Recently I acquired a Cricut to use in my spare time for arts and crafts. I think it’s a cool machine as an engineer by having a desktop cutting machine. I was able to get a Cricut Maker with a good deal on the Cricut website. When the machine came, I was so excited to use it.
To prepare me for using it, I decided to go onto Reddit and explore the r/cricut community. I was just browsing, trying to get tips on projects I wanted to do with my new machine. It was exploring the subreddit, and I found this post that really caught my eye.
Apparently, Cricut tried implementing a policy on March 12th, 2021. It states that you have to buy a Cricut Access membership -indicated by crossed-out sections in that announcement- to upload more than 20 images a month to their Design Space software. The membership is about $10 a month. To use a Cricut, you have to use Design Space, and if you make your own designs, you have to upload images. If you use the system, you’ll find mistakes in your own images after you upload them into Design Space, and then you will want to upload an improved version. Also, if you make a lot of items regularly with a Cricut, you go through a lot of images with Design Space. These two plus many more factors easily use up to 20 images, making the new policy very restrictive to those that don’t want to subscribe to Cricut Access.
What made people mad was that they tried implementing this policy after people have bought Cricuts and had been using it for a while. It wasn’t something they signed up for when they bought it. When companies do something like this, they should expect to face backlashes, which is what happened.
People in the Cricut community were reasonably mad. They were angry that their machines would end up costing more than they budgeted for. It was chaos in the Cricut world.
Users realized that the way to let Cricut know this wasn’t okay was by canceling their Cricut Access memberships. Posts all over emerged with people saying they ended their membership, and people followed suit in solidarity. I personally realized I would be stuck with getting the membership as I uploaded too much, and I could afford the price. But I understand why everyone who wasn’t in my position had canceled. If they wanted the company to understand, then this was the best way to do it.
It was really chaotic. People vowed never to buy another Cricut. Customer service was apparently sending mixed messages like they would “brick” or render a Cricut machine useless if it was resold. There were even a couple of petitions to stop this from happening. What also irked people is that you HAD TO use the proprietary Cricut Design Space software, as there was no other third-party software you can use. It was a crazy couple of days.
Unbelievably enough, Cricut listened to the people. In an update on March 16th, 2021, they announced, through a letter to the Cricut community, that the new 20 upload policy won’t take effect for any users who register a Cricut account with a Cricut machine. While it’s still a restrictive policy, it’s good that users now won’t be blindsided.
While it’s unknown how many people reactivated their Cricut Access membership, it’s good for people interested in a Cricut to know what will happen in the future. Thankfully Cricut listened, and I don’t have to pay money each month to use it. It’s also really poor-timing that this happened right after I got the Cricut. But hopefully, I can make some really cool creations with it!