In a move reflecting the importance of aligning with customer expectations, BMW has decided to discontinue its controversial practice of charging drivers extra for features that are typically considered standard. This shift notably includes the termination of the monthly subscription fee for heated seats, which did not resonate well with users.
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BMW’s board member for sales and marketing, Pieter Nota, disclosed that the company intends to concentrate on paid software services, such as driving assistance and parking aids, in lieu of hardware-based subscriptions. This strategic pivot aligns with more widely accepted practices in the digital age, akin to downloading movies or accessing premium features within an app.
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The decision to halt the $18 per month subscription for heated seats was prompted by customer feedback and market demand. Users in countries where this subscription was offered expressed dissatisfaction, perceiving it as a double charge.
Despite the discrepancy between the perceived and actual value, BMW recognized the significance of addressing customer sentiments. Nota emphasized the adage that “perception is reality,” thus leading to the discontinuation of the unpopular subscription model.
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This adjustment demonstrates BMW’s responsiveness to its clientele’s preferences. Going forward, BMW has clarified that it will not impose additional charges for hardware functions already integrated into their vehicles. This consumer-friendly stance signals a positive shift in the brand’s approach. Importantly, this decision has been made just in time for the upcoming fall season in the northern hemisphere, sparing drivers from grappling with another winter of discontent related to the subscription-based heated seats, which has now been consigned to the past.