Trade up scheme


Userlevel 5
Badge +8

Either I'm misunderstanding or this scheme is just  encouraging people to throw away perfectly good Sonos equipment. 

 

The way I read it, you "trade up" by selecting an eligible device and it then gets deactivated by Sonos for you to bin.

 

This is surely ethically wrong?

 


195 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +10

At first glance, it seems to me they want to prevent users trying to get a double profit out of it by making the old unit unsellable once you received your 30% discount on a new one.

I have no problem with people buying new devices when their old ones still function, we do that all the time with phones, cars, you name it. I also like the idea of a trade in program. But intentionally bricking perfectly good devices? I agree, that is a bridge too far. That is not a trade in program, there's not even an actual “trade” happening! It is just an incentive to buy a new device and trash the old one. I highly doubt that many people will “responsibly recycle” their old player. 

A real trade-up program would have you send your device to Sonos so they could actually recycle it. And even if they would just silently trash it, at least it would not look like such an obvious money-grab.

In a time where many of us are concerned about our climate and the tremendous amount of waste our society generates, a program targeted at consumerism, that actively generates e-waste, is not a really good move, Sonos, however much I like your brand.

Furthermore, since Sonos devices, even the older ones, retain their value quite well, you would be better off selling your device second hand. You would have a very good chance of getting more than 30% of a new device out of it, and you will make someone else happy with a perfectly fine piece of hardware, instead of creating a brick that is of no use to anyone.

Userlevel 5
Badge +8

I understand the reasons but surely these items don't need recycling and therefore the proper thing to do is not to deactivate them. If they are not going back to you anyway let the owner do what they want with them. I appreciate some may sell them the on thus meaning you don't have a potential sale further down the line but dressing it up as ethical  by saying you encourage people to dispose of them responsibly isn't the right way forward. 

 

Surely you can come up with a better alternative?

Userlevel 5
Badge +8

Uh, since when is recycling a bad thing?  Also, if you don't want them recycled, don't participate in the program.  You do have a choice.

My previous post was only a few sentences long so not sure how you still missed my point. I'll try and reword it for clarity.

1) Recycling is a good thing. Recycling things that don't need recycling is a bad thing.

2) To add to that, people do have a choice but Sonos is encouraging bad practice (see point 1)

 

Hope that helps.

Cheers

 

 

Userlevel 6
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What? 

 

Give us your money - we don’t care where you trash your ‘old’ devices.

 

Sounds like Wall Street ethics to me.

Userlevel 6
Badge +10

Exactly. When it comes to sustainability, re-use trumps recycling.

A Sonos speaker needs recycling when it no longer functions. At that point Sonos will likely not be able to remotely disable it, so you will lose out on 30% discount.

Bricking a perfectly re-usable Sonos just to recycle it is not a sustainability practice. It is a practice to sell more units. Saying that you would like to make sure that people new to Sonos get “the best possible experience” is also a thinly veiled way of saying “we prefer to sell new units”. I have no problem with for-profit, publicly traded companies trying to maximize their profit, but I'd rather they be upfront about it instead of disguising it as some sort of noble gesture.

Regarding the “shipping has an even bigger impact”, true, but I doubt many people are actually going to take the trouble of taking their old equipment to be responsibly recycled. Most of them will end up as landfill. So in that case, yes, I'd rather have some way to guarantee local recycling, or pay to ship it to Sonos.

 

The only real benefit I can see here is when Sonos inevitably comes to the point where they can no longer support the older devices because their hardware will not support any further developments in the firmware. Then, if and when the functionality of the ecosystem is has evolved to a point where my gen1 Play 5s have become effectively useless, I might consider having them disabled to buy newer units at a discount.

 

So indeed, I have a choice, and for the reasons mentioned above I will not participate in it, until there is no other viable option for my hardware. This is my personal use case of course. I do agree that if an older player ends up in a closet for years (but why?), only to be thrown out later, then it is better to recycle it and trade up.

Userlevel 7
Badge +20

Not seen this in the UK yet.  I too don’t like the idea of disabling a working speaker.

 

Am I the only one thinking the time is approaching where the older units will soon be retired.  Sonos must have to take quite a hit on developments to keep the compatability going.  We’ve seen the retirement of controllers and docks, what next. Or when

Userlevel 7
Badge +26

Hi everyone, thanks for sharing your feedback on the Trade Up program, I’ll make sure to share it with the involved teams.

