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Nest May Refund Customers After Discontinuing Revolv Line

Tim Maytom

revolvAlphabet-owned smart home company Nest may be refunding customers for the recently-discontinued Revolv line of smart home control hubs, which originally sold for £300 (£212) each.

Nest came under fire earlier this week after it announced it would be ending support for the Revolv line, which it acquired in 2014, nine months after Nest itself was bought by Google. Because of the connected nature of the devices, many have already ceased to work, and the whole line will eventually stop functioning.

Nest Support on Twitter has been inundated with complaints over the announcement, and has told customers that it is working with people "on a case-by-case basis to find the best resolution, including compensation".

Revolv was bought by Nest as an 'acquihire', meaning the company was acquired largely for the talent of its engineers and designers. Nest immediately stopped selling Revolv products, which acted as control hubs for IoT lights, security and other smart home devices, but maintained support for the company's customers.

However, last month, Revolv announced it would be shutting down its service to focus on 'Work with Nest', where most of its engineers had been tasked, and by May, Revolv products will no longer work.

Customers have complained that they weren't notified of the shutdown, and only found out about it when their devices stopped working, and earlier this week, Revolv owner Arlo Gilbert wrote a blog post criticising Nest CEO Tony Fadell and his decision to shutdown Revolv's line.

"When software and hardware are intertwined, does a warranty mean you stop supporting the hardware or does it mean that the manufacturer can intentionally disable it without consequence?" wrote Gilbert. "Tony Fadell seems to believe the latter. Tony believes he has the right to reach into your home and pull the plug on your Nest products."

Nest is already facing a tough year, as the initial deal it signed when it was acquired by Google expires at the end of 2016, meaning that it could face a dramatically slashed operating budget, as well as key members of its executive and engineering teams leaving the firm. Alphabet is reportedly unhappy with the revenues the company is bringing in, and may be planning to reduce its budget accordingly.