I can tell you that's REALLY hard to compete against the subscription model.   The break even point of our software was 2.2 years vs. the competitors' subscription pricing.  As in, every month the customer uses their software 2.2 years after purchasing was straight up profit to the competitor.  And there's enough people out there that are only focussed on this quarters' profits that having the subscription kept their C-levels happier since there was no large up-front bill.

It sucks. 

That is why I don't use Adobe Lightroom because I am not about to pay a monthly subscription to a software. I would have bought it if it was a one time fee.

Our monthly Adobe bill would actually buy a fairly nice BMW (without heated seats, though).

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/10/22 12:33 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

Be thankful they're not Autodesk products.

 

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/10/22 12:38 p.m.

There has got to be a way to bypass the controls on those seats. There will be a do it yourself video on you tube real soon now. wink

f1carguy
f1carguy New Reader
8/10/22 1:22 p.m.

I have a KardiaMobil EKG to check my heart. Well they can detect 3 more things that can go wrong --- BUT it is $10 a month to get it WITHOUT a change in the hardware. so it is just software. This is just not right. They are playing with the health and lives of real people.

Just like Boeing and the 737-MAX (how many died?) and the $57K software switch for added safety ! 

We need a law to stop this right away! 

wae
wae PowerDork
8/10/22 1:32 p.m.
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:

There has got to be a way to bypass the controls on those seats. There will be a do it yourself video on you tube real soon now. wink

Ah sure, but that would be a violation of the DCMA because you'd be defeating a device designed to protect the copyrighted code!

I'm not entirely sure what happened that makes Wall Street see so much more benefit to MRR numbers, but it's absolutely not good for consumers.  Sure, today it's just heated seats.  What's the harm?  And sure, it's really not THAT expensive.  And you could buy a lifetime subscription of course.  But after a while, the lifetime subscription option will go away.  There will be no "locked-in" pricing, of course, so the subscription fee will go up.  And fairly soon it'll be more and more features of the car that are subscription-based.  And then the final phase is that you'll not be able to actually buy the car, it'll be a monthly "mobility subscription" that you'll pay. 

Next question:  What happens when BMW decides that it isn't going to run those heated seats authorization servers anymore?  Or the freq band gets repurposed?  Do I really want anything on my car to rely on some sort of cellular-based internet connection?

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
8/10/22 2:02 p.m.

And what happens when the infrastructure the cars check in with about your subscription gets "sunsetted?" (EDIT: yep, was typing while wae was posting) All too often when access is via subscription the default in instances of issues is "no access for the end user." It's easy to say that they *should* just turn on access for all cars permanently before shutting down the system, but historically I think reality is uneven at best.

The last decade has been defined in part by businesses asking "how can we turn this one-time purchase into an ongoing revenue stream?" This has not been about improving the user experience, it has been about extracting more money from the same work. Phrased clinically, that's just business, but it is up to the public to decide when as a first step, we avoid such companies as misapply this principle, and as a further step, we decide that certain practices are unacceptable and need to be banned.

Periodicals come out regularly; ongoing work, ongoing cost. I think I generally prefer the idea of software that I purchase once and which is supported in the current major version as part of that sale, but since software requires maintenance, I'm also okay with upgrade charges to move to a newer version and can make sense of a subscription model to a greater extent than for features of a car. That one probably really breaks down into installed versions that should be stable save for bugfixes and security updates and web applications which are sort of perpetually in upgrade.

Our Mini is the last new BMW product we'll have until BMW stops the concept of renting parts of my own car to me.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/10/22 2:21 p.m.
Javelin said:

I read it as "cyber cows" not "cyber crows" and now I want an entire sci-fi thriller in this universe where the herd leader cyber cow somehow overthrows BMW.

When editing it, I first read it the same way. 

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/10/22 2:26 p.m.
wae said:
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:

There has got to be a way to bypass the controls on those seats. There will be a do it yourself video on you tube real soon now. wink

Ah sure, but that would be a violation of the DCMA because you'd be defeating a device designed to protect the copyrighted code!

Let's see them enforce that on every shade tree mechanic in the country.

msterbeau
msterbeau New Reader
8/10/22 3:12 p.m.

Current title: "Microtransactions in cars: An imaginative look into the future"

Proposed title: "F**k BMW and every company that tries to swindle their customers like this."

When I pay $50K+ for a car, I don't expect to be further nickle-and-dimed for features that exist on said car but aren't functional until I do so. 

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/10/22 3:18 p.m.

Having spent considerable time in Palatka, Florida; a snow drift would be God sent.

msterbeau
msterbeau New Reader
8/10/22 3:20 p.m.