This program is designed in many ways for people who have some of our oldest speakers and components that are missing out on some features. These are first generation products which in some cases more than 10 years old. Over recent years we’ve launched new products like Sonos One, Beam, Amp, Port, and now Move that offer new experiences like voice control and Apple AirPlay2. This program is an offer to allow long-standing customers to trade up to these powerful, modern Sonos experiences.

Personally, I think a great use of it would be trading up a ZonePlayer 80 into a Port, which would get better specs all around, a better DAC, and add AirPlay 2 as a feature. We’ve seen that whenever a new product or product replacement launches,  we’re always asked if there’s a trade up option just like this. In the past, we haven’t had one, which leads to people upgrading and storing old devices in closets or getting rid of them while buying new devices at full price.

As a part of this offer, we want to encourage responsible disposal of older devices. The best way to do that is to make recycling a condition of receiving the discount. We are prioritizing environmental responsibility and encourage our users to responsibly recycle their deactivated products through local e-recyclers. You can find certified e-recyclers here: https://www.google.com/maps/search/e-waste+recycling It’s less environmentally friendly to force everyone to ship these older units to us first than it is to recycle the devices responsibly at a local center.

 

Userlevel 5
Badge +6

I was going to make use of the trade up scheme until I saw the bombshell announcement yesterday. I’ve now changed my mind because I’ve lost all trust and confidence in Sonos as a company and I don’t want to feel trapped into their system any more. 

I will take the option of keeping my existing hardware and stop the software updates. 

Am I alone in this feeling of not trusting Sonos any more?

 

Userlevel 4
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I also see it as a bit of a stupidity test as well to be honest. 

 

Who in their right mind would gladly agree to buy a new device to replace the one they already have (and still works) and agree to let Sonos brick there old one at the same time so they can’t sell it. 

 

🤔🤔

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

I also see it as a bit of a stupidity test as well to be honest. 

 

Who in their right mind would gladly agree buy a new device to replace the one they already have (and still works) and agree to let Sonos brick there old one at the same time so they can’t sell it. 

 

🤔🤔

I totally agree. You have something you are happy with and works functionally, but if you spend about the same you originally paid, you can get something that does functionally the same. You also get to "recycle" your old product because Sonos destroys it.

 

Imagine if this was a second hand car. Ford offers you the chance to buy the new model for £19,995 and as part of that deal, we'll crush your old car.

 

It’s actually is a greedy ploy - it’s saying we don’t want more cars out there because we can’t sell them a new one.

Exactly. I was so happy with my Sonos, but that's gone down the drain. I'll be gradually replacing all my Sonos kit and my decisions will be far more informed in future. Sonos has mugged us all off.

I had to record my distaste at this poorly thought through initiative. Sonos is a company that sells a premium product. They’re well made and in the audio arena its not uncommon for people to keep speakers and amps etc. for decades. My 10 year old Sonos AMP (eligible for upgrade) works perfectly and is in no way ‘obsoloete’. That Sonos have made in their opinion an ‘improved’ version doesn’t render it suddenly worthless. 

The first R in the recycle chain is ‘Re-Use’ as this has almost no negative impact on the planet. That Sonos somehow think it is a good look to actively encourage customers to brick units is amazing. The fig leaf terms and conditions “You promise to recycle the box” is an incredibly cynical acknowledgement of Sonos duplicity - “Its not Sonos fault they didn’t actually recycle anything! How we’re we to know?”. The excuse that it is optional also designed to pass the responsibility from Sonos on to the end user.

Why doesn’t Sonos simply offer a 30% discount to its customers. From Sonos point of view they get the sale and and same revenue anyway. Let the ‘obsolete’ equipment be re-housed to a home where people can get a taste of the Sonos premium sound (i.e. break that high entry level barrier that kept me from buy a Sonos for over a decade after I’d thought they might be worth the price).

Its a very regrettable offer IMO and Sonos as a brand is diminished by it. 

Peter

Userlevel 5
Badge +8

Yes, I'd rather that the scheme involved it being sent back so they could at least give the equipment to a good home. (Possibly some charity that wouldn't ordinarily be able to afford one). 

 

Hopefully they'll rethink this odd scheme! 

Userlevel 5
Badge +8

You do know “encouraging” is not a gun to the head, right? Of all the policies to complain about, you pick one that encourages recycling?  First world problems indeed. :rolling_eyes:

You see it as encouraging recycling and I see it as encouraging waste. So I guess we'll agree to disagree.

Sadly though it's not a first world problem. Just a world problem.

 

Userlevel 2

What I take out of this whole thread and this trade in scheme is that Sonos are now planning on end of lifting the Play 5 and Connect:Amp. 

