Sonos Reverses Controversial Recycling for Rebate Program

You don't have to brick your old Sonos equipment to get a 30% discount

Why This Matters

Sonos has struggled with making the right decision when it comes to enticing its customers to upgrade, but the ability to get a 30% discount on new Sonos gear just by *proving* you have the legacy gear is a good one for the company and consumers.

Sonos Play:5 Wireless Speaker
Sonos Play:5 Wireless Speaker. Image provided by Sonos

Sonos has spent the last few months trying to encourage its consumers to upgrade to new equipment, but with mostly half-baked ideas that it's had to rollback. In this case, it will no longer ask loyal customers to brick products before applying for a discount on new ones. A smart move.

Forget what we said: The company confirmed the decision to Engadget a few months after initially launching a program that would've required Sonos customers to put their legacy wireless audio gadgets in what's known as "recycle mode."

What if you want old and new? The problem with the Sonos plan was it required consumers to give up older hardware in order to get those hefty new-gadget discounts.

What is Sonos thinking? Earlier this year, Sonos announced it would stop updating legacy hardware with bug-fixes and software updates, and ultimately nudge them out of home audio ecosystems. That bad idea was met with, naturally, alarm and dismay. Sonos rolled it back days later. What's clear, though, is that Sonos is trying to find a way to move all long-time Sonos customers forward, shrinking their development and software support burden, while also selling a lot of new gear.

The Deal: As of now, you only need to prove you own an older piece of Sonos hardware by providing a valid serial number. That will, according to Engadget, open up the 30% discount on pretty much Sonos' entire online store.

Bottom Line: Companies that want to maintain long-term customer relationships have to build easy-to use, long-lasting hardware, which Sonos has done. But they also have to accept that the old hardware, when it's made well enough, will outlast the revenues they might realize from it. The trick is figuring out how to encourage consumers to buy new products, without somehow undercutting their devotion to the legacy stuff.

Via: Engadget

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