Sonos screw-up sends $15,000-worth of unwanted speakers to one poor guy

Boxes Of Un-ordered Sonos
Boxes Of Un-ordered Sonos (Image credit: The Verge)

What you need to know

  • A Sonos ordering system error caused some orders to be duplicated.
  • One person received 30 boxes worth $15,000.
  • Sonos isn't making it easy to get these things returned.

Sonos has been battling with an ordering system that saw some people receive duplicate orders, but one person seems to have been hit worse than others.

According to one report, a Sonos customer received 30 boxes of gear after placing an order for a Turntable Set, Arc soundbar, Arc wall mount, Sonos One speaker, and Roam speaker.

While many people ordered a speaker and got one or two more, this poor customer found himself on the receiving end of 30 different boxes and to make matters worse, he's been charged for each and every one of them. In a statement to The Verge, Sonos does say that it will refund this customer and the many others independent of the products being sent back — although the expectation is presumably that they will actually return the unwanted items.

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.

But what do you do when someone delivers 30 boxes that you weren't expecting? In the case of this customer, receiving them has been more trouble than you might think. His apartment is full, and he's now taken to storing unwanted Sonos gear in his building's lobby — something the management isn't all that keen on. To make matters worse, Sonos sent someone to collect everything only for the UPS driver to be unaware of just how many boxes would need to be picked up.

They took one box and left.

This one person isn't the only one afflicted by Sonos' mess, of course. A Reddit thread includes other order mixups although few can compete with having 30 boxes arrive. As is so often the case, companies making mistakes isn't really the issue here — what matters is how those mistakes are dealt with. In this instance, it doesn't seem like Sonos is covering itself in glory having told some customers they would need to deal with the returns themselves — and even telling this poor customer he'd need to carry 30 boxes to the local UPS store himself.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.