Communicating the way forward - a suggestion

  • 16 May 2024
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I, like I believe the majority of your user community, feel that Sonos have been making some very bad decisions recently that have resulted in an unacceptable situation for many and a severe erosion of trust in the company. The log (so far) of the ‘top’ bad decisions are:-

  • To proceed with the launch of the new app, despite massive functional regression – and a major issue with alarms discovered on the morning of the launch.
  • Not to withdraw the app and take the time and space to correct/test before a relaunch.
  • To launch an upgrade to the flawed app correcting the alarm issue (or at least part of it), which also required an update to firmware
  • At the AMA fail to apologise for the disruption caused, not answer many of the major concerns in a way that gave reassurance of an understanding of the damage caused, or that the future may be different. All this lead to even more frustration, distrust and anger

On a more positive note, there is now an embryonic timescale for some of the functionality that is desperately needed by users to be included in future releases. There has also been a commitment to “Going forward we plan to be more communicative to you all about changes that are coming. We are also committed to acting on your feedback—and delivering you improvements—rapidly. Over the coming weeks and months we seek to fix the issues that you have surfaced and earn back your trust.” (Tucker Severson).

I consider myself to be one of the ‘lucky’ users. I have reinstalled v16.1on my Android phone, stopped automatic app upgrades, stopped automatic firmware upgrades to my system and am not updating my Windows app. All is working well! BUT – for how long?

Here is my suggestion for how Sonos could begin to deliver on Tucker’s commitment.

  1. Create a single page on the Community website, perhaps in Info Hub, which is dedicated to communication of the latest situation.
  2. The page should be updated minimum daily (and show when it was last updated).
  3. It should contain
    1. At the top, an apology from the top management team for the disruption caused to all and a commitment not to release any further upgrades unless they are absolutely tested and ready for launch
    2. The current release schedule, what is planned functionally and whether it is on time. This must be HONEST.
    3. Each item on that schedule to link to a further page which shows the detail of the functional changes and what might still be missing/coming later.
    4. A statement about when the new app will functionally be back on par with 16.1.
    5. Address any other significant areas of concern that are being raised in the Discussion threads – e.g. 2FA/ability to block player access via internet

Your user community will be in different situations – some, like myself, feel they are essentially in a ‘wait and see’, but others (for example visually impaired users, iPhone users, Android users who may have reverted to 16.1 but not stopped the firmware release, or maybe have taken both upgrades, retailers trying to sell your products) much more anxious about what is coming and when. The page should ensure that all of your community can get a clearer picture of how the future might look for them.

I realise that this takes some effort – but this is what I believe is needed. To take this action should begin to recover some of the trust lost and reduce the posts in the Discussion threads. It will take time – trust is easily lost (as you have found) and will be hard to recover, but this is a road you have to tread, and quickly.


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What do you think  @Corry P@Jamie A & @Sotiris C ? Anyone from Sonos? Where do we look for the latest communication and news?

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