Consumers sue Canary for bait-and-switch marketing

Consumers sue Canary for bait-and-switch marketing
Canary, a New York-based home security system company, has been sued by several consumers, who claimed the company played bait-and-switch and deceived them.
 
Jeff Reifman, a tech industry veteran, is one of the consumers that filed the lawsuit. He bought the Canary All-in-One home security system back in 2016. At the time, all the home security features were included in the hardware purchase.
 
In October 2017, however, Canary changed its monetization model and launched a membership program which costs US$9.99 per month. The subscription model does offer some advanced features, including unlimited video downloads and desktop streaming, but the company also moved some free features, such as watching previously recorded videos, into the membership plan.
 
“Plaintiffs and other consumers purchased the Products reasonably believing that all key features included with their initial purchase would remain available without any future cost,” according to the lawsuit filing.
 
“Had Plaintiffs and other consumers known that Canary would remove the Product’s features and place them behind a paywall, they would not have purchased the Products or would have paid significantly less for the Products.”
 
After Canary made the change, several consumers posted complaints on Twitter about the “bait-and-switch.” The company, one month later, switched some of the features back to the free service.
 
The lawsuit is being processed and the plaintiffs are seeking damages, attorneys fees and other costs related to the case.
 
Canary sells an all-in-one home security system, which offers free features as well as advanced features in the paid plan. The company received a US$25 million investment from Smartfrog, an IoT company based in Dublin, back in October. The two companies combined as one after the strategic investment, while Canary continues to operate as an independent brand.
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