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Phillips Hue - Terms of use, possible charges for basic functionality?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Techie Stuff
11 replies 1.3K views
Steve_129Steve_129 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Techie Stuff
We have recently purchased some Phillips Hue bulbs, a Hue bridge and Alexa. The real reason for doing this is because some of our light switches are in awkward places so the motivation is making it easier to turn lights on and off rather creating colour schemes and so on.

My understanding is that we would need the light switches to be always turned on and the Hue system then does the control, switching on and off as we request, or schedule.

It's necessary to install the Hue app during which I read the Terms of use for Hue. I was alarmed at the following clause:

<<<
Fees and Payable Upgrades

Access to the Services is offered to you by Philips Lighting free of charge. Philips Lighting may decide to offer additional Services (“Payable Upgrades”) for a fee. Philips Lighting inform you if a Service is to be offered for a fee in the future. In such a case, you may choose to either continue your use of the offered Services for free, if applicable, or to choose the Payable Upgrade for the required fee or to terminate your use of the Service.
>>>

My reading of this is that they could start charging for the basic operations if they so decided. Please advise if you think I am wrong!

While it's clear that the Services are currently free, an additional service may have a fee. I may choose to continue for free - if applicable. It's the "if applicable". If Hue so decides, would they be able to start charging for basic operation, like turning the lights on and off?

I have no idea if this scenario is planned or whether it was an enthusiastic member of the legal department. I'm wondering whether to make this our last purchase of Hue products.

I submitted a question to Philips Lighting 3 weeks ago. I've been told that the level 1 support has escalated it to be dealt with. I know this because I have called twice to see if there is any progress. I am assured that I will get an answer. The level 1 person was unable to do any more because the relevant department is in a different town...
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Replies

  • arcierearciere Forumite
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    I guess this can always happen with cloud-based services. As long as you have to rely on someone else's server in order to make something work (Nest devices are the same), you'll never know what they decide to do in future.

    Personally, I wouldn't worry.

    P.S. Kudos to you for having read the T&C!
  • EssexExileEssexExile Forumite
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    Steve_129 wrote: »
    The level 1 person was unable to do any more because the relevant department is in a different town...
    If only there were some way of communicating with people in different towns!

    As above there is always the possibility (likelihood) that the service will stop at some time, you just have to hope it's not too soon.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
  • 18cc18cc Forumite
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    Although I am no expert my reading is that it is only any additional upgrades that will be subject to a fee

    I can't think what these upgrades would be but maybe you can think of some
  • You can still get off your backside and switch the lights on and off manually, for free.


    Where are these 'awkward' light switches? In the loft? Next door?
  • arcierearciere Forumite
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    usefulmale wrote: »
    You can still get off your backside and switch the lights on and off manually, for free.


    Where are these 'awkward' light switches? In the loft? Next door?
    Wherever they are, OP maybe just wants to use the Phillips Hue ones.
    I have a dishwasher, even though I am perfectly capable of washing the dishes with my hands.
  • debitcardmayhemdebitcardmayhem Forumite
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    I told my electrician to fit something like these https://www.screwfix.com/c/electrical-lighting/switches-sockets/cat830530?switchessocketsproducttype=blanking_plate

    Since there is no need for an off switch
    🍺 😎 Still grumpy, and No, Cloudflare I am NOT a robot 🤖
  • olbas_oilolbas_oil Forumite
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    I told my electrician to fit something like these https://www.screwfix.com/c/electrical-lighting/switches-sockets/cat830530?switchessocketsproducttype=blanking_plate

    Since there is no need for an off switch
    But what happens it your wi-fi goes down? Are you stuck in the dark?
    I agree that once a bulb is hue controlled you probabaly want to avoid making the switch too easily accessible, because if turned off in error it stops the hue/alexa being able to control it. However I have some double switches where one bulb is hue and the other normal and I need to retain the manual control. Even with Hue lights, it is sometimes easier (or just quieter) to flick a switch than negotiate with Alexa.
    What I'd like to be able to buy is a switch cover, that would be just enough to deter accidentally switching off, but easy to lift up if that is what I wanted,
    Any ideas where to find one, or does someone want to make a fortune inventing it?
  • takmantakman PPR
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    olbas_oil wrote: »
    But what happens it your wi-fi goes down? Are you stuck in the dark?
    I agree that once a bulb is hue controlled you probabaly want to avoid making the switch too easily accessible, because if turned off in error it stops the hue/alexa being able to control it. However I have some double switches where one bulb is hue and the other normal and I need to retain the manual control. Even with Hue lights, it is sometimes easier (or just quieter) to flick a switch than negotiate with Alexa.
    What I'd like to be able to buy is a switch cover, that would be just enough to deter accidentally switching off, but easy to lift up if that is what I wanted,
    Any ideas where to find one, or does someone want to make a fortune inventing it?

    That's the massive drawback to Phillips Hue and is the reason i would never consider the system.

    That's why i decided to fit these in my house:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/223042088810

    Less than £12 each delivered and they simply replace the existing light switch completely. So they can be used as normal to control your existing lights (even if they have no wifi connection). Plus you can control them with the App, Google Home, Alexa etc.

    Much cheaper than Hue and no messing about blanking off light switches or stopping people from using them.
  • Johnmcl7Johnmcl7 Forumite
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    The way I read that section is that they may charge for additional services. not that they'd charge for a basic service. I can certainly see them potentially charging for new themes or some of the features you see in Hue labs.
  • ChinoChino Forumite
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    Johnmcl7 wrote: »
    The way I read that section is that they may charge for additional services. not that they'd charge for a basic service.
    That's not in question. The point is that Philip's use of the term "if applicable" means that Philips reserves the right to discontinue provision of one or more of the currently-available basic free services.
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