Peloton has responded to criticisms over its $4,000 (£2,864) Tread+ treadmills (currently only available in the US), which also require a $39 (£27) per month membership to use.
The new additional fee was rolled out last week. It had previously been free to access the monthly membership under the “Just Run” setting.
It meant that owners could use their running machinelike they would in a gym, without having to pay the additional fee for classes.
Many Peloton users were disgruntled by the removal of the feature, with Jennifer Strong, 39, telling Business Insider: “I am now no longer able to use the equipment without buying a membership, which is not right.”
Many people complained about the feature being removed on Twitter.
“So wait… You buy a [$4,000] treadmill, then after you’ve purchased, with a ‘software update’ they stop it from working until you pay them $39.99/mo? Sounds like Theft & Ransomware to me…” tweeted one person.
"In our ongoing work to ensure that our products are even safer, and as part of our voluntary recall in collaboration with CPSC, we released Tread Lock, a four digit passcode to secure Tread+ against unauthorized access,” a Peloton spokesperson said.
“Unfortunately due to current technical limitations, Tread Lock is not yet available without a Peloton Membership.”
They added that the company has waived fees for three months of All-Access Membership for all Tread+ owners, so those without a subscription will need to activate this membership to enable Tread Lock before they can access Just Run.
“We understand that this is an inconvenience for some and are working on updates to Tread Lock that will allow us to make Tread Lock and Just Run available without a Peloton Membership,” they continued.
“As a reminder, under the terms of our voluntary recall, Tread+ owners can return their Tread+ for a full refund by contacting Member support."