Asos gets tough with serial returners
News that Asos, which is considered by many to have spearheaded growth in liberal returns policies, has advised its customers of a change to its service offering. Until now customers have been able to order and return an unlimited number of items, receiving a full refund regardless of timescale. It has now advised customers that it will still honour full refunds for items returned up to 28 days from receipt but that items returned from 29 up to 45 days after receipt will now be refunded via a gift voucher rather than receive their money back.
Asos is one of many retailers suffering at the hands of fraudulent customers who order clothing, wear it to impress their peers, take selfies for their social media accounts, and then return items expecting full refunds. It has already begun looking at the social media accounts of anyone suspected of 'playing the system' to find evidence of those wearing the items they claim not to have received. The retailer will disable the accounts of any customers suspected of fraud.
Similar initiatives were out in place decade ago by the then 'big five' mail order catalogue houses which offered goods on credit and were often targeted by criminals using numerous addresses, never their own, to which orders were to be shipped. Once delivered the recipients would collect and then quickly sell the goods on, then claiming never to have received them or simply move on to use a new name and address. The mail order retailers pooled data on these thefts and then blacklisted rogue addresses.
In 2019, it should prove to be a lot easier to track serial fraudsters as many are creating the evidence on social media that proves their criminality.