Asos alters returns policy to crack down on “serial returners”

Asos has made some major changes to its returns policy in an effort to crack down on “serial returners” dogging the online fashion retail market.

Yesterday Asos sent an email to its customers explaining the changes it has made, both extending the length of time customers can return items, and introducing measures to ensure “our returns remain sustainable”.

“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,” it stated.

“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.”

Despite its efforts to sweeten the deal for the average shopper, Asos also laid out how it plans to crack down on “serial returners”, who purchases numerous items, wear them, then return them for a full refund.

READ MORE: Online returns to rise to £5.6bn

Potentially fraudulent shoppers will be flagged by Asos, which says it is looking for “unusual patterns of returns activity” like customers ordering and returning big orders of goods, much more than even the most dedicated Asos shoppers.

Should Asos determine what it thinks is a fraudulent shopper, it will disable their account and prevent them from making purchases on the site again.

This follows news that Asos had begun trawling social media sites including Facebook and Instagram for suspected fraudulent customers.

It would look for customers who had recently demanded a refund for an item they claim they never received, then check their social accounts for any pictures of them wearing the item.

A report late last year revealed that returns are due to rise 27 per cent over the next five years, and cost the industry over £5.7 billion.

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