Greed - legacy devices

  • 31 January 2020
  • 46 replies
  • 594 views

Unfortunately all that I can say about the recent announcement is that Sonos is treating it’s customers as cash cows. The amount of money that each customer spends on a good product runs, sometimes, into 1000’s and then suddenly turnaround and say that your items are no longer viable is incredulous.

The reputational damage that Sonos has created could run into millions as loyal customers decide that the expense is not worth it.

Sonos rethink, you’re an intelligent firm, but poor when it comes to customer good will.


46 replies

Unfortunately all that I can say about the recent announcement is that Sonos is treating it’s customers as cash cows. The amount of money that each customer spends on a good product runs, sometimes, into 1000’s and then suddenly turnaround and say that your items are no longer viable is incredulous.

The reputational damage that Sonos has created could run into millions as loyal customers decide that the expense is not worth it.

Sonos rethink, you’re an intelligent firm, but poor when it comes to customer good will.

Sonos have explained that it is for technical reasons and that it has been a difficult but unavoidable decision.  I believe them, you think they are lying. Experience so far suggests that there is little chance of either of changing our views, but I am sorry you feel that way.

At least, to judge by your profile, your speakers are not affected, although the possibility exists that some years from now they will be. Although you will probably be able to use them for some time after the point at which they become ‘legacy’ devices.

‘Lying’ is a very strong word. I just do not feel it is right for a company, who has loyal customers, to push aside the investment that these customers have made into a quality product to be told that the product is no longer viable. 

I applaud development but to be told that your investment will become worthless is not right, and by default if you want to continue to use the service (which you have already invested in) you will have to pay for further devises albeit at at 30% discount. These are not cheap bits of kit.

I wonder how many customers would have bought devises had they been told that after a number of years that they would be consigned to the scrap heap? I know that I am now reconsidering buying any further product from Sonos. Once bitten…………...

‘Lying’ is a very strong word. I just do not feel it is right for a company, who has loyal customers, to push aside the investment that these customers have made into a quality product to be told that the product is no longer viable. 

I applaud development but to be told that your investment will become worthless is not right, and by default if you want to continue to use the service (which you have already invested in) you will have to pay for further devises albeit at at 30% discount. These are not cheap bits of kit.

I wonder how many customers would have bought devises had they been told that after a number of years that they would be consigned to the scrap heap? I know that I am now reconsidering buying any further product from Sonos. Once bitten…………...

You are aware that legacy devices will continue to function after May?  Sonos has provided a route that avoids the need for any upgrade purchase.  It certainly isn’t perfect but nobody HAS to upgrade to use their equipment post-May with all the existing features.

I am aware however it’s the principle and morals that I am questioning.

If Sonos where aware that their product would only have a finite life, then why are they not more compatible ie an aux jack, bluetooth etc? And why not state this fact that there product is only good for a few years?(Corporate suicide!!) It’s OK to say that Sonos is more compatible now, but the ‘horse has well and truly bolted’.However, I am now convinced that Sonos is very much aware of the finality of their product and have chosen not to invest, which in my mind shows a total disregard and disrespect to their customers.Once the updates end you are basically left either with an expensive door stop or book ends. The speaker is fundamentally fine but the customer is held to ransom over software.

This is a company with a US$1.5B market capitalisation and they are not willing to invest in continuing updates? This is why I do not believe that it is solely due to technical difficulties, it’s the desire to produce something new and to some extent ‘force’ customers to update.The reputational damage that this announcement has/will cause will show in it’s next balance sheet. Consumers have long memories and will show their dissatisfaction.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this subject. You are a believer whereas I am not convinced.

I'm not convinced either.

Who said they weren’t going to continue updates?  Last I checked, that is the complete opposite of what the CEO said. Lots of misinformation going around, and it is anger that is feeding it.  Take a breath. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-51206604

 

So either the BBC is totally mis-informed or the CEO is trying to keep his job? 