As someone who has already been burnt by Sonos bricking product, why on earth would you think I would want to buy more of it?!?

People talk about a 10 year old product like it’s ancient. When was the last time anyone took their 10 year old car in to be serviced for it to be flashed with a software update that deliberately bricked it because the manufacturer arbitrarily deemed it was too old? 

I agree with others who have said that the environmental aspect of this terrible. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

I also see it as a bit of a stupidity test as well to be honest. 

 

Who in their right mind would gladly agree buy a new device to replace the one they already have (and still works) and agree to let Sonos brick there old one at the same time so they can’t sell it. 

 

🤔🤔

I totally agree. You have something you are happy with and works functionally, but if you spend about the same you originally paid, you can get something that does functionally the same. You also get to "recycle" your old product because Sonos destroys it.

 

Imagine if this was a second hand car. Ford offers you the chance to buy the new model for £19,995 and as part of that deal, we'll crush your old car.

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

Since they paid me more in the discount than I paid for my ZP-80s when I first bought them new I’m sure not feeling ripped off. I see it as I got 13 years of free use and a small cash gift for upgrading.

 

The upgrade is an offer, if you don’t like it ignore it.

Userlevel 4
Badge +2

Lots of talk about everything from the moon landings being fake to the Earth being flat.

Sonos has an excellent reputation for keeping future plans quiet which leads to trolls trying to get responses by posting all kinds of stuff.

You will save yourself a lot of grief if you filter out all the predictions based on nothing but bile and speculation.

Only reliable sources on future plans I’ve found are the Sonos staff and posts linking to FCC filings.

Well personally I don’t think I’m trolling by saying I’d be annoyed if a company bricked the audio equipment that I own that is working perfectly well and trying to find out what is going on. I invested a fair sum in it whether or not it was in the past. 

To me it’s fairly unprecedented that a piece of equipment that is connected to my stereo and my in ceiling speakers in the bedroom just suddenly potentially gets “taken” from me unless I buy a modern version that does exactly the same thing. Even Apple’s multipurpose iPhones don’t get deactivated. They continue to run on the old software. With an audio component they are even simpler and only perform a predefined role so even harder to justify. So it’s fair enough in my opinion to ask whether they are planning to brick them if we don’t upgrade at some point. Knowledge is power.

Not supporting the CR100 is different because a viable alternative was provided via smartphones and desktop applications which 99.9% of people had access to therefore no loss was really suffered.

Also people’s circumstances change. When I bought them I had a much higher income. Now I’m retired spending that sort of money on replacements is not trivial. Like I said, I did not subscribe to a perpetual gravy train business model when I purchased them. I owe them nothing. They owe me a working product for the life of the hardware imo. The only constraint is software and as I said a one man development team has created a third party UI for it - so they can manage it no problem at all with their resources. Also that software constraint is a problem of their own making, it’s their design, it should not become my problem that they didn’t potentially think about the whole of life support costs. They should be supported until I decide they are no longer useful and decommission them myself.

And yes some of this is pre-emptive. If you don’t speak up you get walked over.

This is environmentally indefensible.

 

Fine, excellent plan to offer a discount to your loyal existing customers to buy new gear.

To then forcibly brick a fully functional device shows a lack of environmental responsibility.

 

You seriously need to consider the ethics around this; it is not difficult to comprehend why it’s wrong...

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

Most older SONOS gear is worth more than the 30% discount. So a better “trade up” is to liquidate current gear and buy the new gear. For instance; I can easily fetch $280 for a Connect Amp which will net me an additional $100. 

I would just like to know if this is going to be like the old remotes which they ended up bricking after a brief trade in period (which I missed). It would suck to come home from a long vacation and find all of my SONOS gear inoperable (12 units).

 

Nobody knows, however I think expecting older units to operate and/or be upgraded in perpetuity is wishful thinking.  Eventually, they are going to be retired, and it would not surprise me if this trade up program is in preparation for that eventuality. 

What I don’t expect is the trade up program to end before the retirement takes place.

 

It’s good that you think you have infinite amounts of money. I work hard for my money; and If someone told me that my toaster wasn't going to work at some point in the future because there is a better toaster (a toaster toasts bread btw) then good for you and your money tree. For me? I want my gear to work into infinity at the level at which I bought it...

Ah shucks... I still have an email server running windows 2000 from 2001 on a PC I built for $500. It works great and serves the task of sending email as well today as it did over 20 years ago (an email server that got me a job by my resume always being at top of the queue). But hey, I am so glad you don't care about saving money and someday perhaps retirement. Good for you. Stop spewing your incredulous attitude towards those of us who like our hard earned money and the gear we bought with it.

