Last week, ASOS announced that it will deactivate customer accounts that boast an ‘unusual pattern of returns activity’ in an attempt to crack down on fraudulent behaviour.
Staying true to its word, the online fashion retailer has begun to deactivate customer accounts that suggest the shopper has either worn and then returned several items or simply ordered a suspiciously large amount of clothing.
But a number of customers have taken to Twitter to claim that they have been blacklisted by the company without good reason.
One customer tweeted, “ASOS deactivating my account because I’ve sent back too many items? Shopping online is hard enough having to guess your size and now you get penalised for it. NOT ON!”
While another loyal shopper was shocked to discover that their account had also been shut down despite having spent ‘thousands’ in recent years.
Others pointed out that the whole concept of online shopping is to enable customers to try on a number of sizes and styles before making a final decision.
In recent months, this has been made even more possible through Swedish banking company, Klarna, which enables shoppers to order clothing online without having to make a payment for 30 days.
According to a number of tweets, the blanket ASOS email reads: “Due to an ongoing pattern of returns behaviour that is against our policy, we have permanently deleted your account.”
The customer backlash comes after news that ASOS has seen profits drop by 87% this year. In the six months to February 28, 2019, the company recorded a profit of £4 million before tax – a stark difference from £29.9 million at the end of the previous year.
According to leading retail data company Clear Returns, returns cost UK retailers £60 billion a year – £20 billion of which is from items bought online.
With influencer culture fuelling the wear-it-for-Instagram generation, ASOS’ decision to blacklist ‘serial returners’ isn’t all that surprising.
But will the company’s change in policy only further cement its financial problems by pushing loyal customers away?