Report: #568766

Complaint Review: Sonic Electronix

  • Submitted: Fri, February 12, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, February 03, 2012
  • Reported By: Andrew_ — Novi Michigan United States of America
  • Sonic Electronix

    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Freebie bait-and-switch offers really, really put me out.

Recently I went about trying to find the best possible deal on a Pioneer AVIC-X910BT unit. (It's a very nice navigation/dvd/stereo). I stumbled across several listings via NexTAG and Google Shopping for Sonic Electronix, which had an excellent price. I had also seen many positive reviews of Sonic on forums like those found at

Sonic has, what appeared to be, a very nice competitive price-matching policy, which I immediately went to work on. I found another retailer which was seemingly reputable and with a lower price. Upon submitting this lower price to Sonic, my claim was denied citing; 'No Free Installation Accessories Offered'. The difference in price was nearly $120.00 US. At the time I accepted that as a reasonable response.

This is the link to the item in question,

Yesterday I emailed Sonic's support address to ask about what installation accessories would be included in my purchase, for my 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The response that I was given was not encouraging. The 'Free Installation Accessories' weren't free at all, and would need to be purchased, totaling a bill of nearly $70 dollars. In addition, the support rep claims that Chrysler, General Motors, and Volkswagen vehicles are considered 'non-standard'. I'm not sure on what planet this makes any sense. Just for kicks, I called Crutchfield and asked them about those vehicle makes being considered 'non-standard' and was given an answer of; "I've never in my life heard of that.".

I've since combed Sonic Electronix's site and their policy pages looking for an explanation to this 'non-standard' vehicle make claim, and any related information on the 'Free Installation Accessories'. Their wording is extremely vague and non-descript.

The moral of the story here is: You get what you pay for, and that includes service and honesty.

I've included the email exchange below:

To: "Andrew " <>
Subject: Re: AVIC-X910BT Installation Accessories [SE-938772-SE]
From: Sonic Electronix - Support Department <>
Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 13:23:52 -0800 (PST)

Dear Andrew,

It really depends on which version you have, either way it isn't free
for Jeep vehicles since they require more attention, specifically, a
specialty integrated harness for the factory settings to be fully
retained, please advise if in fact you have a premium sound Infinity
system or not.



From: Andrew <>
To: Sonic Electronix - Support Department <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

I have a stock system. It is not the premium Infinity system. I also
do not have steering wheel controls, and I have obtained a navigation
bezel to fit the full 2DIN units.



To: "Andrew " <>
Subject: Re: AVIC-X910BT Installation Accessories [SE-938772-SE]
From: Sonic Electronix - Support Department <>
Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 13:47:17 -0800 (PST)

Dear Andrew,

Ok, you will still require a specialty harness needed for your Jeep in
order to Connect an Aftermarket Stereo Receiver to Select 2005-up
Chrysler / Dodge / Jeep Specialty CAN Bus Vehicles.  A $12.99 rebate can
be given on this price as well.

Your Jeep will also need an antenna adapter to retain am/fm



From: Andrew <>
To: Sonic Electronix - Support Department <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Thanks for the information. Just so we're on the same page - There are
no free installation accessories that will be shipped with this unit
for my vehicle. Is that correct?



To: "Andrew" <>
Subject: Re: AVIC-X910BT Installation Accessories [SE-938772-SE]
From: Sonic Electronix - Support Department <>
Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 14:32:46 -0800 (PST)

Dear Andrew,

That is correct, unfortunately not, it only pertains to standard
vehicles, in this case Chrysler, GM and VW vehicles are not considered

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#1 Consumer Comment

never had a issue with sonic

AUTHOR: tech 44 - (United States of America)

I have purchased a few items from sonic in the past and actually just a few days ago a dvd deck for my pontiac g6 and where i can see how you can be upset that you do not get free install accessories with your purchase, i did not either but i also did not request them because i knew that GM requires special harnesses to install an aftermart deck due to the fact data runs through the harness this is they way they make their units unlike some others that use a regular harness like you can pick up basically anywhere including walmart.

 I have also been an installer for bestbuy as well in the near past and had to explain to customers the difference in cost of a standard harness and and special harness that is required which of course are more expensive due to mostly the data the goes through the harness. just thought i would throw that information out there but again i think sonic is a good company competitive prices and never did me wrong personally but that is my opinion.
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#2 Consumer Comment

i find this compaint to be wierd

AUTHOR: thegonz - (United States of America)

ive bought 2 cd players from there and both times included free wiring harnesses and install accessories. and i also have purchased 2 sets of speakers as well and never had a problem with their prices or shipping or costumer service.

and there are certain vehicles that basic free installation items cant work and need extra stuff the same goes for crutchfield who ive also bought cd players from. some cars just need a basic wiring harness others need more. this is why people need to read the fine print of all offers just my two cents

the only problem i ever had was when i bought the cd player for 2008 subaru impreza it was before they did research for the car i bought it at the end of 2007 and the cd player right after i bought it but the wiring harness was for a 04 impreza which doesnt work in the 08 but i just hard wired it. not a big deal.

