Asos adjusts return policy due to misuse

Photo: LMWH /

Asos will both extend its return policy and make it stricter: from now on, customers will be able to send back their items 45 days after the initial purchase, but they won't get their money back. The British online fashion store will also respond more strongly to misuse.


A victim of their success

It doesn't come as news that online retailers are troubled by the excessive amount of returns. Big players such as Amazon, Zalando and now Asos seem to have become victims of their own success: free returns end up costing them a lot of money, and consumers seem to be taking advantage of them shamelessly.

Earlier, it was announced that Amazon and Zalando are using a black list for customers who send back their orders too often. Those people, selected by computer algorithms, can lose access to the platform temporarily or even permanently. Zalando has also been experimenting with delivery and return fees in Italy.

The problem isn't limited to sending back too many items. It's also the state of the returned products that often turns out to be appalling. In fashion, outfits that have been worn and then returned are far from an exception. Zalando has started to attach oversized labels to party dresses, which can't be removed if the items are to remain eligible for return.


“To keep it sustainable”

Now British company Asos has moved towards a new return policy. Asos tries to use both the stick and the carrot: the good news is that items can now be returned within 45 days instead of only 28. However, when people send back their clothes after more than 28 days, they won't receive a refund on their account but instead they'll get a voucher of the same value.

Asos has also announced that the company will be stricter about accepting returns: the fashion webshop reserves the right to refuse returned items if they are worn or in a bad condition. Abnormal amounts of returns can also be refused.

"To keep it sustainable for us and for the environment," states the company, although the latter is hardly a real reason. After all, returned items that are refused by the retailer will simply end up with the customer again. And Asos can charge delivery costs for that.