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Author Topic: Is anyone considering or has anyone begun a class action suit against Grace?  (Read 340 times)

NH4012

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Is anyone considering a class action against Grace Digital for building and selling MANY radios and tuners dependent upon a 3rd party for the operation of these products without so stating in promotion of these products and simply allowing Reciva to expire without buying out the service or at least compensating registered owners of Grace products made unusable by the end of Reciva?  It appears that all Grace is willing to do is allow affected owners to buy a new radio at a modest discount.  This is hardly  adequate.  I own many audio products made from 1906 to 2020 and NONE has been made unusable except my Grace Digital GDI-IRTP800/GDI-IRDT200 which is now merely a pretty display item.  Though they obviously knew since 2017 that this disabling of their products was in the works and designed and went into production on products not dependent on a third party, they apparently didn't think it was necessary to notify owners of the impending uselessness of their products made before 2017 and didn't bother to make a new tuner, only table top radios.   

Paul Webster

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When did you buy it?
Has it been 100% disabled or can it still perform some actions - eg as a UPnP player?
Reciva-based Logik IR100 and Tangent Quattro MKII plus lots of Logitech (ex-Slimdevices) Squeezebox and 2 old Turtlebeach Audiotron, handful of O2 Jogglers and some Raspberry Pis

Greg

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Dear Forum users,

Grace Digital internet radios use 3rd party content providers from Pandora, SiriusXM, BBC, NPR, CNN, FOX news etc.  Most of the Internet Radio’s in the market use 3rd party content providers to aggregate a large selection of station selections. An internet radio, just like a terrestrial AM/FM radio can only function if the content providers provide the content. This has always been a limitation of any hardware that relies on 3rd party content providers. Qualcomm which purchased CSR/ Reciva Technology in 2015, currently provides 3rd party content and certain radio functionality for Grace Digital. 

Unfortunately, Qualcomm decided in late 2020 to exit the internet radio business and shut down their servers.  Therefore, the main internet radio station finding service used by Grace Digital legacy internet radios is now being discontinued. This will affect Grace Digital internet radios manufactured between the years of 2007 and 2017 including the original Mondo.  (Please note; the Mondo Plus, Mondo Classic, and Mondo Elite are not affected).

In late 2020 when Qualcomm notified  Grace Digital that they were no longer going to keep the system operational, we promptly  posted the notice on the Grace web site that the old legacy service would be terminated by Qualcomm… not Grace Digital.

Additional facts of what has occurred over the last 5 years:

•   In late 2020, not in 2017, Qualcomm notified Grace Digital that they would shut down the servers in 2021. This is not a Grace Digital decision, nor can we control what a billion-dollar 3rd party does. Grace Digital immediately posted a notice on our web site indicating such.
•   Qualcomm owns both the radio’s code and the servers that integrate with the radios and does not provided access to Grace Digital nor any of its customers to make any changes.
•   Grace Digital does not own the software installed on the Reciva (Qualcomm) internet radio chips, nor do we manage the servers that are required for the radios to work.
•   After the Qualcomm shut down, radios who use the Reciva / Qualcomm platform will  still be able to access radio stations which are currently saved in the radios memory.  This includes the presets as well as in their history folder.
•   Premium service providers such as SiriusXM and Pandora will no longer work because they rely on the Qualcomm servers.
•   Grace Digital developed and now maintains our own database for our current generation of radios so we don’t have to worry about a 3rd party doing this to us or our customers in the present and future.   All radios sold in and after 2018 use our new service.
•   In addition to our own database we have directly added Amazon Music, Pandora, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio,  Live365, NPR, Radio.com, SHOUTcast, Calm radio, Podcast from iTunes and Chromecast which allows us to seamlessly work with any Google Chromecast product.  These are all 3rd party content providers who could potentially at some time in the future stop providing their service to Grace radios.
•   Our new Grace Elite and Grace Link radios use a best in class Marvel WiFi module and a quad core Amlogic microprocessor ( the same as in all Google home products)
•   We offer a discount for those who purchased radios between 2007 -2017. They can get to the offer at the following link: https://gracedigital.com/pages/upgrade

Respectfully,
Greg Fadul
CEO
Grace Digital
The following users thanked this post: zeewier, Dogmatix, Solo2

Dogmatix

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In further defence of Grace Digital, it should be pointed out that Reciva (a British company, based in Cambridge) had clients from all over the world using who used Reciva modules in their radios. This includes brands such as CCrane (USA), Roberts Radio (UK), Acoustic Energy (UK), Revo (UK), Logik (UK), DNT (DE), Avox (DE), Soundmaster (DE), Sangean, Ocean Digital, Lenco etc. The radios themselves were made mainly (but not exclusively) by King Champion and Hip Shing (Grace themselves branded radios from both of these manufacturers).

