Sonos Company Ethicacy, Morality and Integrity Core Values?


Userlevel 4
Badge +1
  • Enthusiast I
  • 20 replies
In the aftermath of the CR100 debacle it may be helpful to discuss the direction and methods taken by Sonos management to achieve their end goal of retiring the CR100 by force and the impact on and perception of customers future buying decisions

They still have not made it clear in any believable way why they forced this issue which leaves many people puzzled and angry at the rendering useless of their legally owned equipment.

Personally , this is a first for me . I have never owned a product previously that I have bought that has been rendered useless by the creators period,. Far less easy to swallow is the subterfuge of the battery non issue to cover an ulterior motive. This makes the company Sonos look untrustworthy at best . If you have a reason for doing this , spit it out and let people know. I believe that I, as the purchaser gets to decide when it is time to retire my own possession. I have a belief that quality equipment that was sold as a quality product to prospective buyers should be subject to end of life decision only by the buyer and no one else.

I struggle with the management decisions taken that force me to re-evaluate my investment in their goods within my home.
Prior to the CR100 execution , I viewed my home audio system as an asset to my home , something that simply worked and worked well with minimal intervention required from me which is pretty much what I expect from audio equipment . Now I view the lifespan of this investment as something which looks like is beyond my control even if the equipment is still functioning regardless of my desire to maintain that .

The support aspect of this situation where Sonos staff went into hiding and avoided direct questions from concerned customers has to go down as a low point in any companies record in dealing with their best ambassadors.

These are just a few points that caused me to raise this topic for discussion regarding the ethicacy and morality and integrity of the current Sonos operation...any one of the the issues I have listed above would make Sonos or any other company ineligible for consideration for future investment either in business or in domestic life for this individual.

What do others think....? Please keep the thread social.

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


BUT that is not what this thread is about. I feel VIOLATED that SONOS came into my home and destroyed my property. This violation, this breaking and entering that SONOS committed, is unethical and immoral.


And you are 100% wrong on this. I have no doubt you feel this way, but it's completely inaccurate. First off, Sonos isn't updating their software on the products you own without your consent. You have to accept the updates and/or turn on auto updating. So it would be more accurate to say that you 'invited them in'. And has been mentioned already, you can avoid the software update simply by not inviting them in.

As far as destroying your property, that's incorrect as well. The CR100 is your property. The software on it is not your property. You have a license to use the software given to you by Sonos, that they actually give to you for free. If you actually owned it, you could legally modify it and do whatever you want with it. Even sell it. You can't do that though, because you don't own it. So, since the CR100, the hardware, has not been damaged in any way, your property is not damaged. For that matter you could repurpose the CR100 for whatever you wish, even using the APIs Sonos provides to allow it to control your system in some fashion.

And in case, you're thinking Sonos is unethical because they gave you a software license instead of giving you the software or letting you buy in outright, this is how software has worked for decades. This is why you're always asked to sign a license agreement before using software. It's even more relevant in today's world with cloud computing.

All that said, there is no doubt that Sonos sold it's hardware with a relative understanding that the free software would be available and support for several years.to come. Sonos knows that and clearly has attempted to meet that expectation. To the satisfaction of some, but clearly not all. I'd say this is where it gets into the issue of morality. It's subjective. A person can decide not to purchase from Sonos again and/ot sell all they have for whatever reason they want.

Personally, I think this sort of thing is going to happen more and more with networked appliances. 5-6 years from now, I would not be surprised if original echo's, google home, etc. are no longer functioning because they can't handle the latest tech. Either that or there is an Alexa 2.0 or something, and the original echo's can't work with it.

As for the dog analogy, it looks like it works for describing how you feel, but doesn't come close to matching reality. A dog can't get software upgrades. You own the dog, you don't have a license to use the dog's functionality.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2

I am no longer a Sonos customer, just a user, until the gear can no longer serve MY purpose or Sonos allows me a choice in the Firmware I want to use.

When you want to buy more kit in future for whatever reason, how will you make sure of not facing similar issues with it? What kit maker will treat you different? Including in this issues like lack of repair services some years down the line.

