/ 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?

caroline coleman says:
30 October 2014

i should also the date this happened, which was sepember 2014 , so as of september 2014, the overcharging problem with asda still is not fixed, was overcharged by roughly 50 pounds

anoneeeemouse says:
31 October 2014

Surely this is fraud?

Just had a first delivery from Asda and after reading about them on Which? checked the receipt very carefully.

4 cans of sweetcorn were charged at 65p each instead of 50p each. Funny they were last but one on the invoice between 2 lots of alcohol.

I emailed them and they called back a few days later to say they would give me a refund. A foreign voice stating they are someone from somewhere is not the best customer service. I did not understand the person the first time so asked them to repeat it. (First thought was nuisance caller).

You have to ask why they have different prices on their website and invoice. I did read that you are charged the price on the day of delivery not the day you place your order but this did not apply.

Ocado honour the price of the product when you order it so you know exactly how much you are ordering.

One thing I find very irritating on supermarket invoices and also till receipts is the way they price special offers. They charge you the full price of the item then somewhere else deduct your savings. This is meant to confuse the customer and make it very difficult to check their prices especially if you have bought more than one special offer product.

If I have paid a special offer price for something, I want to see that price next to the product not have to find it and work it out for myself.

I can’t offer an explanation for the difference in price with the sweetcorn ….did you look to see what the basket price was as you “bought” the item . As for where it was on the invoice I cant see any relevance to that .Ive never had any problem with changes in price but I’m usually ordering for a delivery soon after . If an “offer” ends before a delivery date It usually flags that up.

Asdas Call Centre is or was in South Africa .

One reason for the offer reductions being listed seperately is probably the way they get put through the checkout ..Some items have their own offer price but others are Multibuy offers or BOGOFF…. for example, lets say bottles of water are 4 for £1 but 30p each . these get put through individually and are costed at 30p each ( £1.20) . When the last one is put through… the till then recognises the offer and on the invoice shows the discount of 20p .Same with BOGOFF..the second item could be seperated from the first by quite a lot of items .

When I sit down and scrutinise the invoice I have no problem working out whether the discounts have been correctly applied or not ….Its just a case of getting used to it .

veryunhappy julie says:
12 December 2014

this is still happening cannot believe they can do this customer services just totally lie told me did not know why happened and blamed bank and when I went to bank who where very helpful gave me all info I needed so re rang asda who said would release my money and confirmed fax sent to bank went in to bank and no fax received and a week down the line and still no refund its a joke got a birthday party for my daughter and have had to borrow money to pay for stuff as overdrawn come on asda sort yourselves out I will never shop with them again

To veryunhappy julie
I also cannot believe this is still happening. You don’t say but I take it you paid one amount for your delivery and what you are speaking about is a seperate amount “reserved” . If it is a week since this amount was set aside from your bank account then speaking from experience it should be available to you to withdraw by this time . .
If you incur any charges for being withdrawn I’d be speaking to your bank and Asda to get the charges dropped or refunded as this practice remains unacceptable .

Katherine Fay says:
16 December 2014

I have been phoning Asda and my bank for five days now. My online delivery was taken back to the store due to a van breaking down. I had to call customer services and get it re-delivered. This delivery was given a different order number so i now have 2 lots of money on hold with my bank . One amount has been taken for the delivery i recieved , the other is still on hold. I asked Asda about this and they told me to get a fax number and authorisation code from the bank so they could contact them and get the money released back to me. This was last saturday. I did as they asked and apparently it has been sent but my bank is denying recieving any fax. Asda will not take the money even though on my account it shows as that order being delivered when it wasn’t ,and the bank will not refund me until they have got this fax which Asda swear they have sent. This is xmas money for my children and i am very angry. I am now on day 5 of trying to sort this out and seem to be stuck. I have emailed Asda’s chief executive and also emailed my local MP and i do not care whether it is Asda or my bank at fault. This is my money and i want it back. If i get no luck within the next day or two i have my local newspaper on speed dial , that is how far i am prepared to go because as things stand…..Asda have ruined my xmas.

Nutleynat says:
16 December 2014

God this is still allowed to happen and asda are making interest out of customers cash like a lot of things these days sell the flannel waffle on grab the money and totally screw the customer!!!! ASDA stands for always stinging duplicating sales!!!

Asda holding money says:
9 January 2015

I had noticed my bank account was short and couldn’t work out why until l phoned my bank and was told Asda was holding £124 of my money from a order a week ago. I am disgusted this can happen.

