back to article Getting to the bottom of BMW's pay-as-you-toast subscription failure

It's enough to warm the cockles of more than your heart. After an experimental rollout in a few test markets including Britain, posh motor maker BMW has abandoned its subscription plan to activate heated seats. BMW BMW deems drivers worthy of warmth, ends heated car seat subscription READ MORE Not only were drivers unwilling …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge
    Pirate

    ...driving experience from that of piloting a 2CV.

    At least you could fix a 2CV with a screwdriver, a wrench and a hammer.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      don't forget

      The needle and thread to fix the sunroof. Other than that they are very repairable.

      That is evidenced by the thousands of the things that gather in France (this year, it was in Brittany) for a rally. There were 2CV's in all shapes, colours and configurations.

      The advent of an all-new construction 2CV that is also an EV and weighs less than 500kg is a great move to prolong the life of a unique vehicle. Ok, it is speed limited but for around town it is next to perfect.

      Back on Topic.

      Beemers were once the vehicle of choice for those climbing the corporate ladder and were able to lease them. Then they moved to Audi and now to Tesla. The same idiots who have no idea where their turn signals are or what they are for are behind the wheel.

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: don't forget

        I'm guessing the turn signal subscription must be really expensive?

        Do they charge by the flash, or is it a monthly unlimited subscription?

        1. DrBobK

          Re: don't forget - 2CV spark-plugs and *proper* BMWs

          Changing the 2CV's spark plugs was a bit of a nightmare though - nowhere near enough room to get a normal plug-spanner between the plug and the bodywork. I never attempted anything that might have needed taking the cylinder heads off. The curse of putting a boxer engine in a car. Boxer engines are much easier to work on when they are in a *proper* BMW. My last proper BMW was an R90S.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: don't forget - 2CV spark-plugs and *proper* BMWs

            Easiest way was to take the wheel off.

          2. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: don't forget - 2CV spark-plugs and *proper* BMWs

            R75/5 here, from 1973. Some excellent engineering for the time, and about the only vehicle on which I would ever countenance keeping the original points ignition, because it's so well made and reliable.

            GJC

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: don't forget - 2CV spark-plugs and *proper* BMWs

            Could be worse. I had a Dodge Stratus that required the removal of the intake manifold, including changing the gasket, to change the spark plugs. Changing the battery required jacking it up, removing the driver's wheel, and peeling back the wheelwell to get to it.

            1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: don't forget - 2CV spark-plugs and *proper* BMWs

              I understand, although I haven't experienced it myself, that one of the rear-engined Porsche models requires the engine to be removed to get to some of the spark plugs. Probably one (or more?) of the six-cylinder models, I guess.

              GJC

          4. myhandler

            Re: don't forget - 2CV spark-plugs and *proper* BMWs

            Lol, wow I hadn't remembered the plug change routine on the 2CV for decades. The memory flash even came along with the blue plug spanner and its jointed arm.

          5. SGWilko

            Re: don't forget - 2CV spark-plugs and *proper* BMWs

            4 bolts and the wing is off - handy if your 2CV is of sufficient vintage to have drum brakes front and rear.

          6. cdegroot

            Re: don't forget - 2CV spark-plugs and *proper* BMWs

            That other venerable boxer powered car, the 911, wants you to remove the engine before changing spark plugs, apparently.

            Yeah, my R80 and R1100 were a pleasure to work on. Once you got all the RT fairing bits out of the way. It’s never really easy :)

          7. genghis_uk

            Re: don't forget - 2CV spark-plugs and *proper* BMWs

            If you want to take the heads off an R90S, you just have to find a few tight corners!

          8. Luiz Abdala
            Joke

            Re: don't forget - 2CV spark-plugs and *proper* BMWs

            This gentleman could not fix his 2CV in when it broke down in Saharan Morocco, but he built a motorcycle out of the parts. I guess he missed the hammer.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emile_Leray

        2. muddysteve

          Re: don't forget

          I'm guessing the turn signal subscription must be really expensive?

          It's a ridiculous amount - no-one bothers.

        3. fredds

          Re: don't forget

          The blinker fluid is VERY expensive, and has to be BMW, Audi, Tesla brand.

      2. JT_3K

        Re: don't forget

        > Beemers were once the vehicle of choice for those climbing the corporate ladder and were able to lease them

        You miss the other half of the story. BMW was also at one point a byword for quality engineering-first thinking. You knew damn well that it was engineered (like the early Lexus offerings) to a standard rather than down to a price. You paid more because someone had thought about it first: from the location and angle of connectors being accessible to every sized hand; prewiring to a point; space/layout to remove items without removing other items; and a weird ability to both float along at the end of a long day whilst also able to be lively and engaging on a b-road.

        BMW of the 80s & 90s would never have included plastic timing chain guides, or placed a timing chain on the back of an engine so the whole powertrain had to be removed to repair. They'd never have put electrically retractable rear brake calipers that needed software to control. They'd never place a roof-motor in a poorly-drained "tray" that effectively submerged it in every rainfall. You paid because someone had thought about it: all of it, every mundane and stupid little detail and chose to balance it in favour of the person maintaining or using the product first, not the cost-base.

        Then marketing took over. Once the business got a taste, it became the domain of the beancounter and everything was about cost-value and leveraging greater returns. My G12 is on its *third* recall for EGR issues and the last time it had melted the *plastic* intake manifold. It's only been a matter of time before the lost and incompetent management decided to try to monetise more stuff and this was a logical step for them. Abhorrent mess, bring back the engineers.

        1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: don't forget

          However, they do pretty much all share a weird, failure-prone spray-bar oil feed to the cams, which very easily blocked up and resulted in a flat lobe on the cam. I've fixed that exact same fault on BMWs spanning something like 25 years of production.

          GJC

        2. Smirnov

          BMW was also at one point a byword for quality engineering-first thinking.

          I'm not sure this is entirely correct. Many generations of BMWs came with inherent design flaws, such as the 7 series E32 which had the tank inside the rear deformation zone (so the car would catch fire when rear-ended). Or the cracking prone rear subframe mounts in the E46 3 series.

          The PCB soldered NiCd batteries that kept the service interval indicator, various board computer features and often even the odometer working across several generations and models, and which when inevitably leaking would started eating away the PCB are probably legendary as well. BMW could have positioned them in a separate, easily accessible compartment so they could have been replaced easily but just didn't.

          BMW was also the first German car manufacturer which declared the ATF in the ZF automatic transmissions (like the ones used in E32 and E30) a lifetime item, while ZF itself mandated regular ATF changes for the same transmission variant. Consequently, BMWs suffered transmission failures at around 150'000km/94'000mls while the same transmission in other cars had much lower failure rates.

          Overall older BMWs were decent cars, and most of the engineering was good, but maybe BMWs Bavarian workers should have kept their hands off the beer when designing some of these things.

          1. Nifty Silver badge

            Re: BMW was also at one point a byword for quality engineering-first thinking.

            "Overall older BMWs were decent cars, and most of the engineering was good, but maybe BMWs Bavarian workers should have kept their hands off the beer when designing some of these things."

            When I worked in Bavaria, the works canteen had draft lager on tap just before the payment point. I asked about this and apparently it was due to a Bavarian law that classed beer as a food, and had to be available wherever food was served.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: BMW was also at one point a byword for quality engineering-first thinking.

              "a Bavarian law that classed beer as a food"

              How very sensible of them. I shall consider emigrating there.

          2. Michael Strorm Silver badge

            Warning: Inadvertently devolves into Amiga-related ramblings

            > The PCB soldered NiCd batteries [..] and which when inevitably leaking would started eating away the PCB are probably legendary as well.

            This is exactly what killed my Amiga A500 Plus after some time in storage; the NiCd battery soldered to the main PCB (which was used to back up the real-time clock) leaked and ate through enough of the board that it won't boot. (*) Horrid design in hindsight.

            If you have an A500 Plus I'd strongly recommend that you check for this; both that the machine is working and that the battery isn't leaking. (At this stage I'd assume it probably would be, that after 30 years is likely to be dead and useless and should probably be removed as a precaution regardless. I'm assuming that the missing battery would have no effect beyond losing the time when you turned it off, but don't quote me on that, and double-check all this further before messing about with your Amiga)

            Ironically, if I'd had the original A500 this would be less likely to have happened. A bit of checking confirms my memory of this- they didn't have the real-time clock, and were usually included as part of a "trap-door" RAM expansion add-on. So even if the battery on *that* had leaked it might not have reached the main board.

            (*) Apparently fixable as it's a single-layer board, but not something I'm planning on doing any time soon with my level of skill (or lack of).

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Warning: Inadvertently devolves into Amiga-related ramblings

              "(*) Apparently fixable as it's a single-layer board, but not something I'm planning on doing any time soon with my level of skill (or lack of)."

