Asda shoppers still stuck with double-charging problem

by , Senior Home Researcher Energy & Home 28 January 2013
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Since June 2011, Asda has been in trouble for accidentally charging its online customers twice for their shopping. The issue continues to rumble on, although Asda says the end is in sight. Have you been caught out?

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Back in 2011, we highlighted the plight of Asda customers who were getting charged twice for their shopping due to a problem with its online shopping system. Many unfortunate customers were hit with bank charges when their accounts went overdrawn as a result.

When you shop online, Asda asks your bank to hold the estimated cost of your shop, and then charges you for the actual cost of your shopping when it arrives. But in some cases – like if there’s a substitution in your shopping – the estimated amount is held for up to 10 days.

Asda charges twice – a basket-load of complaints

Complaints poured in from Asda shoppers here on Which? Convo such as Kelly:

‘I’ve just had it happen to me and I’m so angry. I’ve had £230 ringfenced as well as them taking £240 out for my shopping. Luckily I had just been paid otherwise we would have been in serious difficulty.’

Last summer, Asda told us it would have a new system in place by autumn 2012. But autumn came and went, with customers including Asdanomore still being left out of pocket:

‘I placed an online grocery shopping order last Wednesday (12 December 2012) and the estimated total of £69.39 was immediately taken from my current account. The final order was £10 less, as an item was out of stock. The full actual amount of the order was than also debited from my account.

‘I’ve been in touch with Asda twice for a refund. Asda then told me I needed to get my bank to fax them first (which the bank unhelpfully refuses to do). I apparently have to wait up to seven working days for MY money to be refunded from Asda.’

Getting Asda’s problem fixed faster

The supermarket says an update late last year solved the problem ‘for the vast majority’, and that final changes over the next couple of months ‘should get rid of the issue altogether’.

But given how long Asda customers have been dealing with this problem, we won’t celebrate until the complaints have dried up completely. Have you suffered from this problem with Asda’s online shopping? Did you manage to get your money back easily?

96 comments

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avid

Stop moaning , it is pointless speaking or writing to customers services most of them can only push a few buttons on their computers or spout parrot fashion from the company blog. Write to their Chief executive officer Andy Clarke at Southbank, Gt. William Street, Leeds , LS11 5AD or email him at andyclarke@asda.co.uk (not sure if there is a . between Andy and Clarke but you will be able to sort that out . Also if you write a letter mark it ” Private and Confidential then at leas it gets to his office. It worked for me. Always remember when complaining start at the top.

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Ange

Thanks for this info. I will try it

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anon

the bank are the ones holding the money. Only they have they power to release the funds, asda can ask and ask but if the banks dont respond then the funds will carry on holding.

Their should be better communication between banks and companies to resolve these banking issues

Im curios as to how other online shopping supermarkets counter this problem with ring fencing?

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Stuart_B

No point in blaming banks.. It is ASDA who are at fault here for adopting a procedure that neither Tesco nor Asda use… Dunno about Waitrose as Ive never used them. Asda have had plenty time to stop this .

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Ange

This happened to me over the Christmas period with £45 being unavailable to me for 7 days. I was passed from pillar to post with Home shopping blaming head office & vice versa. I am furious especially as I paid up front for 3 months deliveries. I am shocked this sharp practice has been going on so long.

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pat moore

That’s rubbish my bank released the funds without asdas permission because they do it all the time I have never known anyone else to do this it is an error that Asda could control if they wanted to

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Kym

It’s still happening, happened to me today. I bank with the co-op and had an order delivered on Sunday with one £7 item missing. They took out the full amount today and left me overdrawn as they held the full amount with the £7 added in in the ‘holding account’.

Luckily Co-op were willing to work it out and they released it. It’s the 2nd time it’s happened to me within 2/3 months. Apparently it may come to them having to get Asda to fax them to release the money next time. Co-op told me that it happens all the time and they have people ringing every day with it happening to them.

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Martin Steer

Had the same problem, actual delivered order came to £129.45 but they had ring-fenced my bank account by the original order amount of £141.19. This left my bank account overdrawn and resulted in a very embarrassing and inconvenient situation where my debit card was subsequently declined in a busy store. It was only when I contacted my bank to find out what on earth the problem was (knowing full well I had sufficient cleared funds in my bank account) did it materialise wahat ASDA had done – taken the amount of the delivered order, plus left the ring fence in place, thus as far as the bank were concerned, that was a separate transaction which had been authorised but not yet taken. Fortunately the bank are fully aware of this particular problem with ASDA and were able to rectify the matter straight away. The cost of ringing my bank as a result has cost me over £3.00, which I am claiming back from ASDA along with a formal complaint to the CEO.