In reply to Toyman! :

I would be ok if it were a one-time, up front cost before you left the dealer.  You go through a list and decide what options you want enabled, negotiate the cost and away you go.  A subscription is an unnecessary annoyance... 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/10/22 3:29 p.m.
msterbeau said:

In reply to Toyman! :

I would be ok if it were a one-time, up front cost before you left the dealer.  You go through a list and decide what options you want enabled, negotiate the cost and away you go. 

That purchase method is available.

 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/10/22 4:31 p.m.
Slippery said:
GameboyRMH said:
Duke said:

NEWS AT TEN:

YOU CAN BUY A PERMANENT LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION FOR A ONE-TIME FEE OF APPROXIMATELY THE SAME COST AS THE HEATED SEAT OPTION USED TO BE.

Here's Tom with the weather...

 

Is this transferred if the car is sold or would any subsequent owners need to re-purchase it?

How does BMW know the car has been sold?

Maybe one of the same ways Tesla knows when one of their cars has changed hands, perhaps via cloud-connected services?

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/10/22 6:01 p.m.
f1carguy said:

We need a law to stop this right away! 

It is rather ironic how people always clamor for government interference to save them no matter the perceived slight.  We the people can stop this super easy.  Of course no one wants to be responsible for their own actions and decisions anymore. 

No Time
No Time SuperDork
8/10/22 7:15 p.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH :

I'm guessing DMV records.

Manufacturers manage to notify current owners when recalls are issued, so why not deactivate subscriptions using the same info. 

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
8/10/22 8:39 p.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

So where is my agency in the damage BMW is doing if this succeeds and expands? I will be car shopping in the next year or so, and the last car I bought new was a BMW product, so I think I'm a meaningful example. When I buy something other than a BMW, is that the reasonable extent of my influence? I should be okay with whatever happens next because I have exercised my role as an engaged and active participant in the market and voted with my dollars? Is that what you're talking about with being responsible for my actions and decisions?

"*shrug* I always thought it sucked them dumping sludge in the river, so I never bought stuff from them. Too bad other folks did and the market decided sludge monsters were the right answer. I miss my family."

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
8/10/22 10:56 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:
93EXCivic said:
WonkoTheSane said:
Tom1200 said:

Most of us view these companies as predatory. For software; nearly 100% of the industry is using this model.......I can't wait until some clever person figures out a business model centered around the customer.

As someone that was on the manufacturing software side of things, I can tell you that's REALLY hard to compete against the subscription model.   The break even point of our software was 2.2 years vs. the competitors' subscription pricing.  As in, every month the customer uses their software 2.2 years after purchasing was straight up profit to the competitor.  And there's enough people out there that are only focussed on this quarters' profits that having the subscription kept their C-levels happier since there was no large up-front bill.

It sucks. 

That is why I don't use Adobe Lightroom because I am not about to pay a monthly subscription to a software. I would have bought it if it was a one time fee.

Our monthly Adobe bill would actually buy a fairly nice BMW (without heated seats, though).

When we buy software it's often a multi million purchase. As the 5th largest school District in the country we do have some clout.

I recently did a negotiation on a 7 figure purchase; it was a subscription model but the company was excellent to work with. Both sides explained why each side needed the terms we needed and we simply worked through the process as partners. The suppliers lead counsel was on the mix and aided in the process (often the legal folks are known as the sales prevention team) which moved things along quickly.

Sadly some companies have it in their head that the world cannot function without their product and they're dicks about it (hello BMW).

I doubt it will and I know it's petty & small, but I hope this backfires on them.

Caperix
Caperix New Reader
8/11/22 7:10 a.m.

The good thing is BMW is getting nothing but bad press over this, so while less people buying may be excusable by saying its a bad sales year, if they go looking there are a ton of articles online about how what they are doing is seen by the public.  The manufacturers do love the subscription service idea though, tesla has been doing it for years, GM is doing it with on star to make all the infotainment systems work.

As a BMW tech I can understand symplfing the wiring, we have a car in the shop now with a damaged body harness.  BMW has been unable to determine the correct options on the car to send the correct replacement harness.  So if every car has every option you may end up with just a LHD & RHD harness.  Most European body harnesses seam to be made in Ukraine as well, so that does not help things.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/11/22 8:11 a.m.

In reply to Caperix :

GMs infotainment systems work fine without Onstar.  Onstar is an outdated service and obsolete too.  GM actually has some of the best infotainment systems right now and functional AC. A lot of automakers are bad at both.  

wae
wae PowerDork
8/11/22 8:12 a.m.

If the real driver for this was to simplify the build process since most people purchased the heated seats option anyway, the move from BMW would be to simply remote heated seats as an option and make it a standard feature and raise the base MSRP accordingly.  After all, 90% of their customers are buying it anyway.  Would 100% of the remaining 10% actually walk away because they can't get a car without heated seats and they don't want to pay the higher price?  No, this is simply the spot where they decided to begin boiling the frogs.  Go ahead and let people vent all the outrage about it while you can still reply "it's just the heated seats!  It's not that expensive!  You can get a lifetime option!".

