/ 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?

Sean Gaffney says:
3 September 2014

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!

Laura & Alan Gibson says:
16 September 2014

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!

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.

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 ….?

Morty says:
11 October 2014

Can’t believe their substitute system, I ordered a lettuce and they substitute a “normal chicken”!
When I checked my basket realized they only gave me one “organic chicken” instead of two. It’s all messed up!

Val Stroud says:
19 October 2014

I’ve just had this happen to me. My order came to £105 online, but by the tie delivery came it was £94. They took both amounts leaving me over-drawn and with no money. I spent 7 hours on the phone between bank and Asda. Bank kept saying the fax from Asda was not fully complete and that i had to ask Asda to put my full name, post code, date of birth, full card number or sort code and account number. Asda said they are not allowed to take full numbers and didn’t even know what a sort code was. I was told i had to wait 7 days for a refund, that was by the bank, despite Asda sending 3 faxes.. the bank seemed to want more info each time, so both are to blame IMO and both will be getting a complaint. After mentioning to the bank i was calling watchdog as the whole issue had made me ill, a guy called me back from the bank to say he had sorted it and my money was in my account..

Val Stroud – Must have been a harrowing way tp spend the day. Assuming you are in Stroud it os nice to see that they have their own [well-deserved problems]:.

I recommend the German stores for quality and price who seem to be doing well:

How Asda can expect any Bank to cancel earmarked funds without having a proper pro-forma for the information that mus exist on Asda’s systems is a bad joke.

Chelle says:
15 November 2014

It is still happening! Did an online order yesterday which was £54.60 but realised I’d forgotten a couple things so amended the order and added them totalling £62.53. Lo and behold Asda have taken both amounts from my account. Spoken to the bank who say this is common practice and I will get the money back I just have to wait. It’s not a biggy for me this week to not have that money but it’s the principle of it. So frustrating! Oh have also had this with Tesco in store and Vodafone online payment as well so asda aren’t the only culprits.It does seems to be an acceptable error that occurs when using cards to pay for things.

Karen McErlean says:
18 December 2014

I have also had this happen to me. Ordered goods for delivery on Saturday and I am still waiting on the payment to be released. Their Indian call centre is a disgrace, the internet telephone line breaks up constantly and the staff are rude and patronising. Surely there is something that can be done about this, one week before Xmas people don’t have the money to cope with this.has anyone tried to report this issue to consumer services or watchdog?

Greenleaf says:
18 December 2014

I went to Watchdog and was told that they cannot make a case because this underhand practise is in Asda’s T&C’s to which we all sign up before we purchase. And sadly, putting such a clause in their T&C’s is not against the law.- so what is actually required is a change in the law disallowing companies (US companies) to do this at us. I didn’t try Trading Standards because I thought their reaction might well be the same – let’s face it – we are posting on a consumer watchdog forum – and they have not been able to effect a difference, despite the noise. It is not necessary. None of the other big supermarkets with online purchasing do it – but Asda simply could not care less I reckon. Contacting your MP might stir something up – but my attempt fell on deaf ears.

Bernard says:
22 December 2014

We had a order from Asda 15th December to be delivered between 17:00-19:00, after waiting untill 22:00 and 4 phone calls to they support centre which told us that they don’t know if they can deliver that evening at all and on they advice they canceled the order, We noticed that money was frozen on our account and we were not able to access it for a last 7 days, today 22nd december we just found out that Asda has took money from our account even do they never made delivery, and after login to our account suddenly our order showing as it has bean delivered today, i just contacted support centre and now waiting for they response, they say that they need to investigate in the minde time we are out of £130.00 for a never delivered shopping, I have never seen more badly organised company service, when you call customer service they absolutely don’t know nothing, it is disgrace, I think our case will definitely interest watchdog and will be contacting them.

This happened to me yesterday. I booked a slot on 15th January for delivery on 16th jan. my delivery time was 8-10pm. It is now 11.12 am saturday 17th January 2015 & I STILL haven’t received my groceries. I spoke to 3 different people since last night & told them I want a manager to contact me ASAP. They said they had put a request into the store that was to deliver my goods but they haven’t got back to us, so I could be waiting until tonight to receive my groceries. Asda have kept my money since Thursday. Why should I put my hands in my pocket yet again to shop elsewhere, why should I be out of pocket.

Greenleaf says:
22 December 2014

I’m not sure if anybody else has said this – forgive me if I am repeating somebody – but if you are one of those disciplined souls who pays up their entire credit card bill when it comes in then Asda cannot do this when charging against a credit card. The system does not allow them to. However – there’s no point in shopping at Asda for savings if you end up paying your CC company interest 😉 To be frank the only way I am disciplined enough is to watch my CC account online and as soon as I see the payment go on, I immediately transfer from my debit card and the account I would have used had I been ordering from an honest supermarket.