              There's a small but thriving "cottage industry" out there that will repair that for you and replace all the leaky/suspect capacitors to if you really want the full-on "old school" feel of playing with as real Amiga again. See English Amiga Board. There's all sorts you can do to "pimp it up" from CF card readers instead of HDD through HDMI convertors to accelerators, or you just run FS-UAE or WinUAE for a more prosaic experience that will cost nothing and may "cure" you of the need :-)

              FWIW, a couple of years ago, I pulled the 2.5" HDD out of my ancient A1200, put it in a caddy, made an image from it and booted the image in FS-UAE. Just took a few edits to s:startup-sequence and s:user-startup to remove drivers and stuff for things not in the emulator like the SCSI card. I didn't want to trust booting the A1200 or worry about how long the ancient HDD would survive under power after all those years :-)

              1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

                Re: Warning: Inadvertently devolves into Amiga-related ramblings

                Very interesting, thank you!

        3. vogon00

          Re: don't forget

          "Abhorrent mess, bring back the engineers."

          Just that[1].

          A couple of years ago, I was asked to 'integrate' a bit of 24VDC industrial kit. No suitable bench supply was available (All in use), so I convinced the boss to buy one for the job - justifying it as 'Needed immediately' and 'Customer/Project funded', plus it would be useful later on, as our own products were evolving in that direction.

          I specced up a reasonable bench PSU (0-50V, I forget how many amps), and found something sort-of-reputable online for what I felt was a reasonable amount of money - after doing the 'is that too much' risk-vs-reward due diligence beforehand, including some justification text, exact model number and vendor. ISTR it came to somewhere around GBP250.

          The next day, a PSU arrived. Not *THE* PSU, just 'A' PSU, which was the cheapest piece of crap available on flea-bay. 4mm binding posts that wouldn't accept any of the 4mm 'Banana' plugs in the lab, one segment of the LED display stubbornly remaining unlit, and the V and I pots wobbling all over the place...not to mention an *audiable* inductor.. Definitely sourced from flea-bay, as that's what the invoice/receipt inside the (damp) box said, and the receipted price was GBP60. Being curious, I put the output on a 'scope and was shocked at the shitty noise present (And I've seen loads of 'iffy' PSU outputs before). It seems my purchase request got 'edited' by manglement:-) I bitched, got told to make do.

          48 hrs later (mainly PSU drying time), I had things working and went to get a coffee. I came back into the lab and my colleague said they turned the bench off due to smoke coming from what I was working on. It turns out that that the shitty PSU lost output voltage control, and shoved 60VDC at something nominally 24VDC and with an abs-max of 40V, thus killing it. This 'something' cost EU720.

          Told the Boss (The editor!) and got the 'What did you do to it?' question. My response was considered, but that's the closet I've ever come to using verbal or physical violence on a colleague! I still can't forget that one.

          You can have it Quick, Cheap or Quality......pick any two.

          [1] Not always the answer. Some left-handed design engineer (No, not me!) designed a test rig so that it was nigh on impossible for a right-hander to avoid setting an invalid and destructive switch combination...the bill for that one was about 6K in the early nineties.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: don't forget

            >” Some left-handed design engineer (No, not me!) designed a test rig so that it was nigh on impossible for a right-hander to avoid setting an invalid and destructive switch combination”

            As a lefty! It amazes me how many assumptions about handedness people make.(*)

            I remember my partner as part of her psychology studies doing some textbook test involved the use of scissors, I substituted the assumed right handed scissors with my left handed scissors… the test authors had not realised scissors were handed. I suspect even today there are psychology students running the same test unaware of the fundamental flaw in its design.

            My current bugbear is cntl-alt-del , designed to require two hands, because the majority have two hands, however, if for various reason your only functional hand is you left hand… the problem is even more of a challenge to those who either have small hands or were previously right handed…

            (*)This is often a hidden benefit of playing golf left-handed as many courses are designed to be hard for right handlers….

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              The three-finger salute

              CTRL-ALT-Del can be done one-handed without too many contortions, as long as you're not using some abomination of a system that insists you use CTRL+ALT from the far left of the keyboard, and Del way off on the right.

              It's arguably a "thumb-and-two-fingers" salute at that point, but still...

              1. ChrisC Silver badge

                Re: The three-finger salute

                Ugh, this reminds me of a problem I had trying to play the otherwise utterly sublime Amiga conversion of DI's Tornado flight sim - the sheer number of commands meant that several of them required a two-key combo to trigger, and because the sim had been originally developed for the PC, the mapping of commands onto the keyboard had been done with the PC keyboard layout in mind, such that all of these combos were easy to enter one-handed, allowing all of the commands to be used without the need to take your other hand off the stick.

                When they did the Amiga conversion however, they overlooked that the Amiga keyboard layout is subtly different to the PC one, which led to one of these combos requiring the pressing of two keys that were almost as far apart from one another as it was possible to get on the keyboard - if you were looking to deliberately choose a two-key combo that would be as difficult as possible to enter one-handed, there wouldn't have been many other candidates beside this one. To make matters worse, the command triggered by this combo was one that you really couldn't avoid using mid-flight, and when you're flying a low-level strike mission, having to take your hand off the stick even for a second in order to enter the command two-handed was sometimes a bit of an embuggerance...

              2. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: The three-finger salute

                A lot depends on the keyboard in my short survey the smaller keyboards that adhere to the 12 function key IBM PC layout, typically desktops, generally require less contortion . Laptops depending on where they put the del key are much more problematic.

        4. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: don't forget

          Well said.

        5. BOFH in Training

          Re: don't forget

          Isn't Boeing facing the same issue now?

          Engineering led at one time, now led by bean counters / marketers?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: don't forget

            Yes. Ever since the McDonnell Douglas management took over after the merger. If you have Netflix, watch "Downfall, The Case Against Boeing."

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: don't forget

          > BMW of the 80s & 90s would never have included [..]

          They'd also never have included the ludicruously and increasingly oversized grilles seen in recent models.

          For all that BMWs have *always* been associated with arrogant, wealth-flaunting yuppie dickhead drivers, the cars themselves at least showed some level of restraint and Germanic taste.

          You couldn't accuse the current models of that- those tacky-as-f**k grilles are ludicrously pig-fugly and would have been taken for unrealistic parodies just a few years prior.

          To be fair, ditto Lexus and many other brands these days, but that's no excuse.

          Meanwhile, have you seen a Rolls Royce car recently? Most of the current models look like they're aimed at bling-era rappers or for Saudi princes (most likely to buy in multipacks for their extended families).

      3. ChrisC Silver badge

        Re: don't forget

        "Then they moved to Audi and now to Tesla. The same idiots who have no idea where their turn signals are or what they are for are behind the wheel."

        Given how microscopically tiny the rear indicators are on a Tesla (at least on the 3, which now seems to be the only variant I see with any regularity in this part of the UK), it's debateable whether the driver forgetting/not bothering to use them in the first place would have much effect on those road users in the vicinity...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: don't forget

          Yes, I noticed that, and I wondered why. Did Musk piss off the suppliers of yellow LEDs as much as the LIDAR ones so they got too expensive?

          1. CountCadaver Silver badge

            Re: don't forget

            Nah he probably just had a "brilliant idea" one morning and decided they were pointless (the sort of "brilliant idea" he is known for)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: don't forget

              Was that before or after seeing a BMW?

              :)

        2. Steve Todd

          Re: don't forget

          Think yourselves lucky. The US don’t have amber turn signals, they just flash the break light on the side they are going to turn. Chances are that they just squished the break light enough to fit an amber light into the cluster.

          1. Jurassic.Hermit

            Re: don't forget

            Don’t forget…it’s a brake light, as in applying the brakes to slow it down.

            If you don’t brake properly then yes, you may break your car into pieces.

        3. DrVanSteiner

          Re: don't forget

          But interestingly, if you change lanes without first indicating the Tesla thinks you've fallen asleep and vibrates the steering wheel. I quite like that as a nudge to other drivers to behave sensibly.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: don't forget

            For it be a nudge to other drivers, the Tesla really needs to activate the hazard lights, so other drivers are warned the Tesla driver/autopilot is being inattentive.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      At least you could fix a 2CV with a screwdriver, a wrench and a hammer

      Much like a Morris Minor. I refer to it as 'old-fashioned agricultural engineering'

      1. Flicker

        Until you try to replace the Morris Minor's master brake cylinder, buried in the main chassis member and firmly welded in place due to ally/steel electrolytic corrosion. You need to add a cold chisel to your toolkit and hope that your hammer is a decent weight lump variety...

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. JulieM Silver badge

      And a 2CV actually sends the power to the correct pair of wheels!

      If you pull something, it can only possibly come towards you. If you push something, it has a full 180 degrees' worth of directions to choose from -- especially if it has steerable wheels, and the direction in which you push it does not match the way the wheels are already pointing. See: supermarket trolleys. (Yes, we know about differential gearing. The point is, the wheels want to turn at the same speed in the absence of any compelling reason not to; and a pair of non-driven, steered wheels somewhere roughly in the direction it's trying to move is not always as compelling as you might think.)

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        If you pull something, it can only possibly come towards you.

        Not true Sailing boats cheerfully move at 90 degrees to the force on the sails. It's all a matter of resolving components.

