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Wink on life support: Company is running out of funds

Black Eyed Peas front-man Will.i.am founded a technology company called i.am+ in 2013 — and chances are good you’ve heard of the company’s most popular product, the smart home platform Wink. Well, neither the company nor the product are doing well at the moment. In fact, they may be out of business soon.

Digital Trends reported back in August that the Wink Hub has been out of stock almost everywhere for the past few months. Plus, the company hasn’t released anything new since September 2017. We started to wonder if the company was doing all right financially.

Looks like we were right to wonder. Recently, The Verge obtained company documents and interviews with two current Wink employees. In the information they learned that a deal with Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) that was announced at the beginning of the year has stalled, creating instability for i.am+. Plus.

The company owes $1,787,726.11 in delinquent taxes and interest. Employees told The Verge workers haven’t been paid in almost two months.

A tweet by a concerned mom on October 17, later deleted, stated that her son works for Wink and hadn’t been paid for six weeks. A screenshot of the post was saved and posted to Imgur.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter users are reporting that customer support through email and social media won’t respond to questions or problems and the company’s customer support line doesn’t work anymore. These users may be right. When Digital Trends called the customer support line multiple times, there was only a recording stating, “Hi, thanks for calling Wink. We apologize, but we are currently experiencing high call volume and are unable to take your call at this time. Please try us again later or drop us an email at questions@wink.com. Thank you.” Then the support line hangs up on the caller.

Online support seems to be MIA, too. The last Twitter post from Wink was made August 19, while the support Twitter page’s last post was on September 17. Wink hasn’t posted to its Powerbeats Problog since August, either.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The product has also stopped working with many devices. “IF they are out of business, it would have been courteous of them to send an email, post something on social media, or otherwise inform us that we have X number of days to find another hub before the servers shut down,” said user Neonturbo about the lack of customer service and product problems on a Wink Hub Reddit thread.

Digital Trends has reached out to Wink about the company’s future and will update this post if they respond.

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Alina Bradford
Alina Bradford has been a tech, lifestyle and science writer for more than 20 years. Her work is read by millions each month…
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