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Unresponsive Sonos Support


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I'm new to these support pages, but browsing around I see there are a lot of posts that are years old with considerable support from the user base and yet no meaningful response from a Sonos representative. Even posts that have achieved an "Under Consideration" don't seem to go anywhere.

Am I alone in noticing this? Or am I just jumping to conclusions too early?

For what I consider to be a premium product at a premium price I was expecting a company that would be a lot more responsive to the short comings in their software.

Would be interested to hear the opinions of others who have been hanging around here longer than myself.

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You get used to being ignored pretty quickly on these pages. Basically Sonos only really respond to ideas if they have already decided to implement them. I don't however believe this website has any influence on what they decide to implement. If you look at some of the oldest and most supported topics many have been tagged as "Under Consideration" for far to long and the lack of communication is downright rude as much as anything else. If you do have a problem with your setup though the support is fast and comprehensive. Just don't expect an idea to have any baring on what this company ultimately decides to do, they have proven time and gain that customers ideas on this site are nothing more than a mild irritation for them.
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You get used to being ignored pretty quickly on these pages. Basically Sonos only really respond to ideas if they have already decided to implement them. I don't however believe this website has any influence on what they decide to implement. If you look at some of the oldest and most supported topics many have been tagged as "Under Consideration" for far to long and the lack of communication is downright rude as much as anything else. If you do have a problem with your setup though the support is fast and comprehensive. Just don't expect an idea to have any baring on what this company ultimately decides to do, they have proven time and gain that customers ideas on this site are nothing more than a mild irritation for them.
That's interesting because I have found that when you go through the official support channel you don't get helpful or meaningful answers and get pushed over here which sends a big message that maybe they don't care about their customers once they have the sale.
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You get used to being ignored pretty quickly on these pages. Basically Sonos only really respond to ideas if they have already decided to implement them. I don't however believe this website has any influence on what they decide to implement. If you look at some of the oldest and most supported topics many have been tagged as "Under Consideration" for far to long and the lack of communication is downright rude as much as anything else. If you do have a problem with your setup though the support is fast and comprehensive. Just don't expect an idea to have any baring on what this company ultimately decides to do, they have proven time and gain that customers ideas on this site are nothing more than a mild irritation for them.
To be fair I haven't ever had a problem that I couldn't solve myself so have never actually used the support channels. The impression I've got from the support tabs on this site was pretty good if you have a specific problem though. Like I say having never actually used the service I'm not in the best position to make that call. My main gripe as stated above is the lack of communication in the ideas section.
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I found the Sonos team very engaging when it comes to actual issues, troubleshooting assistance and help/how-to support.

If you are concerned about responsiveness over feature requests and ideas, Sonos acts similar to Apple and holds its information close to their chest which leaves the social media team with little to report.

You will likely see a response from the Sonos ream on the initial idea to acknowledge it and little follow-up as the development team / program manager considers implementation. If they implement it, it happens quietly through the Beta program. If the enhancement/feature goes into tot final firmware the status on the community thread changes to "implemented" and the explanation can be found in the firmware release notes.

They stick to their philosophy of few networked hardware components which improve over time through software upgrades. This is sometimes frustrating for the customers but its the luxury of being private company that can solely focus on its strategy from an engineering perspective.
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Problem with that is that Sonos are quite clearly not Apple. Apple have built up a massive base of customers, many of whom are blindly loyal to the brand. Those companies are rare, usually you have to compete for customers and in this policy I believe Sonos are shooting themselves in the foot. They are now up against some of the biggest names in the business in Samsung, LG et al. They had, and to a degree still have, a chance to show themselves to be engaging and responsive. They have failed to a large degree. In acting like the huge behemoths they are now competing with they are losing the main advantage afforded them by being a small private company. Likeability.
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Hey Tom,

you make some great points, and they can probably be argued one or the other way.

Brand likeability is certainly a big currency which can be easily damaged, and equally important are brand authenticity, uniqueness, and product quality.

Every customer has to decide for themselves what is important to them, and the individual brand perception is probably as subjective as one's music preference can be.

