I have purchased several "Internet of Things" devices that, by default, come with an app that lets you turn it on and off. They use normal WiFi to communicate and are screwed into the walls so are now awkward to replace.
The default app communicates with the server that is provided by the British seller, S. The disadvantage of relying on someone else's server, include,
- it could suddenly disappear.
- the provider may decide to charge for the service.
- if your Internet connection goes down, so do your devices.
- you are limited by the functionality that they deign to provide you with.
As such, I want to mitigate this risk.
Though it is sold by S, the device is a rebadged product from a Chinese manufacturer, M. As such, this device is physically capable of being controlled by any server. I have seen many other owners discussing on community forums how they were able to achieve this by using the app provided by M.
The S app is heavily based on the M app but has less functionality. For example, the M app allows one to unlock the device so that one can use any server. That switch has been removed in the S app.
Recently, however, S has "updated" its firmware to prevent owners from using the M app, thereby preventing owners from using their own servers. This was not the case when I purchased the devices. This firmware was automatically rolled out to devices without notification and without advisement on what it changed. I have spoken to the Customer Service team at S and they have refused to provide a version of the firmware that allows owners to use their own servers.
Having purchased this device outright, I own it. As I understand it, neither S nor M retains any ownership. Therefore, I do not want a company to tell me how I can and cannot use my physical property.
Is there any legal basis to force S to allow me to use my physical property as I see fit?
- S is in England.
- M is in China.
- OP is in England.