        1. JimC

          > Sailing boats cheerfully move at 90 degrees to the force on the sails

          Well, sort of.

          They can only do that because there is another lot of forces on the underwater foils/hull/whatever. That's why sailboats will move just as well in current and no wind as they do in wind and no current.

        2. that one in the corner Silver badge

          > It's all a matter of resolving components

          Only after you've taken into account the airfoil shape of the sail and the additional non-obvious forces that creates. And include turning tighter into the wind as your speed increases and the effective wind direction rotates around you, compared to the wind direction over the water (or land, for a sandrigger, if you are crazed enough).

          Not to mention the drag and hydrofoil responses of the centre board and hull.

          But, yes, once you have written down all the forces, you just need to resolve them.

          Or sit at the tiller and just do it all by the seat of your soggy[1] pants

          [1] if you've still got a dry seat, you aren't trying hard enough! Now, tight to the wind, tuck your feet under and stick yer bum over the gunwhale

          1. Adrian 4

            So, your car needs a keel ?

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Scalextric[*] scaled up to human drivable size?

              The pickup/guide is sort of a tine keelboard and solves to battery weight problem of EVs all in one fell swoop. It might involve some cost "upgrading" the roads to match though.

              1. CountCadaver Silver badge

                Just fit all vehicles with pantographs ala trolley buses and string power cables above the roads.....ugly as sin but cheaper to roll out and easy to maintain.

                Easy way to cut emissions from lorries on trunking routes (depot -> motorway -> depot ) small battery to cover the couple of miles at most between depot and motorway, after that run on pantograph with zero tail pipe emissions

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Honestly, a fixed keel is too inflexible for varying driving styles. A swing-keel now...

      2. druck Silver badge

        And a 2CV actually sends the power to the correct pair of wheels!

        You forgot the joke icon.

        1. DrVanSteiner

          Have you driven one? It's a very sensible choice: do I send the power all the way to the other end of the car, or just with some short driveshafts (and inboard brakes) to the ones right next to the engine?

          1. druck Silver badge

            Have you ever driven a real car?

    5. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Up to a point. I still have a shelf full of the special tools needed to change wheel bearings and king pins on a 2CV, and having to remove the fan to set the points was not clever.

    6. NoneSuch Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      The screwdriver and wrench being optional. :)

      1. CountCadaver Silver badge

        2cv is a car I cannot see the love for, ugly as sin, slow as frozen treacle, pollutes like a Victorian chimney, loud. "But you can't tip them" if that's where someone has to go to justify a car....that speaks volumes tbh....

        Morris minor I feel the same way about....both I would send to room 101 or the crusher

        1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

          I'll admit that I always preferred the VW Beetle to either- at least in looks, have never driven one- but regardless, I have to be point out... you *are* talking about cars that are three quarters of a century old! (*)

          (*) Almost precisely; according to Wikipedia, the 2CV and Morris Minor were first publicly exhibited on 7 October 1948 and 27 October 1948 respectively, putting them within weeks of both their 75th anniversaries.

    7. steviebuk Silver badge

      We had an engineer at the NHS who had a 2cv. He has a big sound system in the back. When he'd take kit to sites, the monitors would get strapped to the outside of the boot. Was all comical but worked.

    8. Luiz Abdala
      Boffin

      If I recall, one French gentleman didn't have those tools, but he built a motorcycle out of the parts he COULD fix.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emile_Leray

  2. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Silver badge

    if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.

    Nice reference, very nice. Well played!

    1. SonofRojBlake
      Thumb Up

      Re: if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.

      Agreed.

      I think this is the single best joke I've ever seen in El Reg.

      It's up there with "Super Cali Go Ballistic Celtic Are Atrocious".

      Bravo.

      1. J. R. Hartley

        Re: if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.

        I!Miss!The!Old!Yahoo!Headlines!

        1. Martin Summers Silver badge

          Re: if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.

          "I!Miss!The!Old!Yahoo!Headlines!"

          Just not the clickbait style ones, 'one weird trick'. I see enough of those to invoke irrational hate, that it's not funny seeing them here even as a joke.

      2. Sandtitz Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.

        "Struggling Acer pulls out Wang too late, then calls Wong number"

        That's one title I'll never forget.

    2. Andy Taylor

      Re: if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.

      I came here to say this too. Applause.

      Re. the old school upgrades, many computers back in the day were made to a particular specification and then crippled to reduce performance after demands from marketing/sales.

      Often an "upgrade" to an old mainframe was to *remove* whatever was slowing the machine down.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.

        The difference between a 1902A and a 1903A was a capacitor. There was a plot to integrate the capacitor in the back of the nameplate, so it wasn't even necessary to take the cover off to upgrade the machine ... but not even ICL management were that stupid.

      2. swm

        Re: if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.

        Dartmouth created a time sharing system in 1964. It ran on a GE-225. It was later upgraded to a GE-235 which was three times faster and had more instructions. Of course the students used all of the extra instructions on the GE-235.

        Since this was done on an NSF grant everything was public. Someone in GE got the idea of selling time sharing systems. So they got a GE-225 (and DN-30 etc.) and all of the source code. At which time they discovered that the code wouldn't run because of the use of GE-235 instructions. So they replaced the GE-225 with a GE-235 and put a wait loop in the executive to slow the machine down to GE-225 speeds. The code was labeled for exactly what it did. The customer was happy, GE was happy, and a lot of useless cycles were burned in the wait loop.

      3. ITMA Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.

        Like certain IBM line printers which cost $xK per month, plus some usage charge.

        For $xK times just under two per month, you could upgrade it to a line printer which goes twice as fast.

        When upgrade day came the IBM engineer would arrive and usher everyone out of the room. Off would come the covers of the printer and a drive belt moved from one set of pulleys to another. Covers went back on and printer now goes twice as fast.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.

          "a drive belt moved from one set of pulleys to another."

          To be fair, they also also increased the size of the print buffer (mine maxes out at 140 characters worth of core), and increased the speed of the circuitry driving the output to the printer, both of which involved swapping out SMS cards along with adding wire-wrap and snipping existing circuits.

      4. Steve Todd

        Re: if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.

        They have been doing this for years. When I was a kid the local Polytechnic bought a Univac 1110, which turned out not to be fast enough for their needs. They paid for an expensive upgrade, the service technician turned up and found that the jumper he was going to move for the upgrade had already been moved.

      5. Kevin Johnston

        Re: if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.

        So that classic where the FPU was 'removed' from the main CPU (the Intel 486SX) and could be bought as an extra chip which was essentially the same CPU with the FPU enabled and had an extra pin to take control when FPU work was required.

        Awesome marketing that

        1. Dolvaran

          Re: if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.

          I thought I recalled that the 486SX was a DX with a failed FPU, so they could still sell the defective part?

  3. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    "BMW wanted to take your money, and keep taking it in perpetuity, while delivering nothing."

    It's exactly this in a nutshell. There needs to be a valid reason for a subscription; be it continuing upgrades and development, a 'loss-leader' sales approach (effectively, payment in arrears), or a connection to a service that the supplier also has to pay for on an ongoing basis. Heated seats are none of these, therefore no articulable reason for a subscription. And unusually for BMW, they didn't even really try.

    PS even though this idea should have been binned at conception, it's worth noting that BMW are a little bit maligned here in that they did also offer a pay-at-purchase option. A one-off lifetime subscription, if you will; at more or less the same price as heated seats in previous models. So really they were offering customers more choice, not less - you could buy once as you always used to, OR you could subscribe. One place where this would make sense is fleet owners - they could buy the 'basic' cars at company expense, and individual drivers could stump up for the 'extras' for their period of ownership; whatever that may be. In this context, I get why they thought it might work.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      You're right about the upgrades and whatnot to justify subscription, but the problem with a subscription model is that any money you spend on the subscribed features has no value beyond the end of the subscription. My car has a couple of optional extras that I paid additional money for over the base price of the vehicle, but I see that as an investment of sorts - when I come to sell the car on then those features have a desirability and so help me to ask a higher prices that I could if it was a bog standard model.

      1. CountCadaver Silver badge

        Except they devalue way faster than the car does so you'd prob be better putting money into investments if seeking a return is what your after

    2. Martin Summers Silver badge

      "One place where this would make sense is fleet owners"

      It could never make sense, the hardware is already fitted and ready to use. It's already paid for by virtue of it being present in the car. To try and justify a subscription for something that is already there and would work but for the change in one binary bit is craziness.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        "It could never make sense, the hardware is already fitted and ready to use."

        It makes sense to the fleet manager, who gets to save a few quid a month on leasing and pass these costs on to John Q Salesman, who activates the feature at their own expense for the 3 years they own the car.

        What happens after the 3 years, nobody cares. The car will be sold on the second hand market, and subsequent buyers will then have the choice to purchase subscriptions again.

        BMW win all the way of course, as they essentially get to sell the same feature twice.

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Bit hair-trigger on the downvote button there weren't you, old chap. Imagine if you had to actually think things through instead of just shitposting.

