Sonos Apologizes For Implying Old Models Will Stop Working

Earlier this week, the Silicon Valley consumer electronics company Sonos, known for its line of smart speakers, emailed some of its customers to let them know their products were about to become obsolete. As relayed to Twitter by an angry Sonos customer, one such message read, “In May the following products in your system will be classified as legacy and no longer receive software updates and new features. This will affect your listening experience.” The poster, Brian Fitzpatrick, wrote, “Wow. Just got a giant “Fuck you for buying a bunch of our shit in the early days” email from @Sonos.” Others reacted similarly to the memo.

Today, Sonos has apologized. In a new email titled “All Sonos products will continue to work past May,” CEO Patrick Spence writes, “We heard you. We did not get this right from the start. My apologies for that and I wanted to personally assure you of the path forward.” He then assures users that legacy products will continue to function as they do now: “We are not bricking them, we are not forcing them into obsolescence, and we are not taking anything away. Many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we intend to honor that investment for as long as possible.” Spence also says Sonos is working on a way to make sure legacy products and new products work together. He then continues to make nice.

In other Sonos news, two weeks ago the company sued its longtime business partner Google for allegedly infringing on five of its patents. Sonos provided Google with blueprints for its smart speakers when Google designed its music service to work easily with Sonos products. Sonos’ lawsuit also includes antitrust motions against Google and Amazon. Sonos is seeking a ban on the sale of Google’s speakers, smartphones, and laptops in the United States.

Read Spence’s full memo to Sonos customers below.

We heard you. We did not get this right from the start. My apologies for that and I wanted to personally assure you of the path forward:

First, rest assured that come May, when we end new software updates for our legacy products, they will continue to work just as they do today. We are not bricking them, we are not forcing them into obsolescence, and we are not taking anything away. Many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we intend to honor that investment for as long as possible. While legacy Sonos products won’t get new software features, we pledge to keep them updated with bug fixes and security patches for as long as possible. If we run into something core to the experience that can’t be addressed, we’ll work to offer an alternative solution and let you know about any changes you’ll see in your experience.

Secondly, we heard you on the issue of legacy products and modern products not being able to coexist in your home. We are working on a way to split your system so that modern products work together and get the latest features, while legacy products work together and remain in their current state. We’re finalizing details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks.

While we have a lot of great products and features in the pipeline, we want our customers to upgrade to our latest and greatest products when they’re excited by what the new products offer, not because they feel forced to do so. That’s the intent of the trade up program we launched for our loyal customers.

Thank you for being a Sonos customer. Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. I hope that you’ll forgive our misstep, and let us earn back your trust. Without you, Sonos wouldn’t exist and we’ll work harder than ever to earn your loyalty every single day.

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Sincerely,
Patrick

Patrick Spence
CEO, Sonos

Tags: Sonos