Skip to main content

Sonos has accidentally sent customers extra speakers as "gifts"

Sonos has accidentally sent customers extra speakers as "gifts"
(Image credit: Sonos)

Something is amiss at Sonos towers. The company has been accidentally sending US customers more speakers than they ordered, and then charging them for them, The Verge (opens in new tab) reports. One customer bought one Sonos Move Bluetooth speaker, only to receive seven units, along with a bill for all of them.

But that customer might be in luck, as US law says unwanted extras can be kept as "gifts". Companies are also prohibited from charging customers for anything they didn't order.

The reports appeared on a Reddit thread (opens in new tab). Sonos has since sought to reimburse customers once they return the unwanted speakers, although it is yet to offer any form of compensation for the inconvenience caused.

In an email to affected customers, the company blamed the issue on a system update that meant some orders were processed multiple times. It went on to ask customers to return their unwanted devices with a prepaid label using Sonos' couriers.

However, Sonos might be on shaky ground. The Federal Trade Commission in the US says that consumers are not legally obliged to return anything received from a company unsolicited.

The FTC states (opens in new tab): "By law, companies can’t send unordered merchandise to you, then demand payment. That means you never have to pay for things you get but didn’t order. You also don’t have to return unordered merchandise. You’re legally entitled to keep it as a free gift."

So Sonos might be relying on the goodwill of affected customers if it wants to recoup any losses.

We've contacted Sonos for comment and will update this if we hear back.

MORE:

Check out these Sonos Roam tips, tricks and features

Read our guide to the best Bluetooth speakers

Find out Which Sonos speaker should you buy?

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.

  • no-name-123
    So these people are very aware that if an employer pays an Employee twice by mistake then the overpayment can very much legally recovered, so I fail to see a diference.

    I don't have details to hand but I believe a long time Zavvi made a similair mistake and sent lawyers after customers that tried to keep things sent by mistake that they had no intention of paying for, even though zavvi offered to cover the cost of return
    Reply
  • Kfitzat
    no-name-123 said:
    So these people are very aware that if an employer pays an Employee twice by mistake then the overpayment can very much legally recovered, so I fail to see a diference.

    I don't have details to hand but I believe a long time Zavvi made a similair mistake and sent lawyers after customers that tried to keep things sent by mistake that they had no intention of paying for, even though zavvi offered to cover the cost of return
    And what has a UK supplier got to do with something that happened in the US?
    Reply
  • S14brown
    I would have to think the vast majority of customers would return them. However, I wouldn't lift a finger to drag them down to Fedex. I would request call tags and have Fedex come get them.
    Reply
  • no-name-123
    S14brown said:
    I would have to think the vast majority of customers would return them. However, I wouldn't lift a finger to drag them down to Fedex. I would request call tags and have Fedex come get them.

    Without checking here and now, I believe that is what Sonos where offering which would be the right thing to do, because supose someone could not get to a fedex drop off for any reason
    Reply