Being able to control devices in your kitchen via your phone is convenient, at least that was the case for owners of the Anova Precision Cooker. But many of those consumers say a recent update to the sous vide cooker’s app has rendered their products useless, unless they create an account and share personal information with the company.
A disappointed Anova customer — and Consumerist reader — pointed out the recent update, noting that they and other users have stopped utilizing the device that cooks food by sealing it in a vacuum-sealed plastic pouch and then placing the pouch in water or steam.
“Like many people, I’ve been using an Anova Precision Cooker for a year and I loved it,” the reader says. “Last week they updated the app which now requires an account with Anova just to use the same basic features I was using before. This is a cooking appliance for heaven’s sake. I’m not doing it!”
In the description for the update on iTunes, Anova says that adding user accounts allows the company to implement new features, including the use of voice control.
Anova first announced in a blog post last month that it would incorporate user accounts to allow owners to control more than one product from their app.
“Currently, you’re only able to control one Anova product at a time through a single app,” the company said. “This will change with the use of user accounts. We’ll be able to register multiple Anova products to one account.”
Other benefits, the company claims, includes the ability to save custom cooks and improve customer support through the app.
However, owners of the Anova Precision Cooker say that requiring user accounts is turning them off the device altogether.
“Talk about a great way for a company to ruin their own, previously loved product,” the Consumerist reader said.
Others shared their dissatisfaction with the change on Anova’s blog, Twitter account, and the app’s iTunes page.
“If you want to require a user to log in for some features, that should be optional,” another owner wrote on the blog. “As it stands, my Precision Cooker is useless as I won’t sign up for an account to use an appliance to make dinner.
“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.”
“The Anova app had been working basically fine, but now they decided to make it mandatory to have an account,” a user wrote in a review of the app on iTunes. “I absolutely hate being forced into stuff like that, especially when I’m not expecting it.”
For it’s part, Anova replied to several customers on Twitter, saying that it would take their complaints into consideration.
Additionally, while some owners say they’ve stopped using their cookers because they don’t want Anova to track them, other say they aren’t using the device because they can’t create an account.
“Don’t take the update!” one owner warned on the Anova blog. “I have now a cooker that I can’t use. It is impossible to create an account. The link sent to confirm your email address leads to blank page and no account is created.”
Update: A rep for Anova tells Consumerist that adding user accounts is a “stepping stone for us to provide a more customizable experience” with features.
The company says that it will never share or sell customer information for marketing purposes and that it does not require personal information at sign-up beyond a username, email, and password.
As for the future of user accounts, the company says that it is possible that some features of the precision cooker could be available without the need for an account down the road.
“Currently, we are exploring a feature that will allow users to opt out of the login process,” the rep says. “There will be an update to the app released in two weeks where users will see improvements based on feedback.”