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Kevin Aiken

This is about the 12th time this has happend to me, today I paid my shopping 3 times, and they claim it only seems to happen to me so they are not prepared todo anything about it. I know you get your money back eventually thats okay if you can afford to feed your family between that time sometimes taken upto 10 days.

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Jodie Elliot

I’m a student who has also had this happen to me! Back in NOVEMBER I did an online shop (the last one I will ever do) and when the shop arrived it cost about £4 more than what I paid for the online amount, first amount debuted £29.50 second amount £33.10. Rather than debiting the extra £4 they took the £33.10 out also. Leaving me £29.50 down.. Being a student with no income £29.50 is a lot of money to me.
After many phone calls emails and even a dispute with the bank and asda, and with asda saying the bank have the money and vice-versa we are now in FEBRUARY.. 4 MONTHS later and I am still out of pocket!!!
I think asda are a disgrace, as a result I have discouraged many friends and fellow students to avoid asda online and in store. I am more than happy to walk an hour and a half to my nearest morrinsons than go near asda again!

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Angela

I am sick to death of Asda online shopping. Twice now they have overcharged me for my shopping. Yesterday they delivered my goods whilst I was at work. When I got home I checked my bill and found they had overcharged me by. My shopping came to 74.46 and they charged me 110.01. When you I telephoned them they agreed that I had been overcharged and that they would send me a form to compkete to get my yes my money back. When I said I wanted soneone to ring me today they said they would get someone to do thst but it is now 18.03 and I am still waiting for a call.

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pat moore

This has happened to me twice in a fortnight – my bank gave me the money bank has “Asda” are renowned for doing this – there call centre staff are in South Africa and haven’t got a clue about the goings on and actually really don’t seem to care – even the so called managers are obviously recalling a set spiel and are very confused if you try to deviate from it.They have given me £10 off a shop so ii have ordered £45 worth of shopping – my normal bill is between £80 and £175 per week but this will be my last ever shop with Asda

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Lee

Happened to my family this week really rude people not very helpful. £56 out of pocket can’t belive its been going on for this long :(

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Domdom

I have not shopped at Asda for ages now – got so fed up of their rubbish customer service! Tesco are fantastic – they have never kept money on hold, do not try to give me other peoples shopping, bring substitutes that are actually similar to the original item ordered, and on the one time they did make an error – gave me £30 in vouchers, didn’t charge me for certain items and a member of the store delivered my missing items personally in their car the next day! How’s that for customer service??? Puts Asda to shame!

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Vossa

I was charged twice in store and made to feel very silly by being marched up to customer services to be charged again even though l said its gone out already and them telling me no madam you must have got your pin wrong/ maybe you took your card too soon! I got home to check my bank to find infact they had taken it twice, l called my back who confirmed this, they gave me the details to allow it to drop back in but l phoned Asda, they said are you sure, l spoke to a guy called yassa he promised to phone me back, no phone call, six times l called their customer service line and five times l got cut off, l finally got a woman who said she would sort it and l gave her the details my bank said to give, only to fiind the next day they had in fact taken another £54.00. So l got onto the bank again and then asda, promises to sort it, eight days later l am still waiting. I phoned a manager a arranged to meet today, after some discussion he said as a good will gesture he would refund the £54.00 (which he did) but then added if it falls back into my account then would l return the money! How is that a good will gesture?? I for one will never shop at an Asda again, its a journey for me to travel there any way, l have decided to pay a little more and keep the shops open in my village! Eight days to sort is a joke and the money is still pending on the account, they are currently holding £108.06, its not like we all have that kind of money for Mr Asda to have and get interest on while we are going without until its sorted! Needless to say l am not impressed with my bank either as l proved there was a problem and that money should have been released back into my account. So what should have been an enjoyable shop on my day off turned out to be quite stressful, l work in customer services also and if l ever treated anyone in such away to feel foolish l would be ashamed of myself. Asda l feel you have a lot to learn from this one, even contacting head office l got a standard letter that wasn’t at least interested. Well done asda on losing another customer.

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Nicola

Asda still have not fixed this problem. Asda have requested £267.40 be put on hold, but have also debited my account for £262, which was the actual cost of my shopping. The order was delivered five days ago, but despite numerous phone calls to asda they still have not released the funds.

