Logitech has announced in a blog post that it will offer Harmony Link hub owners a free upgrade to the more recent Harmony Hub before it bricks the older smart home controller in early 2018.
Previously, the company had offered owners who were out of warranty a 35 percent discount on the newer $100 hub to compensate for the six-year-old Harmony Link’s deactivation in spring of next year, when the device’s encryption certificate expires. But the news sparked an online backlash according to Wired, and Logitech has decided to reverse course.
If you are a Harmony Link user, we will reach out to you between now and March 2018 to make arrangements to replace your Link with a free Harmony Hub, a product with similar app-based remote control features to Link, with the added benefit of controlling many popular connected home devices plus, it works with popular voice assistants.
Additionally, Harmony Link customers that have already redeemed their 35% discount on a Harmony Hub will also be refunded the full amount they paid for the replacement. Again, we will be in touch with you regarding these updates between now and March 2018, before your Harmony Link will no longer function.
Logitech said it decided to end support for the Harmony Link “because we would be acting irresponsibly by continuing the service knowing its potential/future vulnerability”.
As for why it couldn’t just patch the device or extend the license, the company explained that the newer Harmony Hub has around 40 times as many users as the Link, so focusing support and services on the former was a better use of its resources.
Logitech has also responded to suggestions that it had been pressing the mute button on angry customers in its forums by censoring the phrase “class action lawsuit” in complaint threads.
Logitech said the removal was due to a list of auto-blocked keywords in its Community Terms of Service, which doesn’t allow solicitation, including legal solicitation. The company has now unblocked the phrase and is in the process of reviewing all of its forbidden forum words and phrases.