I don't have a CR 100, but I do have close to useless iPod Touch devices that are in working condition, but not supported by Apple. But when I must have a device that only Apple makes that best meets my needs, I will still buy Apple for lack of better alternatives.


Kumar,
you wrote of the "consumption behavior" of most, and I must admit that I am one of those that is capable of my own repair as I am a component level tech for over 40 years, used to own a consumer electronics repair shop, and am now an IT consultant. so technically I DO ALL my own repairs and continue to use gear that most have tossed away years ago.
for that matter I will also do my own mechanical repair and my own home construction, I realize I am not of the typical "consumption behavior" of today.
with that said, I agree that for those looking for product today, its all built to break and need replacement, software is a typical excuse to forced obsolescence, but compared to gear built 20 years ago, its not built to last.
(how funny is it that the ONE item Sonos built like a tank, and would easily run another 10 years, IS the CR100)

I will make my decisions and come to new methods as needed, I cannot say if I will be able to find an equal replacement but I would NEVER give any company that screwed me once the chance to do it again.
I can see why you still feel like you could purchase from Apple again, Apple did not "brick" your IPod Touch, so in my book, the same issue does not apply.
Sonos has taken a whole new approach to forcing the death of an item (or removing its ability to communicate with the rest of the system, same difference) , and not just allowing it to remain usable with no further improvements like your IPod Touch.
NOT giving their users any sort of choice does not give me any incentive to speak well of them.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
I agree with the original poster on this topic and that this IS a different topic than "save the CR100"
I am also in nyCecilia's camp where I take offense of any company that decides when I am done using something I paid for and if I had known this was the deal I would have not purchased Sonos gear in the first place.

The discussion of Corporate morality and responsibility to their customer is certainly a valid one here.
many of my comments in the "Save the CR100" thread apply and I am not going to bother repeating myself, but I am certainly open to consider what others think.

Sonos will ultimately do what they feel is best for them, or what wont hurt them the most for sure.
if they ultimately look at the latest action as "bad for business" they could always fix it..

I am no longer a Sonos customer, just a user, until the gear can no longer serve MY purpose or Sonos allows me a choice in the Firmware I want to use.
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
I see this as a much larger than Sonos issue, about a consumption driven economic growth model; if any values are to be questioned, the ones that drive these are the culprits that need to be in the dock.

In Home audio, the days when people happily used decades old kit with the same remote - where the remote was even part of the kit - are gone, swept away with the "growth based on planned obsolescence" model everywhere.

Hopefully, those holding on to their CR100s are being consistent across their consumption behaviour, as it relates to clothes, cars, homes, computers, appliances and the rest. Unfortunately, this is very hard to do for every such purchase, and Sonos is just a small part of the shift in everyone's behaviour. And core value questions in this context therefore need to be framed much more broadly.

And if everyone were to hypothetically switch overnight away from this model, GDP growth everywhere will not just slow down, but will go negative for a long while, leading to a corresponding drop in average income levels.

The Earth will probably heave a sigh of relief though.


Some good points for discussion there Kumar, which I was hoping that this thread would generate. Unfortunately it seems that the good old boys can't grasp the subtleties of this particular discussion and insist on trying to bookend this topic into the save the CR100 where it certainly does not belong.

Kumar mentions the shift in consumer behaviour and how that effects economic growth. Personally I am still on the old model not the new model of planned obsolescence. I cannot think of a purchase or a consumption in our household where planned obsolescence has ever been factored in. We buy into products where we can see potential for long term usage with the ability to repair or refurb as necessary . I dislike the throwaway concept and would never buy into something knowingly that is of that nature.

In my starter thread I stated that this exposure to the destruction of my property was a first for me and has changed my perception of a previously well regarded company.

I am certain that I am not alone in this perception. I can accept change and change in technology and adapt as I see fit to suit my goals as a consumer.

What I will never accept is being lied to by a company who have taken my money and have now decided that they are changing the rules to fit their goals. That action does not fit in with my road map and the lying from management gets them excluded from my future bid list.

