/ Money, Shopping

Double your money? Asda online shoppers still charged twice

Over a year ago, we reported that some Asda customers were effectively being charged twice for their online shopping, with some incurring bank charges as a result. So why hasn’t Asda put this right yet?

Shopping for groceries online is supposed to be a straightforward, painless process. But that hasn’t been the case for many Asda customers, who’ve incurred bank charges as a result of a technical issue with the supermarket’s online shopping system.

The problem – originally uncovered by Watchdog last May – arises when Asda asks your bank to hold the amount for the estimated bill, before charging you for the actual cost when the shopping arrives. If the actual cost differs from the estimate – owing to substitutions – Asda takes the right money, but some banks still keep the estimated amount ring-fenced for up to 10 days.

This means you effectively need to be able to pay twice – even though the money only leaves your account once – which has led to some Asda customers incurring bank charges.

A year’s worth of problems

When the issue was raised last spring Asda said at the time it was ‘working to find ways to minimise this issue for our online customers’. But it clearly wasn’t working hard enough, as comments continued to pour in from those of you who’d been effectively charged twice by Asda. Commenter Nancy was one of those who lost out:

‘I will not shop at Asda any longer after incurring bank charges for going overdrawn. This happened to me just before Xmas and I will never use them again.’

Another commenter, Louise, wrote in April:

‘It’s happening to me right now. Two lots of £265.20 for a single order that had already been cancelled. Direct debits bouncing left right and centre, no money re-released back into my account by Asda, three hours of phone calls to South African call centre, unreturned phone calls, trails of discussion through NatWest, my own bank, to try and sort this out. I’m livid.’

Have you been left out of pocket?

We wanted Asda to tell us why this issue was still causing chaos for customers over a year after it was first highlighted. A spokesperson told us:

‘When a customer makes us aware of this happening, we work with the bank to have the funds released as quickly as possible. If any charges are incurred, we will compensate these.’

It also claimed it had been working hard to minimise the issue and would have a new system in place by autumn.

We want to hold Asda to that – keep leaving comments if you find you’ve been left out of pocket as a result of your Asda shopping. We’ll be checking back later in the year to see if Asda has fixed this problem. If Asda does fix its systems, will you log back on or have you found alternative ways to get your shopping to your door?


Perhaps Asda might like to ask Tesco or Sainsbury how they manage to operate online shopping without causing customers such problems .

Lou32 says:
4 July 2012

This has just happened to me today and has let me with no money in my account and now I dont know how I am going to get by until it is refunded. I get paid fortnightly so this is not acceptable, I am sure my work would be pleased if I had to call in saying I cant get to work today as Asda have taken my bus money! I am so upset by this and can’t believe it has happened. The bank didnt even think anything of it only offering a overdraft and credit card oh so they can make money too!

Well at least accept the overdraft ..It’ll only be for a few days until Asda don’t take the money and it becomes available to you .

Lou32 says:
4 July 2012

Thanks for your response but my situation will not allow me to take an overdraft as I have had money problems in the past.

If the bank have said you can have the overdraft accept it and withdraw the same amount that Asda charged .. You don’t need to use the overdraft once the money goes back in to your account …sounds like you don’t understand how overdrafts work . From what you said sounds like you dont have any cash anyway so how can you decline the overdraft ???

Stacey says:
6 July 2012

I have just spent the last 3 days with no electric or money because of Asda. I called on Tuesday morning and asked them to release the funds asap but they didn’t release them until this morning (Friday). Everything in my house is electric so I couldn’t phone anyone, couldn’t cook my kids dinner and couldn’t even have a hot bath. I do not have an overdraft facility nor any friends or family where I live that I could ask for help. It was a horrible few days and all because of Asda!

This behavior is despicable. Ocado does not take your money until after the delivery has been made ensuring that you never have to deal with these kinds of complications whereas Asda is more concerned with money than they are their customers. Well consider me an Ocado shopper now I am never going back to Asda ever again. Customers should ALWAYS be more important than the bottom line!

It’s not WHEN the money is taken from your a/c that is the problem ( re Ocado) .It’s the fact that it is taken once and withheld a second time until a few days have passed .Everyone needs to be aware when using Asda that you need to have double the amount of your orders costs to allow for this …We know it shouldnt be that way but until Asda stop doing this that’s how it works .

