/ 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?

Comments
Guest
Karen Remnant says:
1 year 1 day ago

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!

Guest
Suzanne says:
10 months 1 day ago

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?

Guest

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.

Guest

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!

Guest

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.

Profile photo of John Ward
Guest

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.

Guest

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.

Profile photo of John Ward
Guest

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.

Guest

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

Profile photo of John Ward
Guest

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.

Guest

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.

Guest

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!!!

Guest
dave taylor says:
10 months 21 hours ago

Ive been following this thread very closely and have emailed Asda and not got a lot back from them. what i can see is that this issue has been going on far too long despite Asda “schizophrenic attitude” of were fixing this or its not our fault reasoning.
Ive also sought some further clarification on Asda’s responses to people getting issued with bank charges due to Asda’s “ring fencing” policy. They have stated in this thread and in which’s own magazine that people will NOT be left out of pocket due to this and any charges would be reimbursed. This is documented and Asda have issued “statements” to this effect to Which researchers. Ive asked Which to follow up on these statements (as Asda have denied they have made such communications to which) and to get back to me. im awaiting Which’s reply as to who they spoke with and Asda’s position on this. Ill up date you all when this happens.

Profile photo of stuart_b
Guest

A few weeks ago Watchdog mentioned this and said they had been told by Asda that plans were imminent to have their procedures brought in line with Tesco and Sainsburys and that customers would no longer have one payment charged and a similar amount “reserved” for a few days ….I don’t recall a definite date being announced for the change .

Profile photo of dieseltaylor
Guest

Good work taylor : )

Please do keep us in the loop.

Guest

I’m just dealing with exactly same situation with Asda, never done shopping there but on 24/07/2015 decided to try to save me some time, placed grocery order for total of £48,
next day- on sat went online to check my bank account and find out I have pending transaction from Asda for £48 and another one for £140!!!
Rang my bank – Lloyds and explained situation, all been treated as a fraud, my card was cancelled and transactions stopped, hopefully will get my money back,
Asda customer service was so poor, words can’t describe it, spoke to 2 people who I couldn’t understand as English was so bad and at the end advised me to cancel all transactions with bank.
I emailed Asda my complain but don’t expect any respond.
Now just waiting for my £140 back

Profile photo of Matt Clear
Guest

Hi everyone,

We’ve been in touch with the Asda press office about this and they’ve promised to investigate cases where customers have been left out of pocket. So if you’ve incurred bank charges as a result of this problem and your bank hasn’t refunded them, please send us your name, contact details, Asda order number and a brief description of your correspondence with Asda customer services to conversation.comments@which.co.uk and we will pass them on to Asda.

Guest
dave taylor says:
9 months 24 days ago

im so glad Asda are moving on this! it really is about time. well done Which for keeping this thread going and making Asda see sense. Customers should not loose out due to their “different” way of doing things.

Guest

Too little far too late asda. Won’t be shopping with these robbers again whether they fix it or not.

Guest
Martin Steer says:
9 months 24 days ago

I always pay by credit card now (apparantly they cannot ring fence credit cards, or so I’m told), then transfer the money from my bank account

Guest
janine d says:
9 months 8 days ago

Had am online shop from asda yesterday and ive been chrged £40 for items that were unavailable! Have rang them twice but to be honest it was pointless as they disnt seem to get that although they should have only charged me 37quid they have charged me 77! I have emailes them today aand hope I get some better luck with that. £40 is a lot to lose and im worried I wont get it back. Has anyone had any issues the same? Did you get your money back?

Guest

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. 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.

Profile photo of John Ward
Guest

It is possible that some of your items were lower in price on delivery day but offset by a number that had gone up overnight. Even so, a £10 price variation is high on an order that size and could be financially embarrassing in some cases – I feel they should have contacted you to check that you were still happy to proceed or would like to drop one or two items from the order. Obviously it is impossible to lock in the price at the time of ordering, and it could have gone either way, but I think Asda need to smack their own bottoms for once. As a matter of interest, were you able to check where the variations occurred – were there one or two significant changes [like a bottle of wine coming off discount] or was it scattered across a range of products? Unfortunately, although they say you can decline substitutions and price increases at the time of delivery. in practical terms this is almost impossible.