    3. Chris Roberts

      I thought the other idea was you could leave options off to get the rrp below the £40k extra vehicle tax threshold then add the options after purchase.

      For BMW it means they have to put everything on the car, but that simplifies the build process, means you only need to run the model through one WLTP test and can still offer the customer the choice of specific items rather than packs.

      If you are not sure if you will use an option you can rent it for a bit then do a lifetime purchase if you really want it. It also means if you buy a used car you can add options that may not have been chosen originally. I can see they may have done a Tesla and made the options belong to the original purchasor so they get turned off if the car goes through the dealer network.

      Yes, the monthly rental looks like an insidious pay-to-play rental scheme, but as above you can just buy the permanent option for what it would have cost when the car was spec'd anyway.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        True, which is why the seat heaters probablt seemed attractive to test the waters with

        At least if you are committed to destroying your brand.

        I think BMW management failed to understand the public is not so addled that they couldn't realize they were being charged more per month for something they had already paid the hardware cost of, then the switch they could jury-rig it with. They shouldn't have, it was galling and obvious, but we have been selectively breeding the worst traits in management for generations now.

        Enshitifcation isn't a viable business plan, and anyone who proposes it should be promptly defenestrated as a warning to the middle managers down stairs there are lines that shouldn't be crossed.

    4. JulieM Silver badge

      Let me put it this way

      It's the late 1960s or early 1970s, and you and your slightly-richer neighbour are taking advantage of the latest developments in high-fidelity sound reproduction.

      Your neighbour buys the latest FM stereo radio tuner.

      The sound quality is truly impressive, compared to a MW portable, and when the stereo switch is flicked and the little red light turns on, you really can hear where each instrument is positioned across the sound stage; but it's a wee bit too expensive for you. So you buy a sister model, which costs just over half the price of your neighbour's fancier one. It only receives stations in mono, but can be upgraded to stereo by an accredited dealer at a later date. The total cost will end up more than buying a stereo tuner in one go; but at least you will get to listen to some of that frequency-modulated goodness in the meantime, albeit in mono.

      How would you feel if you discovered the instructions for the dealer to perform the "upgrade" consisted of snipping a wire linking the two audio outputs and removing a piece of black card that was blocking the light from the "stereo" bulb?

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Let me put it this way

        >” How would you feel if you discovered the instructions for the dealer to perform the "upgrade"…”

        Depends on when I found this out.

        If it was before I had a dealer do the upgrade then realising I could do it myself - joy

        If however it was after the dealer did the upgrade - p*ssed off..

    5. ronkee

      It was an bad idea, poorly executed.

      BMW were paying for a seat heater for everyone, improving economies of scale and trying to use subscriptions to fund it.

      It was a new jarring way of paying, it messed with various purchase taxes, lease, BIK, running costs and it was immediately both expensive and painfully expensive to customers. It also cut dealers out of the sales cycle and effected the 2nd hand market.

      It was the the wrong feature to sell to customers who had never asked for it and didnt like it, at the wrong price, using the wrong model. Of course it failed.

  4. werdsmith Silver badge

    BMW always offered the heated seats as a choice of a £350 one time forever payment rather than monthly, so this would have been exactly the same as choosing it from the options list. I guess very few took the monthly choice. Three years would have been a one time payment of £250, so £7 added to the monthly PCP payment which was probably at least £600 per month. Taking the £350 option would add about a tenner. I'm not sure if people are concerned about the odd £100 or £3 per month when speccing up a new BMW for £40k or more.

    I guess it's just the idea of the never never. I actively avoid subscription, ongoing monthly wherever I can because I don't like the idea of my money being spent before I earn it. But it will be seen as normal for youngsters.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      I saw a pitch a few years ago - I think it was a TED talk. The speaker was envisioning a world where we don't actually 'own' anything in perpetuity - the idea of "property" would be obsolete. Everything on subscription; you get everything you need for as long as you need it, but it's never actually yours. This would presumably go hand in hand with no need to actually possess money; as long as you were a good citizen and did what was asked of you, your subscriptions would be taken care of.

      I remember thinking at the time: this is being pitched as 'new', but there's nothing new about it. And it even has a name. Nine letters. Begins with C.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Nine letters. Begins with C.

        Capitalism... no, wait, that's ten. Bugger.

      2. xyz Silver badge

        Yup, them commie pinko capitalists. Given that (in the UK at any rate) most beemers are not bought but leased fully loaded for x a month, wtf was the beemer board thinking of? Mind you, they have form...anyone remember flame surfacing and how well that went as a design choice. When BMW hump the bunk, they go balls deep.

      3. Wally Dug
        Unhappy

        Moving House

        I remember reading an article several years by the then BBC's Technology correspondent who lived in the US and he was moving from state A to state B and all he had to pack was his clothes as the two properties were rented, his car was leased, his music was "leased" on his phone, his TV was "leased" via NetFlix, Amazon, etc. as just about everything he had was via a subscription.

        I find that very bizarre that you don't own anything... but I'm the kind of dinosaur that loves physical CDs, films, books, etc. and will happily pay what some people would consider a premium to not only be able to hold it in my hand, but to keep it in my hand for ever.

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: Moving House

          Nobody can stop me watching a DVD I physically own. Nobody can stop me listening to a CD I own. Nobody can stop me reading a paper book I own. At least, not without knocking the door down first, which might cause the neighbours to raise their collective eyebrow.

          As I recall, all those things that people though they owned as electronic leased copies have disappeared at the whim of the subscription company.

          (As it happens, I choose to use electronic copies of those items in most cases. But they're copies made by me of physical media.)

          1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

            Re: Moving House

            True - but DVDs will disappear soon. Many of the streamers don't put their stuff out on DVD. CDs will go that way too; I've got friends who have consigned their CD collection to the charity shop cos they can get it all on Spotify. There's a generation coming throught that won't set any store by owning stuff. The memory of the carrier bag with the LP banging awkwardly against your legs as you rushed home from school to get it on the music centre before your mum settled down to her soaps is dying out.

            1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

              Re: Moving House

              I could give you multiple examples of great independent artists that I've discovered and enjoyed via Spotify who, for whatever reason, stopped making their music available through the platform. Fortunately they still offered the music on physical media via their websites, so I was able to buy and continue my listening pleasure.

              (A side-effect of this was making me realise that I need to support independent artists more, so nowadays I generally look to buy CDs from them rather than streaming, so they get more money for their efforts).

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                Re: Moving House

                The thing about CDs is, you pay for them once on their storage media. You don't keep paying for them forever.

                I own on CD probably about 98% of the music I'll ever want to listen to. I paid for it already, I don't want to have to pay for it again. Much of it came on very cheap used CDs.

                It's all ripped and available wherever I need it.

                I realise my way is not making more money for the artist and even more money for the music corporates.

                1. ravenviz Silver badge

                  Re: Moving House

                  With ripping CD’s you also get to control the bandwidth to any quality you want all the way up to lossless.

                2. SEDT

                  Re: Moving House

                  I buy CD's from charity shops, RIP, and then return them.

                  Win-win for me and the charity

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Moving House

                >A side-effect of this was making me realise that I need to support independent artists more, so nowadays I generally look to buy CDs from them rather than streaming, so they get more money for their efforts

                Exactly that. Bravo. And go and see them at a gig, pay money, buy a t-shirt. Then they can continue making the music you like, not what a marketeer thinks they can make money from.

                One downside, is the number of second hand CD's you can buy dirt cheap from charity shops or online retailers. Sadly the artists gets no pay for that, nor any knowledge that someone new has found their songs, whereas on streaming they know exactly how many folks are listening and discovering them. I'm sure Paul McCartney still gets to smile when he sees how many people have streamed/downloaded Sgt Pepper and the royalty cheque arrives, but he has no idea how many charity shops have sold it onwards.

                1. Ideasource Bronze badge

                  Re: Moving House

                  Well if the artist wants to make some more money they can produce something else and sell it before it leaks into the wild and goes native.

                  Feeling entitled to be redundantly paid in perpetuity for work long since paid for is akin to expecting paychecks for life sweeping the kitchen floor when you were eight.

                2. JulieM Silver badge

                  Re: Moving House

                  There is no need to feel sorry for artists whose CDs are on sale in second-hand shops. They already got paid the first time the disc was sold.

                  You don't have to pay your electrician every time you switch a light on, or your plumber every time you flush a toilet.

                  1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                    Re: Moving House

                    Up to a point. How many people pass the CD on to the charity shop after ripping it and how many people buy from charity shops because they know they don't have to pay full whack. Still, I suppose the charity benefits.

                  2. ecofeco Silver badge

                    Re: Moving House

                    Don't give them any ideas!

            2. Ideasource Bronze badge

              Re: Moving House

              Now but many of those streaming shows are being committed to DVD by other sources of agency.

              Ethically if a IP holder refuses to enter a market, there can be no loss profit being as they never were trying to profit in that market anyway.

              You don't get to hold ideas hostage to never be realized.

              Because someone else will always come along to supplement that lacking.

              1. ravenviz Silver badge

                Re: Moving House

                Not to mention torrent sites.