 

You are linking to a BBC article from January 22.  This came out the next day: 

 

https://blog.sonos.com/en/a-letter-from-our-ceo/

 

First, rest assured that come May, when we end new software updates for our legacy products, they will continue to work 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 off

 

Pledging to “keep them updated with bug fixes and security patches for as long as possible” is the complete opposite of “not willing to invest in continuing updates”.  I don’t know how it can be interpreted otherwise, unless one is experiencing anger fueled bias.  As I said, a lot of misinformation out there. 

The second email was just a rehash of the previous email. Calling this point of view "anger fueled bias" isn't fair nor is it accurate.

So either the BBC is totally mis-informed or the CEO is trying to keep his job? 

 

You aren't misinformed. Though I encourage you to re-read the initial email and the one from Spence and decide for yourself.

‘Lying’ is a very strong word.

 

 

So is ‘greed’.  

 

 

I just do not feel it is right for a company, who has loyal customers, to push aside the investment that these customers have made into a quality product to be told that the product is no longer viable. 

 

 

Do you feel the same way about other software based products that are no longer receive any functional updates?   Phones, tablets, computers, etc?  And I think viable is a little to vague here without context.  The legacy products, more accurately, the legacy system as a whole, will continue to receive bug fixes where possible given the limitations of legacy product hardware.

 

I applaud development but to be told that your investment will become worthless is not right, and by default if you want to continue to use the service (which you have already invested in) you will have to pay for further devises albeit at at 30% discount. These are not cheap bits of kit.

 

 

Service is not being discontinued for legacy products.and a legacy system as a whole.  You will continue to be able to use all the same services and features that you can today, until a different company changes their service in a way that the Sonos legacy hardware cannot support.

 

 

I wonder how many customers would have bought devises had they been told that after a number of years that they would be consigned to the scrap heap? I know that I am now reconsidering buying any further product from Sonos. Once bitten…………...

 

I think it’s a valid point that Sonos did not give more advanced notice that products may eventually reach a point where they cannot receive any new feature updates, and that they may not be able to support current features.  However, you could make an argument that Sonos is not responsible for this, the same as Apple and Samsung don’t make sure customers know that their phones will eventually lose support when you purchase a new phone.  

 

And yes, customers would obviously reconsider there purchase if they were aware of what exactly was going to occur in the future.  I know I was hesitant at first to by Sonos speakers (not so much Connect and Connect:amp) in part for that reason.  Again though, Sonos could not exactly how tech was going to advance and when/now products were going to be supported, and I don’t think it’s completely fair to say Sonos should have told customers when they bought these speakers.

 

I am aware however it’s the principle and morals that I am questioning.

 

 

With proper hindsight and without all the relevant information.  You see the results, and they are bad, but you don’t see what the actual intentions are.

 

If Sonos where aware that their product would only have a finite life, then why are they not more compatible ie an aux jack, bluetooth etc?

 

 

Lots of different theories on this.  Sonos has stated that bluetooth and multiroom don’t mix well, and that’s still apparent with Move having to switch modes between WiFi and BT.  I think the relative lack of aux jacks is a rather larger discussion, a different topic.  Obviously, including aux inputs on every device, without increasing the price, would have been better for customers, so clearly the decision was made in the best interest of the company...which companies are allowed to do and have done throughout history.  Again, though, it’s a much larger and different topic.

 

 And why not state this fact that there product is only good for a few years?(Corporate suicide!!)

 

They have stated that Sonos products will be supported for a minimum of 5 years from the end of production from Sonos.  Again, this is not a requirement that people are not asking of other software based products.

 

 

 It’s OK to say that Sonos is more compatible now, but the ‘horse has well and truly bolted’.However, I am now convinced that Sonos is very much aware of the finality of their product and have chosen not to invest, which in my mind shows a total disregard and disrespect to their customers.

 

 

Invest?  Not sure what you mean in this context.

 

 

Once the updates end you are basically left either with an expensive door stop or book ends. The speaker is fundamentally fine but the customer is held to ransom over software.

 

 

Updates are generally referred to regular functionality updates  The legacy products, legacy system will continue to get bug fixes while they can, which is bit beyond door stop status.

 

This is a company with a US$1.5B market capitalisation and they are not willing to invest in continuing updates? 