My $15,000 6 burner Blue Star range will still work as good when I die (25K BTU Burners) as it does today. Is it too much to ask that SONOS honor that same ethic? Honestly, I don't give a shit about many of the new features.

(SIDEBAR)If SONOS told me they were going to remove the library limit on library tracks of IIRC 65k and 24BIT support  (I am at 1M+) then some “upgrade” to my 12 unit, wrong, 14 unit system might be worth it. (/SIDEBAR)

Until then, leave me alone and stop preaching false prophets about 10 years old equipment or give me your money. Etc. yada yada yada. FYI, I was probably SONOS customer number less than 5,000 and worked on their singular defining advertising moment: Their Super Bowl commercial in 2014. (sales doubled every every year from that point forward). TV advertising works. SURPRISE!

As a computer programer I had previously built my own whole house system using pirated Creston equipment. BTW, My Swedish made mixer (Ankarsrum) my grandmother gave to me when I was 8 (and was built in the late 40’s) still works as good today (better) than any Kitchen Aid that graces every American kitchen.

 

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

 

Is it too much to ask that SONOS honor that same ethic?

I agree, but all those who have been involved in making new and old devices continue to work together know that there’s a cost to the company to achieve this - and apparently it’s not one that Sonos are prepared to absorb. Personally, I would have more sympathy with them if they made it easier for people to run whichever versions of the software they choose, but that hasn’t happened, either. 

I have a Hobart made Kitchen Aid Mixer from the 70’s that is still bullet proof.

It’s all about the software - your mixer doesn’t have any…. :grinning:

 

Personally, I would have more sympathy with them if they made it easier for people to run whichever versions of the software they choose, but that hasn’t happened, either. 

BINGO!!!! They are still acting like a startup IMO.

Userlevel 5
Badge +13

“Basically, the complaints about “bricking” a working product comes down to personal greed. You want the 30% discount; but you want it for FREE!  So essentially you want to double dip...get the 30% off new Sonos and in some cases sell your old Sonos.”

 

Not even close to what I’m worried about.  I don’t want bricking OR a discount - I want the stuff I have to just keep working with no unnecessary forced obsolescence.  Why is that sooooooo much to ask?  I’ve got a ZP100, a ZP80 and a Connect.  Even after a discount that’s more than a grand to replace if Sonos up decides to brick them in an update next year.  That’s what this coupon program has us worried about, not some perceived desire to double-dip. 

 

Geez, the fanboyism in this thread and forum is getting ridiculous.  All the same people that jump up and defend Sonos no matter what they do is nothing more than tribalism.  (This is from someone with 7 sonos players, not some one and done sh***tposter.)  We can love the product and still point out things that look like mistakes or can be seen as not consumer friendly.

Userlevel 5
Badge +13

Which is not easy to do, because if you accidentally update your App on your mobile device, it will immediately demand you update your speakers and do nothing else until you do.  This is the annoying aspect of Sonos, which almost no other update system employs.  I’d happily just not update, but Sonos makes it unnecessarily difficult to not update.

Do the right thing SONO’s, as an investor/shareholder, figure out the software to separate the Gen 1 from the non-legacy software.  If I don’t Trade Up, you are making the rest of my system obsolete (8 other products).  I currently do not wish to spend the $$$$ (after 30% off) on three more Play 5’s and then dump operating speakers in the trash.  Can’t wait for your earnings call! 

Userlevel 5
Badge +13

Sure would have been nice to see this before the price increase on the Port.  Nope, not intentional at all.

 

 

It’s good for some, not good for others, which is fine. There’s no requirement I’m aware of for a company to satisfy only one person’s desires. I’d probably feel much differently if it was a required upgrade, i.e. your hardware is going to stop working, but we’ll give you a 30% discount to replace gear that’s not going to work next week.

I can understand what Sonos is trying to do. I’m pleased that they’re at least getting a commitment from the trade in process to recycle the old equipment, rather than just giving the discount and forcing people to throw the items away. I’m also pleased that there’s no requirement to upgrade existing equipment, it’s purely an option for those who want to avail themselves.

Everyone has the option of doing it if they so desire, and not doing it if they don’t. I’ve seen several posts from people who have gotten more than the 30% by reselling their equipment without trading it in for the discount, good for them. Passing on the equipment is great. Recycling the equipment is good, too. Simply tossing it in the trash is bad.

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