Roku Terms of Service Update Locks Users' TVs Until They Agree

A Roku Terms of Service (ToS) update reportedly locks up users’ televisions until they agree. The only way to opt out of the new “Dispute Resolution Terms” is to write the streaming service a letter by March 21.

Roku customers are threatening to stop using their TVs and streaming tools after the company allegedly locked devices for people who don’t agree to its recently updated terms of service (ToS), according to a report by Ars Technica.

“We’ve made an important update,” read a message from Roku this month. “We’ve updated our Dispute Resolution Terms. Select ‘Agree’ to agree to these updated Terms and to continue enjoying our products and services.”

“Press * to view these updated Terms,” the message adds.

Underneath the pop-up message is a large button labeled “Agree,” with no option to disagree. Moreover, users are unable to access their devices unless they click on “Agree.”

Customers were “furious” and left pages of complaints on Roku’s community forum, with some even questioning the legality of the matter.

“Anyone else ticked off at these worthless POS?” one customer wrote. “Changing the rules after we’ve bought the TV and then lock us out. I’m certain someone would be more than happy to take up [a class action lawsuit].”

“ROKU wants us to forfeit our rights to continue using our product? That is extorsion isn’t it?” the customer asked. “They have some ‘legal’ language in case the ‘agreement’ doesn’t hold up in court — which would only be there if THE[Y] KNOW it won’t.”

“Roku is implementing a revised terms of service agreement. If you don’t agree to it, your device is rendered inoperative,” another said. “When I asked for my money back, since they made the device inoperative they refused.”

“I can’t watch my TV because I don’t agree to the Dispute Resolution Terms. Please help,” another lamented.

“Are you kidding ?? My Roku TV is now unusable because your software has gone rouge,” another commented.

Another customer threatened that they were “unplugging right now,” while another wrote, “FURIOUS!!!!”

“Roku seems to be on the way out,” another stated.

In order to opt out of Roku’s ToS update, users must send the company’s general counsel in California a letter, and be sure to mention, “the name of each person opting out and contact information for each such person, the specific product models, software, or services used that are at issue, the email address that you used to set up your Roku account (if you have one), and, if applicable, a copy of your purchase receipt.”

This, however, is not new, as Roku reportedly required all of that information in order for users to opt out of its previous terms.

Notably, the verbiage in Roku’s ToS update suggests that users could agree to the terms on their device and then write a letter asking to opt out later. But many say it is unreasonable to have to opt into an agreement only to use a device under terms one doesn’t agree with.

Moreover, Roku’s ToS states that users only have “within 30 days of you first becoming subject to” the company’s updated terms — which was February 20 — to opt out. Otherwise, users are opted in automatically.

A Roku spokesperson shared a statement, saying: “Like many companies, Roku updates its terms of service from time to time. When we do, we take steps to make sure customers are informed of the change.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and X/Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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