Earlier this month, ASOS announced that it would be cracking down on serial returners in a bid to fight against fraud.
The brand explained it would be deactivating accounts that had a suspicious number of returns, to stop those taking advantage of the policy.
However, this week ASOS’ social media has been flooded with complaints from customers who claim to have had their accounts wrongly closed.
People have been taking to Twitter and Facebook to express their anger – especially ‘serial returners’ who said they have only made two orders in the space of a year.
One person wrote: ‘ASOS how do you justify deactivating my account due to “a high number of returns” when I rarely order from you and my last two orders have been 10 months apart?
‘If I only ordered from you in December 2019 and before then in January 2018, how can I possibly be a serial returner of items?’
Another woman said it was a ‘disgusting way to treat loyal customers’, while a bride-to-be issued a warning to other brides looking to buy their bridesmaids dresses on ASOS.
She said: ‘Just so you know if you are a bride and you want to order bridesmaids dresses on here I wouldn’t do that unless you want your account deactivated.
‘ASOS is now deactivating a lot of people’s accounts for returning too many items.
‘They won’t listen to the reason why you returned the items, you just get deactivated and ignored. A few brides I know have had their accounts deactivated and have all received the exact same email when trying to explain why they returned the items.
‘This is an online shop, how are you meant to try things on without being scared to lose your account?’
Facebook users aren’t the only ones who are angry. People have also been taking to Twitter to complain that their accounts have been deleted, despite having genuine reasons for their returns.
Absolutely raging that @ASOS had deactivated my account because I have ‘sent too many items back’ well 1) thanks for letting me know there was a limit (NOT) and 2) sorry that I’m a different size in the hundreds of different brands you have on your website!
— Emma Kelly (@EmmaKelly132) April 10, 2019
@ASOS_HeretoHelp Just had an email telling that I’ve had my account deactivated with the below text?
Due to an ongoing pattern of returns behaviour that is against our policy, we have permanently deactivated your account.
I cant quite believe what I’m reading? Totally disgusted
— Joanne Ervine (@jo_erv2812) April 10, 2019
@ASOS_HeretoHelp got an email informing me my account has been deactivated due to “on going pattern of refund behaviour”. Spoke to a member of customer support and they said it would be due to “suspicious activity”. The implication is offensive. I’ve been a loyal customer.
— kate (@dreambiting) April 10, 2019
@ASOS_HeretoHelp WOW. Just had an email to say my account has been deactivated due to ‘suspicious activity’. I’ve been an ASOS customer for YEARS and hv spent hundreds if not thousands of £ (also had lots of A-list vouchers in past) Cant even log in now. What on earth!?
— Lucinder (@lucinderch) April 10, 2019
So to my disgust I receive an email from @ASOS to say my account has been deactivated to which I have to email and ask why see below answer……I was under the impression that Asos offer one of the best customer services in the world and the Customer I.e myself is very important pic.twitter.com/aitHro73th
— clare webber (@ClareWraight) April 10, 2019
@ASOS deactivated my account! Loyal customer who has lost a load of weight and doesn’t know what size she is! And, haven’t delivered when I have paid for next day, on several occasions. Don’t return more than a normal person would. What a way to treat your customers 👍🏻
— Rachel Smith (@rubys440) April 10, 2019
— Sarah Ballantyne (@sarahb871) April 10, 2019
Customers were warned of the changes at the beginning of the month, when ASOS decided to update its returns policy.
Alongside extending the initial returns period, the retailer wrote: ‘We also need to make sure our returns remain sustainable for us and for the environment, so if we notice an unusual pattern, we might investigate and take action. It’s unlikely to affect you, but we wanted to give you a heads up.
‘If we notice an unusual pattern of returns activity that doesn’t sit right: e.g. we suspect someone is actually wearing their purchases and then returning them or ordering and returning loads – way, waaay more than even the most loyal ASOS customer would order – then we might have to deactivate the account and any associated accounts.’
Metro.co.uk contacted ASOS for a comment and the retailer responded:
‘With almost 20 million customers around the world, the business reached a size where we had to make a decision about our free returns offer,’ ASOS tells Metro.co.uk.
‘We could either begin to limit the offer in some way, or we could start to investigate the very small number of customers, a fraction of 1% in fact, who seem to be taking extreme advantage of our free returns service.
‘We chose to protect this amazing proposition, as well as increase the time to return unwanted items to us to 45 days, but we do understand that for the very, very small number of people impacted, there are some who are going to be upset.
‘We apologise for any confusion that our new policy has caused and want to assure the vast majority of our customers that they have nothing to worry about. We will also be introducing an appeals process as well as a warning email to make sure that the few people impacted are not caught by surprise or feel they have been unfairly treated.’