and to all these people that buy car electronics from this place or any other place and have no experience with this stuff dont complain if you cant get something to work its not the companys fault if you cant install something

anyways i just bought another cd player and subwoofer from this place and i will continue to buy from there they have good prices and fast shipping. but the shipping is high in my opinion. good thing i got free shipping on all my orders ha

i hope this helps anyone reading this argument.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Clarification of Policies

AUTHOR: Sonic Electronix Management - (United States of America)

We do sincerely apologize for the tone we used in our previous reply: this is not the standard practices of our company as we strive strongly for GREAT customer service. We mean no disrespect, all we're trying to do is set you up with everything you need for the installation; when an issue arises we try and address that to consumers as soon as possible. Our tone didn't come off correctly and please understand we've addressed that issue internally so it won't occur again.

We're not trying to "dangle" the free installation accessories, we have all the terms listed on our policy: as well on every individual receiver listed. Your vehicle has the CAN-BUS system that requires the premium wiring harness to be able to retain all of your features and functions of your vehicle. We say this is "premium" since anything over $12.99 in value is categorized as premium per our policy. Your vehicle it-self isn't premium: that wasn't what we were attempting to convey if that's the belief you concluded with. After our rebates offered and our low price already listed; this in turn makes these accessories a great buy for any customer. Keep in mind it's your choice whether to purchase these accessories through us, in NO way do we require you purchase them through us.              
                                                                                                                                                                                             As far as the Navigation Bezel is concerned we're not going to discredit what you stated. SOME vehicles have that option to purchase those pieces to make the install work, however, that is a accessory we don't offer. It's a "custom" installation since your required to finagle with the unit and purchase additional bezels/ or make modifications we're unable to personally assist with. We try and give you that knowledge so you can better make a decision and make your actions accordingly. Please accept our apology for our previous comments and if you need anything in the future don't hesitate to call us to work out a great deal!
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#4 Consumer Comment

Sorry 'Employee', You Couldn't Be More Wrong

AUTHOR: Andrew - (U.S.A.)

"Secondly, this item: PIONEER AVIC-X910BT cannot fit on a 2006 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE.... UNLESS, you customize installation. Were you intending that we would pay for that as well?"

If you really are a customer rep for Sonix, that's just incredibly poor language to use. It screams disrespect for the customer. Now to rebuke your second point as made above, you couldn't be more wrong. If the vehicle comes with a navigation bezel, then the unit fits. If the vehicle doesn't come with a navigation bezel from the factory, the owner can purchase one - which fits the dash without any additional modification or customization - and the unit fits. Your argument in that regard is ill conceived and incorrect.

Oddly enough, a very nice rep at Crutchfield took the time to talk with me about exactly that after I had sent an email to them regarding the same exact installation. For some crazy reason he seemed to know all about the bezel and the different options for installing a 2DIN head unit in that model.


Lowsy grammar aside, this is another great example of how never to respond to a customer complaint. Honestly, anyone reading this should get enough motivation NOT to do business with you from your response alone.

I did research, and I did read. And that's the reason that I did not purchase my unit from Sonix. Excuses aside, they take every opportunity available to dangle these free accessories in front of uses/potential customers, only to pull the carrot away as it were at the last second, using vague policies and (clearly) misinformed representatives as reason.

Buyer beware. Sonix is not completely honest and from the response by a purported 'Employee' I would be very wary about doing business with a company which treats customers and react as they do.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

1st: RESEARCH POLICIES. 2nd: find out if that unit even fits your Jeep Cherokee! (it required custom install)

AUTHOR: Se - (U.S.A.)


You can find the link here:

It is obvious that this was not read prior to leaving this "report" which is misleading, lack a LOT of information, and understanding on how our policies work and what we meant by saying "standard"


We tell very clearly in our policy, which is available BEFORE you make the purchase: "offer food for standard kits/harnesses that we sell at @12.99 or less" - THAT is what we categorize STANDARD, in our website.

Furthermore: " Kits/harnesses prices higher than $12.99 each are available for purchase price less a $12.99 rebate. Whit this latest offer, you now save on the product AND the installation! "

Additionally: " Kits, harnesses, connectors and adapters are available for MOST, but NOT ALL, vehicles. Some vehicles require premium, specialty or additional accessories to complete installation, while other vehicles either have none available or they require no dash kit and/or harness to complete installation. Most vehicles with premium sound systems and/or other factory options require additional accessories, and WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONTACT US for a list of install accessories for your vehicle. As state above, free kits and harnesses are NOT available for all makes and models."

The request of matching price for that accessory that Andrew was requesting was overlooking the policy that we had already established, where we said that we would only cover UP to $12.99 on each accessory (kit and/or harness).

Secondly, this item: PIONEER AVIC-X910BT cannot fit on a 2006 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE.... UNLESS, you customize installation. Were you intending that we would pay for that as well?


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