Sonos is abandoning its controversial “Recycle Mode,” which bricked old Sonos speakers after a 21-day countdown in exchange for a 30% discount on new Sonos products. The company will continue to offer 30% off for speaker upgrades, just without the bricking. Instead, Sonos will encourage customers to drop off old products at an e-waste recycler.
The motivation behind “Recycle Mode” was, of course, to discourage customers from reselling or reusing their old speakers. That’s annoying enough, but “Recycle Mode” also made it difficult for recyclers to actually, you know, recycle otherwise perfect speakers. Stripping a product down to just a few useful parts isn’t nearly as sustainable as a full up-cycling job.
Customers, everyday people, and journalists have universally condemned Recycling Mode since December of 2019 when Devin Wilson revealed the unsustainable practice on Twitter. Since then, Sonos shot itself in the foot by announcing that old speakers will fall out of the company’s support network in May of 2020. This move generated a ton of backlash, and the company has since clarified that old speakers will continue to receive support and patches for bugs.
At the end of the day, we’re just happy to see Sonos make a move in the right direction (even if its a bit overdue). Oh, and if you want that 30% discount on a new speaker, just call Sonos’ customer support line. Your old device won’t be bricked, and the company will simply ask you to take it to an e-waste recycler.
Source: The Verge