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IT fail caused Sonos to ship unwanted speakers and charge customers for them


A white speaker sits on a wooden coffeetable.

Sonos customers were left scratching their heads and double-checking their bank accounts after receiving more speakers than they ordered. Some users were reportedly charged for the extra speakers that they received but never ordered.

The Verge on Monday said it spoke to one Sonos customer who “placed an order for a single Sonos Move and received three.” Another was “charged over $2,000 after ordering one Move speaker and receiving a total of seven.”

Reports of the accidental shipments first surfaced on Reddit, where customers have been discussing receiving and/or being charged for as many as five Sonos Ray, Sub, Arc, Move, or Roam speakers that they didn’t order. One person claimed the extra speakers were rerouted before being received but after the charge went through.

It’s unclear which Sonos products have been affected.

Ars Technica reached out to Sonos about The Verge and Reddit reports. The company didn’t deny the accounts but said it had no additional details to share.

The Verge and a Reddit user both said that Sonos CIO Ruth Sleeter sent a message to affected customers, saying that “a recent update to our systems resulted in some orders being processed multiple times.”

“Unfortunately, you were affected by this error and have been overcharged. You will also receive multiple shipments of your order,” the statement given to The Verge continued.

Sleeter went on to apologize and tell customers they’ll be refunded “within 10 business days.”

Sleeter also said customers will be emailed prepaid return labels and can use Sonos’ carrier to return the unwanted products. Receiving the products back may help Sonos reduce the financial burden of its mistake, but as pointed out by The Verge, the US Federal Trade Commission says that you “don’t have to return unordered merchandise. You’re legally entitled to keep it as a free gift.”

“Again, we are truly sorry,” Sleeter’s statement said. “Thank you for being a valued customer and supporting Sonos. Issues like this are rare, and we will do everything we can to make it right.”

Sleeter didn’t provide further details on what caused the issue, how many people were affected, or what steps will be taken to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.

While Sonos said it will provide full refunds, some people don’t have a budget that’s flexible enough for hundreds of dollars to unexpectedly be made unavailable for at least 10 business days. Sonos also didn’t mention accommodating customers who may have suffered consequences, such as credit card overages, following the company’s error.



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