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Spotify Reverses Course, Offers Refunds for Discontinued Car Thing

ByHuey Yee Ong

May 31, 2024

Spotify Reverses Course, Offers Refunds for Discontinued Car Thing

Spotify has initiated a refund process for its Car Thing device, which is set to become non-functional by December 9, 2024. It was announced last week that all Car Thing devices would be deactivated as part of its strategy to reduce costs and reallocate resources towards enhancing user experience on its platform.

This announcement was not well-received, as it meant that users would be left with obsolete devices. In response, Spotify has begun issuing refunds to customers who can provide a valid proof of purchase, such as an emailed invoice. This refund policy took effect last Friday.

The decision to offer refunds comes amid widespread frustration expressed by users, particularly from Gen Z on platforms like TikTok and X (formerly Twitter). According to reports by TechCrunch, while some users received offers of free premium service for several months, others were initially informed that no refunds would be issued. This mixed messaging contributed to the confusion and dissatisfaction among Spotify’s customer base.

Adding to the company’s challenges, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Spotify in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit, reported first by Billboard on May 28, claims that Spotify misled customers by selling the $90 Car Thing device without adequately disclosing that it would soon be unsupported. The plaintiffs argue that the lack of a refund offer at the time of purchase was misleading.

Interestingly, Spotify claims that the decision to offer refunds, which began on May 24, was not a direct reaction to the lawsuit, which was filed subsequently on May 28. This suggests that the refunds may have been planned prior to the legal challenge, possibly in anticipation of dissatisfaction or legal actions.

For customers seeking refunds, Spotify advises contacting their customer service with a valid receipt. Those who have previously reached out and were denied a refund are encouraged to contact customer service again following the new policy change.

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Featured Image courtesy of Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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