Sonos customers should check their bank accounts for charges on products they never ordered. After receiving, and in many cases being charged for, extra goods, disgruntled customers took to Reddit late last week to warn others. As The Verge reports, one customer placed an order for a single Move speaker but received three. Another was charged more than $2,000 after ordering a Move ($400) and receiving seven of them.
It’s unclear how many customers were affected and which products were involved in this slipup. Widespread reports on Reddit describe receiving up to five Roam and Ray speakers for an order of one.
Sonos CIO Ruther Sleeter reportedly sent a message to affected customers telling them a “recent update to our systems resulted in some orders being processed multiple times.”
“Got 3 Subs and 3 Arcs. Ordered only one of each. Major hassle. And they charged my visa 3x. So now Sonos is using up a nice portion of my available credit. Plus they want the customer to take the extra stuff to the UPS store themselves,” one Reddit user wrote.
Sonos admitted to the mistake, confirming that customers affected by the error were overcharged and received multiple shipments. The company apologized and promised that customers will be emailed prepaid return labels and refunded “within 10 business days.” Sonos will also schedule pickups so customers don’t have to haul three giant soundbars to UPS.
Interestingly, the US Federal Trade Commission says consumers don’t have to return unordered merchandise and are “legally entitled to keep it as a free gift.” Sonos obviously wants to recoup some of its losses, but it may not be so straightforward. This error seems to fall into something of a legal gray area—it’s unclear if the FTC rule applies given that the customers did order products and were already charged.
I’ve reached out to Sonos and the FTC and will update this article once we get clarification.
In any case, this technical hiccup is going to leave a bad taste in the mouths of some of Sonos’ customers. If it wants to win them back, the company will need to do more than apologize. We still haven’t heard from Sonos about what changes it’s planning to prevent overcharging in the future, or whether it will provide a safety net for customers who don’t have the budget to front these unexpected costs.