Last week, I blogged about a June promotion by Sonos, Inc., offering a free wireless bridge (value C$59) to purchasers of the company's Play:3 and Play:5 wireless music systems (C$329 and $449 respectively). You can read the original blog here.
The situation was brought to my attention by a long-time Sonos dealer, Yana Imaginative Audio-Video Solutions Inc. in West Vancouver, B.C. Owner Sergei Shinder, and several other Sonos dealers, were miffed by the way Sonos was promoting direct to their customers, offering deals that weren't available to Sonos resellers.
I contacted Sonos to hear their side. The company representatives I spoke with were initially rather combative; but then agreed to talk on the record. Comparable deals were available to resellers, stated company spokesperson Eric Neilsen. Recipients of the promotional e-mails are offered a choice of buying direct from Sonos, or searching for a dealer in their area.
After posting the blog, Shinder disputed the information provided by Sonos. Referring to the offer of a free Bridge with a Play:3 speaker (the Play:5 promotion is available only in the U.S.), Shinder wrote, "This is NOT available to ‘retailers.' I just logged on to my dealer portal again to double-check in case they added this promo. But they have not. I have also called my dealer shop support (800.680.2345) and they again confirmed that this is only available to be purchased by the customer directly through their SONOS.COM store. I also checked Future Shop and Bust Buy just in case and they also do not have this promo."
After reading Shinder's comments, I contacted Neilsen and three other Sonos representatives on June 13 (six days ago) to get their side of the story. Neilsen responded the following day by e-mail, saying that he would connect with Kevin McCuaig, Senior Sales Director for Canada, and get back to me.
Five days later, there's been no response. Maybe there are facts that I don't know about, but based on the information we have, it looks as if Sonos is aggressively targeting its dealers' customers, and usurping repeat sales that rightfully belong to its dealers.
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