          2. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: Moving House

            I got rid of all my CDs recently, even though they had massive sentimental value to me, purely because I didn't have space for them any more, and I never listened to them.

            I do still listen to the music of course, because I ripped them all to MP3 years ago, and no one can stop me from doing that.

            There is alternatives between 'horde physical media' and 'streaming everything'.

            1. Ideasource Bronze badge

              Re: Moving House

              The nice thing about sentimental value is is that it's not actually dependent upon the symbolic physical token.

              You can always take the physical token out of the equation and access these internal productions more directly.

              It's just a roundabout method to to access configurations of thought that you are already well practiced in creating.

              Think about as stencils.

              After making the shape enough times, you don't actually need the stencil anymore.

              1. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Silver badge

                Re: Moving House

                "The nice thing about sentimental value is is that it's not actually dependent upon the symbolic physical token.

                You can always take the physical token out of the equation and access these internal productions more directly."

                I disagree totally. It's the actual physical objects that have the sentimental value. I can listen to certain music on the radio or stream it all day long, but it's only when I get my original CD of it out, hold it in my hand and I see the wear and scratches on the box that reminds me how old is it, that I'm truly taken back to that sunny weekend in May XX years ago when I bought it, just after that particular relationship break up, and all the memories come back, all those years later.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Moving House

                  yes, there was something about going through the stacks of CDs, and in fact, particularly in 2nd hand 'parlours', because you could, every now and then, find something ultra-rare, that you were never able to get other than by ordering a 'limited Japan edition' for quadruple price - and here it was a couple of quid. The age of hunting-gathering is gone from the mainstream, only remains as quirky pastime. And where are the snows of yesteryear, btw?! :(

          3. Alumoi Silver badge

            Re: Moving House

            Nobody can stop me watching a DVD I physically own. Nobody can stop me listening to a CD I own.

            Erm, the utility company?

          4. nijam Silver badge

            Re: Moving House

            > Nobody can stop me watching a DVD I physically own.

            Unless a new decoder thingy gets downloaded to your player. It's certainly happened already from from time to time.

          5. Stephen Wilkinson

            Re: Moving House

            I bought a Georgia Satellites live album on Amazon as MP3. Thankfully I downloaded the MP3s because after a couple of years the album has disappeared from Amazon Music.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Moving House

          All sounds great until the monthly payslip suddenly stops…

      4. Bibbit

        Optimism

        Is that the system that often ends up with someone sat atop a pile of skulls surrounded by charred wasteland saying, “Dammit. I thought we had nailed it that time. Let’s give it one more go”?

      5. ravenviz Silver badge
        Coat

        RE: Nine letters. Begins with C.

        Christmas?

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Megaphone

      That is because it is the principal of it.

      People understand that a seat with heating elements in it is going to cost more than one without. You can decide whether it is worth paying £350 for.

      People understand that Netflix has an ongoing cost to cover servers, bandwidth, royalties to film producers and so on and they can decide whether it is worth paying £16 per month.

      If they are going to fit the more expensive type of seats to the car anyway, then there is no ongoing cost to BMW to allow you to use the switch to operate them.

      1. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Silver badge

        "If they are going to fit the more expensive type of seats to the car anyway, then there is no ongoing cost to BMW to allow you to use the switch to operate them."

        True, but there is the one off profit that they have missed out on by you not paying for them in the first place - or the ongoing profit if it's a subscription.

        I presume they actually save money by fitting things like electric seats to all cars, since it simplifies the production line management and stock control systems, assuming that enough customers pay up for those things. There are probably many accounting spreadsheets constantly checking that model all the time.

        I think the only new thing here is the subscription model. It's been common for years for different cars to have the same engine, but different power outputs governed by the ECU and what the customer was willing to pay for.

        1. Ideasource Bronze badge

          Profits are akin to gambling winnings.

          No one's entitled to them but there's chances to win them.

      2. Ideasource Bronze badge

        Except that understanding is a false understanding and has been replaced in the common mindset through education.

        People understand that it costs nothing more because it's already there.

        The cost of something is not the price.

        Costs are calculated as before profit.

        The cost is the material and labor required to physically put something into existence.

        Which is already been met and exceeded to to maintain profit on the initial selling of the baseline model.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        At the turn of the century my boss discovered that his company car had heated seats fitted but no switch in the dashboard cos he hadn't paid for the option. He fitted his own switch - not by disassembling the dash, buying a switch on eBay (can't even remember if it was a thing then) and finding the right wires in the harness. He went to stores and got a the highest current on/off switch we had, unscrewed the seat, found some wires, spliced the switch in with crimps and heatshrink, ran it under the edge of carpet to the fuse box and then bodged the switch to the front underside of the seat with jubilee clips, tie wraps and self-amalgamating tape. It sort of worked, but the proper system must have had a thermostat somewhere which he'd bypassed cos it used to get very hot.

  5. balrog

    Deere oh dear oh dear....

    John Deere are the poster boy for the lease it and tie them in. And the most interesting development in that is a tractor company restarting production on a model explicitly allowing you to change and adapt their product. The question that raises is there a car market big enough for a similar swing?

    1. Cruachan

      Re: Deere oh dear oh dear....

      IIRC Deere are also the company at the forefront of the anti-right to repair campaign (along with Apple, keeping things IT related).

  6. Steve Button Silver badge

    subscription plan to activate heated seats

    What about the flashy things on the corners. I'm pretty sure these are an optional extra on BWMs and Audis, and the majority of drivers don't purchase that option.

    1. ITMA Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: subscription plan to activate heated seats

      Like brains....

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

    Just wanted to appreciate that phrase again :)

    But I can't help feeling that the whole 'own nothing' culture has a fundamental issue: sooner or later, _somebody_ has to own the stuff. And that seems likely to be fewer and fewer people (companies, of course) as time goes by.

    When everything you use and need is owned by a handful of companies, you can forget goverment: you are effectively in the control of those few companies: what you see, what you buy, what you use, everything about you will be mandated by them. And of course the majority of the people simply will neither notice nor care about this.

    Already we have a handful of individuals who control more money than some fairly large countries...

    1. Steve Button Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

      You sound like a conspiracy theorist.

      Like big companies would manipulate markets and conspire to keep prices high, and forever charge you as much as they can get away with, whilst aggressively lobbying politicians to keep their monopoly!?

      I *used* to be quite open to the idea of not even owning a car, and just hailing a self-driving car (at some point in the future), but now I worry that if I said something crazy and offensive like "A woman is an adult human female", or perhaps I inadvertently used the phrase "Field work" (yes, really - this is considered offensive by some) I might find myself locked out of the service, and unable to travel. OK this is a slight exaggeration, but it's not that far off the mark. Similar thing for banking, as we've seen recently with Nigel Farage.

      I don't want companies to be allowed to control what I say, what I buy or where I go. Especially when companies seem to often be on a shallow crusade to promote the "latest thing".

      So, yeah I'm swinging back towards owning my stuff instead of renting it. (Although Spotify and Netflix are just too damned convenient)

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

        The only thing I would like to rent instead of owning --->

        1. Steve Button Silver badge

          Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

          Well Pret-a-manger have done a similar thing with coffee in the past where you pay a monthly fee and can have up to a certain amount. Works out cheaper if you drink a lot of coffee I guess?

          Thing is if someone did that for beer, it would just be another excuse to drink even more and your liver might suffer for it.

        2. nobody who matters
          Happy

          Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

          ".....The only thing I would like to rent instead of owning --->....."

          Rent whilst you feel the need for it, and then hand it back when you have finished with it ;)

      2. kat_bg

        Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

        Nigel Farage is a wanker which had no problem cashing in his paycheck from the European Parliament on one side and spewing a lot of bullshit and disinformation on the other side. Private entities have the possibility to choose their own customers. Nobody says that you must bank with X Bank of Y bank as a right.

        1. Ozumo

          Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

          They weren't refusing him banking services - just moving him from Coutts to Natwest with the hoi polloi.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

          First, they came for Nigel Farage, and I said nothing because (...)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

            I said nothing because, if ever there was someone who you know would be a middle manager in the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, its NF.

      3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

        'or perhaps I inadvertently used the phrase "Field work" (yes, really - this is considered offensive by some)'

        I cannot imagine what spurious etymology or mis-reading of history could lead anyone to find that offensive. On the plus side, it lowers the bar considerably for anyone trying to produce an AI that is comparable to a (carefully selected) human intelligence.

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

          > I cannot imagine what spurious etymology or mis-reading of history could lead anyone to find that offensive

          Talk to the Uni of South California

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

            Here in the Real World of Northern California, I spent the day doing Field Work. I was planting peas and beans for a late fall or early winter harvest. (Yes, really. We get three crops per year here in Sonoma.) Tomorrow I am also doing Field Work ... I'll be installing a couple new servers for a company who is bailing out of the cloud and bringing it all back in-house.

            Anybody who has a problem with that has severe problems and should probably seek help. Including the Regents at USC.

            I shall refrain from saying "I told you so!" ... the owner is a friend of mine. Not USC, the computer work. ..

