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EXCLUSIVE: Sonos Trade In Program Described As ‘Environmental Vandalism’

Sonos who claim to be a ‘responsible’ sound Company have been slammed with environmentalist claiming that they are deliberate bricking their speakers with traded in products ending up in land fill to prevent them from being resold or recycled when a consumers buys into one of their online offers to upgrade to a new speaker.

Desperate to cut their losses the US Company states on their website that “sustainability is non-negotiable,” and that they design products to minimize impact the only problem is that Sonos has a ‘recycle mode’ that once actioned starts what has been described as an “irreversible 21-day countdown”, after which the old speaker is rendered permanently useless resulting in the device ending up in land fill.

“It also prevents the product from being given away to a disadvantaged person who cannot afford an expensive networked sound system” said one angry environmentalist.

On their Australian website Sonos claim that their trade in program is the “sustainable way to upgrade your Sonos system”.

Under the terms and conditions owners of a device must engage in the direct sell upgrade program to receive credit for 30% off any new Sonos product.

Owners sign in to their Sonos account click a trade Up tab and select the devices to trade in.

They then must confirm via their the Sonos app that they have activated recycle mode.

Once they confirm in the app, it’s recycled or nothing.

Devices will be active for 21 days, but after that, they enter Recycle Mode, at which point data is deleted and the gadget is “permanently deactivated,” Sonos says.

This prevents consumers giving away their old product to a family member a move that could prevent Sonos from gaining a new sale.

This has angered environmentalists.

Ralph Waldo wrote on his Twitter feed, “This is the most environmentally unfriendly abuse and waste of perfectly good hardware I’ve seen in five years working at a recycler,” the Twitter user said in a series of tweets.

“We could have sold these, and ensured they were reused, as we do with all the working electronics, we’re able. Now we have to scrap them.”

Rather than reselling units that are still in good condition, Sonos reportedly tosses them. Several Play:5 speakers, for example, were submitted to Sonos.

Each can resell for $250 in good condition, but Sonos will dispose of them, according to Twitter user @atomicthumbs, who also works at an e-recycling facility.

Another concerned owner said “I was going to participate in the program. I intended to give my old speaker to my niece who is at University and cannot afford a new Sonos speaker. When I realised that my speaker would end up in land fill, I was horrified so chose not to buy a new Sonos speaker. I have moved to another brand with voice activation, this allows me to give my Sonos speaker away, the Sonos trade in program is pure greed by a Company who actually don’t care about the enviromental impact the program is creating”.

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