Marketing and communication leave room for improvement on Sonos' site. From a customer perspective its not obvious what Sonos stands for (if one is interested beyond the products) until they follow the Sonos Studio campaign and their blog. Everything they do there is experimental - pushing the envelope, discovering and developing new great talent, and en large swimming against industry standards. 

I believe its important for customers to understand this as it is similar how they communicate and handle their product life cycle. They don't 'bow' due to a social traffic and stick with their development roadmap and continue to build on the vision they laid out for themselves.

This may not be everyones 'cup of tea' but at their heart this is who they apparently are.

As much as i disagree at times with Sonos implementation strategy as much i value their steady approach and firm strategy which reflects in my perception authenticity, quality and tremendous sound experience.

Personally, i take this over likeability as i take BMW over Tesla even though Tesla is the more likeable brand.
I agree wholeheartedly with Bernhard.  I would just add that it is the team at Sonos that have built a huge multinational business and maybe they know a little bit more about it than we do....  There are lots of people suggesting hundreds of ideas on here, some good, some bad.   Many seem to think that if Sonos doesn't implement their particular idea then Sonos "doesn't listen to its customers".  Sonos has to prioritise.

Communication with its user base could certainly be better at times.  But I'm inclined to think that Sonos generally has a better idea what's worth developing than I do, and I understand why they wouldn't want to pre-announce a development.  Except for DTS support on the Playbar, of course, which they have clearly got wrong.... 🙂
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I agree wholeheartedly with Bernhard.  I would just add that it is the team at Sonos that have built a huge multinational business and maybe they know a little bit more about it than we do....  There are lots of people suggesting hundreds of ideas on here, some good, some bad.   Many seem to think that if Sonos doesn't implement their particular idea then Sonos "doesn't listen to its customers".  Sonos has to prioritise.

Communication with its user base could certainly be better at times.  But I'm inclined to think that Sonos generally has a better idea what's worth developing than I do, and I understand why they wouldn't want to pre-announce a development.  Except for DTS support on the Playbar, of course, which they have clearly got wrong.... :)


Thanks John, thats a great point, and I hope you don't mind me adding:

Their actual industry reputation is indeed widely overlooked. Sonos booked more than $550 Million in component sales in 2013 which is a huge number for a startup that they are, especially since 2012 was the first year they really looked into advertisement. Some financial reviewers predict that they likely doubled their numbers for 2014 

If this isn't impressive, i don't know what else is!

Samsung, LG, Denon, HK and who else essentially slept through the last decade and disregarded the potential of wireless audio distribution almost entirely (sounds like Microsoft and web browsing at the beginning of the interwebs, right?) and now they need to come up with a solution while Sonos holds most of the key patents for. Its not a big surprise that all of them fall back on AirPlay and Google Cast as they don't have the time to develop something new (unless they want to hibernate for another decade).

Of course most consumers don't care about such technicalities, but if one is honest in their product/need assessment including performance per dollar there are only two contenders: Bose and Bang & Olufsen. 

B&O is for most consumers outside their financial reach and Bose has a signature sound one either loves or hates. Leaves Samsung with their boom-box sound or Denon as example of a shameless copycat. 

I don't know who you would chose, but i stick with the one that has all the ingredients for a strong foundation, similar to Apple - to get back to the original discussion point. And we all know how the Apple journey turned out.

Cheers 🙂
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I agree wholeheartedly with Bernhard.  I would just add that it is the team at Sonos that have built a huge multinational business and maybe they know a little bit more about it than we do....  There are lots of people suggesting hundreds of ideas on here, some good, some bad.   Many seem to think that if Sonos doesn't implement their particular idea then Sonos "doesn't listen to its customers".  Sonos has to prioritise.

Communication with its user base could certainly be better at times.  But I'm inclined to think that Sonos generally has a better idea what's worth developing than I do, and I understand why they wouldn't want to pre-announce a development.  Except for DTS support on the Playbar, of course, which they have clearly got wrong.... :)


Let me jump in and +1 Bernhard and John.
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I agree wholeheartedly with Bernhard.  I would just add that it is the team at Sonos that have built a huge multinational business and maybe they know a little bit more about it than we do....  There are lots of people suggesting hundreds of ideas on here, some good, some bad.   Many seem to think that if Sonos doesn't implement their particular idea then Sonos "doesn't listen to its customers".  Sonos has to prioritise.

