/ Money, Shopping

Asda shoppers still stuck with double-charging problem

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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?

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?

Karen Remnant says:
24 May 2015

Asda are still holding customers money! Because they ringfenced a payment and then took a second payment that was slightly less, some direct debits didn’t clear. Bank has been very good, thanks Nationwide! Asda on the other hand tell me it’s all the banks fault, has nothing to do with them! Customer Service Centre is a joke! A bad one!

Suzanne says:
24 July 2015

Yes, it is still happening. Yesterday, 23 July 2015, I had to call my bank and was told that one particular account was in debit because ASDA had reserved a payment which normally remained on the account for up to 10 days. However, the bank did state that ASDA did it all the time and they cancelled the payment. I was then told because they have done it alot on my account that I either needed to ensure that I had double the amount the cost of the food shopping is in my account or keep calling the bank and they will remove the unwarranted payment. I was also informed that the next time it happened and no funds were available in that account that I would be charged. I have expressed my concerns about double-charging I did telephone ASDA Customer Service about some missing items on Saturday and also mentioned the double-charging issue. She said that they did not know of any problem with double-charging. I have just telephoned ASDA Customer Service (which number is listed in the email confirmation and on the order when it is received) yet again (24.07.2015 @ 13:30) and spoke to Tariq (who was polite) who kept going back to the supervisor for advice and was then told that Customer Services cannot deal with this issue and I needed to contact the Head Office. Is there any further update on this double-charging problem from ASDA?


Asda on line shoppers BEWARE
I shopped from Asda on line for the first time last week. The total came to £103.71 including delivery. Products were delivered with a few replacements. The invoice, however, was for £113.77 including delivery. I called Asda customer services and was told the prices had changed from when I ordered on Thursday 20th to delivery on Friday 21st. Apparently, this is according to Asda terms and conditions. The representative was apologetic but could not help. Asda advertises competitive prices on their groceries on line to push sales. However, they charge customers higher prices and I wonder how many people check their invoices in detail. Please pass this warning on to all your family and friends.


I wrote to Andy Clarke, Asda CEO and received the following message:

“Thank you for taking the time to write to Andy Clarke regarding your Home Shopping order. As part of Andy’s team, he’s asked me to investigate and respond to you directly on his behalf.
I’m sorry when you received the order it cost more than when you ordered it, I can appreciate how disappointing this must be for you as you weren’t expecting the increase in price.
As prices may change on a daily basis, and the site is updated overnight, prices on the site are a guide only. There may be variations in the price between the time you place your order and the time we are due to deliver, or you are due to collect, your order. You will pay the same price (excluding our online only promotions) that you would pay if you came to do your shopping at the store from which your order is dispatched on the day of delivery. You will be able to see this in our terms and conditions.
I would like to advise you that we do work very closely with Trading Standards so if they do have any questions for us after you contacting them we won’t be more than happy to answer them.
Thanks again for contacting Andy. If there’s anything else I can help you with, please do get in touch.
Kind regards
Nick Sharp, Asda Executive Relations
Global Shared Service (UK)”

What a lot of bull ****! Please forward this warning to all friends and families. DO NOT TRUST ASDA’S LOW ON LINE PRICES AS YOU WILL BE CHARGED HIGHER PRICES!

ROSE says:
31 August 2015

Funny – this is the same response I got almost word for word on behalf of Andy after my 65% increase overnight on a single item. The best way to respond is to vote with your feet, I have never shopped online with Asda again and have told my family, friends and colleagues the saga for them to make an informed choice, as the low competitive prices are not guaranteed, they are a lure to entice you to place the order, hoping the vast majority will not realise or care about the increased price you actually end up paying.
I still do not understand how Asda are allowed to make such increases overnight on non perishable goods and goods that have not been substituted. Basically pluck a figure from the air and that is what you will be charged with no proof of the reason behind the increase.
Imagine the outrage if you actually went round the store, made an informed choice about the items you wanted to purchase based on price, place them in your trolley and then by the time you got to the checkout, your bill was 65% more ! This is what is happening on line and somehow it is allowed.


On a sizeable order, say over £100, I would expect some prices to be higher on delivery day and some to be lower – but does the latter actually happen? People have only reported increases.

The price changes cannot all happen at midnight precisely across all the big supermarkets – to some extent their pricing is reactive to the competition and if Tesco noticed that Asda had dropped their cornflakes price they would adjust the price of their equivalent or some other cereal to maintain their proclaimed advantage, so I guess there’s another round of price changes at around 1:00 am. We’ll never know.

