/ Shopping

The crazy case of Asda charging twice for one online order

Hand holding an Asda receipt

Yes, you heard that right. As Watchdog uncovered, some online shoppers are getting a nasty shock after their Asda order arrives and funds in their account mysteriously plummet. Will it stop you shopping online?

I thought I’d heard about every problem you can encounter with online shopping. You’ve told us about crazy substitutions, deliveries thrown over hedges and special offers that turn up at full price.

However, it turns out there are still some problems that are news to me.

How would you feel if you had to have double the amount of money of your online shopping order in your bank account, for example? Believe it or not, this peculiar shopping quirk is something you may uncover if you shop at Asda online.

Does online mean double trouble?

Watchdog interviewed an Asda customer who had to deal with just this. She ordered and they took the money when the shopping was delivered. So far so normal. However, her card was then declined nine days later despite the fact she’d had sufficient money to pay for the order.

So what happened? Well 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 cost is different than the estimate (due to substitutions) Asda takes the money but some banks still keep the exact amount ring-fenced.

So you effectively need to be able to pay twice, even though the money only leaves your account once. Your bank can hold this amount for up to 10 days. In the meantime, you may have direct debits coming out that could bounce and rack up bank charges. Great.

Asda responds…

So what has Asda got to say about this sorry state of affairs? Here’s its response:

‘This issue is an unfortunate result of how debit card payments are processed for our online deliveries. If people pay on their debit card, their bank is often asked to ‘ring-fence’ the estimated funds in their account until their purchases are delivered and the actual money owed can be drawn down from their account. […] Unfortunately, there isn’t a standard process for banks when it comes to releasing ring-fenced funds. We are keen to work with the banks see how this process could be improved and are working to find ways to minimise this issue for our online customers.’

Well, it’s good to hear its ‘working’ on this issue, but what about people unexpectedly being double-charged in the meantime?

What’s the most unexpected thing that’s happened to you when shopping online? Are you a devotee or do you think it’s more hassle that it’s worth, and do stories like this put you off?

Rosemary says:
3 April 2020

We received half or our ordered items on March 19 and Asda took the full amount of the order total .We are having trouble trying to get our money for the out of stock non delivered items. Of course we understand it is an amazingly busy time ,but why take the order value not the actual total. Anyone else had this problem,check your bank statement if you online order.

Ste says:
24 April 2020

Same problem.

Asda shopper says:
28 July 2020

I would also like to know why asda as style for them and another one for shoppers.the reason for this comment is we went shopping at asda chadderton and when we were shopping the staff who fill the shelf s were not wareing facemask why is this yet we shoppers have to were one .also some shoppers totally ignored aveing to ware one why it’s a disgrace.

george says:
12 January 2021

Didn’t get my delivery on the 10th january. No apology. No amends. Just told to re-order and go to the back of the queue. 15 days from when I first ordered, I might get my groceries. In the mean time what are we expected to eat? The carpets? The curtains.

Oh, I got a £10 e-voucher. Oh but they failed to deliver that too. The ref number does not work.

Do NOT. I repeat, Do NOT ring up customer service, unless you like chatting with a call centre in India, who know next to nothing about ASDA. They do nothing and are useless.

Maybe ASDA will go bankrupt yet again and get sold off yet again, until someone less than useless buys them this will continue.

Richard Clements says:
14 January 2021

I’ve had trouble understanding why Asda don’t trust their customers and tell their banks to ring fence what they owe for their online groceries before the bill is due. This is like Hijacking our bank accounts and holding a sum for ransom, in my case £201 for up to ten days even after I paid the bill. I will never use Asda online groceries again be warned !

Similar problem myself. Ordered online using a giftcard, all confirmed as the method of payment and the delivery came as expected on Friday then today (Sunday) they have also taken the money from my bank account which now leaves me £60 short for my DDs due out tomorrow. Fuming to say the least but even more so after speaking to their supposed customer service who basically didnt have a clue and suggested refunding the gift card instead. In the meantime I’ll be racking up bank charges for unpaid payments and have been made aware that refunds can actually take 5-10 days.
Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.