A couple of days ago, The Verge reported on a strange glitch that caused Sonos to ship customers more items than what they ordered — and charge extra on top of that. While most customers received anywhere from two to six extra speakers, we were recently contacted by a customer who has had a much more extreme experience.
As a quick recap, all of this emerged after two users contacted The Verge about this issue earlier this week and pointed us to a Reddit thread with users who had the same (or similar) experiences of ordering one or two speakers and receiving several in return. In an email sent to customers (which you can read in full in our previous report linked above), Sonos attributed the problem to a system update resulting in “some orders being processed multiple times” and customers getting overcharged.
But after purchasing a Sonos Turntable Set, Arc soundbar, Arc wall mount, One speaker, and Roam speaker, a customer (who asked to remain anonymous) was met with a flood of shipments that have effectively turned his apartment into a small Sonos warehouse. Sonos has given him six of every item, resulting in about 30 different shipments showing up at his apartment building and about $15,000 worth of products.
Like the other customers affected by the apparent glitch, he’s getting charged for those extra items, too, and he’d been told he won’t see a full refund until he’s shipped everything back. The customer said he originally used a discount code to purchase the products, so he’s getting charged at a discounted price, too — but that still adds up to over $6,000 in extra fees.
Sonos has promised to refund customers affected by these issues within ten days. In an email to The Verge, Sonos spokesperson Madeline Krebs confirmed: “refunds are being processed and will be issued independent from the return of products.” As we pointed out previously, they may not have much choice in the matter — language on the FTC website indicates that federal law protects customers from having to pay for products that show up even though they didn’t order them.
Sonos has been telling users it will provide free return labels and let users schedule a pickup using its carrier. But the customer we spoke to said Sonos initially wanted him to print out the prepaid labels and then cart the truckload of unordered items to a local UPS store (which the company later walked back on after he refused). After Sonos sent a UPS carrier to his apartment building yesterday, the UPS worker didn’t realize the customer needed to have 30 packages picked up, only took one box, and then left.
In addition to hurting his wallet, the customer tells us this whole ordeal is also damaging his relationship with his property managers. The customer has received so many boxes that he can no longer fit them into his apartment, so he’s begun leaving the deliveries in the lobby of his apartment building. “They [the property managers] are being patient but are not happy about the boxes in the lobby,” the customer said.
Fortunately, the deliveries have stopped, but he’s still left with dozens of boxes that have nowhere to go. When he tried contacting Sonos’ customer service, he told us he’s “passed around daily to new reps” who promise he’ll receive a call or update that never comes.
Sonos hasn’t offered him anything for the inconvenience of converting his apartment into a Sonos storage unit besides the “courtesy” of free shipping labels used to fix the problem it caused in the first place.
Sonos declined to comment further.
Update June 15th, 8:52PM ET: Added statement from Sonos that customer refunds are being issued independently of item returns.