Sonos Creates Problems That It Didn’t Need With Its New “Trade Up” Program

Happy new year! Here’s the first controversy of the year for your reading pleasure.

Sonos has a new “Trade Up Program” that if you take advantage of it, nets existing customers a 30% discount off a new devices. That sounds great…. But here’s where the problems start. To get this discount, you have put your existing Sonos speaker in what Sonos calls “Recycle Mode”. That starts a 21 day countdown that at the end of the 21 days, your existing Sonos device gets “bricked”. And by “bricked” I mean it no longer works. Forever. You can then take it to your local eWaste recycling center or send it back to them.

So let’s recap:

  1. You want a new Sonos speaker and you want to take advantage of their 30% discount for existing customers.
  2. You have to agree to “brick” a perfectly working speaker to get said 30% discount.

Perhaps I am missing something but how does that begin to make sense?

Sonos is effectively asking their customers to create eWaste by “bricking” their speakers which are working just fine so that they can get a deal on a new one at a discount. And while Sonos tries to spin this as a “simple, sustainable way for you to recycle your used devices and upgrade to a better listening experience”, it is anything but. 

The thing is that quality audio gear, and I would put Sonos under the category of quality audio gear, lasts a very long time. Thus they could easily be resold to someone and not create the eWaste that Sonos wants you to create just to get a deal. Thus if it was me who wanted to upgrade their audio game, I would follow these instructions to reset the speaker back to factory defaults, and then offer it up for sale on Craigslist. That makes way more sense. Then with the cash that I just got from responsibly selling a perfectly working speaker, I would have to think long and hard if I wanted another Sonos speaker given this rather ill advised scheme. Maybe I would buy another Sonos product, maybe I would look at something else. The fact is that the company has now given one reason to consider other options. 


2 Responses to “Sonos Creates Problems That It Didn’t Need With Its New “Trade Up” Program”

  1. […] do it by having to try and support hardware that can’t do what they want it to do. So unlike their shambolic trade up program, which they eventually had to walk back, this is something that I support. I for one will be […]

  2. […] of economic or other reasons. But by killing the service that these cameras run on, Belkin has pulled a Sonos by killing perfectly good hardware. On top of that, the only way you’ll get any sort of […]

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