Lets discuss the morality of a company who are happy to lie to customers . Are you comfortable buying from a company that openly lies ?
[...] That, my friends, is why Sonos is not, and could now never hope to be, the company that Apple is... - Apple will get more of my custom in the future, Sonos will not. End of.
Have you read through this topic? Be prepared, you won't be able to re-install older apps as well.
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
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
And yet again we have people commenting on a thread titled "...... Ethicacy, Morality and Integrity Core Values" and then calling people at Sonos BOZO.

Here's a bit of free advice - If you're going to try and lecture about Ethics, morals and core values don't go and behave exactly as if you don't have any of them.
Userlevel 5
Badge +1
I
On the other hand, Sonos could have handled the announcement better. They stumbled there. Not that perfect PR would have stopped the onslaught from the very few, yet very, very verbose and prolific posters in the "Save the CR100" thread; Sonos should not have given them more ammo than they needed..


With 16600+ posts it's really really funny to see you calling posters with a few dozen to hundreds posts"very,very verbose" and "prolific level posters". That's expert level delusional power there. Seems you are having a hard time squaring your religious defense of Sonos with the obvious fact they screwed up on this. Just my 2C :8
Gee, I never knew prolific was an insult. I see no conflict, nor delusions here. I am prolific in my postings, as accumulated over 10 years. Others were prolific over 3 or 4 months in the CR100 thread. Still others were very verbose. Those are facts, no insults intended, only an observation. My only point was that 1000 posts of 1000 characters from 10 posters are very different from 10 posts of 100 characters from 100,000 posters.

But don't let that stop you from turning yet another thread into your personal vendetta against me, Logan.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
It does seem that Sonos may be in the process of shifting their core values. Yes the Save the CR100 thread has covered this at (great) length, but the Alexa implementation within the Play One looks like another example of less than "clear" marketing messages.

The question for me is, does this shift (real or perceived) of the Sonos core values matter to enough people to damage the company? and here is a thought, if Sonos is really damaged then all our expensive kit could becomes worthless!
Userlevel 5
Badge +4
I have always been nervous allowing "auto update" of any device or software in my home. SONOS has just proved to me how dangerous it is.

I was an early SONOS adopter and supporter, and spent a lot of money time and effort to those ends (free end user testing? participation in this/prior forum?). Many people have purchased SONOS on my recommendation or from seeing it in my home/business. To be treated this way...as if they have the right to bully their way into my home and destroy my property...I am done with them. I hope the lot of them lose big from this and will do my best to make sure that happens. This is war.
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
Perhaps you missed the battery issue .
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
Perhaps you also missed the bit in the starter thread where I said "Far less easy to swallow is the subterfuge of the battery non issue to cover an ulterior motive. This makes the company Sonos look untrustworthy at best "
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
Yes it may appear odd to someone who has difficulty understanding a concept because of a predisposed position.

Regardless of my understanding of the word lie. Sonos perjured themselves to their detriment by claiming there was a battery issue which they subsequently back peddled ineptly when called out on. Integrity and morality?

Why not just state what is actually happening instead of trying and failing with an untruth?

Anyway what the actual discussion is about is in the thread title, we don't want to go down the road of the CR100 thread

I
Regardless of my understanding of the word lie. Sonos perjured themselves to their detriment by claiming there was a battery issue which they subsequently back peddled ineptly when called out on. Integrity and morality?
That's already been discussed exhaustive in the 'Save the CR100' thread. So, why the new approach – for your amusement only?
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
I can get people being annoyed because their perfectly serviceable remote is being consigned to the tech rubbish bin against their wishes. I got annoyed when Nokia discontinued a phone the day after launch and support ended 18months later. It put me off the company but I still ended up buying their products again… eventually. The Sonos One and “Alexa Enabled” could have been clearer, although I think Amazon needs to take some blame there too.

