I wasn’t one of the customers who complained about Sonos’ earlier communication this week. However, I initially had the same reaction as many others who wrote in anger or disappointment in this customer community.
I commend Patrick Spence for his quick reaction, for correcting course, and for the tone of his letter to customers today. I completely understand Sonos’ internal drivers to urge their customers to upgrade their systems. However, as Patrick well said, customer experience and their loyalty is paramount and trumps anything else.
I plan to remain as a loyal Sonos customer and will continue to expand and upgrade my home sound system when it makes sense to do so.
Best answer by mark690
I think people are a lot more surprised than they ought to be, this strikes me as being a fairly predictable issue with any ‘connected’ devices in modern times. You used to buy an amp, which might run for decades, but you only got a 12 month warranty - no ongoing service of any kind. Here we are asking a company to continue delivering a service indefinitely, for no fee (save being baked into the cost of the product). It was probably hubris to imagine they could do this in the first place, it’s not a scalable business model. Maybe we will see a shift towards subscriptions for connected devices in future.
Yes, as another poster said, impossible is a very strong term in software… the core technology of value here is the SonosNet bit that syncs all the devices so well, and it is hard to imagine that needs to change much. New products might want to support higher bitrates or codecs or somesuch, but they could also be designed to support the older protocol and continue to work, albeit by downgrading themselves to the lowest common denominator in any given system.
However continuing to support increasing lists of legacy devices in a single codebase does become harder, more error prone, and less fun for the people doing it. Software definitely has a shelf life.