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Here’s How to Get a Refund if You Bought Spotify’s Failed Car Thing Device

 Here’s How to Get a Refund if You Bought Spotify’s Failed Car Thing Device

Spotify’s experiment into dedicated audio hardware has ended, and customers who paid $90 to be early adopters for its Car Thing device will get their money back.

The company confirmed to CNET that as of May 24, it began issuing refunds to customers who contact customer support and provide proof of purchase, such as an email invoice. The device launched in early 2022 after quietly rolling out to some Spotify Premium subscribers who got the device for free in late 2021. (Disclosure: I was one of them.)

Read more: From 2022: Spotify Is Killing Off Car Thing

The device used Bluetooth to connect to a vehicle’s audio system and displayed playlists and artist information from a user’s Spotify account. It had buttons, a touchscreen and a control wheel, but could also be controlled with voice commands. 

“We’re discontinuing Car Thing as part of our ongoing efforts to streamline our product offerings,” the company says on the Spotify website. “We understand it may be disappointing, but this decision allows us to focus on developing new features and enhancements that will ultimately provide a better experience to all Spotify users.”

The experiment did not last long. Spotify stopped making the Car Thing only five months after its 2022 launch, and earlier this month said that all of the devices would stop working after Dec. 9, 2024. 

Reports suggested that the company was not going to reimburse buyers, and a class-action lawsuit was filed in New York over the issue. But the company now says it began issuing refunds before that lawsuit was filed on Tuesday.

Spotify told CNET that Car Thing customers should contact the company directly through its support channels to request a refund. Spotify’s site recommends that users reset the device to factory settings and then dispose of the device according to local electronic waste guidelines. 

A list on the company website suggests other ways to listen to music via Spotify in your car, including via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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