4/18/17

Anova Reverses Mandatory Accounts For Some Cooks Using The App

Anova, maker of a popular sous vide cooking device, recently irked many of its customers by requiring that they create accounts — and share personal information — with the company just to use the cooker’s companion app. Anova has apparently heard these complaints and decided to drop this requirement… soon.

In an update to users over the weekend Anova admitted its mistake in rolling out its recent user account system and announced it would roll back the mandatory account feature for some users in the next few weeks.

As previously reported, the company decided to incorporate user accounts into its product as it began the implementation of voice control for the precision cookers.

According to the company, in order to use its new Google Voice integration — and an Amazon Echo skill in the future — owners of the precision cooker must have a user account.

Because of this — perhaps thinking everyone wants to control their cooker by voice — Anova implemented user accounts for all owners of the precision cooker.

That was a mistake, the company now admits.

“After rolling out our latest app update, it became apparent that this mandatory requirement is unfair,” the company said. “We’re sorry. We just dumped a requirement on our community without giving you a choice.”

Owners of the device weren’t shy in showing their displeasure with the company’s mandatory accounts, sharing their frustration on Anova’s blog, Twitter account, and the app’s iTunes page.

“Talk about a great way for a company to ruin their own, previously loved product,” a consumerist reader and Anova owner said at the time.

“This is ridiculous,” another owner wrote on Anova’s blog. “I bought a device for $150 that, last week, worked fine without Anova knowing who I was or what my email address is.”

To remedy this situation, Anova says it is working on an app update that it hopes will be available in two weeks that will make user accounts optional and less burdensome.

Without accounts, users will be able to access recipes and control their cooker via Bluetooth.

However, if users own a wifi precision cooker, they’ll still need to have a user account for remote cooking, the company said.

“We’re sorry to have to impose this requirement on wifi users, but we’re implementing new security features that will rely on user accounts,” the company said without specifying what security features will be added.

As a “show of appreciation” for users support and understanding, Anova is providing a $20 discount off an Anova Precision Cooker — although most people affected by the mandatory accounts already own a cooker.

While some owners of the device applauded Anova’s ability to admit its mistake, others say it’s too little too late.

“While the complaint for Bluetooth users seem to have a resolution, there is still none for us WiFi users,” one owner wrote on the company’s blog update. “My disappointment comes from the fact that we users of the WiFi model paid significantly more for our unit in order to have the WiFi feature.”

“I won’t be using your app if I need a logon to cook,” another owner wrote. “I have the wifi version and I’ll be sticking to manual. I’ll miss the recipes.”

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