Peabody
Peabody MegaDork
8/11/22 11:29 a.m.
Slippery said:

How does BMW know the car has been sold?

The same way Sirius/XM knows when I buy a used car and sets me up with a free 90 day trial.

Douche move? Yes, but somebody will find a work around

Caperix
Caperix New Reader
8/11/22 12:34 p.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

In my Dads 2022 Colorado to get turn by turn navigation you need a onstar guidance subscription, remote start is part of a subscription as well.

calteg
calteg SuperDork
8/11/22 12:34 p.m.
dean1484 said:

I so hate this buisness model. $200 plus a year to use heated seats in your car.   That is 2k over 10 years. 

Bold assumption that a modern BMW will still be on the road in 10 years.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/11/22 4:04 p.m.
ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
8/11/22 4:31 p.m.
93EXCivic said:

That is why I don't use Adobe Lightroom because I am not about to pay a monthly subscription to a software. I would have bought it if it was a one time fee.

Same.

I paid ~$100 for Lightroom 4.  I used it for 10 years.  I got a new camera and LR4 doesn't support the raw files it generates.  So I happily went to go look for the current version of Lightroom, which would be $15 a month.  Now IF it had the same option of a lifetime subscription like the BMW seats, I'd be fine with it.  It doesn't, so it would be $1800 for the same period.

Conversely I get how some software, like CAD, has a cost of entry so high its difficult to stomach coughing up $10k for it if you just want to try something out, so the option to instead pay a $200/month/seat fee seems fantastic.

 

The subscription fee bothers me a bit, but I'm not outraged.  If they wanted to simplify their configurations they could and just charge an "unlock" fee to turn it on in their software, or use what is effective a hardware dongle or whatever.  Its already common for manufacturers to do similar stuff.  The main wiring harness is the same on most modern cars, so in effect we are all "paying" for wiring we many not use.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/11/22 5:35 p.m.

In reply to Caperix :

I don't use turn by turn nav.  I'm pretty old school.  My wife depends on it though and it works fine in her Tahoe no subscription.  It works fine in my Honda too, but her interface is still better.  I also would never use remote start. 

gearheadmb
gearheadmb UltraDork
8/11/22 6:56 p.m.

I dont feel the same about OnStar because it had where you can contact them in an emergency, navigation which would need satellites or something, etc. It requires service and people from outside the car to work. BMW heated seats are simply using parts that on the car you paid for. I get what's being said about the option to buy it outright for the same cost but if this doesn't fail it's going to grow and spread.

In the old days people had a smaller amount of stuff that was made to last. Then we started more stuff that was cheap and made to be used for a little bit then thrown away. Now we are moving towards a business model where you dont own things but pay forever for a "service"  I dont like it.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Dork
8/11/22 8:49 p.m.

te72
te72 HalfDork
8/12/22 12:45 a.m.

Guys... have you ever looked at seat warmer wiring? At least in the cars I've seen them in, it's really rather simple. Surely, in a place like GRM, we can figure out how to wire in a manual switch. Wiring is by far my area of expertise, but I have a pretty good feeling I could figure it out.

aw614
aw614 Reader
8/12/22 9:26 a.m.
ProDarwin said:
93EXCivic said:

That is why I don't use Adobe Lightroom because I am not about to pay a monthly subscription to a software. I would have bought it if it was a one time fee.

Same.

I paid ~$100 for Lightroom 4.  I used it for 10 years.  I got a new camera and LR4 doesn't support the raw files it generates.  So I happily went to go look for the current version of Lightroom, which would be $15 a month.  Now IF it had the same option of a lifetime subscription like the BMW seats, I'd be fine with it.  It doesn't, so it would be $1800 for the same period.

Conversely I get how some software, like CAD, has a cost of entry so high its difficult to stomach coughing up $10k for it if you just want to try something out, so the option to instead pay a $200/month/seat fee seems fantastic.

 

The subscription fee bothers me a bit, but I'm not outraged.  If they wanted to simplify their configurations they could and just charge an "unlock" fee to turn it on in their software, or use what is effective a hardware dongle or whatever.  Its already common for manufacturers to do similar stuff.  The main wiring harness is the same on most modern cars, so in effect we are all "paying" for wiring we many not use.

The work around for the lightroom issue for me using a new unsupported camera was converting the raw file using Adobe's own RAW to DNG converter. Yeah I probably might not get the lens corrections and new features, but for the casual work I use it for, I am fine with it as is and not being tied down to a subscription fee. 

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