Consumers Take Smart TV Makers to Task Over Disappearing Apps

In recent years, the Dutch Consumers Association has received dozens of complaints about apps disappearing from smart TVs so, in March 2018, the Consumers Union launched a campaign to deal with the problem.

The association says that many complaints concern relatively new televisions, from three to five years old. For instance, nearly half of complainants haven’t been able to access the NPO app since June 2017, when the broadcaster rescinded app support for smart TVs made before 2014.

As the market leader, Samsung’s smart TV models received the lion’s share of complaints.

Furthermore, 20% complained about the disappearance of their TV’s YouTube app. 63% of complaints were from owners of Samsung TVs (63%), with many concerning models from Philips (21%), Sony (6%) and LG (5%).

Bart Combée, director of the Consumers Association commented:

“With devices connected to the ixpdjwAwA 400x400nternet, it is essential that safety and functionality are guaranteed for a reasonable period of time. Consumers consciously buy a TV on which they can use apps. After three years, the smart TV part of the TV no longer works properly. We will raise this issue with manufacturers and insist on solutions”.

The Consumers Association says it expects three actions from manufacturers:

  • Measures to keep apps and software on smart TVs working for the duration of use; for example, by making arrangements with app-makers.
  • A promise that important apps on smart TVs continue to do for at least six years. In other cases, consumers receive an alternative solution or compensation.
  • Compensation for consumers who feel they have been “duped”; for example, in the form of a free media player to continue using apps.

Analyst Comment

I had conversations on this topic at IBC, without realising that the issues has got this far with consumers. Note that Samsung has decided to create another update module for its sets that were designed to be updateable. (BR) Samsung Brings Evolution Kit Back to Market After Consumer Complaints