Singapore customers left hanging when Asos orders fail to arrive

Singapore customers left hanging when Asos orders fail to arrive
PHOTO: Reuters, Facebook screengrabs

SINGAPORE - She is a loyal Asos customer who has ordered from the UK website not once, not twice, but a total of 19 times so far. But the latest experience for Ms Bernie Low, a local blogger, has been nothing short of frustrating.

Ms Low, 22, is just one of many customers who have taken to Facebook to voice their unhappiness over missing goods ordered from the retail giant in January.

Many of these customers had placed their orders as early as the beginning of January as they were hoping to wear their new clothes for Chinese New Year. However, Chinese New Year has come and gone but there was still no sign of their clothes.

What has been more agonising for these customers is that they have been told time and again to wait for their deliveries by different members of the Asos social media team.

Ms Low, who likes Asos for its free worldwide shipping, affordable prices and plus-sized offerings, had ordered five items from the store on Jan 10 this year. However, her items did not arrive on the Jan 28 delivery date that is usually stated on the email tax invoice.

Instead, she was told that delivery would be pushed back by almost one month to Feb 24. Despite this, she told AsiaOne that she had not received any of the five items on Feb 24.

In a blog post on Feb 18, Ms Low expressed frustration at the way the Asos team was handling its customer queries.

"Look, there has to be something that is wrong since so many orders to Singapore have all gone missing, most likely all from the same batch and shipped together. They keep asking us to send in more details to verify the order and everyone gets told to wait even longer," she wrote.

"Plus many, many, many other Singaporeans have faced this problem yet no one is getting a proper response. We see the exact same responses copy pasted for every single dispute. It is very frustrating."

Another Asos customer, Laysie Lim, 35, told AsiaOne that she had also raised her concerns with the company after her Jan 14 order failed to arrive on Feb 3. According to Ms Lim, the retailer was holding a Chinese New Year promotion at the time and offered an 18 per cent discount on purchases.

When she contacted Asos, the designer was told that her shipment would arrive on Feb 21 instead.

Later, she heard from two of her colleagues that they too had not received orders made on Asos. That was when she realised that many other Singaporeans had been complaining of missing parcels on the Asos Facebook page.

Ms Lim was then told to give her order details to Asos again, but the representative who replied told her that delivery would be further delayed till Feb 26.

"Real sorry for this delay, I hope it doesn't cause you too much troubles - keep an eye out for the postman Laysie," the message from a representative identified as Danielle read.

When asked about the cause of the delay, another representative named Holly said: "We need to allow some extra time due to postal delays in your area. We're really sorry about this Laysie".

In an email response to AsiaOne, the London-based e-commerce retailer did not mention that there were any obstacles for delivery to Singapore.

Instead, a spokesperson from Asos said that the delay was caused by incorrect address labels printed by its delivery partner.

"One of our delivery partners recently made a change to their technology that updated the way address labels were printed. As a result many of our customers' addresses were not printed correctly and packages were unable to be delivered," the spokesperson said.

According to Asos, the problem was identified and fixed on the same day.

When asked about the feedback received so far, Asos said in an email: "We apologise to any customers who are impacted".

For many customers, however, an answer - not an apology - is what they are looking for.

Both Ms Lim and Ms Low said that they would continue to order from Asos despite the disappointing experience - but only if their purchases are accounted for.

"I'm very disappointed because I really like Asos," Ms Low said in a phone interview with AsiaOne in February, adding that she could still forgive the store if her purchases arrive by March, or if she is given a refund. In a second interview, Ms Low said that Asos had offered to give her a refund after the clothes she ordered did not arrive on Feb 24 as promised.

But even getting a refund might not prove to be any easier.

Although Ms Lim told AsiaOne that she had received her refund, not all Asos customers were given a satisfactory reply to their requests.

Facebook user Jo Koh was one of many customers who left a frustrated message on the Asos page asking for a proper response. "I have been in contact with Asos since Feb 16 for an order which (was) due to arrive on Feb 4 but never arrived," the user wrote on Feb 24.

As her order had not arrived by Feb 23, she decided to request for a refund instead. To her disappointment, she did not receive a reply from Asos. "I am completely disappointed! Can someone please get back to me!" she wrote.

Another Facebook user, Daryl Aw Yeong, wrote on Feb 23 that he had gotten a refund from Asos, but not without "a heck load of trouble and it wasn't a good experience".

His tactic for finally getting a response? "Spamming" the Asos Facebook page, he said.

Going by the number of complaints posted on the Asos Facebook page thus far, it seems that "spamming" is what many of its customers have resorted to doing in the hopes of getting a response from the e-retailer on their delayed parcels.

In response to AsiaOne's queries on Asos' refund process, a spokesperson said:"'Our customer care team has a full list of all those affected by this issue. Should any customer on this list advise our team that their delivery has not yet arrived, they will be entitled to a full refund."

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