Peloton is now effectively forcing a monthly subscription costing $39.99 on the owners of high-end treadmill products. Simply put, merely to use the simplest ‘Just Run’ feature on the Tread+ treadmill, customers who have bought the equipment, must pay a monthly fee.
Peloton Tread+, a premium treadmill that costs $3,000, and requires an outright purchase, now also requires a $39.99-per-month subscription just to use its most basic feature.
Peloton locks ‘Just Run’ and demands buyers pay monthly membership fees:
The “Just Run” service for Tread+ customers isn’t available for free. The only way customers can use the most basic function of this treadmill is to pay for a monthly Peloton Membership.
The Peloton Membership costs $39.99 per month. In an email sent to a user, the company justified the membership by stating:
“We care deeply about the safety and well-being of our members and we created Tread Lock to secure your Tread+ against unauthorized access.”
“Unfortunately, at this time, ‘Just Run’ is no longer accessible without a Peloton Membership.”
I’m maybe misunderstanding the issue – did this user cancel their membership and thus discover the tread was inoperable? It certainly seems draconian to lock the user out, but I just don’t understand why anyone would buy anything from peloton if they didn’t plan to subscribe.
— Tim “Virtual Events” K (@tkerbavaz) June 22, 2021
Following a backlash, Peloton promised to introduce new features to “improve the safety” of their product. One of the features is “Tread Lock”.
Peloton recalled 125,000 Tread & Tread+ products in May after 70 incidents reported. Software update adds new “Tread Lock” feature to stop & lock belt after 45 seconds of non-use outside of a class. Users must enter 4-digit code to unlock belt https://t.co/rZfWGziPoI | @NSCsafety
— National Invest (@NationalInVEST) May 20, 2021
The feature essentially locks the treadmill and demands a passcode for activation. Tread Lock activates whenever Tread+ is idle.
Peloton claims the feature is meant to prevent unauthorized. Moreover, the Tread Lock feature is not optional, and every Tread+ owner needs the same to use the most basic of functions of the treadmill.
Wow. The Peloton Tread will no longer allow you to use your $3000 treadmill without a $39.99 a month subscription.
The pretext is their design issues that led to a child’s death.
Hope reporters will cover this. pic.twitter.com/XHKS6DaOeD
— Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) June 21, 2021
Now, Peloton has placed the feature behind a subscription. It seems all Peloton Tread+ owners now have to mandatorily pay the $39.999 monthly subscription fees just to use their fully-purchased treadmill.
Peloton Tread+ owners claim company forcing subscription on a fully-purchase product:
Several owners of Peloton Tread+ have expressed their shock and disbelief over the monthly subscription fee that is mandatory to use one of the simplest and rudimentary functions of a treadmill.
So wait… You buy a $3000 treadmill, then after you’ve purchased, with a ‘software update’ they stop it from working until you pay them $39.99/mo? Sounds like Theft & Ransomware to me…
— Wes Kennedy (@wesdottoday) June 21, 2021
A few customers feel this is legal ransomware that Peloton has forced on its customers. However, the company claims Tread+ buyers are free to return the product for a full refund.
The ransomware business model is quite lucrative!
— @_thunderspank (@_thunderspank) June 21, 2021
Additionally, Peloton has waived three months of All-Access Membership for all Tread+ owners. Simply put, the company will not demand a fee to unlock the treadmill for a quarter.
It is not immediately clear if Peloton will offer the Tread Lock and Just Run features to non-subscribers. However, a few experts argue that Peloton might be exposing itself to an expensive lawsuit if it locks a few of the most basic functions of a treadmill, and then demand a monthly premium to unlock and use the same.