Reciva was bought out by CSR (also a British company based in Cambridge), who themselves were bought out by Qualcomm, who, as Greg says, decided to close the Reciva service down - leaving brands who still used Reciva in the lurch. It has to be said here that development at Reciva had slowed down. The chips they used were not being made any more, and the Reciva modules would have to be completely redesigned to change to others. Meanwhile, development at other internat radio module and service providers - notably Frontier Silicon - had overtaken Reciva, offering many more possibilities, and many brands had already jumped horses, or had plans to do so. Grace, on the other hand, decided to go for an in-house solution.

With partners changing service, development virtually at a halt, new Reciva-based radios have not appeared for years, and Qualcomm decided last year to pull the plug, leaving those Reciva brands still in the business to decide what to do with customers with Reciva radios. Both Grace and Roberts have offered discounts on their current ranges, but it is rather unfortunate that neither currently has a very wide range of internet radios, and they do not cover the whole gamut of form factors that they used to, which will lead customers to other brands instead.

Why did none of the still active internet radio brands buy Recive from Qualcomm to keep old radios working? Simples: it would not be financially viable. Keeping the infrastructure up and running costs money (lots of), and there is no money coming in from new radio sales. On the other hand, closing the whole shebang down could generate sales from customers needing new radios. True, there is a trend, especially amongst younger listeners, to prefer using their smartphones or so-called 'smart speakers' or voice-controlled eavesdropping devices offered by Amazon and Google. Proper internet radios are becoming even more of a niche market (except, of course, to partakers of this noble and august forum).
« Last Edit: 01:25:51 | 30 June, 2021 by Dogmatix »
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.

Solo2

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I can understand being angry because your Grace tuners mostly no longer work.  I had 2 six-year-old Grace tuners that met the same fate.  But, realistically, they were at the end of their lives.  They had not been updated since Qualcomm bought out what was left of Reciva.  They no longer could handle https and HLS streams (which had become more common) and no longer had an integrated podcast function.  The phone remote app didn’t ever work well. So, although I was sad to see the tuners go, it was time to move on to something more up-to-date.

The basic legal issue is what is a “reasonable” time that a merchant of a technology product must provide support for its product. Unfortunately, the 115 years that the product you have that was made in 1906 has lasted is not what is a reasonable support period for current technology.  I think a class action suit would likely fail because I think that the time in which a technology vendor is required to support a modern, software dependant product like an internet radio is very short.  It would be hard to show a breach of any commercially-reasonable duty.  As Greg mentioned above, Grace’s control over what Qualcomm did or didn’t do was non-existent so it would be difficult to pin any liability on Grace. And, even if a class action would be successful, the award you’d probably receive would be a discount on a new radio, which is what Grace is already offering.   I’m not offering legal advice here, but I think that a class action suit against Grace is very much a non-starter.
Radios:  Grace GDI-IRMS300, Grace IRC6000B, 2 Grace GDI-WHA6001, Grace  GDI-WHA 7501, Grace GDI-WHA8001, Hama DIT2100MSBT Grace and Reciva iradio apps

Keenite

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At least those of you in the US were able to purchase a new radio from Grace at a reduced price (not much I admit, but still something). For us Avox (basically Grace radios sold in Europe) owners there was nothing, other than the fact that the presets continue to work, for now at least.
While Grace could have been more transparent on how they handled this, Qualcomm is the main culprit in my book. I find it particularly agregious that Qualcomm is getting rid of their servers "due to cost concerns" or some such codswollop - what hubris for a company raking in nearly $25 billion in revenues. I'm sure they laywered-up before making this decision and that their deep pockets will protect them from any such suits.
I would wholeheartedly support a class action suit, but am not at all optimistic about its outcome.

doug s

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hi greg,

do you know how long the platform will continue to allow access to stations already saved in the radio's memory?

thanks,

doug s.
Dear Forum users,
...

•   After the Qualcomm shut down, radios who use the Reciva / Qualcomm platform will still be able to access radio stations which are currently saved in the radios memory.  This includes the presets as well as in their history folder.

Respectfully,
Greg Fadul
CEO
Grace Digital