ROSE says:
31 August 2015

But again if you actually went into the Asda store at midnight or in the small wee hours, the prices do not alter as you go round the store.On non perishable goods, when I have ordered on line from Tesco, Sainsbury, amazon, argos etc it is the same price I pay on collection/delivery; Asda is the only exception.
In my case it was a single item and it altered by 65% from the time of placing the order to the time of collection, less than 12 hours. You are only allowed to book the click and collect between 8am and 8pm and it seems to be after this Asda feel they can alter the prices without warning. Asda did not inform me or highlight the price change, the receipt was already in the bag with the item, you are just to sign to acknowledge receipt of the collection.


You are quite right about the in-store price labels – they obviously do not change at midnight and the data in the checkout system must be adjusted incrementally in line with the label changing. I have never been in a supermarket on the graveyard shift but it would probably be an interesting exercise to see just what is happening.

Asda certainly seems to be the biggest offender in the pricing problems connected with on-line ordering and also has the distinction of being alone in double-charging their faithful home-delivery customers. That issue has, amazingly, been running since 2011 and still reports are coming in to Which? Conversation of Asda’s failure to release customer’s funds and causing financial hardship as well as a lot of inconvenience.

I think Which? should be raising the profile of the double-charging issue and tackling Asda head-on to stop this unnecessary practice which the other supermarkets do not follow.

Some commentators say “Well, stop shopping at Asda” but for many people that is not good advice, and for many areas there might be no alternative. Even where there is a choice, Asda might be preferable for reasons other than their pricing and charging policies.


Interestingly I have just received this email from Asda:

We’re getting in touch to let you know that we’re changing the way we process payments for your Asda online grocery orders.

From 2nd September 2015, we’ll take payment for the online order value of your delivery or collection once you’ve received your order. In some instances, we may need to make a subsequent adjustment to your payment on the day, for example to take into account variable weight or unavailable items. The adjustment and original online order value may appear as two separate transactions on your bank statement – but your final payment amount will always be the confirmed value at the bottom of your delivery note.

Not sure of that is actually a change?
In the FAQ they state they will only remove 1p on ordering to check the card is active and then return the 1p.I wonder will this make a difference


Well, they could have made it clearer, but it sounds like slight progress, Rose – it remains to be seen whether this really is the end of the double charging problem.

I can understand that the company wishes to validate the card and ring-fence the funds available to meet the eventual charge [although I am not convinced of the necessity] so they put a hold on that amount in the customer’s bank or credit card account. I suspect it was a technical glitch, and not anything more sinister, that when the final amount due was computed it was posted as an additional debit [instead of making a balancing adjustment], and that was followed by a failure to reverse the hold on the prior amount [and on a big shop that’s a lot of money]. However, their inability to solve this problem for over three years suggests that they were disinclned to give it proper attention.

If they are going to charge 1p at the outset and then refund it [subject to price fluctuations] at the end that should be the end of that particular problem [it still seems a bit unnecessary to me: you cannot pay with a card without going through the card verification procedure so what are they worried about?]. But it still leaves unresolved the question of significant price alterations between the time of committing the order and delivery day. My view is that the price you see on the on-line system should be the price you pay; most people are only ordering a day or two ahead of delivery, and the people who order on line are probably some of their most important customers. I am glad I am not one of them.

ROSE says:
26 May 2015

I was fortunate in my case that my bank (HSBC) were excellent. They stopped the additional increased payment as unauthorised as I had not given permission for this amount to be debited and cancelled the bank card as fraudulent use so they could not access it. You go through all the security checks online to authorise the payment and then without permission a totally different amount is taken. The get out clause is that the prices can change overnight – who is monitoring this? IN my case a 65% increase in less than 24 hours with no prior warning. Asda must be making a nice sum of interest in this overcharging and excess monies they hold onto. Needless to say I have never shopped online with Asda since.

cc says:
25 June 2015

I had the same issue with Air France when i booked tickets for myself and my two children. They reserved the full amount but then also took the full amount in 3 separate transactions! My bank gave me a code to give to air France asking them to fax my bank the code to release my money. Did they do it…..no they flat out refused i was over drawn through no fault of my own and was left with no money for 5 days before they finally agreed to release the reserve!!!