Sonos Company Ethicacy, Morality and Integrity Core Values?



Show first post
This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

136 replies

What exactly is the purpose of this thread beyond just ranting then? And I am not sure that a company that sells work pants for over a hundred dollars is as innocent as it claims to be. For instance:
"But North Face and Patagonia are both wrestling with a more consequential paradox, one that is central to contemporary consumerism: we want to feel morally good about the things we buy. And both companies have been phenomenally successful because they have crafted an image that is about more than just being ethical and environmentally friendly, but about nature, adventure, exploration – ideas more grandiose than simply selling you a jacket, taking your money and trying not to harm the earth too much along the way. But the paradox is that by presenting themselves this way, they are selling a lot more jackets. In other words, both companies are selling stuff in part by looking like they’re not trying too hard to sell stuff, which helps them sell more stuff – and fills the world with more and more stuff."
Italics added for emphasis; IMO, just clever marketing.
The lesson for Sonos perhaps is to just implement product strategies without offering technical reasons for these, and making sure that none of these strategies violate any legal requirements in every country where the products are sold. One can never make everyone happy; one has to choose a business value maximisation strategy and then execute it as well as one can. Making a lot more customers happy than that are made unhappy is the best outcome to be expected, and is also an unavoidable outcome of running any business.

Those that are unhappy will move to another alternative, and that consequent loss of business is the price to be paid if any strategy optimisation is to be done.
Idle curiosity and the need to reinforce my cynicism about ALL corporates led me to reports about problems of unethical exploitation of labour used in the outsourced manufacture of Patagonia apparel. With a lot of talk from the company about how it is going to fix this, with comment from industry insiders to the effect that these are systemic causes in third world - or even Taiwan located - apparel manufacture, that make it very difficult to do so, if not impossible.

But why not just eliminate the entire problem in one fell swoop by relocating all manufacture to the US? Or even more, to California?! But that would eat up the profits/and need even more clever marketing to sell the same clothes at a higher price point than 100 dollars a work pant! Which US consumers will perhaps not be willing to part with, which will mean lower profits for Patagonia. So, third world outsourced manufacturing strategies, with the systemic ethical issues therein accepted as a compromise.

Also, quote:

Patagonia in fact has no factories at all: all manufacturing is contracted. I find this very odd. A company so concerned about the earth is not actually settled upon it, its business not in any place.

In a frank and thoughtful statement, Patagonia accepts that there are strong environmental arguments for localism; that manufacturing and sales ideally ought to be closely linked (http://www.patagonia.com/blog/2012/04/patagonia-clothing-made-where-how-why/). Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence that a localism which links design and manufacturing favours innovation (http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21714330-they-dont-make-em-any-more-politicians-cannot-bring-back-old-fashioned-factory-jobs), as amply demonstrated by Zara (http://www.ethicsoffashion.com/fast-fashion-localism/).

In an ironic twist, a video explaining Patagonia’s care in choosing factories shows the firm’s head of CSR, Cara Chacon, sporting an Eat Local t-shirt (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WexueycQgmY). It’s hard to see why it’s morally important to eat locally if it isn’t important to manufacture locally. Is there some important moral difference between food and clothing?

Unquote.

Cynicism reconfirmed, in spades.
Userlevel 7
Badge +11
Nope, just read it again. I'm pretty sure you equated the reasons behind switching forum software to a morality issue.

I say again, good grief. If that's all you've got, no wonder the need for an echo chamber. :8
Not going to feed the trolls.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Nope, just read it again. I'm pretty sure you equated the reasons behind switching forum software to a morality issue.

I say again, good grief. If that's all you've got, no wonder the need for an echo chamber. :8
Not going to feed the trolls.


TJRL,
now you know the word "Trolls" is quite divisive on these boards.... you could get slapped for offending and/or hurting the feelings of someone on this board....
of course the ones likely most offended will truly be the real mythological Trolls, they are not very happy being bunched with this lot.......

now go to your room.... a little time out with a CR100 and nice music should calm you down......
Userlevel 5
Badge +1
Whatever turn it into to whatever you want - as normal just trying to be an antagonist on this board.