However to wish a company to fail and actively encourage that is even more immoral in my eyes. As someone who has worked for a company that has been dissolved it is a traumatic experience that I would not wish on anyone. To target Sonos when they have retired a 10 year old product, for which there are free alternatives, seems harsh in the extreme. Fine sell your kit, and don’t recommend them if asked but to go out of your way to tell others to boycott them? Surely the CR100 is not worth of that extreme a reaction?
Userlevel 7
Badge +5

I am no longer a Sonos customer, just a user, until the gear can no longer serve MY purpose or Sonos allows me a choice in the Firmware I want to use.

When you want to buy more kit in future for whatever reason, how will you make sure of not facing similar issues with it? What kit maker will treat you different? Including in this issues like lack of repair services some years down the line.

I don't have a CR 100, but I do have close to useless iPod Touch devices that are in working condition, but not supported by Apple. But when I must have a device that only Apple makes that best meets my needs, I will still buy Apple for lack of better alternatives.


Hmm... close to useless?... - here is an absolute example of Sonos losing a sale because I can no longer add any more components to my Sonos system because I'm locked down on 8.3 to preserve my 3 CR100s... - I recently decided to refit out my garage/workshop for some projects that I want to work on throughout this coming summer... - I decided I'd really like to have some music playing whilst I'm working in there, for potentially hours on end...

Until very recently, my immediate solution to that requirement would have been to nip into town & pick up another Play:1 or newer "one"... not any more... - I dug out my old 1st generation iPod touch, which i purchased new in late 2007 (ish), and a no-longer used micro stereo system with an analog audio in, from the loft..

Charged up the ipod, - still works perfectly... hooked it up to itunes on my PC - still recognised & connected perfectly... stuck several hundred tracks on it (it's a 64GB model, so I've still got loads more to add), hooked it all up in a cupboard in the garage (so I can close the door to keep sawdust to a minimum on the kit), and voila... - an 11 year old iPod touch is now my perfectly functional music system in the workshop, at the expense of 1 Sonos sale.

It's a similar age to the CR100's... it has not been bricked by Apple, despite being "no longer supported", and despite having an "ageing lithium ion battery" and despite containing "older generation hardware" that can no longer cope with the processing demands of modern era applications... and yet, it still functions in every way that matters for all of the reasons I bought it in the first place (i.e. to play music)...

That, my friends, is why Sonos is not, and could now never hope to be, the company that Apple is... - Apple will get more of my custom in the future, Sonos will not. End of.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5
[...] That, my friends, is why Sonos is not, and could now never hope to be, the company that Apple is... - Apple will get more of my custom in the future, Sonos will not. End of.
Have you read through this topic? Be prepared, you won't be able to re-install older apps as well.


I have just fully read that topic top to bottom, and in fact, I suspect I have thoroughly debunked it as FUD... - to save you all the effort of going over there & finding my refutation post, I'll reproduce it here for you...

"Err... wait a minute... - I have just read the announcement in the link.. - to save everyone the effort of going there, here's the entirety of the text to be found there:

"iOS 11 delivers innovative features and the redesigned App Store to hundreds of millions of customers around the world. Your apps can deliver more intelligent, unified, and immersive experiences with Core ML, ARKit, new camera APIs, new SiriKit domains, Apple Music integration, drag and drop for iPad, and more. Starting July 2018, all iOS app updates submitted to the App Store must be built with the iOS 11 SDK and must support the Super Retina display of iPhone X."

Now, English is my first language, and I think I have a pretty good grasp of it, and to my mind, I see NOTHING there that suggests or outright states that END USERS of apps coming down TO their devices FROM the app store, have to running iOS11... - what it does plainly state, TO DEVELOPERS is that app DEVELOPERS must BUILD their apps and submit them TO the appstore with the iOS11 DEV KIT...

This announcement is on the DEVELOPERS website... - it is not an announcement to the millions of Apple device users who are consumers of those apps... it is not an announcement piped at users when they go to the appstore, nor is it in the iTunes release notes (AFAICT).

