Sonos scraps controversial recycle scheme which made older devices unusable

Following a backlash from customers, Sonos is scrapping its recycle mode that would force customers to make their old devices inoperable in return for a new one.

The recycle mode was part of the company’s trade-up programme, which would see customers ‘recycling’ their older Sonos products in exchange for a 30 percent discount on a newer product, making their older devices unusable. 

In order to get the 30 percent discount, customers would have to trigger the irreversible recycle mode which would start a 21-day countdown until the device stops working completely. 

It was reported that the company decided to undertake this method to ensure that all data was being erased. However, Sonos will now encourage customers to preform a factory reset when recycling their old products. 

According to a report on The Verge, Sonos is only scrapping the recycle mode and not the trade-up programme altogether. Customers will still receive the same discount if they own an eligible legacy Sonos product, but they no longer have to brick the devices.

Some of the issues surrounding the original announcement of this scheme was that it was creating and encouraging more e-waste, with devices made completely inoperable preventing them from being refurbished, resold or reused.

The audio company removed the recycle mode from its app last week without any public statements and replaced it with instructions telling people to call customer services to get the discount. 

In January, Sonos caused more controversy amongst its customers by announcing it will stop supporting its legacy devices from May this year. 

This was followed a few days later with a statement from CEO, Patrick Spence, apologising to angry customers and assuring that, although legacy products will no longer receive software updates from May, the devices will continue to work as they do today.
 

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