Dude if you are gonna troll this thread don't get all butt hurt like your friend jgatie when posters respond to you. If having a different opinion than you two stable genius' makes me aragonistic I'll own it.
Userlevel 5
Badge +4
Dogs have an average lifespan of 15 years. In reality, some get sick and die sooner; some live much longer, into their 20's and even 30's. How would you feel if you brought your healthy 16 year old dog to the vet to get some flea treatment and the vet told you that he was going to be put down because he's outlived his useful lifespan? How ethically moral is it for the vet to do this against your wishes?
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
Good question nyCecilia.
It depends really....If the dog in question's name was Sonos then it would only have a max life expectancy of 10 years anyway.
However my clairvoyant pal advises me that he sees no reason why the vet wouldn't give me a voucher.
Caveat is though you can only spend the voucher with the vet.....
So everybody happy again in Sonos Land...?? Obviously with the exception of the dog formerly known as Sonos....
There you go boys sorted that pesky little post out for you all FOC so you can relax and breathe easy again......
Dogs have an average lifespan of 15 years. In reality, some get sick and die sooner; some live much longer, into their 20's and even 30's. How would you feel if you brought your healthy 16 year old dog to the vet to get some flea treatment and the vet told you that he was going to be put down because he's outlived his useful lifespan? How ethically moral is it for the vet to do this against your wishes?
You know that the CR100 ain't a sentient being... right?
Userlevel 5
Badge +4
Dogs have an average lifespan of 15 years. In reality, some get sick and die sooner; some live much longer, into their 20's and even 30's. How would you feel if you brought your healthy 16 year old dog to the vet to get some flea treatment and the vet told you that he was going to be put down because he's outlived his useful lifespan? How ethically moral is it for the vet to do this against your wishes?
You know that the CR100 ain't a sentient being... right?


And you know that dogs are not considered sentient beings, by law, right?

Same as CR100 is considered property, dogs are legally property.

This is why if your dog bites someone, the law will kill the dog.

This is why if a dog food manufacturer kills your dog with tainted food, you *might* get a refund for the dog food. But most likely you'll get nothing. Even if hundreds or thousands of dogs die from that same food. https://www.petfoodindustry.com/articles/5822-fda-update-jerky-treats-sickened-6200-dogs-killed-1140

https://www.facebook.com/groups/408702489522865/ (This is cats, not dogs, but even fewer people consider them sentient beings.)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2014/04/17/how-are-pets-handled-in-divorce/#147718c46304
You may view your dog or cat as a member of the family, but in the eyes of the law, your pet is personal property, plain and simple, just like paintings and patio furniture.
https://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commentary/pets-as-property.html
Userlevel 5
Badge +4
Dogs have an average lifespan of 15 years. In reality, some get sick and die sooner; some live much longer, into their 20's and even 30's. How would you feel if you brought your healthy 16 year old dog to the vet to get some flea treatment and the vet told you that he was going to be put down because he's outlived his useful lifespan? How ethically moral is it for the vet to do this against your wishes?
You know that the CR100 ain't a sentient being... right?


And you know that dogs are not considered sentient beings, by law, right? Same as CR100 is considered property, dogs are legally property.

This is why if a dog food manufacturer kills your dog with tainted food, you *might* get a refund for the dog food. But most likely you'll get nothing. Even if hundreds or thousands of dogs die from that same food. https://www.petfoodindustry.com/articles/5822-fda-update-jerky-treats-sickened-6200-dogs-killed-1140

https://www.facebook.com/groups/408702489522865/ (This is cats, not dogs, but even fewer people consider them sentient beings.)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2014/04/17/how-are-pets-handled-in-divorce/#147718c46304
You may view your dog or cat as a member of the family, but in the eyes of the law, your pet is personal property, plain and simple, just like paintings and patio furniture.
https://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commentary/pets-as-property.html

You may view your dog or cat as a member of the family, but in the eyes of the law, your pet is personal property, plain and simple, just like paintings and patio furniture.
https://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commentary/pets-as-property.html

Not so even in a third world country like India, where human rights are not the strongest. Kill your own pet dog and if found guilty of doing this without permitted reasons, one can get into serious legal distress here. It isn't like vandalising a painting that belongs to you.
What's this got to do with Sonos though?
On reading more for the first time about the specific issue that led to the generic titled OP question, I came across this from Sonos as a way for its fans to keep using the CR100:

"Ignore future upgrades, leaving your Sonos system on its current version. We do not recommend this option. If you do go this route, you are acknowledging the risk of the aging lithium ion battery in your controller. Additionally, opting not to update means you will not receive any new features or future security patches for your entire system – not just the CR100. For example, being on an unsupported version means that you might lose connectivity to music services, as is already the case for Google Play Music on the CR100. It is necessary to configure your system in advance to avoid future updates. Any update applied to the firmware and/or to the app, even unintentionally, is irreversible."