Communication with its user base could certainly be better at times.  But I'm inclined to think that Sonos generally has a better idea what's worth developing than I do, and I understand why they wouldn't want to pre-announce a development.  Except for DTS support on the Playbar, of course, which they have clearly got wrong.... :)


I get what your all saying and I'm not attempting to suggest that Sonos don't have a clue. I'm mearly suggesting that they're not utilizing a potentially very valuable resource when it comes to this website. Here they have a pool of enthusiastic and passionate people who, if they were included and engaged with, would be out in the real world as product evangelists. Some are anyway, looking at you Dave, but many are turned off by what they experience here. I certainly have been and would now be far less likely to recommend Sonos over the competition. On the subject of competition I can't imagine there are many patents Sonos hold that would make designing and building a compelling alternative that difficult. Indeed I've just come back from a supermarket which had an offer on the Jongo system. Sonos mainly use pretty standard technology. The current case against Denon is about trademark I believe, not patents. Now there are others in the game the USP should be aftercare and build quality. Again the comparisons to Apple are simple fantasy. Apple's main product and cash cow, the iPhone, is in a category most in the west would consider absolutely essential, everyone needs a smartphone. It also has an upgrade period of two years. Sonos components do not fit into Apple's business model no matter how much you want them to. Ultimately Sonos set this website up, that they did even that is a credit to them. I simply believe they could make infinitely better use of it.
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I agree wholeheartedly with Bernhard.  I would just add that it is the team at Sonos that have built a huge multinational business and maybe they know a little bit more about it than we do....  There are lots of people suggesting hundreds of ideas on here, some good, some bad.   Many seem to think that if Sonos doesn't implement their particular idea then Sonos "doesn't listen to its customers".  Sonos has to prioritise.

Communication with its user base could certainly be better at times.  But I'm inclined to think that Sonos generally has a better idea what's worth developing than I do, and I understand why they wouldn't want to pre-announce a development.  Except for DTS support on the Playbar, of course, which they have clearly got wrong.... :)


You drive the point about lack of engagement home, no doubt Tom.

Guess we all don't know how the Sonos team looks at it but as you pointed out, there is plenty of room for improvement.

And who knows, HK, B&O and some others made it into the automotive world, maybe every other car will have a Sonos stereo in the future :P

Maybe then i would consider a Tesla ... j/k
Great discussion, btw. 
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I agree wholeheartedly with Bernhard.  I would just add that it is the team at Sonos that have built a huge multinational business and maybe they know a little bit more about it than we do....  There are lots of people suggesting hundreds of ideas on here, some good, some bad.   Many seem to think that if Sonos doesn't implement their particular idea then Sonos "doesn't listen to its customers".  Sonos has to prioritise.

Communication with its user base could certainly be better at times.  But I'm inclined to think that Sonos generally has a better idea what's worth developing than I do, and I understand why they wouldn't want to pre-announce a development.  Except for DTS support on the Playbar, of course, which they have clearly got wrong.... :)


Tom, why have you pigeonholed me? I am I no way an evangelist for sonos in the forum or the real world. If I sold sonos (which I don't) I would ask my customers what and why they wanted sonos for and if it didn't suit their needs then would advice on another system. But if I went to Currys they wouldn't do that and just sell you it. I see most issue on here are related to buyers whom fail to research why they want sonos or what sonos can or can't do - then they jump in head first with the complaints that my Play 1 can't connect to AirPlay or why don't they have Bluetooth. Even yesterday a user brought a PlayBar but his TV had no optical out, so as a community member we helped him sort it out and got him up and running. So I'm not here to promote or even agree with everything sonos does, I'm here to try and help other users resolve the issues they have with sonos.
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I agree wholeheartedly with Bernhard.  I would just add that it is the team at Sonos that have built a huge multinational business and maybe they know a little bit more about it than we do....  There are lots of people suggesting hundreds of ideas on here, some good, some bad.   Many seem to think that if Sonos doesn't implement their particular idea then Sonos "doesn't listen to its customers".  Sonos has to prioritise.

