how to upset a customer - by SONOS

  • 11 January 2019
  • 11 replies


11 replies

this is what I sent to Mike Carlino in Sonos customer care:

I purchased a SONOS sound bar 4 years ago, and it has now failed. I live in a house with no children, with a decent surge protector, and the unit would be used no more than a few hours each day. Thus, it has never been abused.

In our house - which is four years old - it is the only appliance that has failed.

Your company now offer me a reconditioned (secondhand) unit for 30% off the price of a NEW unit, with the reassurance that they believe the replacement unit would not be more than two years old - and that the replacement unit is probably more reliable since it has been tested etc etc - whereas a new unit is simply assembled from new parts. YOU COULD NOT MAKE THIS UP.

The ‘out of warranty’ offer from SOMOS is $699, being the 30% discount from a NEW unit price referred above. With a 12 month warranty. I have never seen a secondhand item being priced like this. Surely you should offer a 30% discount off a new (replacement) item -that is actually new- which I would have accepted - but that was not forthcoming. Fine. I have gone backwards and forwards with your “customer care” people four times now.

What follows is merely for your information - I have no interest in obtaining a better offer from you, as I do not wish to deal with SONOS again.

I think your company has completely missed the point. What if the part that failed was a $1.00 part ? Why no offer to simply repair my unit ???

Never mind - your company asks for $699 to swap my unit for an unknown unit of indeterminate age with only a 12 month warranty.

Have you no confidence in your products ?

This is absolutely gold-digging behaviour from people who shirk from expressing any confidence in their product You should be ashamed of yourselves - especially the weasel corporate words from your customer care people.

I am going to junk my SONOS sound bar and go back to BOSE. And tell everyone on social media what a bunch of bloodsuckers you are. I don’t think I am being unreasonable.

In case you want to cross reference the dialogue to confirm what I have said my name is Peter Marshall in Australia using email [removed by moderator] - and may I say that I rarely get this upset when dealing with American corporates - but you have simply gone beyond the pale.

A company offered a 30% discount on an out of warranty replacement? On a refurbished unit with the exact same 1 year warranty they offer with the original item? Seems pretty good considering they are under no obligation to offer you any discount/warranty at all.

And by the way, having worked in electronics retail, I know that the vast majority of "refurbished" units are holiday returns that were never even used. The stores return them for credit because they cannot sell them as new, but they are hardly "used" items. You should have taken the deal.
thanks - interesting point about the returns - if I knew thatI was getting such a unit, I'd accept the deal. But I won't accept a 30% discount off a secondhand item - which could be partly 2-4 years old - when the discount is off the new price. Would you take a 2-4 year old fridge or car that has been refurbished (and with a limited warranty) at 70% of the full retail price ? I wouldn't..
What started me getting cross was that they obfuscated on 3 replies before confirming that it was a used unit. I thought that was sneaky and now I've lost all trust. Why can't they simply repair my unit is the other bugbear that I have - and none of the electrical repair guys I would normally use for household appliances are willing to take a Sonos unit.
I know you think its a pretty good deal for me, but its a licence to print money for Sonos since they don't offer repairs, but only offer out of warranty replacements - they can then onsell my unit once its fixed - kaching ! another $700 !
When the alternative is buying a new one at full price, and the warranty is expired so I have no other recourse, you can be sure I'd accept the offer.

And it is not "used", it is refurbished. There is a big difference between the two. Refurbished products have been tested and verified to function properly, and are thus free of defects, while "used" products may or may not be defective.
I'm of the opinion that "refurbished" devices from any manufacturer go through many more tests for functionality before they reach my hands, just because they've been "refurbished", and consequently have to be individually tested. I suspect most items come off the production line, with only a random number of them actually tested.
I had Sonos a few years ago. Got so frustrated I gave them away. Someone convinced me Sonos connection is better now. What a joke. System will not connect to everything. Same old problems. Taking the 2 systems back to Costco tomorrow.
hi guys
if refurbishing means EVERY single part is replaced, well that is fine. I suspect they replace the broken part, test the unit - and then mail it out. Therefore I would conclude that a majority of the parts inside the 'refurbished' unit are used and have some age on them. In my humble opinion its a used item ? If they replace every single part - isn't that a new machine ? I doubt that is what they do, but if you think I'm wrong, that's cool.
As I stated, the vast majority of refurbs are returns of unused items. They are not repaired devices, they are brand new.

But don't let that ruin a good rant over a deal they have zero obligation to offer you. I guess you will simply have to pay full price for a "new" one.
Let's finish this with a last comment: As you say the vast majority of returns are unused - which I take on trust. However, why should I take the risk of not getting such a unit ? Like the poor dope that might end up with my old unit that will have some parts changed over - but the unit itself is 4 years old and has only a 12 months warranty.
I've given up on Sonos so I won't ever pay for a new unit from that company. However, I am about to buy a new sound bar from Bose for exactly half the price of the Sonos refurbed/used/whatever unit Sonos have offered. And Bose includes free home delivery which is interesting when one lives in the Aussie countryside.
Been interesting talking to you, and thanks for the very pleasant demeanour from your aside, compared to my self-acknowledged rant. Best wishes for the New Year.
You do know that Bose discontinued its multi-room SoundTouch streamers in favor of new Alexa driven streamers which are 100% incompatible with their lineup that is barely over 5 years old?

Compare that to Sonos who released Alexa compatibility in units that are over 13 years old. Good luck with Bose.
no I did not know - but what you say is getting close to Mongolian to this old farmer - all I want is a simple sound bar in one room to enhance the sound of my wall mounted TV, and to play Spotify or Tune-in stations when not watching TV. I have had a Bose Mini for 4 years and I love it. Travel everywhere with it including overseas. I also love my Sonos Play 1 in my bedroom but since its 4 years old, I am waiting for it to 'play' up. Must say you sound very knowledgeable and you are more of a tech head than me - give me a simple life with less controls to manipulate and what controls that are needed to be simple with large buttons. For everything else I don't mind getting out of the chair.


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