As I see it, Sonos has given CR100 lovers a way to keep it running for an unspecified number of more years. With pros and cons of doing so clearly stated, for a product that was withdrawn as far back as in 2009.

Why then this instance of the CR100 leads to questions posed in the title of the thread baffles me - I too would love to have my cake and eat it too, with the cons of using the CR100 in future not imposed on me, but if I cannot, why is Sonos being immoral or unethical?

For those that invested USD 350 in the CR100 when the product was in the range prior to 2010, I am curious to have the answer to this question: If the way forward suggested by Sonos is followed to keep the CR100 usable, what will the system controlled by the CR100 no longer do, that it was able to do when the CR100 was bought?
Userlevel 5
Badge +4

You may view your dog or cat as a member of the family, but in the eyes of the law, your pet is personal property, plain and simple, just like paintings and patio furniture.
https://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commentary/pets-as-property.html

Not so even in a third world country like India, where human rights are not the strongest. Kill your own pet dog and if found guilty of doing this without permitted reasons, one can get into serious legal distress here. It isn't like vandalising a painting that belongs to you.
What's this got to do with Sonos though?

Those laws are not for pets. Those laws are for animals. Pets are personal property. Your pet can be confiscated and destroyed against your will, by law. If you are going to quote or respond to me, then you need to read my post and the link you quoted. If you don't want to read the link, then don't respond. Responding with a question that was already answered in my post is not productive, and can be considered trolling.

What's this got to do with Sonos though?
You also missed this: Dogs have an average lifespan of 15 years. In reality, some get sick and die sooner; some live much longer, into their 20's and even 30's. How would you feel if you brought your healthy 16 year old dog to the vet to get some flea treatment and the vet told you that he was going to be put down because he's outlived his useful lifespan? How ethically moral is it for the vet to do this against your wishes?
Userlevel 5
Badge +4

You may view your dog or cat as a member of the family, but in the eyes of the law, your pet is personal property, plain and simple, just like paintings and patio furniture.
https://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commentary/pets-as-property.html

Not so even in a third world country like India, where human rights are not the strongest. Kill your own pet dog and if found guilty of doing this without permitted reasons, one can get into serious legal distress here. It isn't like vandalising a painting that belongs to you.
What's this got to do with Sonos though?


My post answering this in more detail got deleted (!?!) but to sum it up: Clearly you didn't read my post, so I'm going to assume that you are just trolling. Nothing new.

The law covering *animal cruelty* is separate from law regarding pets. Your pet can be confiscated and destroyed by law. Pet food can kill your animal with no repercussions to the pet food industry. A veterinarian can kill your pet with no repercussions. Same way SONOS has reached into my home and killed my CR100. Which is completely unethical and amoral, SONOS has no right to kill my device remotely.

Which is equivalent to this possibility: Dogs have an average lifespan of 15 years. In reality, some get sick and die sooner; some live much longer, into their 20's and even 30's. How would you feel if you brought your healthy 16 year old dog to the vet to get some flea treatment and the vet told you that he was going to be put down because he's outlived his useful lifespan? How ethically moral is it for the vet to do this against your wishes?

Which is entirely possible because You may view your dog or cat as a member of the family, but in the eyes of the law, your pet is personal property, plain and simple, just like paintings and patio furniture. https://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commentary/pets-as-property.html
The CR100 is not equivalent to a living, breathing creature.
Userlevel 7
Badge +11
On reading more for the first time about the specific issue that led to the generic titled OP question, I came across this from Sonos as a way for its fans to keep using the CR100: "Ignore future upgrades, leaving your Sonos system on its current version ...."

... I am curious to have the answer to this question: If the way forward suggested by Sonos is followed to keep the CR100 usable, what will the system controlled by the CR100 no longer do, that it was able to do when the CR100 was bought?

Ask this question in the "Save the CR100" thread and I am sure it will get an answer.

This thread is titled "Sonos Company Ethicacy, Morality and Integrity Core Values?" I have taken that to be a slightly wider question about companies in general and to just use Sonos as an example of what companies can and do do.

So we can look at some of things Sonos has done in the past not to rehash the issues but rather to look at the trend and results and see what we think.

i) Sonos completely changed the way the forum works and the reasons given at the time do not match the outcome. But the outcome could be argued as better for most forum users.
ii) Sonos introduced the Play One to get started with voice control but the marketing of the Play One does not meet the experienced delivered and left some purchasers feeling cheated. But over time these shortcomings may be resolved and customers expectations might even be exceeded (time will tell).
iii) Sonos made the CR100 inoperative with a software update without any plausible explication (so far). But the real reason may emerge and prove that the decision was commercial sound and the overall Sonos experience was enhanced for the majority of users.

