Sonos is finally ending its controversial “Recycle Mode” policy that forced users to manually brick their older devices in order to get 30 per cent off their next Sonos purchase through the company’s Trade-Up program.
The move was quietly instated last week, as noted by The Verge, and is likely in response to criticism over the program and the company’s sustainability practices. The Trade-Up program was started to ostensibly help users properly dispose of and recycle their e-waste, and the recycle mode was used to keep user information safe by wiping all data stored on Sonos’ smart speakers and other products, but it also rendered them completely unusable after 21 days.
Now, Sonos’ Trade-Up program still exists and you’ll still get the 30 per cent discount, but you no longer have to turn your old devices into paperweights in order to get it. You’ll even be able to continue using your older Sonos products—or “legacy devices,” as the company calls them—as long as you hold onto them, though they won’t be getting any more software patches or new features after May 2020 and may not be compatible with modern Sonos devices. You won’t be able to magically reverse previously “recycle-moded” devices, but it’s nice to know you don’t have to abandon perfectly usable products anymore.
Users who want to use the Trade-Up discount will find the new steps for recycling their devices outlined on Sonos’ website, this time sans Recycle Mode. The steps will help you properly dispose of your speakers at a nearby e-cycle facility or will guide you through packaging and sending your devices back to Sonos. Instead of a Recycle Mode, Sonos is asking users to simply factory reset their devices before getting rid of them to wipe any stored data—which probably should’ve been the case from the beginning, but at least the company finally got the message.