Earlier this year, it was revealed that plans were in order for retailers to blacklist dishonest customers who frequently buy clothes in bulk, wear the items, and then send them back. The research was conducted by planning platform, Brightpearl, which asked over 200 retailers across the UK about the trouble they face. More than a third of shops had seen an increase in serial returns over the last year leading 45 per cent of retailers, including ASOS and Harrods to devise a plan where serial returners would be blacklisted.
Just two months after the study was conducted, ASOS has announced the changes to its returns policy. Previously, ASOS offered free returns within 28 days of receiving your original order. While this still remains the case, ASOS has expanded its returns policy to 45 days. In an email sent out to customers, the online retailer stated:
"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. 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."
However, ASOS are also shifting their focus on sustainability going forward. As part of their plans to cut down on fast fashion, the brand is assuring they keep returns to a minimum by paying special attention to account who are taking advantage of the policy.
"We also need to make sure our returns remain sustainable for us and for the environment. so if we notice an unusual pattern, we might investigate and take action. It’s unlikely to affect you, but we wanted to give you a heads up."
But what exactly counts as an unusual pattern? Well, according to ASOS, this means anyone they suspect is wearing their purchases and then returning them or anyone who orders excessive amounts and returns excessive amounts. As for what they plan to do to stop serial returners, the brand says the may deactivate the account as well as any associated accounts.
So maybe think twice before you decide to go overboard with your online purchases.