For them to say they work with banks to resolve these issues as quickly as possible is a joke. I called two days ago with the information my bank gave me to get the funds released and was promised that a fax would be sent to my bank that day. I still hadn’t had the funds back today so called again, the fax was sent this morning and didn’t contain all of the information that my bank had requested, so they couldn’t do anything to release the money. I’ve just spent another hour on the phone to asda to try to get them to send the correct fax and have once again been promised that this will be sent out today, but I’m not holding my breath.

How is this allowed to go on three years after the problem was first detected? Needless to say I won’t be shopping with asda again. I have never had this problem with any other supermarket deliveries.

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Anna

Yup, still happening with Asda – so many years and NOTHING has changed. Fortunately my bank (Co-Op) knows this issue very well and as soon as Asda takes the money for shopping – I call my bank and they release the amount Asda had “ring fenced” when I placed the order. Still – why this has not been sorted? Which can do nothing about it?

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Amanda

This is still happening. It took me a little while to work out what was happenin because I have a lot of different payments going out and coming in. Asda do this to me EVERY TIME I get a home shop. I’m currently waiting for £175 to be recredited, I’m a single disabled mum to three very young children and I’ve gone overdrawn because of this nonsense. Asda are stealing our money and nothing is being done about it. Could you imagine what would happen if this was the other way around? Utter disgrace! The kids can’t go to the cinema this weekend now, thanks Asda, though it’s not like you care. Won’t ever shop there again. Tesco are much better.

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izzieb

Asda customer services is useless and they just don’t care about this double charging problem. To overcome it all they need to do is charge £1 or other small amount upon ordering and that would solve the problem – do they listen, of course not or this would not have been going on for so many years and causing problems for countless customers. Thumbs down for Asda!

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Bernie

Absolutely appalling service, did my online shop on sunday,delivery monday, asda took 59.00 out my acc on wednesday and asked the bank for 63.51 (original cost of shopping) which is now pending somewhere in cyberspace, was asked to phone bank for an authorization code and fax number, but seeing as its a bank holiday I have no choice but to wait till tuesday now.
Their call centers are in south africa and have absolutely no clue what they are talking about,so angry right now at asda and will not be shopping online with them again and this is not the first time this has happened even though customer services told me that this is a rare occurrence..
when is someone gonna do something about this!!

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Derryda

This same problem happened to me on Monday (not for the first time!) did a shop online it came to £156.45 but when the shop arrived on Monday it was 2p cheaper so Asda took out £156.43 as well! Had to go to the bank and lodge money in to cover mortgage which was a real inconvenience, returned home rang Asda they say they haven’t the money but I should return to the bank to get a lodgement request( or something to that effect) I tried explaining on the phone that why should I do all this as it’s their problem and I had already been to the bank and was told its Asda’s problem. I was told it would take up to ten working days to go back into my account. This is unbelievable customer service from Asda and what makes it even more appalling is the fact that this is going on for years yet Asda still haven’t it sorted!

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Barrie

With regret I have stopped buying online or in store from asda due to them repeatedly ring fencing a higher amount from my bank for up to a week and immediately debiting the reduced amount because items are not supplied. Why can’t they simply debit the original amount and if the delivered order is less then they can do a faster same day refund for the difference. I see this has been an issue with them for years. Asda show obvious contempt for their customers.

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BCrichton

Asda did this to me twice. I now shop with Sainsbury who debit the first and only amount and refund anything they can’t deliver or I give back on the door step. Refund was there in a couple of days.

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Martin Steer

The only reason ASDA are continuing to get away with this is simply because other people, whom form the majority continue to spend their money with them. If EVERYONE, and yes I do mean EVERYONE stopped spending their money with ASDA, the problem would be resolved in an instant.

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Stuart_B

And that is never going to happen Martin ….And anyway it is only those who get Home Deliveries who are affected and among those the ones who have finances where one actual payment PLUS a similar amount reserved for a period causes them a real problem . I use Asda ( as well as Tesco and Sainsburys) but I have never been aware of a second amount being held back for a few days although it might well be …it just happens that I have never checked my bank account in the days immediately following making an Asda order but if I was living on the edge moneywise it would be a problem for me too.
As I have said several times before I simply do not understand why Asda persists in this and don’t fix it .

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BCrichton

It’s not just living on the edge. I have a bill account which I also use for groceries and twice before I had to top that account up Asda went and did their double payment thing. Sainsbury debit the original shop amount and refund anything they can’t deliver. Refund only takes a couple of days. Asda have had years to put their house in order but they are only concerned with profits.