 

 

Ah.  Again Sonos has stated there are technical reasons, it’s not a matter of will.  Since you clearly aware of that, then you must believe Sonos is lying.  

 

This is why I do not believe that it is solely due to technical difficulties, it’s the desire to produce something new and to some extent ‘force’ customers to update.

 

 

Sonos doesn’t make any money from support, they only make money from product sales.  So clearly they are happy with customers buying new products. If they could have continued to provide functional updates, but choice not too just for sales...why now, and why are only the 32MB and less products legacy?  Why not go solely based on age of the product, or the products where they have a modern replacement for customers to buy?  I personally expected that we would see only the ZP products loss updates, and I did not see any legacy system emerge from the process.  Suportted a legacy system costs money and that plus a 30% discount, plus bad BR and lost customers, is going to seriously cut into any profit made from people relacing legacy products with modern products.

 

 

The reputational damage that this announcement has/will cause will show in it’s next balance sheet. Consumers have long memories and will show their dissatisfaction.

 

 

Correct, which doesn’t really support the theory that this is about profit.

 

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this subject. You are a believer whereas I am not convinced.

 

I think one thing that pretty much everyone believes is that IF this event is about drumming up additional sales, it was a very poor decision.

The second email was just a rehash of the previous email. Calling this point of view "anger fueled bias" isn't fair nor is it accurate.

 

Not in the least.  The first statement ended all updates.  So “no” to any updates.  The second backtracked on that statement, and stated that bug fixes and security updates will be issued.  So “yes” to updates.  The first statement meant that legacy systems would have current bugs, will have security holes, and will not last long as services changed.  The second statement stated those issues would be dealt with.

And yes, if you read it any other way, you are biased. 

I’m sorry if you feel that this is ‘anger fueled bias’ and I can assure you that it isn’t (it depends how you interpret what is written); it’s trying to get to the true meaning of what has been disseminated. I have provided a story from the BBC and you have provided a blog from the CEO - who is telling the truth? The quote that you have provided does, in my mind ,emphasise that there is some finality. I hope that ‘as long as possible’ means for a quite a number of years, which I am sure would put a lot of people’s mind to rest.

In my skepticism I do not believe this to be the case (not angry). What would be the meaning of this by the CEO:

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.

The option is to upgrade but not forced to but ‘as long as possible’ will come to an end sooner rather than later I feel.

Considering the BBC reported on the status as of January 22, and that status was changed with the CEO’s letter on January 23, how can you take the BBC article as anything but old information? Why don’t you cite something from after the CEO’s letter on January 23?

 

 

In my skepticism I do not believe this to be the case (not angry). What would be the meaning of this by the CEO:

 

 

Isn’t skepticism just another word for bias?

The thing I am most amazed at is why people find it so hard to believe the claim that in a tightly integrated system like Sonos, where it has always been a requirement to have all speakers and controllers on the same software version, it is just proving impossible to develop things further in the presence of devices with 32MB of memory.  32MB! Sonos have kept the ZP80 going through the development of streaming services, voice control, mobile device controllers and more.

Then when Sonos say ‘devices with only 32MB just can’t keep up with any more system developments’, some people would rather believe that is a pretext, a lie, proof that Sonos are guilty of ‘planned obsolesence’.  32MB!!  Some ZP80s will probably still be doing good service when they hit their 20th birthday.  And Sonos are guilty of planned obsolescence?

Well we have been round this before.  I shall leave those of you who believe this is a money-grab to your suspicious, illogical and cynical view of the world.

Are you showing bias to the CEO or skepticism in the BBC’s story? Story from the BBC today doesn’t seem to retract what was reported on the 22 January:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-51315460

I’m only quoting what is already in the public domain, supposedly from a reputable news agency?

Oh, I did quote from the CEO’s statement.

In my skepticism I do not believe this to be the case (not angry). What would be the meaning of this by the CEO:

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.

 

 

I don’t think there’s any 2nd level deep meaning in the statement above.  The meaning is pretty clear.

 

The option is to upgrade but not forced to but ‘as long as possible’ will come to an end sooner rather than later I feel.

 

Why do you feel that way?   