Communication with its user base could certainly be better at times.  But I'm inclined to think that Sonos generally has a better idea what's worth developing than I do, and I understand why they wouldn't want to pre-announce a development.  Except for DTS support on the Playbar, of course, which they have clearly got wrong.... :)


Sorry Dave. It was not even really meant as a insult. There are are worse things to evangelise about than Sonos products. In this case I think I may have mistaken you for someone I was having a slightly bitter debate with on another subject. Apologies again.
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I agree wholeheartedly with Bernhard.  I would just add that it is the team at Sonos that have built a huge multinational business and maybe they know a little bit more about it than we do....  There are lots of people suggesting hundreds of ideas on here, some good, some bad.   Many seem to think that if Sonos doesn't implement their particular idea then Sonos "doesn't listen to its customers".  Sonos has to prioritise.

Communication with its user base could certainly be better at times.  But I'm inclined to think that Sonos generally has a better idea what's worth developing than I do, and I understand why they wouldn't want to pre-announce a development.  Except for DTS support on the Playbar, of course, which they have clearly got wrong.... :)


Thanks Tom
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Very interesting discussion in this thread, all around.  We've all been following the comments over the last few days.  If I may, I'd like to ask a question to keep the thread going.  

@Tom, or anyone else - Can you share with us any examples you've come across of companies that are engaging in a way that you find compelling?  Since this thread seems to be more about the ideas section than questions and problems, let's stick to that area.

Thanks, we're looking forward to your comments.
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Very interesting discussion in this thread, all around.  We've all been following the comments over the last few days.  If I may, I'd like to ask a question to keep the thread going.  

@Tom, or anyone else - Can you share with us any examples you've come across of companies that are engaging in a way that you find compelling?  Since this thread seems to be more about the ideas section than questions and problems, let's stick to that area.

Thanks, we're looking forward to your comments.

For me personally I do not know any other company that uses this system to engage with their customers, you might not always be there to answer or resolve issue immediately but generally a sonos rep or a "champion" will try and help and of course other community members. As I wasn't always a "Champion" my first experience of ask.sonos was positive and I was surprised they allowed users to engage in conversation regarding products and services. My only criticism is sonos need to be more visible and proactive with big issues like the BBC streams.
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Very interesting discussion in this thread, all around.  We've all been following the comments over the last few days.  If I may, I'd like to ask a question to keep the thread going.  

@Tom, or anyone else - Can you share with us any examples you've come across of companies that are engaging in a way that you find compelling?  Since this thread seems to be more about the ideas section than questions and problems, let's stick to that area.

Thanks, we're looking forward to your comments.

I agree with Dave. That you have set up this site for your customers to engage and be involved with your products is pretty much unique. My points above may seem hypercritical and to a certain extent they are. That you engage in this way is truly remarkable. When any issues are encountered by your customers the care they receive on this site is exemplary.

I suppose it is the fact that you have this site in the first place which means that myself, and many others, can occasionally lose sight of the fact that it is a privilege to be able to engage with a company at all without spending hours on hold at a call centre.

The flip-side of that is that having invested in such a sophisticated and well-used feedback system I personally believe you could make better use of it. "Under Consideration" or "Do not share information about upcoming products" to often sound like catch-all phrases to avoid commitment to anything. Believe me I've been there with girlfriends, never ends well.

I can understand not wanting to share information about new hardware products, making a splash with something unexpected is always good. But with many of the ideas I do think you could actively engage more. Like I say you have the system, why not use it? The prolonged periods of silence on many popular ideas comes across as being afraid to say no in order to protect sales.

Your top ten ideas have over 10,500 me-toos, Nearly 2,500 comments ,not including responses to those comments. Of the four within that ten that have no official answer all are over two years old. How many official responses have there been to all that feedback? I would argue there hasn't been enough and the defence that it is more that others do, while true, undermines the purpose of having the site in the first place. Let me also add that the top ten is far from reprehensive as the ideas section as a whole.

