Thursday, January 2, 2020

Sonos Recycle Mode

Devin Wilson (via Nick Lockwood, Hacker News):

Sonos states on their website that “sustainability is non-negotiable,” and that they design products to minimize impact, but I work at an e-waste recycler and have demonstrable proof this is false.

Sonos’s “recycle mode” intentionally bricks good devices so they can’t be reused.

Chris Welch:

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)[…]


But for some reason, selling or giving your aging Sonos gear to someone else isn’t an option under the program. This is a strange pact that doesn’t really exist with any other major electronics manufacturer.

Update (2020-03-06): Juli Clover:

Sonos is eliminating its controversial “Recycle Mode” that was part of the company’s trade-up program that provides a discount of 30 percent on new devices, reports The Verge.


Sonos is still offering the 30 percent discount for customers who want to upgrade to a new speaker, but is no longer requiring existing speakers to be bricked to get the deal. Customers can now choose to keep their speakers, give their speakers to someone else, recycle it at a local facility, or send it to Sonos for recycling.

1 Comment RSS · Twitter

The fact that people at this company thought of this idea, and that it was approved, and that nobody in that chain of decisions said "this is the dumbest thing I've ever heard, stop immediately" is proof that this company, and everybody who makes any decisions at this company, has jumped the shark with such force that they probably ended up landing on the moon. Even in a year full of dumb people making dumb decisions in public, this manages to stand out, because it offers a unique blend of stupidity and callousness.

Somebody needs to give this company some kind of award for this.

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