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Sean Gaffney

Had this happen to us too. The bank phoned to say there wasn’t enough money to pay some direct debits. After a lecture on the difference between the current balance and the account available balance, they mentioned about an authorisation charge on the account from Asda of £160. They thought it was weird that we also had a payment go through of £153. It seems that Asda will keep a charge on the account for 7 to 10 days for the original order whilst they take the money for the original order. We had to borrow some money whilst they sent faxes to get the code removed and Asda blamed the bank. We have shopped with Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsburys and even Iceland and none of them have pre billed us like this. They only thing they offered us to stay sorry was a free delivery. There South African call centre were surprised that we won’t trust Asda again with our credit card details again. We won’t be touching them with a barge pole!

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Laura & Alan Gibson

The first time, yeah you read correctly, this happened to me was 15th August and I had done an online shop to collect from Asda on Fri 14th August, as I had ordered a specific colour of hair dye I had refused substitutes so prices were different so they charged me twice, they took the second lot of money (well the bank held it for them) I had went to get petrol, and my card was declined I was livid as you can imagine and rather embarrassed, I called the bank they told me that it was asda that was clearing and that this happens all the time and that all I had to do was to get ASDS to fax the bank telling them to release funds back into my account, although we done all on out part we still never got the money back any quicker it took 6 days to get my money back!! And the same thing has happened again this week, took all substitutions but because 2 44p packet mixes were out of stock I have been charged double my £108 shop which has placed me into anover draft that I don’t have! It has left us without money again, the first time I had no money, OK I had done my shopping, but was unable to pay for anything else that whole week, and im now in the same situation again. Surely there must be a law regarding this as this is effectively stealing, I only authorised one payment to leave my account so they are stealing my money, both times the second amount of money has taken off my account a day or so after I have gotten my shopping? What can I do about this?? I need money I have things that need paid!

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dieseltaylor

The obvious answer is never shop at ASDA however that is cold comfort.

As to whether ASDA are deliberately or merely incidentally making money from the large balances that come with double charging I have no idea but I have a suspicion.

The legality of what they are doing is interesting and I do wonder if Which? Legal have given an all clear on this or not. My suspcion is that it is a terms and conditions of placing the order. However unresonable clauses can be struck out, and the offending clause[s] , if they exist, may not be displayed adequately.

If I were reallly eager I would do a dummy order ….

Given the existence of Aldi and Lidl I think they offer a good alternative to canny shoppers. I have carried it a step further by buying in bulk thins like 8kgs of washing powder, 5kgs of dishwasher powder, a dozen tubes of toothpaste, 48 rolls of toilet paper, all from on-line suppliers to the care home trade. And over £75 free delivery.

I actually have room to store this but if I had a family /friend network locally these purchases could be spread amongst several households. My dishwasher cost is around 2p a wash so even undercuts Aldi/Lidl who I think are 8-10p.

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dieseltaylor

Oh well i gave into temptation and have become a customer. Finding the terms and conditions is easy if you look for small print at the bottom of the page and open up the terms.

They do say categorically thhat the earmarked funds they never receive so I forgive them from making a profit from thsi system and plead lack of sleep for not realising how the system worked sooner:

3.3.6 On the day of Delivery or Collection We will request another pre-authorisation for the full order amount. We do this to ensure that the card details are still valid and that You have sufficient funds to complete the transaction. We take NO payments from Your account before Your order is Delivered or Collected, so You will only be charged for items once they are Delivered or Collected as stated in 3.3.7 below.

3.3.7 We will debit the price, plus any Delivery or Collection charge, from Your debit or credit card once We have Delivered Your goods or You have Collected Your goods. Sometimes card providers hold the full pre-authorisation amount for a period as well as the full order amount. When this occurs the pre-authorisation amount is NOT debited from Your account and paid to ASDA (i.e. we don’t get paid twice).

What the Terms and Conditions rather unfairly, IMO, ignores is the range of circumstances where a “double charge” arises. This is not spelt out OR as to the effects on your Bank account. This may not be a Terms or Conditons item but it really should be covered by a worked example showing how damaging it can be to a shoppers finances.

As we do not see complaints about other supermarkets and this problem perhaps Which? can point us to where there is some research on this ….?

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MANDA

THIS WAS THEM TAKIN A DOUBLE PAYMENT BTW

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