Guest
Karen Remnant says:
8 months 29 days ago

I think the increase was down to the replacements! I always make sure I’ve removed the substitute option. If they haven’t got the item I’ve ordered I don’t want to find I’m being charged for a more expensive alternative!
The best advice I can give is to remove the substitute option! Asda can make enough mistakes on their own. We don’t need to give them another way of playing fast and loose with our money!!

Profile photo of Lindsay
Guest

Just to respond to your comment – if you have an item substituted with something that should be a higher price, you will only pay the price of the item you ordered. For example, you buy some Asda Smartprice sausages for 90p. They send some Richmond sausages that are £3. You’ll only be charged 90p and vice versa if you ordered Richmond and we’re sent smartprice you’d only be charged 90p

Profile photo of dieseltaylor
Guest

Given this court case in the US perhaps it would be helpful if some group looked at the terms and conditions very fully :

http://consumerist.com/2015/09/01/safeway-to-refund-customers-30-9m-for-online-ordering-overcharges/

Profile photo of Matt Clear
Guest

Hi everyone,

I have some good news to report from Asda. It says that they have changed their system to fix this problem and that no customer should experience this issue again, no matter who they bank with.

It says that the new system – effective as of two days ago – is that you’ll be charged for the estimated cost of your online grocery shop when you place your order. If the actual cost of your shop is different, you’ll be simply be charged/refunded whatever the difference is.

If you shop with Asda online, please let us know if the system is working as Asda says it is, or if you’re still experiencing this problem.

Profile photo of John Ward
Guest

This isn’t the same as what Asda told Rose a few days ago [see further up the page] when they said they would charge one penny at commitment of the order [for validation purposes] and the full amount on receipt with any necessary adjustment for a refund/addition. I presume what they have told Which? is the official authorised version and is the outcome people have been waiting for. Thanks Matt for a clear win.

There is still the other on-line ordering problem to resolve with Asda – large price changes between the time of submitting the order and delivery day.

Profile photo of WilliamEvans
Guest

I have boycotted Asda online (& I store on principle) since this happened to me. Other online supermarkets have never done this to me. I may return when I am sure Asda has sorted this out properly.

Guest

Nothing changed, because I made an order the 2nd of September, and not only they didn’t show up the delivery day, forcing me to call again and reschedule the delivery for the day after, but they also charged me twice.

Same and same again. Someone should just shut this company for good.

Profile photo of dieseltaylor
Guest

Thanks for letting us readers know.

I look forward to someone telling us that it is working or not for them.

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

I have not read this long running saga, but I wonder if anyone has taken Asda to court for taking money they are not entitled to. I have sympathy for any organisation that makes an occasional mistake, but not if they carry on doing the same thing for weeks ….. or even years.

Guest
Paul Evans says:
7 months 16 days ago

I can confirm that Asda have not fixed the problem! We ordered shopping to be delivered last Friday night; due to the driver running out of petrol (!), the order did not arrive. Due to this and numerous other c**k ups (which eventually resulted in us picking up the shopping ourselves), we received a £15 discount and the delivery charge was waived. This meant a lower amount of money was charged and taken from our bank account. Unfortunately the initial amount was earmarked to leave our account at the point of order and, 9 days later it remains earmarked and we cannot access the funds! As per other comments, Asda customer services put all the responsibility to the bank and I now have to get a transaction code and fax number from Barclays to get the money back. Given that the average time to pick up a call is 10 minutes, I asked if Asda had another number to call so I could get through quicker to pass on the aforementioned details. You can guess the response……

Profile photo of Morksmate
Guest

Amazed to find this thread – the same thing has just happened to me and as a result, I am unable to access £208.00 of MY money due to Asda’s incompetence! To see that this has been going on for this length of time is both outrageous and unbelievable – how are they still getting away with this?
This is a list of ‘pending’ transactions on my account, requested by Asda Home Delivery. They relate to an order that was not delivered (no notice given!) and another order the following week for £90.61 that I did receive:-
Pending – Asda Home Delivery £0.01
£0.01
£58.66
£58.66
£0.01
£0.01
£0.01
£0.01
£0.01
£90.61
In addition, the sum of £90.61 was withdrawn from my account by Asda Home Delivery for the delivery they did make! As a result of this, as of today 31st December 2015, I am unable to access £207.00 of MY MONEY because of this ‘problem’ that Asda has had since 2011. I will never shop with Asda again!