Each of these three things have been discussed at length in other threads and there is no need to go over old ground here (as that can be done in their relevant threads), but they can be used as the background to ask; was the conduct of the company OK?, did the end results justify the means used to get it? did the company make a mistake or a deliberate policy decision? was it a mistake at all or just the right commercial decision with perhaps a less than perfect marketing delivery? Should we expect companies to be honest with us at all times or does commercial confidentiality preclude this?

All big questions but then the OP started this thread to discuss; Ethics, Morality and Integral Core Values - All very big themes!! 😉
A veterinarian can kill your pet with no repercussions.[/quote]
Sorry, an Indian vet could not do this in India. He/she could lose the license in addition to punitive damages if this is done for reasons that are not good enough. In your country, perhaps he could do what you say.

If you want to offer analogies, be sure to offer good universal ones.

And in the case of the Cr100, you have killed it by choosing to upgrade. Your call, not that of Sonos.


... I am curious to have the answer to this question: If the way forward suggested by Sonos is followed to keep the CR100 usable, what will the system controlled by the CR100 no longer do, that it was able to do when the CR100 was bought?

Ask this question in the "Save the CR100" thread and I am sure it will get an answer.

This thread is titled "Sonos Company Ethicacy, Morality and Integrity Core Values?" I have taken that to be a slightly wider question about companies in general and to just use Sonos as an example of what companies can and do do.

So we can look at some of things Sonos has done in the past not to rehash the issues but rather to look at the trend and results and see what we think.


All big questions but then the OP started this thread to discuss; Ethics, Morality and Integral Core Values - All very big themes!! ;)

Sure they are big themes, but these are more suitably discussed in the context of behaviour that better demonstrates these - good behaviour of the kind Johnson and Johnson showed over the Tylenol poison injections or bad on the lines depicted in Erin Brockovich. The behaviour examples of Sonos used as an example have very little to do with any big theme.

For instance, I could complain and I very often do about Sonos not releasing Alexa skills in India over 6 months after Amazon released Alexa here (as I also complain very strongly about the spam issue here to the extent of rubbing Sonos Staff the wrong way). While doing so for Australia, where Alexa was released after India. But I don't see this as an integrity issue; Sonos merely sees Australia as a bigger market than India, although I think they are wrong in this. But these are just business judgement calls, and just because the calls are inconvenient to me does not mean that Sonos is unethically exercising its judgement in this manner. I also believe that Sonos is often plain incompetent, but what has that to do with ethics and the rest of the high sounding themes? Every large company is blessed with lots of incompetents, it is inevitable with scale.

And the reason for putting the quoted question in this thread is that if the Cr100 can still be used henceforth in all the ways it was able to be used when it was bought over ten years ago - though not in ways available after free upgrades to the system henceforth - then it certainly does not merit being referred to in this thread as the OP has done. To use the CR100 as an example of what companies can do and do where these big themes are concerned is misplaced; the much lauded Patagonia would be a better example of corporate hypocrisy, IMO. For instance, while Sonos and Patagonia both outsource all manufacturing to low cost countries, apparel subcontracted manufacture is bound to have much more exploitation of labour than will have the high tech kind needed by Sonos.

Note that regardless of the alleged noble intentions of the OP that have supposedly little to do with the Cr100, the thread is really just one more that seeks to rant about the Cr100 subject. With people even saying war is declared on Sonos for this reason; a classic example of an ineffectual rant.
A classic example of Sonos incompetency - I just wrote a long reply to TJRL and then when I sought to edit it for a minor correction, the entire post vanished. It will resurface in a while, but it explains that incompetence that is inevitable in every large corporation, including the irritating kind that makes posts vanish, cannot be used to jump to conclusion about big themes. I will leave the rest of the argument to be made visible when the post resurfaces.
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
Kumar
I am not sure that it is fair to condemn Patagonia because they produce $100 work pants. As in every sphere of manufacturing there are different levels of product aimed at different markets. You can buy a $10 watch or a $100,000 watch because the markets exist for these products. What the morals are regarding spending large figures on what some would consider frivolous expensive items when there are people in the world without food is a different conversation.

The poster first mentioned Patagonia in the context of the process of decision making and someone actually choosing the path to achieve an end. I believe he is correct in mentioning them to illustrate a not so subtle point . It is all about the intent.

