Sonos has upset some of its loyal customers with a trade-in program that effectively bricks their current speakers – permanently!
The program, which enables Sonos customers to gain a 30% discount on newer speakers, requires owners to place their existing devices into a ‘Recycle Mode‘. This gives Sonos owners a discount code that’s valid for 21-days. However, that also commences a countdown that will permanently deactivate the speaker in question.
The Recycle Mode deletes all user data, but it doesn’t appear as if Sonos is planning for anyone else to be able to use the speakers thereafter. It is advising customers to take the speaker to a local recycling facility or send it back to Sonos.
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Naturally, this prevents the owner from selling the speaker to a third-party, but it also seemingly rules out the company selling it on as a refurbished device. Naturally, that has irked environmentalists, who see the program as incredibly wasteful.
One (via Engadget) accused Sonos of “throwing any claimed environmental friendliness in the trash in order to sell more speakers.”
Sonos has said that it is phasing out the speakers because the tech is not longer able to accommodate all of the new features it has planned.
In a statement, the company said: “Over time, technology will progress in ways these products are not able to accommodate. For some owners, these new features aren’t important. Accordingly, they may choose not to participate in the Trade Up program.
“But for other owners, having modern Sonos devices capable of delivering these new experiences is important. So the Trade Up program is an affordable path for these owners to upgrade. For those that choose to trade-up to new products, we felt that the most responsible action was not to reintroduce them to new customers that may not have the context of them as 10+ year old products, and that also may not be able to deliver the Sonos experience they expected.”