Debbie says:
29 January 2015

what an absolutely joke. 1.online order 2 hours later 2. Pick up from store order I arrived on time to collect it then had to wait for them to go to the warehouse and get it! Half hour later they come back all my freezer stuff is missing. They find it 15 minutes later. Drive 20 minutes home. Check the shopping all the fridge stuff is missing! Go back to the store another 20 minute journey. I’m handed my food and told I’ll be sent an evoucher. 4 weeks later NO VOUCHER! An absolute joke! I’ll never use them ever again im going to stick with Ocado

Chris French says:
2 February 2015

This has happened to me twice in the past 2 months, both times have refused to pay me the charges for going overdrawn and having bounced dd’s amounting this time to 90pounds! I even gave then a authorisation code to fax to the bank they said they had done this but the bank didnt receive anything! Who do I trust a bank that has never steered me wrong or the customer service that refuse to put me through to managers and always get something wrong with my orders! I’m left out of pocket a disabled dad of 5 kids! All of which live at home so how they think I can afford this I don’t know! It makes me sick to the stomach and has cause me and my partner great amounts of stress to the point of tears! I have even told them of my condition and that I have a 3 week old baby we now can’t buy milk for and they said they don’t care about that they don’t need to know about my life…. None of the call centre have a soul or a caring bone in their bodies! I’m out of ideas, sending a letter to store and head office typed up by someone that can spell lol to see if this works!

Nutleynat says:
3 February 2015

bet if this was viral on social media ASDA would correct their attitude to this recurring problem big time robbing people twice over and returning money.

Nutleynat says:
3 February 2015

Retaining money I meant

Sheila says:
15 March 2015

This malpractice is still happening. My order was not delivered as the driver got late and said he will cancel it. I set up a new order for next day delivery

To my surprise both orders were stated as delivered and charged. After spending more than 1 hr going back and forth between asda and my bank trying to get an authorisation code & fax number, I figured it was quicker to dispute the card trnx. I am now waiting for my refund.

I’ll will also email this to consumer rights as a wrong practice. Enough is enough as Asda keeps ripping people by supposedly selling cheap and “earning” it back…

dave taylor says:
9 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!!!

Briony says:
31 August 2015

This has just happened to me too. I did an online shop for £137 last Tuesday and due to unavailable items it actually cost £125. I noticed on Thursday that my bank account was inexplicably overdrawn and I had incurred charges for an unpaid direct debit. I called my bank (luckily I keep a record of all my transactions) to find out what was going on. Turns out that Asda had requested that £137 be put aside out of my account for the shopping and then separately charged me £125 for the shopping. They still have not, 6 days later, released the £137 back to my account. Asda told me on Thursday that the money would be back within 24 hours. It’s not. I had to request the original payment ref from my bank and asda was supposed to fax them to authorise the release of funds and they haven’t. I am livid. I’m a single parent to a 3 year old, on benefits and I can’t afford to be double charged for my shopping. I have no way of getting food for us this week thanks to asda. Disgusted. Surely this is theft?

I placed an online order with ASDA on Saturday and the cost was £133.56. After the delivery arrived on Sunday I noticed on the receipt the cost was £196.57. The receipt listing all the items bought adds up to £121.37. Having checked my account I found that the additional £63.01 has been charged to my account. Apparently ASDA can charge what they like by putting any amount on the receipt and still listing the guidance prices. Fantastic, next time I’ll just give them my card details and tell them not to bother giving me any prices. Surely this can’t be acceptable under UK Law! Diana

This is a 4 year old thing, but has just happened to me ! They promised a refund & said it would take 5 days – It’s now 8 days & I’m not sure what action to take now.

Rachel GrAy says:
8 November 2017

Asda have taken two payments for the same order one in October which paid for my shopping then randomly the same payment in November. I have rang the call centre up in the phillipines and they are saying they didn’t take a payment in October even though I have it on my bank statement and I rang my bank to confirm. The call centre I’m useless I’m going to have to go into a store and hope they can help. It’s reallu ridiculous and not fair. Asda is basically robbing money off customer

This happened to me recently. I had an online shopping order for £103 and they took an extra £78 the day before the order as well at the £103 on the day of the order. I contacted ASDA via Twitter because I had 2 direct debits coming out and would they reimburse any bank charges from this. They flatly refused saying they dont do that. I’m curious that this can happen. I try and budget and don’t have that much money, but when this happens it messes everything up.

This problem with Asda has been rumbling on for several years now and there is no sign of any effective remedy.

It isn’t clear when Which? last contacted Asda – possibly in 2012. Could Which? not now follow up the continuing saga and do what it says in the Introduction: hold the company to its promises.

As a reminder, this is a quote from the Intro “It [Asda] also claimed it had been working hard to minimise the issue and would have a new system in place by autumn [2012]. We want to hold Asda to that. . . . We’ll be checking back later in the year [2012] to see if Asda has fixed this problem.

Time for a progress report at least, I feel.

Online grocery orders provide the opportunity to edit an order one or more times until a cutoff date and then there may be changes if goods are not available for delivery or collection. I am checking what I am being charged against what I am paying and have not found any problems yet, but there seems plenty of opportunity for mistakes. At least it would be easy to spot a duplicate payment.