The intent was to to peddle an untruth to lay the way for a decision that had been made which the management knew would probably be difficult explain. Which is one of the reasons for the title of the thread, it is the intent.
I would love to read transcripts of the management conversations held while they were concocting the tale but realise that is unlikely to happen.
Sadly after all this we are still not any clearer as to the real reasons they took the path they did, one thing is for sure it has been confirmed that management at Sonos do read these threads, so hopefully when they come to kill the next product they will be better briefed in how not to do it.

You may view your dog or cat as a member of the family, but in the eyes of the law, your pet is personal property, plain and simple, just like paintings and patio furniture.
https://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commentary/pets-as-property.html

From your own link used in support of your claim, a quote:
" And already, in the criminal law, society has implicitly recognized the qualitative difference between animals and property by enacting animal cruelty laws.

These laws prohibit the torture of domestic animals, even if the victimized animal belongs to the torturer. You may rip apart your sofa, if you like, but you are not allowed to do the same to your dog."

Not quite like patio furniture as you say then. Which isn't a surprise and the linked article is as old as 2003. I suspect things will have moved on to a greater recognition of sentience in animals since then.
Kumar
I am not sure that it is fair to condemn Patagonia because they produce $100 work pants.


The intent was to to peddle an untruth to lay the way for a decision that had been made which the management knew would probably be difficult explain. Which is one of the reasons for the title of the thread, it is the intent.

The 100 dollar pants by itself are fine, but they do raise the antennae about claims about authenticity being just clever marketing. And as I have set out further, the hypocrisy in outsourcing manufacturing to locations that do not respect the dignity of the employees there, confirms the essential hollowness of the holier than thou statements.

I merely responded in depth about the vaunted Patagonia to demonstrate that no "for profit" corporate acts in noble ways all the time. With very very rare exceptions and I am not saying that Sonos is one of these exceptions either.

As to Sonos/ CR100, what is objectionable about this statement from them, that gives guidance to those users that choose to not kill the CR100?
"Ignore future upgrades, leaving your Sonos system on its current version. We do not recommend this option. If you do go this route, you are acknowledging the risk of the aging lithium ion battery in your controller. Additionally, opting not to update means you will not receive any new features or future security patches for your entire system – not just the CR100. For example, being on an unsupported version means that you might lose connectivity to music services, as is already the case for Google Play Music on the CR100. It is necessary to configure your system in advance to avoid future updates. Any update applied to the firmware and/or to the app, even unintentionally, is irreversible."

What untruth? Where is the peddling? And in the ultimate analysis, is not the user that does not choose this above option presented to him by Sonos the one guilty of killing his CR100? Sonos recommends that it be killed, that's all.

I have to say, this thread is a classic case of much ado about nothing.
A good third party summary of the issue that supports the last statement above:
"Sonos has supported legacy hardware better than many companies recently, and 13 years seems a fair lifespan for a device that is ultimately replaceable for free.

And if you really want to keep using it, you could ignore any future Sonos updates and take the risk with that liable-to-get-hot battery."

Don't kill it if you don't want to. Enough said.

But shouting that Sonos has killed the CR100 and deserves therefore to be killed is just mindless ranting.
Userlevel 3
Badge
Sorry Kumar, but the part that you quote Sonos as saying about ignoring future upgrades came much later in the debacle after they had been rumbled as to peddling the untruth about the safety of the battery.

I note that you said that you had not followed the CR100 story and I don't blame you for that, but if you had you would be aware that the statement that you quote came only after they had been caught in a lie. That is where the untruth and the peddling came in , not their issuance after the initial lie.

It's far from mindless ranting , it's an examination of the actions of a company caught in a straightforward lie.

Without being confrontational I could easily state that blind acceptance as displayed a lot on these boards could be construed as mindless.

The summary at the beginning of your last post also contains inaccuracies that should be pointed out with respect to the "device that is ultimately replaceable for free' part .
It's not replaceable for free because there is no similar device on the market unless of course you are referring to tablets, phones which are definitely not the same as the dedicated controller. Anyway I have no wish to go down CR100 thread territory and continue with things that to quote another poster have been "discussed exhaustive"

I started the thread to debate company policy and actions in the aftermath of what I personally view as a large step away from an acceptable business practice, but it's not possible to discuss the real issues if people do not face up and address the real facts.

I have no real interest in the Sonus product other than it needs to do what I bought it for . I only ventured in here because of others actions, I don't really need to say anymore on this. I hope I don't see you here in the future lamenting or justifying the destruction of your ZP'S:)