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Snippet: Sonos Explains Why It Bricks Old Devices With ‘Recycle Mode’ ☇

Shared on January 2, 2020

Chris Welch for The Verge:

It works like this: you check if one of your Sonos gadgets is eligible for the trade-up promo. Then you confirm in the Sonos app that you’d like to “trade” your current device toward a new one. Sonos instantly grants you a 30 percent discount, and then automatically starts a 21-day countdown before your old device goes into Recycle Mode (emphasis mine):

Recycle Mode is a state your device enters 21 days after recycling confirmation in the Sonos app. In Recycle Mode, all data is erased and the device is permanently deactivated so you can safely and securely dispose of it. Once a device is in Recycle Mode, it cannot be reactivated.


Why does trading up require customers to permanently brick a functional product? Therein lies the controversy. The 30 percent discount is directly tied to the demise of a piece of hardware. For Sonos, this process seems less about “trading up” and more about ditching your old device and clearing room for a new one.

While I understand Sonos may not want old devices out in the wild, this seems very wasteful.

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