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​New Asos Returns Policy To Flag ‘Unusual Patterns’ In Your Shopping

​New Asos Returns Policy To Flag ‘Unusual Patterns’ In Your Shopping

Asos outlined the changes in an email sent out to customers

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman

Online retail giant Asos has updated its returns policy, not only extending the return period from 28 days to 45, but also announcing a crackdown on 'unusual' shopping activity - admitting this could lead to a deactivated account.

In an email sent out to customers, Asos explained customers would still receive a refund as normal if items were returned within 28 days, but after that, they'll receive an Asos gift voucher for anything returned within a 45-day time frame.

Someone browsing on the Asos website.

The email read: "We know easy returns are one of the (many) reasons you shop with us, so we've increased the time you can return stuff from 28 days to 45 days.

"If you return anything within 28 days, we'll refund you as normal... and after that (up to 45 days), you'll now get an Asos gift voucher for the amount you spent."

The company also explained that in a bid to keep the returns process sustainable 'for us and for the environment', it would be clamping down on any 'unusual' activity.

Such activity may mean the suspicion that someone is wearing purchases before returning them, or for those who order and return more than legitimate shoppers would.

The email sent out to customers.

Don't worry, though, because by the sounds of it this won't apply to the serial orderers among us (guilty!), just those who order 'way, waaay more' than even the biggest Asos fan would.

The email continued: "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."

Workers in the Asos distribution centre near Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

Steve Gershik, Chief Marketing Officer at ecommerce company InRiver commented: "Free delivery and returns have been a major driving force behind the consumer allure of Asos, but its new policy highlights even industry leaders are not immune to the crippling cost of returns.

"Although initially put in place to protect online shoppers' from items that didn't meet expectations, the returns process could instead become a lose-lose scenario for retailers and consumers alike.

"As the trend of serial returners continues to escalate, Asos is monitoring purchase patterns more closely and shoppers could risk missing out on the benefit of free returns if operating profit margin doesn't improve."

Gershik added: "That said, the retailer's newly extended returns period will enhance its already much lauded customer experience and stimulate sales. The introduction of gift vouchers for returns made between 28-45 days after purchase offers flexibility to customers, however is also a clear indicator that it has cost front of mind."

You can read Asos' full terms and conditions - including information regarding its returns policy - here.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Shopping, News, Fashion, ASOS, UK