I’m quoting the BBC:

Sonos CEO says speakers will work 'as long as possible'

 

Sonos said it will still offer fixes for bugs and security patches for older products.

 

And yes, I’m biased towards what a CEO actually says against the reporting of any online news agency that derives income from clicks.  It’s the old “straight from the horse’s mouth” thing. 

The second email was just a rehash of the previous email. Calling this point of view "anger fueled bias" isn't fair nor is it accurate.

 

Not in the least.  The first statement ended all updates.  So “no” to any updates.  The second backtracked on that statement, and stated that bug fixes and security updates will be issued.  So “yes” to updates.  The first statement meant that legacy systems would have current bugs, will have security holes, and will not last long as services changed.  The second statement stated those issues would be dealt with.

And yes, if you read it any other way, you are biased. 

Security and bug fixes for some undefined time. New equipment that won't be getting updates. Split systems or we don't give you updates. My grandfather always said you can polish a turd, but it's still a turd.

I'm glad to hear they will fix security issues like the smb security flaw that's a big know security issue that needs fixing. It's about time.

Are you showing bias to the CEO or skepticism in the BBC’s story? Story from the BBC today doesn’t seem to retract what was reported on the 22 January:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-51315460

I’m only quoting what is already in the public domain, supposedly from a reputable news agency?

Oh, I did quote from the CEO’s statement.

It's because nothing has changed. Read the emails and statements yourself, you don't need BBC or some random anonymous people on the company site telling you what's what? 

The thing I am most amazed at is why people find it so hard to believe the claim that in a tightly integrated system like Sonos, where it has always been a requirement to have all speakers and controllers on the same software version, it is just proving impossible to develop things further in the presence of devices with 32MB of memory.  32MB! Sonos have kept the ZP80 going through the development of streaming services, voice control, mobile device controllers and more.

Then when Sonos say ‘devices with only 32MB just can’t keep up with any more system developments’, some people would rather believe that is a pretext, a lie, proof that Sonos are guilty of ‘planned obsolesence’.  32MB!!  Some ZP80s will probably still be doing good service when they hit their 20th birthday.  And Sonos are guilty of planned obsolescence?

Well we have been round this before.  I shall leave those of you who believe this is a money-grab to your suspicious, illogical and cynical view of the world.

Lots of things held sacred in the Sonos space have been blown up in the last week. 

I'm shocked that you aren't roasting Sonos for selling a device with only 32mb ram in 2015. 

They could have upgraded the Ram but didn't until 2015!!! A decade, they don't deserve praise for hoodwinking their customers.

This greasy greedy company milked their customers for over a decade selling 32mb devices and milking every last penny. Damn right I am cynical.

 

You can choose to be angry and paint with that brush.  Me, I tend to be an optimist.  Agree to disagree. 

You can choose to be angry and paint with that brush.  Me, I tend to be an optimist.  Agree to disagree. 

Sounds good, sending a virtual high five your way.

The thing I am most amazed at is why people find it so hard to believe the claim that in a tightly integrated system like Sonos, where it has always been a requirement to have all speakers and controllers on the same software version, it is just proving impossible to develop things further in the presence of devices with 32MB of memory.  32MB! Sonos have kept the ZP80 going through the development of streaming services, voice control, mobile device controllers and more.

Then when Sonos say ‘devices with only 32MB just can’t keep up with any more system developments’, some people would rather believe that is a pretext, a lie, proof that Sonos are guilty of ‘planned obsolesence’.  32MB!!  Some ZP80s will probably still be doing good service when they hit their 20th birthday.  And Sonos are guilty of planned obsolescence?

Well we have been round this before.  I shall leave those of you who believe this is a money-grab to your suspicious, illogical and cynical view of the world.

Lots of things held sacred in the Sonos space have been blown up in the last week. 

I'm shocked that you aren't roasting Sonos for selling a device with only 32mb ram in 2015. 

They could have upgraded the Ram but didn't until 2015!!! A decade, they don't deserve praise for hoodwinking their customers.

This greasy greedy company milked their customers for over a decade selling 32mb devices and milking every last penny. Damn right I am cynical.

 

Lol

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