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Peloton disabled a free running feature on its treadmills, forcing owners to pay up

Maggie Lu uses a Peloton Tread treadmill during CES 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 11, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller | Getty Images

Some Peloton customers are outraged after the company disabled a free run setting on its high-end treadmill, forcing users to pay an extra monthly membership fee, according to reports across social media.

Previously, people who had shelled out more than $4,000 for Peloton’s Tread+ treadmill machine were able to select a “Just Run” setting and exercise without accessing Peloton’s digital workout content. But following a recent safety update, the “Just Run” feature has disappeared, multiple users said on Twitter after receiving an email notice from the company.

Now, Peloton users need to pay a $39 monthly membership fee to use their treadmills. And some customers are threatening legal action, Business Insider separately reported, as they’re angry over the additional charges.

A Peloton spokesperson told CNBC that the company will be waiving three months of membership fees for all Tread+ owners, as it works on another update that brings back the “Just Run” feature.

The change in settings on Peloton’s treadmill machines comes after both versions were recalled in May over safety concerns. Peloton recently said it would be rolling out an automatic software update on the Tread and Tread+ machines that were already on the market, which would add a safety-lock feature.

“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,” the Peloton spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

As more consumers leave the house and return to an office or the gym, Peloton is shifting its approach to reach new customers. The New York-based company announced Tuesday the debut of a corporate wellness offering that offers subsidized memberships and discounts on equipment to partners’ employees. Peloton is also reportedly working on an armband that tracks users’ heart rates, which would launch it into the wearables market.

After rising more than 400% in 2020, Peloton shares are down about 22% year to date.

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