Phew, think I could do with a beer after that. Let me just part by saying I really do like Sonos products and if anything this discussion has made me appreciate how rare it is to have a feedback mechanism such as this.
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Very interesting discussion in this thread, all around.  We've all been following the comments over the last few days.  If I may, I'd like to ask a question to keep the thread going.  

@Tom, or anyone else - Can you share with us any examples you've come across of companies that are engaging in a way that you find compelling?  Since this thread seems to be more about the ideas section than questions and problems, let's stick to that area.

Thanks, we're looking forward to your comments.

Sorry John, just realised I hadn't actually answered your question. Generally I think, oddly, that quite a few UK banks actually have some very engaging methods for obtaining feedback.

Barclays and First Direct notably. I believe the Barclays PingIt transfer system was based of a customers idea. May have imagined that though.
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Very interesting discussion in this thread, all around.  We've all been following the comments over the last few days.  If I may, I'd like to ask a question to keep the thread going.  

@Tom, or anyone else - Can you share with us any examples you've come across of companies that are engaging in a way that you find compelling?  Since this thread seems to be more about the ideas section than questions and problems, let's stick to that area.

Thanks, we're looking forward to your comments.

John,

interesting question. A well planned social media strategy is really important today beyond simple brand representation. The most regarded community today is likely zappo.com (shoe / wearable reatailer) which has a raving customer base where many can be considered true brand evangelists. Zappo went so far to abandon a traditional talent sourcing process and instead looks for their staffing needs primarily inside the community as they can already determine how likely the cultural fit is. Maybe worthwhile checking out.

A good high level guide on the strategy is a Social Media deck from Dell at http://www.slideshare.net/dellsocialmedia/how-dell-is-using-social-media-to-deepen-relationships-and...

If you don't mind that i share some of the observations i made over the time:

Sonos has social media representation on Facebook, Google+, Twitter but it is primarily used as news outlet but with little engagement. 

In the Sonus forum (forums.sonos.com) i recognized a fairly technical audience that discusses home integration and even shares code library / samples and some fairly advanced discussion around home audio integration with amplifiers etc. But i can't tell if there is Sonos engagement beyond 'netiquette' moderation.

Here at the customer service platform, the team faces a great mixture of questions with significant volume at times. Such a environment is always challenging with a thin line between 'controlling the crowd' and actual engagement.

The Sonos team does an outstanding job with troubleshooting / resolution assistance and howto support, but it feels like your social media team could need some help from your program management as well as developer and designers to foster more productive discussions and help this way creating a culture that's less polarizing (Sonos is the greatest thing since sliced bread vs Sonos "sucks" (because it doesn't implement a,b, and c... ).

You guys have the Sonos blog where the engineers and designers really shine, but when you look at the number of responses a tighter integration would likely help both sites, Sonos as well as its customers. 

If you like, i can reach out offline and share a few more thoughts around this.

Great discussion .... lets keep it going.
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Very interesting discussion in this thread, all around.  We've all been following the comments over the last few days.  If I may, I'd like to ask a question to keep the thread going.  

@Tom, or anyone else - Can you share with us any examples you've come across of companies that are engaging in a way that you find compelling?  Since this thread seems to be more about the ideas section than questions and problems, let's stick to that area.

Thanks, we're looking forward to your comments.

Very good points, nicely put.
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Very interesting discussion in this thread, all around.  We've all been following the comments over the last few days.  If I may, I'd like to ask a question to keep the thread going.  

@Tom, or anyone else - Can you share with us any examples you've come across of companies that are engaging in a way that you find compelling?  Since this thread seems to be more about the ideas section than questions and problems, let's stick to that area.

Thanks, we're looking forward to your comments.

Seriously do you need to go down this social media path or if you do then at least take time to understand why you have or even use, Facebook, Twitter etc.

I was a web developer for 12 yrs (kinda still am) and my biggest gripe was the sales team persuading customers they needed social media, 99% of the time the client had no clue how to use it or what they should be doing to engage their clients and new customers.

ask.sonos is a great platform and with a bit of tweaking could be the go to place for all our needs from product help to product announcements and news. Don't get wrong social media is the right course of action if the company using it are clued up and have a rock solid strategy on how to engage readers.

My advice is if it ain't broken don't fix it, just try to maybe improve it.