          2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

            Ah. Thanks for the reference.

            Utter twats. Particularly the idiot who said "I don't know what going too far means.".

            The sad thing is that by going too far she discredits the efforts of anyone else who is trying to strike a balance in this area.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't want companies to be allowed to control what I say, what I buy or where I go.

        well, just you wait for those image-displaying windows enter the mainstream and find their way into vehicles. Totally optional, of course, you can always unsubscribe for a small monthly fee. Looking forward, I'd invest in a startup to produce a 20/20 ad-blocking (audio and visual) headset. Of course, to make it legal, it would have to be registered and accessible to law-enforcement agencies, to comply with local legislation...

      5. Bebu Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

        I reckon you are so cancelled that you were never born - no wishing about it. ;)

        One would be treading where angels fear, in going within a light year of defining "woman" - you have half the alphabet and an arithmetical symbol on your case before the usual (very suspect) suspects pile on. I think J. J Rawlings got pretty much incinerated by this sort of nonsense.

        Totally confused by field work as it pretty much _does not_ mean farm work in this neck of the woods but rather students' or trainees' practicum or research material collection etc.

        Such ex communication quells debate and quashes dissent.

    2. Caver_Dave Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

      As someone who had incontinence for a while (due to an injury) I can add that they feel almost exactly the same as pi55ing yourself.

    3. Someone Else Silver badge

      @Neil Barnes -- Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

      "Soylent Green is ..."

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: @Neil Barnes -- coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

        ...slow cooked sweet meats?

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: coccyx-centered comforts in cold climes

      "But I can't help feeling that the whole 'own nothing' culture has a fundamental issue: sooner or later, _somebody_ has to own the stuff. And that seems likely to be fewer and fewer people (companies, of course) as time goes by."

      It's the new "pension time-bomb". What happens when you retire and you own nothing? You're gambling that your pension will be worth something. What if it's not worth as much as you hoped? Your pension is tied to the value of the stock market in most cases.

  8. Shak

    Bolted Horses

    It still baffles me how Sky+ subscribers are happy to pay money for the ability to record broadcast programming they can otherwise freely receive on a hard disk that sits under the TV they'll watch them on.

    So I don't think it's a clear mistake on BMW's part - there's plenty of idiotic precedent set.

    1. SonofRojBlake

      Re: Bolted Horses

      Sky+ subscribers are paying for access to channels, not the ability to record them.

      If you want the ability to record the free channels, but have no interest in the Sky exclusive ones, there's a box for that. Literally just one box, two sizes of hard drive, but that's it. Tis good though - all the features of Sky+ (pause and rewind live TV, record two channels at once, record a whole series automatically and so on) for a single one off payment. "Freesat recorder", get yours at Argos, any time you like.

      What keeps people using the Sky+ box is, I think, a combination of ignorance (not realising there's an alternaitve) and apathy (it's "only" £40/month or whatever). As soon as I found out I didn't need a Sky box to do all those things, mine was GONE. The only channel I missed was Sky Atlantic, and that was only worth watching for a fairly short period when they were commissioning original comedy. (If you haven't seen "This Is Jinsy"... give it a go.)

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Bolted Horses

        What bugs me about Sky is that they want you to pay £X per month and still shovel adverts down your throat.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Bolted Horses

          What bugs me about Sky is that they want you to pay £X per month and still shovel adverts down your throat.

          Without the adverts it would be £X+Y per month. But why let it bug you? Sky's service is not and never has been essential. It's a luxury service and entirely optional. Either you consider it worth the money or you don't.

          And if adverts bother you then stop watching live TV! If you record everything you can skip the adverts quite effectively. Fastforward can be tedious but many years ago even Sky finally relented and implemented the 'jump 30 seconds' feature. I haven't watched live TV at home since Sky+ was first launched for just that reason. Skipping over an ad-break becomes quite automatic.

          It's also worth noting that not all the channels (not even the majority) available on the Sky platform are owned by Sky. Channels that don't have 'Sky' in their name are independent and are just paying to be listed on the EPG and (if they want/need it(*)) to have their data stream encrypted using the Sky system.

          (*)One or both of two reasons: One because they are renting space on a satellite that covers multiple regions and have to be able to demonstrate to rights holders that they can control which markets have access to the programming (viewing cards are tied to postcodes). Two because they rely on the Sky kickbacks and want to prevent people watching their output without a Sky box.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Bolted Horses

        What keeps people using the Sky+ box is, I think, a combination of ignorance (not realising there's an alternaitve) and apathy

        Or (in my case) living in a house that, even with a masthead amplifier, had effectively zero TV signal. And Freesat et. al. don't have the channels I want to watch (Sky Sports NFL for one - yes, you can get at it via a streaming subscription but that costs more than subscribing to the two sports channels I get). We minimise the packages we get - we certainly don't go for the "we want everything" approach.

        So your mischaracterisation is a tad off. Some of us have choice of Sky or not watching the stuff we want to see.

        1. Carl W

          Re: Bolted Horses

          Presumably you have broadband so can access BBC iPlayer, ITVx, C4, My5, UKTV Play, etc.?

          1. SonofRojBlake

            Re: Bolted Horses

            I can access those things via my Roku box yes... but I can't skip the ads like I can on a recorded version of the show. This is particularly egregious when in an ad break for Taskmaster I get to see the same advert for a Samsung phone SIX TIMES IN A ROW IN THE SAME AD BREAK. Sometimes recorded is just better. Also, once I've got it recorded, I've GOT IT. It won't suddenly evaporate at the whim of the broadcaster if someone who appears in it has some allegations of dodgy behaviour 15 years ago pop up (just to pick a topical example).

        2. SonofRojBlake

          Re: Bolted Horses

          Well, yes, that's another thing that keeps people using a Sky box - actually wanting the channels that Sky broadcast. Silly me, I thought that went without saying.

      3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Bolted Horses @SonofRojBlake

        "ability to record" - I've not switched to a new SkyQ package recently, so am still on the Sky+HD package. A component of my payment is definitely hypothicated for the ability to record, it's listed as such on my invoice each month (actually, they bundle it as part of the Sky Cinema component, but if I dropped Sky Cinema, I would have to pay for the ability to record).

        I don't know whether Sky still has a package that does not include the ability to record, but as that is the feature that my wife uses most frequently, and she's too pig headed technically inept to learn how to use the streaming services, I'm not getting rid of Sky just yet. My hand may be forced when Sky drops satellite broadcasting, and tries to move all their customers onto Sky Stream, as they will almost certainly do at some time in the near future.

        In case people had not noticed, Sky has a large number of broadcast channels that are not easily available elsewhere, and also, if nobody noticed, not all of the programs shown on broadcast TV are available in the catch-up services or other streaming services (presumably because of licensing issues). For my wife, it's far easier to scan down the EPG, spot something she wants to watch, and just hit record, and let the box do all of the work.

        She can do the same on the Humax FreeSat system I also have, but there are a restricted number of channels on FreeSat.

        Too often, she's missed something (she sees it trailed on a recording for another show), and says to me "Can you find it", and I scour Sky, Amazon Prime, Netflix and Disney+ (all the streaming services I'm currently subscribed to) and either find it's not anywhere on catch up, or it's on a service that I'm not subscribed to (and I'm already subscribed to too many!)

        I'm also getting thoroughly pissed off with other offerings, such as FreeView Play, which constantly asks me to sign in to whatever catch-up service the FreeView Play EPG points to. If they really want to make it more pervasive, they should put a single authentication service on FreeView Play that then hands off to the other catch-up services!

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Bolted Horses @SonofRojBlake

          In case people had not noticed, Sky has a large number of broadcast channels that are not easily available elsewhere

          Most of my viewing is Discovery, Sky History, Crime & Investigation and ID (I wish they'd provide an HD version of that) and other than VM I don't know if any of those are available elsewhere. Nat Geo used to be another popular one but seems to have gone off the boil for me recently.

          People have this view of Sky subscribers as only wanting to watch all the latest US dramas but not all of us do. I only have a few Sky owned channel in my favourites list and of those the most watched - Sky History - has only recently been taken over.

          Most of what I watch is carried on relatively minority channels and whilst it might be possible to find things elsewhere I doubt it's as convenient. And convenience (aka 'inertia') is a significant factor not to be overlooked. I could spend my time trawling the 'net trying to find stuff or else I could do what I've done for years. Browse the EPG during quiet moments and mark things to be recorded. When it comes to watching I just fire up the box and TV and look to see what's already on the box waiting to be viewed. My 2GB Sky Q box is currently 62% full with new programming waiting for me to watch.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Bolted Horses

      It still baffles me how Sky+ subscribers are happy to pay money for the ability to record broadcast programming they can otherwise freely receive on a hard disk that sits under the TV they'll watch them on.

      Not all of the programming available on Sky is available on free platforms. I haven't kept up to date with channel line-ups across platforms but many years ago I had a Freesat recorder and some channels that were available on 'Free TV from Sky' were not available on 'Freesat'. There were quite a lot of channels that were restricted to Sky because while they were FTV (Free To View) they weren't FTA (Free To Air). Freeview was another option I had and again a slightly different line-up.

