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.
I’ve spent hundreds—even in the thousands of this point—with the @ASOS company and to have received this email is fucking offensive. Like I’m a different size in every brand they have to offer so if it doesn’t fit or looks ugly in person, yeah I’m sending shit back tf? pic.twitter.com/qKxtMt9Rjw
— Oliver Zetouna (@ozetouna) April 10, 2019
I’ve placed only 3 orders in 6 months on @ASOS @ASOS_HeretoHelp and have had my account deactivated due returns activity. It’s not my fault I have to return stuff ordered in different sizes because your sizes are all over the shop! No wonder your sales have plummeted 90%
— Spex & Lipstick (@amiisteward) April 10, 2019
My account has been deactivated!
— Dan (@dblaylock91) April 10, 2019
Totally appalled at @ASOS – got an email today saying account has been deactivated due to ‘above average number of returns’ – sorry, what? I’ve returned next to nothing in 12 months, plus you had no problem taking £200+ of orders from me on Monday?! @ASOS_HeretoHelp #boycottasos
— Frankie T (@Frankie_t86) April 10, 2019
Wow, just had email to say my @ASOS_HeretoHelp account has been closed due to new returns policy. Haven’t ordered from there in c. 6 months when I cancelled my Premier Delivery subscription. Really disappointed at what they’re insinuating, will take my custom elsewhere I guess
— Sarah Millard (@millardsarah) April 10, 2019
@ASOS_HeretoHelp just got an email that my account was deactivated because I return too much. Lol. I’ve literally never returned a thing without the tags still on it. Seems kinda rude to “fire” a customer who’s spent hundreds with you but oh well. Your quality sucks anyway. 👋🏻
— Carli Kitchell (@CarliSmith1) April 10, 2019
@ASOS @ASOS_HeretoHelp Absolutely Ridiculous My Account has been deactivated because I make to many returns, I also make to many PURCHASES , how is this justified #ASOS #Joke #asostomanyreturns isn’t it the customers obligation to try before they buy !!!!!! #Disgusted !!!
— ✨✨✨✨Connie ✨✨✨✨ (@ConnieLane2) April 10, 2019
big thanks to asos for permanently deleting my account and banning me, no my fault the clothes i returned either didn’t fit or were ugly 🙂🙂🙂@ASOS_HeretoHelp
— lisa kiernan (@lisakiernan_x) April 10, 2019
I have finally been disgraced 🤣😂I have just recieved an email from ASOS saying my account has been blocked. This is because I have on occasion ordered goods and returned them when they were either not as described or substandard. As I hardly ordered from them their loss🤷🏼♀️#ASOS pic.twitter.com/5xLsn9zoM7
— Jennyfromtheblock (@JRfromdablock) April 10, 2019
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.
So @ASOS have permanently deleted my account because I returned like four orders. Nothing wrong with my returns, they are not worn. Feel really pissed off. Especially as the whole reason i shop with them was for the try on before you buy with klarna? pic.twitter.com/BF3SDzz2G1
— Trappedbehindthelens (@ShereeFadil) April 10, 2019
Correct me if I’m wrong @ASOS, but the whole premise behind @Klarna was the ability to try before you buy? To have an account suspended because of this in line with a new ‘returns policy’ is shambolic to say the least.
— Saffron (@saffron__rose) April 11, 2019
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?