Hope that all makes sense - had a couple of rum and cokes 🙂
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Very interesting discussion in this thread, all around.  We've all been following the comments over the last few days.  If I may, I'd like to ask a question to keep the thread going.  

@Tom, or anyone else - Can you share with us any examples you've come across of companies that are engaging in a way that you find compelling?  Since this thread seems to be more about the ideas section than questions and problems, let's stick to that area.

Thanks, we're looking forward to your comments.

I can see where you coming from, Dave. (I was in the software development business myself, if i may add).

When i pointed out Program Management i didn't necessarily think about marketing.

It may vary from company to company but the program manager is actually the most skilled one on a product as they collaborate and understand all the aspects from design over engineering all the way to the experience. With that granular knowledge they can often share best practices that can improve the experience - without selling anything. 

Similar with engineering. If a customer has a more challenging setup with Pre/Pro amps, turntables etc they may need a few more info then what the spec sheet can provide. 

Or how about a "Ask Me Anything" session in Reddit with one of Sonos sound engineers or whoever (pssst ... but not McFarland he really never shares anything in public interviews j/k)

I believe there are many different approaches possible without turning it into an online store.
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Very interesting discussion in this thread, all around.  We've all been following the comments over the last few days.  If I may, I'd like to ask a question to keep the thread going.  

@Tom, or anyone else - Can you share with us any examples you've come across of companies that are engaging in a way that you find compelling?  Since this thread seems to be more about the ideas section than questions and problems, let's stick to that area.

Thanks, we're looking forward to your comments.

A lot of companies have community support websites but, as mentioned several times above, none of the companies I know of that do have one really have that many employees engaging on the website - unlike Sonos which seems to have more than enough employees registered and active on ask.sonos.com.

Definitely enough to provide official Sonos support where needed (e.g. for checking problems using the Diagnostics system.)
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Very interesting discussion in this thread, all around.  We've all been following the comments over the last few days.  If I may, I'd like to ask a question to keep the thread going.  

@Tom, or anyone else - Can you share with us any examples you've come across of companies that are engaging in a way that you find compelling?  Since this thread seems to be more about the ideas section than questions and problems, let's stick to that area.

Thanks, we're looking forward to your comments.

A lot of companies have community support websites but, as mentioned several times above, none of the companies I know of that do have one really have that many employees engaging on the website - unlike Sonos which seems to have more than enough employees registered and active on ask.sonos.com.

Definitely enough to provide official Sonos support where needed (e.g. for checking problems using the Diagnostics system.)
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Very interesting discussion in this thread, all around.  We've all been following the comments over the last few days.  If I may, I'd like to ask a question to keep the thread going.  

@Tom, or anyone else - Can you share with us any examples you've come across of companies that are engaging in a way that you find compelling?  Since this thread seems to be more about the ideas section than questions and problems, let's stick to that area.

Thanks, we're looking forward to your comments.

Great comments everyone, thanks for sharing.  You've all been kind enough to share your perspectives, so I suppose it's my turn.

We're talking in mostly generalities here, so I would say that most of the Sonos team you see here would agree with you, and that we're working towards more discussion and more transparency in this space.  We all acknowledge that we could say more, but we're also conscious of the balance between over-promising and under-communicating.  

It sounds from your comments like the pendulum is too far over on the under-communicating side at the moment, and the reason why is that we're very careful not to over-promise.  That effectively means, most of the time, that we wait to communicate any information on what's under development until it's a certainty.  There have been times when we've gone too far and and marked something as Planned, only to have the feature fall through and need to retract the statement.  That's unacceptable to us.    

At the same time, we're moving in the right direction.  Prior to 2014, we'd never run a public beta program and most new updates were announced the day they were available.  Last year, we had three public programs - our new 5.0 app, the removal of the first wire, and the redesign of the new app (which was a program based on community feedback about 5.0).  7 out of 10 of our top threads have official answers, with only three as under consideration.  

On the other hand, if your primary interaction on this forum is one of those threads where we haven't said much, I can see how it would seem as though we're not communicating at all.  That's not the impression we want people to have either.

Thanks again for sharing your comments and I hope we can keep the discussion going.

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