      It's possible that some people felt it worth paying for Sky+ in order to be able to view their favourite 'free' channel.

      But I suspect inertia was also a factor. Either that or some people actually like to keep copies of programmes to watch over and over(*) so might have kept paying the fee to ensure they have access to their library.

      (*)I've never understood why. There is almost nothing that I would wish to watch more than once and so much new stuff coming out that I'm happy to spot the rare example and record it again. I have a strict record-watch-delete policy :)

    3. seldom

      Re: Bolted Horses

      Shocked;

      A: People on this website actually watch sky

      B: If they really want to watch it, they pay for it.

  9. Zack Mollusc

    Been there...

    Techno-nerds should all shun these subscription models. When the companies stop seeing growth in subscriptions they will shut down the validation servers.

    1. nematoad

      Re: Been there...

      The trouble with your idea is that there are not enough "techno-nerds".

      Yes, people here might be able to see the problems associated with a universal subscription model, but most people don't know or care. They want the shiny thing now, and never worry if it's costing them an arm and a leg in perpetuity.

      My sister is like that. She sees something like Netflix, Disney+ and so on, pays monthly and after a while never uses the service again. Then she moans to me about not knowing where her money is going.

      I must confess that I do have a couple of subscriptions on Patreon. Only £5 a month but it's worth it for me as I value the content offered and want to support the creators of the channels.

      Shearing a sheep is one thing, flaying it another altogether.

      BMW got smacked in the face and they deserved it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Been there...

      techno-nerds are negligable in numbers, not even registrable on any scale, so their influence is nil and no worry for subscription business. Even ad-blocking, which is definitely not 'techno-nerds' has not become mainstream for the 'consumers'. It's not a niche, but it's not mainstream either (and that's from experience with my family members and friends, just ordinary people. 'Yeah, I know, I could INSTALL those 'THINGS' but oh, I got used to it, just wait 30 secs and we'll get to the actual content).

      People, in general, are quite tolerant, and if they're fucked not to brutally, they generally put up with it.

  10. Death_Ninja

    What is unclear with these "shops" in cars

    If you unlock a feature in your in car shop (many others besides BMW have this sort of thing), when you sell the car the "feature" is tied to your login.

    The hundreds/thousands you've spend on dynamic headlights or cruise control isn't available to the next purchaser, its tied to your account - and probably locked to the VIN of the car so you can't even buy another BMW 3 years later and automatically enable the feature on your new one....

    Bit like with paid for digital downloads on your console - no resell possible.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: What is unclear with these "shops" in cars

      Tesla hit that enormously with their "self-driving" (NOT SELF-DRIVING) modes and features.

      People, for the most part, just sucked it up.

      And Tesla then sued people who tried to re-enable it on cars that had been purchased with it, and then sold onwards.

      They'll keep trying to pull this nonsense, until they've found the boundary at which people will or won't tolerate it.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: What is unclear with these "shops" in cars

        Well in the case of BMW at least, it appears to be: "Look behind you...there's the line!"

  11. alain williams Silver badge

    Meanwhile ... BMW grabs private data

    The always-on data in most modern cars will upload: where you have been; how fast you travel; who you talked to on your mobile; ...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Buy More Waste

    Consume, consume, consume.

    Help support Exec bonuses today!

  13. Johnb89

    The day when one can't drive one's BMW because the seats are permanently heated

    Picture the day. An overnight software update, announced on the large screen, with 'bugs fixes and other improvements'. But what's this, my arse is getting warm. 10 minutes later I have to stop the car because I'm being cooked.

    Seat heating is on, can't be turned off. 'Tis but a bug', BMW support (at least there might be that for my monthly fee) assure me a patch will be out next week, 'right after the engineering team fix the P1 'brakes not working when turning left' bug'.

    Ah, software in charge of things.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The day when one can't drive one's BMW because the seats are permanently heated

      @Johnb89

      Don't blame the software, blame the people who write the stuff.

      The same people who, over the years, have have conditioned us to accept that bug ridden software is inevitable, and as such, acceptable.

      We are the mugs and ask for all the shit we get for putting up with it.

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: The day when one can't drive one's BMW because the seats are permanently heated

        Don't blame the people who write the stuff, blame the people who write the requirements for it.

        Or, more accurately, the people who wave their hands, go, "I want it to do X" but don't bother to stay around to write down that they actually mean by 'X'.

        Developers aren't magicians, and just because the customers (rightly) don't understand how the software works, it doesn't mean that they can apply magical thinking to get software that does what they meant rather than what they said.

        Now, if you actually have one of those mythical beasts called "project managers" on your project, and it turns out that the software doesn't do what the customer wanted, but the developers followed the user stories to a tee, guess whose fault it is? On the other hand, if you don't have a project manager, and the developers are having to analyse the requirements and write their own user stories, don't complain about them having to mark their own homework...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The day when one can't drive one's BMW because the seats are permanently heated

      >> Picture the day. An overnight software update, announced on the large screen, with 'bugs fixes and other improvements'. But what's this, my arse is getting warm. 10 minutes later I have to stop the car because I'm being cooked.

      You know this isn't sci-fi, right? There have been several cases across brands where the switches of heated seats have failed in a way that the heating element was not juts powered on but also on max setting.

      BMW was one of the brands where this happened (can't remember the affected models).

  14. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Proper BMWs

    This is how you engineer a vehicle

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcSDnvT5VZ0

  15. Badbob

    I did quite like the smugness that came with boasting to a colleague that while his heated seats were a monthly subscription, my puny Vauxhall had heated/cooled seats and a heated steering wheel as standard.

    Oh, and I was about £300/month better off.

  16. Del Varner

    IBM did this for years

    Often, production economics compel that multiple models in a range have the same core circuitry from entry-level to executive.

    This was the basis for IBM's system 360. You bought an upgrade and the service person came in and flipped a switch on the inside, and voila 2x computing power.

    1. Ian Mason

      Re: IBM did this for years

      Burroughs too, exact same thing except they changed a couple of wire wrap connections to do the upgrade.

  17. xyz Silver badge

    My final word....

    Subscription service = prepayment meter. Very council house, not very BMW.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next"

    Oh bravo, nicely done :)

    1. Ken Shabby
      Devil

      Supersize me

      Would you like oxygen with that?

  19. DaemonProcess

    snooty

    When I went into a BMW dealership once and asked to look at their Z3 (it was 1997) they said sure, but after judging my scruffy IT worker just finished a weekend of changes unshaven look then asked how I expected to pay for it. I was a contractor... so I said cash and walked out never to return.

    They seem to expect the customers to be mad fanboys, just like Ferrari. But BMW engineer the car's life at 4 years or 200k km, maybe less. Hardly anyone under 40 still thinks they engineer cars built to last. Thanks to the multitude of Youtube car channels people are better educated. So as well as trying to sell to the old fanboys, BMW are now creating cars for the aspirational wealthy demographic, the ones who cant actually afford it but want to flash the badge at their mates on the estate or on Instagram.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: snooty

      > then asked how I expected to pay for it

      How unprofessional... Real luxury hardware sellers wouldn't had raised a brow even if you had arrived in a nightgown: You could be some utterly eccentric (and still extremely rich) guy, they can't know. Actually asking you how you expect to pay it shows arrogance and an absolute lack of class. I would had answered "with money, if that's okay with you".

      1. skswales

        Re: snooty

        TVR dealership lost a sale back in the 90s when we turned up after a karting session and were looked at as if we were scum even though wearing clean, but v casual, togs.

    2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: snooty

      I honestly don't know how anyone buys a new BMW. I tried twice but the sales people were too offensive.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: snooty

        To buy one you need to be even more offensive than them...

        Which explains a lot of things.

    3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: snooty

      I was asked by a not-too-close friend (more like an acquaintance really) to help him get his Smart Coupe fixed. It was a simple problem that I diagnosed with a code reader, in that it intermittently cut out when up to temperature, cause by a faulty camshaft sensor.

      I suggested taking it to a good independent garage, but he insisted he wanted it fixed by the dealer, and this meant a Mercedes dealer (he was not English, so had trouble expressing things in English, and also came from a country where you always went to a dealer to get a car fixed - presumably because most other garages were cowboys).

      I was appalled by just how rude the person managing the show room actually was. It's almost unbelievable how much he looked down his nose at us (I was in business casual dress, and my acquaintance was in jeans and a tee shirt, and this was compounded by him not believing the diagnosis). And still, my not-so-close friend decided to get the car fixed there.

      I actually looked at how difficult a job it was. The part was available OEM for about £24, and I reckoned that it was about 2 hours work for someone who had never done such a thing before, following an on-line guide with just a socket set and a couple of screwdrivers and maybe a pair of pliers (so less than an hour for a mechanic trained on the vehicle in a properly equipped workshop). When he got the car back, I asked him how much it had cost him, and he said that he had had to pay over £400 to replace this single sensor (and this was a while ago when main-dealer mechanics were charging £80 an hour, and the garage I used charged £45 an hour).