Stacey says:
6 July 2012

It is because it is done before delivery. The problems arise when the delivered amount differs to the ordered amount. If they didn’t take the money until after they knew the exact cost of what was being delivered then there would be no reason for a second amount.

My original order was £57 (this was held)
Delivered order was £53 (this was taken out)

Its the original held order cost that is the problem. This does not happen with Ocado because they do not take any funds or hold any funds before delivery.

And while it might be easy for people with plenty of money to keep double the amount needed in their accounts some of us are on a very limited budget and do not have the luxury of spare cash just for this damn shop to take whenever it feels like it!!!!!

Im not arguing with what you say…. Im simply saying how it is so if u dont have the cash  times 2 then dont use Asda..

julie says:
8 July 2012

I cant believe what im reading. this happened to me two weeks ago. i have spoke to asda and emailed them several times.AND they still will not accept responsibility.they say my credit card company are at fault .they also said that they sent a sms to make me aware there was a problem with my order and this was sent at 5.45 AM Sunday morning what a joke.im still without my shopping and my money is still on hold in my account. i plan to carry on with my emails to asda they need to accept the responsibility.

sorry just inst good enough!!!

Louise says:
29 August 2012

Two more comments posted in the other thread today, 29 August

“Asda took £178.00 from my account today and i don’t even owe it its disgusting apparently someone will ring me from head office soon.”

“Asda has taken £789.65 from my account today , my last order on 15Aug was for £140 so this is more than double ! I have rung 3 times just to be told it should be refunded within 3-5 working days, surely this is stealing I have not authorised this payment, my account is now overdrawn so I will get charges and I now have no access to my own money as asda has it, any advise as to what I can do ? Why can the money not just be put straight back in, the only way I knew it had been taken out was that my husband filled his car with fuel then his card was declined he had to call work and borrow the money , he was not happy as late for work & embarrassed in the petrol station”

Paula Leech says:
29 August 2012

I am in the same position only noticed by checking my online account i will never shop with these robbing gets ever again i cant access my wages at all this week as asda have them a total joke

Paula Leech says:
29 August 2012

What a bloody shambles i will never shop online with Asda ever again. My shopping came to £50.96 they took £250 out of my account im now unable to accees this weeks wages as it will take upto 5 days to go back in my account. They have offfered compensation but how do i feed my famil for 5 days ????/

Louise says:
29 August 2012

Surely this must be a trading standards issue by now? I can’t believe this practice is legal. (But would Wal-Mart ever care?)

Yvonne curtis says:
29 August 2012

I can beat this..today i received an email from asda stating that due to a power cut in US on line shoppers might have been charged more for there shopping…i recieved my shopping 1 week ago and paid for it on 24th. Today Asda decided to take £185 out of my account sending it overdrawn…shopping isnt due till friday and isnt that much ….it is an unauthorised transaction…how can this happen ??? I am not alone either

Why should a US Power Cut affect Asda in the UK ??
Where is Watchdog when you need it ??

Hi Stuart, it actually could do. This is a different issue to being charged twice though. Here’s Asda’s email on this issue:

Please do not reply to this email. For contact details see website
Dear customer Due to a power cut at our computer servers in the US, we experienced a temporary systems error on our home shopping website. We’re sorry as this has resulted in you being charged a larger than expected amount of money for your recent home shopping order.
Our initial investigation has shown that this was an isolated incident, but steps are being put in place to make doubly sure it doesn’t happen again. We’re taking the following steps to put this right:
• Refunding the amount you were overcharged, and • Refunding the amount of your initial order as a gesture of goodwill.
A single refund to cover both the amount overcharged, and value of your actual order will be processed today (29 August 2012) and you should see this in your account in the next 3-5 working days.
We’re also aware this may have caused you to incur bank charges. If this is the case, please email us the details via ‘Contact us’ on http://www.asda.com and we’ll refund those as well.
Your custom is very important to us, and we’re really sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Fair enough Patrick but a power cut causing unauthorised amounts to be debited from someone bank/card a/c is clearly ( or should be ) a major concern . Not insignificant amounts either ..and leaving folk with no money for several days until the debits get reinstated .

