ASOS is making me angry and petty (but I need them).

I need to preface the below by stating clearly that I am not blaming the people who deliver for ASOS or the frontline customer service staff. I entirely sympathise with the drivers and the huge amounts of pressure they are under. If I wasn’t plus-size and didn’t suffer from low self-esteem (correlation not causation) I would just stop shopping at ASOS but there are very limited options for plus-size clothes and ASOS is something I depend on.

So here comes the frustration:

I’ve noticed a pattern which may appear trivial at first but it has happened to me 5 times since July 2016 and from twitter searches, I can see it happens all the time. There must be reasons why ASOS is not addressing it and I assume it is in their financial interests not to do so.

I pay annually for the premier service which provides free next day delivery and free nominated delivery. I don’t always bother with these. On the day of your delivery, you can even select a time slot (which at least means you don’t spend the entire day waiting for your delivery or waiting for a delivery that does not come). Paying for a next-evening delivery is extra, and I believe same-day deliveries are being introduced. ASOS continues to offer increasingly convenient delivery options but they regularly do not work out for customers in reality. These flexible options are very attractive to online customers for obvious reasons and undoubtedly boost ASOS sales. However, customers can spend an entire day waiting in (usually on a weekend) only to be told that delivery was attempted.

I put the blame entirely with ASOS and the delivery companies they have accounts with or have had accounts with (UK Mail, DPD). They also work with HERMES, I personally have not had an issue with them but Twitter searches say different.

I understand that the drivers are paid based on what they deliver and are under increased pressure, especially with one-hour time slots. I’ve had desperate drivers arrive early and ask if they can rip the barcode of the packaging so they can scan it at the right time.  One driver snapped at me for requesting an hour slot and told me not to do it again. The drivers don’t have the option to say they simply ran out of time. Their pay (I believe) is linked to how much they successfully deliver and the pressure of ASOS’ success is felt by them.

The only option a driver has (as far as I am aware) is to record it as a failed delivery. This sets off an automated message to the customer “We’re sorry we missed you” which is pretty irritating when you’ve sat in all day. There is no offer to make any kind of amends for wasting your time such as a refund on the delivery cost, they just automatically queue delivery for the next day. If you want to complain you are just directed to their customer service page.

Below is when it has gone wrong for me, and there are many more examples to be had on social media.

  1. 29 February 2016 (UK Mail) when I had paid for next evening delivery (I was not refunded). I bought the premier delivery service to save money.
  2. 2 July 2016  (DPD). I told ASOS I was housebound with a new puppy. On this occasion, ASOS refused to accept the driver had not tried to make the delivery and insisted a card was left for me. It was not. They said the GPS informed them that a delivery had been attempted (I was later called and the person I spoke to admitted this was incorrect).
  3. 22 December 2016 (Merry Christmas)
  4. July this year, I then received several texts when I was in Italy telling me they would attempt a delivery the next day.
  5. It happened again yesterday, this time I received the text early in the day at least (which is why it is in the interest of the customer to pick a time slot as otherwise, you end up wasting the entire day just in case).

The frustration I have is that ASOS will not put me in touch with anyone to escalate this (for apparent security and confidentiality reasons). It is clear that they are aware but I can only imagine that they’ve weighed things up and prefer the savings to the customer service. After all, they’ve just usurped M&S, they can probably afford the customer attrition. This isn’t just a knowingly bad service for their customers, this is a terrible way of working for their contractors.

As much as I depend on ASOS for their plus-size line, I think they need to come under more scrutiny for this because they know it is happening and they are not visibly addressing the issue. I feel for the people behind the customer service channels. It must be soul-destroying.

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