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Spotify confirms refunds for discontinued Car Thing amidst user backlash

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Android Authority –

The Spotify Car Thing.

Credit: Spotify

  • Spotify has confirmed it will refund owners of the Car Thing, its discontinued in-car streaming device.
  • The company’s decision to offer refunds follows a wave of backlash from disgruntled users.
  • Car Thing devices will still become unusable from December 9, 2024.

Spotify has confirmed it will issue refunds for its discontinued in-car streaming device, Car Thing. The company announced last week that the device will become non-functional starting December 9, 2024, a decision that will leave many users with bricked gadgets and considerable frustration.

Car Thing, Spotify’s dedicated music streaming device, gained popularity among a dedicated fanbase but was discontinued soon after its launch. Spotify assured users at the time that the device would remain operational, making the news of its impending deactivation in December 2024 even more of a bummer.

Spotify communicated the discontinuation news to customers via email and an update on its support page. Spotify’s suggestion to reset and safely dispose of the device further added to the frustration. Many Car Thing owners expressed their dissatisfaction through various platforms, including X (formerly Twitter) and Reddit, seeking direct communication with Spotify.

However, in response to user complaints, Spotify recently confirmed to TechCrunch that it has initiated a refund process for Car Thing, provided users have proof of purchase. The publication also reports that some users were offered several months of Premium subscription as compensation, while others were told the company wouldn’t be providing any reimbursements.

Of course, there’s also a bit of legal drama in the mix. A lawsuit has already been filed against Spotify, alleging that the company misled consumers by selling a product that would soon become unusable. (h/t: Billboard)

The refund initiative aims to address some of these concerns, but many users are still pleading with Spotify through social media channels to avoid bricking their devices. Spotify could have mitigated the impact by opening up the software to allow for the installation of different operating systems or apps, which would at least prevent the devices from becoming garbage.

The Car Thing episode serves as a cautionary tale about the risks associated with investing in hardware products from companies primarily focused on software and services.


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