It is indeed worrying, hopefully they’ll resolve the issue quickly and refund everyone.

Michelle B says:
31 August 2012

I’m fuming!! Asda have been ‘holding’ £113.77 of my money for 5 days now. It is just not acceptable to operate this way, I have 4 children and need to be able to access my funds. For the majority of us living on a budget, to be missing any sum of money is a great hardship. Got even more angry when I spoke to the call centre & they kept interrupting me telling me about the holding process & release dates being 3 to 10 days, well I’m sorry you’ve got my money & I want it back ASAP!!!!!! The call centre were really reluctant to take the matter any further, so I told them that I wanted this matter sorted today & to speak to someone more senior, after I did this they eventually asked for my banks name & fax no. Really annoys me that it’s so routine for them & they speak to me like I’m really overacting, don’t they realise it’s like being stolen from?
Just going to delete next weeks Asda shop, won’t be using them again!

Hello everyone, we’ve written about the latest problems with payments on Which.co.uk including some of your experiences: http://www.which.co.uk/news/2012/08/asda-overcharges-shoppers-are-you-affected-294451/

We also have advice for your rights when paying online: http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/online-shopping/your-rights-when-paying-online/

Thanks. Has anyone else been affected? Any luck with Asda?

Bought their extra special fish pie for many years – good product. Loads of prawns and salmon.
Last Sunday – not one prawn or any salmon.
Complained via customer relations.
Current state-they rang me, requested i forward their packaging,receipt etc
and might take up to a month for them discover why the product was of such a poor quality.
I presume the least they will do is to refund the cost of the product-why take so long ??

What was in your fish pie?

Carol says:
31 August 2012

I shop online at Asda for my Mother and her order on 17th August was £210 and Asda have just taken £789 from my account.

I have had an email telling me that the money will be repaid in 5 days and that if I incur any charges I can visit their web site, download a form and make a claim.

What a cheek! it is their problem and they should sort it.

Around 9p.m. last night I checked my bank account, and discovered Asda had removed £666.51 from it. I had ordered £128.69 worth of groceries which were delivered on Wednesday. I immediately rang them and spoke to a woman who tried to infer mine was an isolated incident. She then said I should have received an email – I had not. After listening to her contradict herself three or fours times I told her that if my money was not back in my bank account this morning I would be calling the police and lodging a complaint for fraud. The money was back in my bank account this morning.

I also rang my bank (the Co-op) who read out the email detailed further up this thread to me.

As Asda replaced my money they also removed £128.69 from my account – so much for compensation then, wouldn’t you say? No good will there.

Those of you affected by these scandalous charges should get in touch with BBC Moneybox on Radio 4.I’m sure it’s the sort of thing they would love .
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/moneybox/891726.stm#Send a story idea

Mike says:
31 August 2012

I cannot believe some people are so low on money that when they spend money at a supermarket that if its taken twice due to some computer bug that they cannot afford to wait 3 to 5 days for a refund. I understand everything is tight at the moment and I’m not on lots of money myself but in most cases it’s not like £300 has been taken twice, I would hope that you have more than £100 in your account as a buffer for emergencies to pay for other things. Also banks can and will usually agree a temporary overdraft if you explain the situation, if you have to use this overdraft and get charged send the bill to ASDA they have said they will refund the ANY charges. What amazes me as well is that people rely so much on technology that they expect it to be flawless… how many times has your home computer worked flawlessly?!, yes ASDA are to blame, but shouting at the people on the end of the phone when they have absolutley no control over the main server is hopeless, it only serves to help a stressfull stiuation get worse. Saying that you refuse to use ASDA again is very dramatic, so what are you going to do when TESCO has a similar issue as they rely on the same technology same as all other supermarkets are you eventually going to stop using all supermarkets, stop being so melodramatic and accept this issue can happen from time to time, try and relax and STOP SPENDING WAY ABOVE YOUR MEANS and have some emergency cash in case things do go wrong?!

To Mike…Have you actually read some of these recent posts . £789 and £666 taken from accounts in error .That’s a lot of money to be taken unexpectedly . These and other folk might be paid weekly so it’s a lot to be out of pocket . You write like someone who has never been skint .