Published: Sun, January 26, 2020
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Massive Sonos Backdown CEO Pleads Angry Customers

Massive Sonos Backdown CEO Pleads Angry Customers

Now CEO Patrick Spence had to issue a statement, apologizing to their customers for the misstep with their initial announcement and reassuring that their speakers will continue "to work as they do today". (A good thing, considering out-of-date connected devices are a serious security and privacy risk!) Spence's wording also raises the question of whether legacy products will only be able to interact with other legacy products-which resolve complaints that modern and legacy products may no longer work well together, should users decide to keep their older devices. Hmm. There is no compelled brick coming.

Sonos' abandonment of its legacy customers is precisely what's wrong with IoT.

Firstly, you can be sure that in May, when we end new software updates for our old products, they will continue to work as they do today.

Earlier in the week, Sonos had a bit of an announcement for customers: older products would be made legacy in May this year, and if they coexisted with other newer Sonos products, while the old products wouldn't get updated, neither would the new ones. The company launched its first products to the market in 2004, and can operate nearly any of those devices along with its latest components.

To be clear, Sonos isn't changing course on its plan here.

Sonos pissed a lot of people off earlier this week when they announced that select legacy products would no longer be supported come this May. "We are not bricking them, we are not forcing them into obsolescence, and we are not taking anything away", he notes, emphasizing the point. That's a subtle but important shift from the previous policy, where out-of-support products could lead to a situation where newer Sonos products on the same network would also no longer receive updates.

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Sonos spokesperson Jenisse Curry explained to Consumer Reports that this can cause compatibility problems because the older speakers lack the memory and processing capability to run features designed for newer models.

Sonos's CEO has responded to this week's customer uproar over its plans to cease support for older products in May. If you don't do that, the entire Sonos system that's spread across the rooms in your home will stop receiving updates.

Alternatively, owners can use Sonos' Trade Up program, which provides a 30 percent credit for each Sonos device you exchange. Many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we intend to honor this investment for as long as possible.

"We're finalising details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks". If we come across something fundamental in the experience that can not be resolved, we will work to offer an alternative solution and inform you of the changes you will see in your experience.

The company encourages its customers to try and upgrade to the Sonos' latest devices for its incredible features and not because they feel forced to do so.

In the statement, Spence said that the company will work harder to earn back the trust and loyalty of their customers.

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