£250 digital photo frame now needs subscription to work?

Hi all,

I purchased a £250 digital photo frame on Amazon in August 2020.

When I purchased it - and right up until yesterday, I’ve been able to show unlimited photos on my frame, linked to my google photos account.

There was no mention of needing a subscription to use the frame to show photos.

Yesterday, the manufacture of the frame email me to say “From the 1st of May 2023 it will cost £5.99 a quarter to have more than 100 photos on the frame from google photos” (email and details shorted)

So basically - they are stopping my frame working from next month unless I now pay to use it.

The company explain its due to raising costs, but I would not have purchased a photo frame that needed a subscription to be used - I’d have got a different one.

I feel like it’s equivalent of buying a washing machine, then suddenly they’ve told me I now need to pay to put a wash on!

Amazon have said it’s out of warranty, and obviously the manufacture are the ones who have made the change to the frame.

So after 3 years - am I now forced into this subscription or stop using the frame?

Is 3 years classed as a reasonable amount of time for a £250 item.


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Comments

  • Hello OP

    There may be a debate on here about the matter but if you can show the goods do not conform (match the description in this case) your rights lie with Amazon, they can't repair or replace so you'd be looking at either a refund (minus 3 years of use vs the expected lifespan) or a price reduction (remaining lifespan at £5.99 a month). 

    You could try [email protected] and see what they say, if they get a number of customers complaining about this there might be some goodwill floating about. 

    I don't know how long a digital photo frame should last (£250 sounds a lot of money but I guess the size of the frame will be a factor). 

    I appreciate the frustration and think it's a poor practice to impose upon existing owners, everybody has different tastes but you'll never get a subscription charge on a good, old fashioned, normal photo frame :) 
  • comeandgo
    comeandgo Posts: 5,705
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    Surely you can still use the frame?  Just have 99 photos in the  Google account your photos are in as charges are for over that number.
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,232
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    comeandgo said:
    Surely you can still use the frame?  Just have 99 photos in the  Google account your photos are in as charges are for over that number.

    Constantly cycling 99 images will become boring very quickly.  I have a digital frame which fortunately uses SD cards.  I have over 500 images in the sequence and stll think on occasion "Oh, that photo again".

    To the OP, is it possible to link to your own computer instead of online images?

    Does the frame have any way to connect an external hard drive to it?
  • comeandgo said:
    Surely you can still use the frame?  Just have 99 photos in the  Google account your photos are in as charges are for over that number.
    Technically I “could” but my point is - should I have to? 

    I paid £250 - and I’ve always been able to have the 1500ish photos it currently displays, and now… because the manufacturer wants to make more money… I am limited to 100 photos. It doesn’t seem fair.

    @TELLIT01 - the frame has no external input options. It’s a pure cloud only device. Which was fine for me - linked to my google photos account, but now I’m wishing I had that usb/sd input :smile:

    @the_lunatic_is_in_my_head thank you for the advice - I can try Amazon again in a different way.


    I think my problem is going to be the 3 years I’ve owned it - I know a product is supposed to last a “reasonable amount of time” versus its value. 
  • tightauldgit
    tightauldgit Posts: 2,628
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    I suspect this will be more complicated because there will be a service agreement for the service part which probably allows them to alter the terms of your subscription but you really should look at the terms you signed up to. 

    The hardware still works and hasn't developed any fault so I don't know if you would have rights there. Plus I suspect that 3 years for any item of electronics might be considered its lifetime anyway. 

    I can see why you are annoyed for sure but whether that translates to legal rights I'm not sure. I think it might come down to the terms of the service agreement. 
  • Exodi
    Exodi Posts: 2,758
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    Sorry but this sounds like a total cash grab.

    If the files are being streamed from Google Photos (as in, not held locally on storage except for when they are currently displayed), then surely it doesn't make the blindest bit of difference whether the OP has 1 photo, 100 photos or 1000 photos, each photo would be downloaded as it is displayed. I'd be surprised if it downloads every single photo the second it connects to Google Photos.

    Very unfortunate for the OP, Google has it's own Nest Hub Max (effectively their version of a digital photo frame) for £220 (but if you shop around you can probably get a like new one for half that).

    Not only has 10" screen, it also has built in high quality speakers for music, a camera, voice assistant, weather, can be linked to cameras in your house, can be used to watch videos, etc. Also needless to say, it can scroll through your google images at no cost.


    Know what you don't
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,608
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    What do the  T& C for the frame say about being able to change the cost for the service?
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,232
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    I think my problem is going to be the 3 years I’ve owned it - I know a product is supposed to last a “reasonable amount of time” versus its value. 

    I think you're right about the problem.  The product itself does still work, it's the agreement with the service provider for downloading which has changed.  After 3 years, even if they had said they were terminating the service completely you would probably have little comeback.  Bl***y annoying though.
  • I'll 'fess up immediately to not knowing what a "digital photo' frame" is - but I can guess.  (I also haven't a clue about consumer rights in relation to digital products and services).

    So is it possible to buy a bit of digital kit that you think (or presume?) you own outright, but subsequently find you can't use because you are now being asked to pay a subscription to use it?

    Would that possibility or condition not have to be something that you would clearly need to have drawn to your attention by the seller before purchasing?  (Perhaps it always is - I don't know as I wouldn't buy one.)
  • km1500
    km1500 Posts: 2,120
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    you could try a LBA and small claims for a £250 refund. You probsbly won't win but you never know, and anyway they might settle
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