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Is Asos becoming too big to care?

Asos may have continued to push the boundaries in terms of innovation and expansion but a friend’s recent shopping experience exposed the business’s flaws in customer service and how difficult it is for customers to Asos when having difficulties on the site.

Going to the Help page on Asos brings up a list of popular questions and a ‘ us’ box offering the customer the opportunity to email Asos or the team through Facebook or Twitter. However, when clicking through on the email link, rather than sending a direct email to Asos the site prompts the customer to pick from a list of question options which can immediately prove frustrating to a customer that has a specific question.

In answer to ‘What is your question about’ I chose “Shopping” and was given the following options to describe what my question was about – ‘Are you getting more stock? / I have a question about an item / Price Promise’. Choosing the option ‘I have a question about an item’ doesn’t actually let you ask a question, rather Asos returns with the message ‘We provide all the info we have on each product page. We have a no quibble returns policy meaning if it’s not quite what you imagined – just send it back – no problem!’ Not ideal.

Having no option to email a query over to Asos (or a telephone number to call them on) customers may then turn to social media (a channel that Asos has shown expertise in for many years). However, when sending a tweet to the response is a tweet asking them to send the etailer a Direct Message (DM). The issue customers then face is that they cannot send a DM to Asos unless Asos is in fact following them on Twitter.

For a business that has long been seen as the front-runner in etailing, this lack of personalised customer service is disappointing. Having had my own Asos query a few years ago I had an immediate response via Twitter and the issue was fixed swiftly, however, it seems cracks are starting to appear, at least in this instance – and looking on Twitter, there is definitely a mixed response. While there is still some praise for the service provided, a number of Tweets are not so complimentary with comments including Jess Hopcraft ‏( ) on March 5 – “it’s a shame that @ASOS really seem to be struggling with their Customer Service via Twitter. Even the basics are being missed! #awkward” and Laura Noble ‏()on the same day “Shocking customer service from @ASOS  they’ll be getting a nice complaint heading their way.”  

The site is currently trialling a live chat personal styling option but they make clear this is not a way to get a response to customer care enquiries. Asos’s priorities seem to be concentrated in the areas of expansion, trialling new technologies and innovative marketing campaigns. However, if they are not able to keep up an expected and satisfactory level of customer service, the business could soon see more of their time spent on bringing in new customers to replace those that have had a bad experience on the site and decided in future to shop elsewhere.

Readers' comments (5)

  • There appears to be a prevalent view in big business that technology can solve everything, including customer service. However when it goes wrong, computers don't deal well with our emotions. The opposite in fact, they antagonise and often make it far worse.

    The helpful thing for Asos is that their competition struggle to serve any better. However just like Asos, unknown not that long ago, a new business or two will appear that will force others to raise the bar.

    Plus bricks and mortar stores can still turn it around. The power of face to face, well trained and supported by new, relevant technologies should not be underestimated. Nor should a customer be... As our emotions live long in the memory.

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  • Here we go, build em up and knock em down. With a company of this size of course there will be the odd one or two customers who have a bad experience but it is a tiny minority, last count they have over 7 million, yes 7 million customers Worldwide and if this had any chance of becoming even a small issue in percentage terms then they would address quickly.

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  • Not being able to get instant help is a HUGE issue - the pop up help/chat service is definitley the best way to solve this!

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  • Woeful customer service will eventually effect their sales, it won't take the public long to find alternatives , ASOS have other similar companies on their tail and will need to sharpen up to stay ahead. the young people they serve are fickle and price savvy ASOS are expensive .

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  • araminta george

    No doubt these questions are just wasting time of customers. But the other option is to have direct talk with their customer service on this number 0844 385 1700 source :
    I ordered two trousers, which I received in time. But later on after trial, it was not fit from my waist. So I called their customer service on the above mentioned number and the asked me to send back with in one week. I did accordingly and to my utter surprise, I received the correct fitting trousers with in three days after returning the previous consignment.

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