After Facing Major Backlash Over Bricking Music Player, Spotify Gives in and Will Refund Customers

Consolation Prize

Finally some good news for the owners of the Spotify Car Thing.

After receiving an avalanche of backlash for making its streaming car music player obsolete by the end of this year, Engadget reports that Spotify is now offering refunds to pissed-off customers.

The Spotify Car Thing, which retailed for $90, was a device for cars that didn't have built-in smartphone integration. It connects your phone to the vehicle speakers via Bluetooth.

Before the latest news, Spotify was not offering refunds or trade-ins for the device and told owners to throw away the bricked item once it was scheduled to stop working on December 4, 2024.

In short, while a refund is a small comfort, it's a reminder that tech companies like Spotify still have the ability to render devices completely useless whenever they feel like it, to their customers' dismay.

Planned Obsolescence

Some people were so upset with the planned obsolescence of the Car Thing that someone filed a class action lawsuit on May 28 against the music tech company, according to Billboard. (It doesn't appear that the Car Thing refunds are in response to the lawsuit because Spotify told Engadget that the company started offering refunds on May 24.)

Nevertheless, this is just another wave of turbulence for Spotify, which was hit with a round of layoffs that cut 17 percent of its staff. The company has also struggled to turn a profit despite its ubiquitousness.

Financial woes aside, it's still not a good look to simply give up on a beloved gadget and refunds are arguably the least Spotify could've done in this situation.

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