It’s a practice that’s a tale as old as time. We give companies money in exchange for goods and/or services. But at some point, that simply wasn’t enough. BMW was one of these companies that wanted to test the waters with subscription based services for hardware-based features in its cars. What exactly does that mean? This means if your car is already equipped with heated seats or something like that, you have to pay a monthly fee to gain access to it.
BMW started putting features behind a subscription paywall in 2020, but in 2022, they aimed to add heated seats to the micro transaction list. A subscription to warm your hind quarters would have cost $18 a month, a year for $180, three years for $300, or unlimited access for $415. This was a quiet roll-out that hit several countries but never actually made it the United States. Needless to say, this did not go over very well amongst the masses. Automakers have always been known to charge extra for additional features, but when it came to charging for hardware that was already installed, that definitely seemed to strike a nerve.