Greenleaf says:
22 December 2014

And PS Bernard I think you’re right – Watchdog were very clear why they would not tackle the problem – and gave me the impression that if people who had actually been CHARGED twice were to contact them, then they would tackle the entire issue. You could be doing all of us an enormous favour – so thanks in advance.

Its 24 th december 2014.i just been on my online banking and minus my asda shop money which as been charged twice as price difference.now im stuck for last minute shopping..itas happened before but thought this would have been sorted with their system of working things…disgusting.thankyou asda !!!

Sassy says:
27 December 2014

this is still happening in 2014, has literally happened to me in the last few days. And I am now unable to access my own money right in the middle of the Christmas holiday with 3 children to look after. Asdas response is unacceptable and I won’t be shopping with them ever again, I can’t afford to go through this, ridiculous that it is still happening and asda are well aware of it but apparently just don’t care, the woman I spoke to at the bank said that this happens all the time STILL in 2014, so asda haven’t fixed the issue at all!! People be aware that if you shop online with asda that they do not care that this way of charging people causes hardship to the very people they should be taking care of, their customers, this has turned christmas into a stressful time and left me with no money to feed my children, asda you should be ashamed of yourself!! You have lost me as a customer and I am going to make sure as many people as possible know why as i wouldn’t want anyone left in the same position as I’ve been left in!

Blackcat says:
30 December 2014

I’ve just had the same thing happen to me with John Lewis. I placed an order for about £150 in JL sale on 24/12. This morning I discovered that my bank account has been frozen because there were three JL transactions pending for well over £100 each. As I didn’t authorise the latest 2 transactions, the bank advised me to cancel my card in case it had been used fraudulently. Now, I have discovered that John Lewis have probably ring-fenced nearly the original amount three times because they weren’t able to send out the order in one delivery – I have so far had 3 deliveries and am still waiting for 2 items. I am pretty desperate as I have to pay for my kids lunch money next week and its all been ring-fenced (about £400) for John Lewis. How can they do this to people?

Gary Sheppard says:
23 January 2015

I made an asda order last week, various items were substituted as usual but one of the substitutions wasn’t even in the same ballpark as a product and made my shopping cost £5 more than it should have. Asda put an order to my bank for the amended amount and I now of have the original amount in bank limbo. I rang asda with an authorisation code and fax number, given to me by my bank as a method of releasing my money quicker I was told by my bank to be sure that the representative from asda asks for my sort code, after explaining this to the guy from the South African asda call centre he told me he didn’t know what a sort code was.
At that point I asked him if I could speak to a supervisor or anyone else as I’ve lost confidence in him trying to help me and he refused 4 times, and just kept repeating “but I can help you” and told me he would make sure all details needed were sent that day.
A day later my bank confirms no fax has been received from asda.
I won’t ever shop with them again.
Online or in store.

Nick Weaver says:
24 February 2015

This isn’t just a problem with Asda. I recently had exactly the same experience buying 2 air tickets. The airline reserved a single amount for the full payment and took payment in 2 separate amounts leaving the reserved amount un-cancelled and my account overdrawn for 8 days. Because the amounts didn’t match up the bank’s computer couldn’t recognise that the payment had been made. I must say that Nationwide were as helpful as they could be, waived overdraft charges and offered compensation for the trouble, but I don’t think it is entirely the fault of the banking system because I have shopped online with supermarkets other than Asda and bought tickets from other airlines and never encountered this problem before. Getting in touch with the retailer to ask them to fax the bank asking them to cancel the reserved payment seems an extraordinarily cumbersome process in these computerised times and can’t possibly happen quick enough for those people who need to access their money. There must be something the retailers can do with their systems to avoid this problem because most retailers seem to be doing it. Some more reliable way of matching up the payment with the reservation than matching the amount of money should also be possible. The reason why it isn’t happening is probably that dealing with the hassle from customers is easier than dealing with the changes needed to the computer systems. Simple solution to the Asda problem – shop elsewhere. KLM aren’t going to notice if I don’t fly with them again but perhaps this is an issue that some consumer organisation should take on. Even if consumers are not actually being charged twice they are being denied access to their money, which can be embarrassing, stressful and problematic and I doubt that banks would always waive overdraft fees.

Purchased a game online £25, from Asda, last night, received order confirmation email and allowed to alter order up to midnight; when I collected it today (less than 24 hours later) receipt then said £42; massive 68% increase, not told price increasing and have not authorised this price increase from my bank. Contacted customer service, no action because prices subject to change .Asked to speak to manager, need 2hour call back; waited, no call back; phoned again, notes now say not entitled to escalation to speak to manger as prices subject to change. At no point on the website did It say this game was on offer or at a reduced price or due to expire; feel ripped off, not given full info as if I knew price hike was happening would have purchased elsewhere. Surely under sales of goods act, goods not properly priced, not described properly, final price not agreed, not given sufficient info to make informed choice. How much is classed as reasonable +68% increase? Who is regulating these price changes?