Therefore, is this not, in fact, just blatant FUD-mongering? - If anyone can point out an announcement from Apple that supports the assertion made in the opening post, then I'm happy to be corrected on any/all of my interpretations of the situation."
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Perhaps you missed the battery issue .
Your understandig of the term "lie" is quite odd.


funny,
any form of diversion, is a lie......
1: "for your safety and at the risk of fire" I call BS on that
2:"due to the aging CPU that is failing" So all my ZP100's using the exact same CPU is also failing?

these were LIES......
if you have children, how would you describe this?
[...] Now, English is my first language, and I think I have a pretty good grasp of it, and to my mind, I see NOTHING there that suggests or outright states that END USERS of apps coming down TO their devices FROM the app store, have to running iOS11... - what it does plainly state, TO DEVELOPERS is that app DEVELOPERS must BUILD their apps and submit them TO the appstore with the iOS11 DEV KIT...
That's what I call an excellent example of using semiotics.


1: "for your safety and at the risk of fire" I call BS on that
2:"due to the aging CPU that is failing" So all my ZP100's using the exact same CPU is also failing?

these were LIES......
if you have children, how would you describe this?

I would describe this as becoming entangled in contradictions. No more, no less.
As of July Apple is going to render ALL devices not running iOS 11 useless, including said iPod Touch.Do you have a link for this? Thanks.
With not getting updated any longer the apps will effectively become obsolete, don't you think? Each time you'll try to run them, you'll probably be prompted to update in order to continue.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2

In one of your other posts in this thread you say you bought Sonos with an expected 5-10 year life span. If they brick your Amps but you got your 5-10 years use would you still be upset? Or Are you making a distinction between bricking and the units failing on their own?

The latter; I can live with hardware not lasting for more than 10 years, but not with the bricking of a functional Connect Amp. The former is an act beyond Sonos control and a 10 year life at the price point seems fair with anything more a bonus. I am also OK with Sonos not offering the Trueplay feature for the Connect Amp, while doing so for existing play 1 units.

@TJRL: I noticed that your post went missing about the time I replied to it and I had nothing to do with it:-). Wouldn't have happened on the old forum!


Kumar,
2 big differences in how we apparently think here.
I do not purchase consumer electronics or any household appliance with the acceptance that I should be happy with 5-10 years of use. I will maintain and take care of the product assuming it will die 1 of 2 ways, either it fails due to poor manufacturing, or I will kill it.
the industry knows how to build everything to last, if they only wanted to.
Will I accept an assumed "lifespan", sure, on some types of items, but they need to be lower cost and considered disposable.

Allowing any company to be the decision maker on exactly when an item is to be killed off is a new thing, brought on mostly by the "software" needs of these items. I believe they need to update things to fix issues and keep them running, and when an appropriate amount of time (this is what all industries need to sort out) takes place they should be able to "stop maintaining" that unit BUT they should not be allowed to kill it off without some sort of options for the users to keep it workable. ... if only the car companies could have had that power back 50 years ago, they would have been dancing....

in the end I have only repeated that Sonos should have allowed for a Legacy fork in the road,

Anyway, Apple is one of the more heavy-handed companies in regards to OS upgrades but even it has enough foresight to support at least a previous version as well the current one.

Isn't the CR100 a lot older than "at least a previous version"? As far as I know, it hasn't been sold by Sonos for at least five years now, and closer to ten.
I'm talking about OS support (although older machines, like mine, can run macOS Sierra, the previous version). Similarly, Sonos could release a CR100-compatible 8.4 build and continue developing features onto their latest build.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Anyway, Apple is one of the more heavy-handed companies in regards to OS upgrades but even it has enough foresight to support at least a previous version as well the current one.

Isn't the CR100 a lot older than "at least a previous version"? As far as I know, it hasn't been sold by Sonos for at least five years now, and closer to ten.

This thread is NOT meant to be about the CR100, it is about the Ethics, Morals and the Integrity of a companies Core Values as displayed by their actions.

In Sonos's case we can look back over a number of years and with the benefit of hindsight look at what has happened, the reasons given at the time and actual results that can be seen years later. This cannot be done just a few weeks after an event.
Userlevel 4
Badge +4
This is not meant to be a jab, as I am fairly new to SONOS. I have been avidly following post for the past few months. If not about the CR100, what other moral/ethical issues is this thread about? I am genuinely curious.