      He was charged at least twice what it would have cost from an independent garage and at least 10 times what it would have cost to fix it himself, which included a horrendous dealer mark-up on the part, but he was not such a close friend that I would have offered to do it for him. I do feel a bit guilty, but you can't do everything for everyone.

      But I'll never forget the showroom rep. at Mercedes.

    4. Cruachan

      Re: snooty

      I've had the same thing. Turned up one day to look at a car (IIRC an Alfa Romeo 159) fresh out of the datacentre after a server move, so in cargo trousers and a t-shirt. Roundly ignored by sales staff. Went back the next day in a suit to prove a point, and of course sales staff wouldn't leave me alone.

      Ended up buying the car from a place in Birmingham, it was a long trek to get it from Scotland) but considerably cheaper and the staff were actually pleasant.

  20. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Software prices without software value

    BMW's move was blatantly stupid and provided zero value. I'm surprised that car makers haven't figured out upgrade purchases yet.

    Most cars have a high degree of modularity. Just a tiny bit more would make them upgradeable with newer model parts. Engine updates, EV battery updates, infotainment upgrades, better headlights, better seats, new body panels, etc. No need for radical changes to convince a few people to buy a whole new car. R&D investments would pay immediately with progressive upgrade sales.

    Serial number tracking would be a little more complicated but hardly difficult. It would be certainly less effort than some places waste on personal data harvesting.

  21. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    BMW Heat Settings

    Burn Medium Warm

  22. spireite Silver badge

    BMW now stands for.......

    Broken Motor Wallet

  23. martinusher Silver badge

    Fundamental misunderstanding of their customer base

    I get hauled off on cruises from time to time. Its not my favorite way to waste money but the missus likes it (and who am I to argue?).

    There are fundamentally two sorts of cruise lines. One's the mass market 'pay as you go' sorts where the headline price is supplemented by various upgrades and packages. These, the Princesses and Carnival's of this world, are OK but they really are for the plebs. The other sort, the Regents of this world, have a significantly higher base price -- well, they are upscale after all -- but they tend to be all inclusive. There are possible upgrades and add-ons but these are serious, not one that rations your drinks or maybe allows fitful WiFi access.

    Well off people don't like to be nickel and dimed.The add on price for heated seats is more of an insult than an expense. You've already spent big for the car, anyway, so it really is a case of "Molest Me Not With This Pocket Calculator Stuff". Stellantis might have better luck except their customer base is probably straining to afford just the base model.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fundamental misunderstanding of their customer base

      You poor b@stard!

      Going cruising that is.

      Oh the inhumanity.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Fundamental misunderstanding of their customer base

        Pity me. The next one is mass market, sort of -- but its an ACBL (bridge)(the card game) cruise from San Diego to Hawaii and back over Christmas and the New Year.

        Ahh.Christmas in the UK....Lots of not so fond memories of wet, boring, Boxing Days. Inedible turkey sandwiches (not enough Branston)...)

        FWIW -- I don't own a BMW and don't have plans to get one. Heated seats or no heated seats.

  24. Dabooka

    My own experince tells me

    Somewhere they'll be managers in marketing or other departments who called this bullshit out for what it was; they'll have had had their cards marked for being against it and yet now, after being proven correct, they'll remain a pariah. For making the bleeding obvious call all along.

    PHBs never go back and promote the guy who correctly went against their idea.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if you fail, try, try, try again

    ex-Musk is a fan, and I think the big internet giants are watching. After all, if you can serve ads AND make people pay for it, what's not to like. And yes, it is related to bmw experiment too, because it's about 'how far can they go and how much consumers will yield'. We have already been defeated and pay 'booking fees' for wizzair, so why not a ticket to enter a supermarket to buy food? Why not charge for x-twitter, in fact? I bet the internet Giants are watching x-Musk and his latest (potential) experiment, closely. The first who cracks how to make humans en masse watch ads and PAY for the privilage (and be relatively unpissedoff), will win the race to infinite wealth.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: if you fail, try, try, try again

      "After all, if you can serve ads AND make people pay for it, what's not to like."

      Cable and Sat TV have been doing that since they started. It's hardly a new business model. For that matter, Cinemas have shown adverts for as long as I can remember too. Last time I went, a good few years ago, there was about 15 minutes of ads, followed by 10 minutes of trailers before the film finally started. And they don't even have cartoons or a 'B' feature before the main film any more and they charge too much for everything, and, and, and....never again!!!

      1. Bebu Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: if you fail, try, try, try again

        "Cinemas have shown adverts for as long as I can remember too. Last time I went, a good few years ago, there was about 15 minutes of ads, followed by 10 minutes of trailers before the film finally started."

        With allocated seating you just turn up exactly 30 minute after the scheduled kick off and catch the start of the feature.(Most complexes have bars :)

        After living opposite a cinema complex for a couple years and watching few movies this never failed. Also the theatres were mostly empty. I suspect the times are pretty fixed in order for the projectionist to tend all the theatres.

  26. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "It seemed unacceptably, almost offensively greedy."

    Almost?

  27. SuperGeek

    I knew this would backfire!

    BMW are like Apple. Over-engineered, overpriced garbage, rather similar to the subscription idea!

  28. Mr Dogshit
    FAIL

    "posh motor maker BMW"

    What's posh about a German Mondeo?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: "posh motor maker BMW"

      The badge and the price tag, plus the BMW “Mondeo” had less usable boot capacity than the Ford Volvo V70 based Mondeo estate.

      I think Ford’s take over of Volvo, followed by them having the Volvo engineers upgrade the quality of Ford production lines, was a really good move.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not Just BMW

    BMW are to blame for a lot of this nonsense.

    Look at Zero Motorcycles, drop 18k for an electric bike then find that extra performance, faster charging and more battery capacity are...... sitting behind a software paywall on top of the lump you just paid out.

    Not an option for a physically different item or a component change, just a software unlock.

    Needless to say they are on my blacklist for eternity now.

  30. Dave Null

    the problem with this

    ...is that the kneejerk "why should we pay for software config" means that now BMW will have to create a new SKU - a BMW with the heated seats fitted, vs one that does not. This adds cost and complexity on the assembly line and supply chain. Say, for example, that the cost of all BMWs rises by £20 as a result, and those that pay for heated seats to be fitted pay an additional £300 (to pluck some numbers from the air). Is that a good deal, or would it be better for everyone to save £20 on their car, and only those that want heated seats pay an extra fee?

    1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

      Re: the problem with this

      If you didn't want heated seats then you'd save at least £20 in petrol / diesel by not hauling around the extra weight of heated seats during your time of ownership.

      Have you ever lifted a heated car seat? They are unbelievably heavy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the problem with this

        "Have you ever lifted a heated car seat? They are unbelievably heavy."

        Because they are electric seats and/or crash proof, heated or not. Heating elements don't weight anything compared to that, less than a pound put together.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: the problem with this

      "means that now BMW will have to create a new SKU - a BMW with the heated seats fitted, vs one that does not. This adds cost and complexity on the assembly line and supply chain. "

      Which is proper BS. Have you *any idea* how many options BMWs have, in general? Somewhere between 20 and 100, depending on the model. Adding one more isn't even measurable additional cost. Option list for a 7-series is three pages long, one row per option.

      Also, every car in assembly line is made on order, i.e. *different* than the others. One difference more isn't even measurable.

      Less than £1 would be more real 'additional cost' and as such. totally irrelevant.

  31. TheInstigator

    RAS - Not Remote Access Server but ....

    .... Rubbish As a Service

    This is the natural extension of SaaS and also Tesla trying it on with selling various addons ...

    When someone works out how to charge people for breathing that'll be the day they get really rich!

  32. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Fooled them

    I figured out how to fit my vehicle with an aftermarket heater.

    1. Ken G Silver badge

      Re: Fooled them

      There was a Soviet car (possibly a Zastava copy of the Fiat 600) that had a paraffin heater for the cabin so you could turn off the engine and still stay warm. I think it also came with a trapdoor in the floor in case you wanted to ice fish on frozen lakes.

  33. Ken G Silver badge
    Boffin

    My car has heated seats

    I very rarely use them. I wouldn't want to fiddle around with an app or credit card details those mornings I did.

    BUT if they built in a coin meter so I could put in a 50c for 20 minutes of heat then I'd be OK with that. It would even make me think twice whether I need to use the things.

    I haven't worked all the details out, presumably a man in overalls would need to call out every few weeks to empty the meter but he wouldn't cost me or the car company money as he could live off a percentage of earnings and generate good will by cleaning off the occasional melted mars bar.

    1. juice

      Re: My car has heated seats

      > BUT if they built in a coin meter so I could put in a 50c for 20 minutes of heat

      In the very hazy memories of my early childhood, I can actually remember my family owning a TV which needed to be fed coins...

  34. Luiz Abdala
    Pirate

    Rewiring...

    That's why they want to put everything in the computer screen on the dash, so you can't rewire the switch around it. Bastards.

    But then, jailbraking is a thing already.

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