Morning Rose – I’m sorry to hear about the price of the game you ordered has risen when you attempted to collect/pay for it at Asda. Were you notified of the price increase, in store, before paying for the game?

I hope Rose gets her money back and an apology.

Perhaps it’s time to ask about Asda charging twice for online orders. This discussions has dragged on for nearly four years. 🙁

I don’t know if adults play board games these days, but perhaps someone could do a publicity stunt and produce a board game based on the hassles that the company has caused its customers, in order to shame the company into taking action. It’s obviously a game for many players.

No, that is the point I was never informed, I paid fro it online and went to collect it from store. I have emailed your office and they said they are investigating and will be in touch, so I will wait.

I contacted Andy Clarke (chief exec) via email and his directorate team have emailed me back today that they are sorry but prices are subject to change and will not refund the difference. The store cannot inform me of a price change when I collect as they unaware of price changes made overnight. Who is regulating this – what is to stop them charging £100?
I find this very dodgy as how after going through all security questions before paying I authorise one amount and Asda can override this the following day without my consent, people can be put in financial straits with a 68% increase with no warning.
I do not understand how they can operate online as basically you put items in your basket virtually, authorise the card payment for the amount in the basket and then the next day when you collect your order you find they have charged you 68% more. What about vulnerable customers? How can consumers make informed choices about a product (which include prices) when they can alter by a massive amount when you collect them less than 24hours later?. I strongly believe Asda are not trading fairly. I would have bought the game at Amazon, Argos or Tesco had I known the price would change so drastically. Surely with distant selling regulations, consumers need to be made aware of the final price and how it is calculated, it still states on my Asda account, £25.
I will never shop online at asda again as I cannot trust their prices

Catman says:
27 February 2015

Homeshop gone bad….
They call it a double scan but I call it bad business and incompetence.
£346 for a £176 order equates to a potential overcharge of £170…..thanks guys.
3 days later and phone calls / e-mails etc,etc and no joy at local level but…..
An e-mail to their CEO Andy Clarke and within 2hrs the matter was resolved (well nearly)
Seriously bad retail service when the market dictates the extra mile or custom lost…..Bye bye Asda

dave taylor says:
8 April 2015

Hi we too have been stung by this “money in limbo” problem with Asda. You all know the drill by now, did shopping, some items werent in stuck so the final amount changed and debited from the bank, initial “holding amount” frozen in pending awaiting to be released back into the account. in the mean time, dont have any monies available to me, the account goes overdrawn into unauthorised overdraft, direct debts bounce, incurring me charges up to now totalling £65! all through no fault of my own and powerless to do anything about it.
spoke to bank (nationwide) and they blame, Asda, emailed Asda, the CEO dept who wash their hands of it, blaming Nationwide wide (as in their words they dont “Ask” the banks to do this!?! … so in limbo no one taking responsibility, although i would say Asda and sounds like they have admitted as such in this forum. so what next? £65 down jsut because i did my home shopping online with Asda… Yes that really is “Asda Price!” ….
oh and yes they did offer me £10 online shopping evoucher…. well Asda that don’t pay the bank charges and i wont be using your delivery service again anyways… not risking it!!!

Sayman Fell says:
22 April 2015

Cannot believe the start of this thread begins in October 2013 and there are posts saying the same thing from just this month, more than 2 and a half years later! We have recently had this problem, over the April bank holiday weekend, Fri and Mon bank holiday. My wife took the 2 kids away with family, as I had to work and we did a shop of £149 (original price) which was stopped form my account, no problem with that, but then due to unavailable items, the actual cost of £114 was also taken. This meant that for the following 10days, we had £0 in our account as we were as a result, £149 down on what we actually had in the bank and had to borrow money from family just to buy food and milk for the 2 young children we have. Due to work commitments, I have only just managed to get the chance to sit and phone the customer service line to see how they are willing to compensate for their error. I was told it was the banks (Nationwides) fault as Asda do not take the money and if it happens again, which is very unlikely! to phone the bank for a code for them to fax etc etc as mentioned above. When I asked again how they will compensate, I was told they will give me 1 free delivery. We pay in advance for the delivery to get that cheaper anyway!
Looking at above posts, I have looked up the contact details of Asda CEO, please find here – http://www.ceoemail.com
We are utterly disgusted and shall never again shop online at Asda and I shall spread the word via social media etc and see what happens, although again as mentioned, it’s likely to make any difference!