Being a budget-minded person (duh) and also having a really huge issue with shopping for myself and dropping some mad skrilla, I've long coveted ASOS for their pretty, cool-girl-ish clothes and wallet-pleasing price points. Knowing they're a UK brand and not one of those horrid China-based knockoff factories (we've all read that Buzzfeed article, and The Broke-Ass Bride has touched on this as well) made me feel more at ease about making a purchase and feeling confident I'd receive a generally decent article of clothing. I've spent hours, literally hours, perusing their site over the years and have grown increasingly more in lust with their lines -- especially with the additions of wedding, maternity and plus size. They're also a merchant I feature regularly on BAB, which is part of what made me want to write this.
#MFE and I had planned on getting engaged this year, but we didn't plan on #babything to also be a factor. After much discussion, we decided we'd go ahead and run off to the JP to make things all official-like before the kid is born, and to help with some financial and logistical aspects that come along with such a thing. Wanting to still make it special -- because it's still a wedding -- I decided to get a nice dress that would make me feel pretty while pregs and would be appropriate to wear for other occasions for the duration of incubation and potentially after. Being the Google-fu master I am, I scoured the Internetz for options (criteria: blue and floral or blue lace, under $60, versatile) but I had a little niggling in my brain that ASOS would hold the answer, And it did.
This beauty fit all of the above criteria, coming in at $43 and finally gave me a chance to experience ASOS firsthand, a fact I was thrilled about. On March 22, I ordered the dress, stoked to not only finally own a piece of clothing from a company I've been longing after but to also have a pretty frock that would be great for my own wedding day as well as the weddings I'd be working during the summer.
Being the anxious shopper (and person in general) that I am, I refreshed my email continually for notice that the order had been confirmed, then shipped. I tracked it relentlessly, from the details being received, to the package's departure from Surrey to ... customs (arriving 3/23). And there it sat, for six days while I waited for some sort of movement. But, nope. Nothing. Nada. I looked at the company's shipping information to make sure I hadn't missed anything -- and I hadn't. I took note that orders over $200 may be subject to a stop at customs and potentially may incur extra duty charges, but that shouldn't affect my $43 frock, right? There wan't any immediately obvious information to indicate otherwise.
So, I hollered at ASOS on Twitter on 3/29. After being asked to verify my name, order number and birth date (twice), I received no response. Two days later, I followed up, again being asked to verify the information (at which point I logged into my account and realized it was one day off -- which I feel like they could have mentioned rather than cold-shouldering it, but that's just me) so I fixed it and sent over the screenshot they requested of my login deets. At which point, they asked me how they could help me ... and I started to get grumpy.
At this point, I'm verging on straight rage. I hadn't heard anything from customs -- I had checked my junk folder and spam. I'm not an Internet dummy. I was angry that this information wasn't apparent in their shipping information and that I would potentially have to pony up more money after I'd already been charged for the dress. I was extra mad because this was my fucking wedding dress. And I told them as much.
The irreverence and emoji sent me into a rage spiral. And they never answered my question about how to proceed if I never received a request for more information. They simply replied that they can confirm my order was at customs and sent over a link where I could track the package.
What. The. Actual. Fuck.
I let a few more days lapse and allowed myself to calm down a bit before sending another follow up to see if they could tell me anything at all. At which point I was once again asked to verify my information and address and my eyes rolled so far into the back of my head that they actually made a full rotation. I confirmed, and on 4/4 they told me that "We've whiz'd this over to the relevant team and will be back in touch as soon as poss."
After hearing nothing, on 4/7 I tell them that I would like a refund and reiterate that the dress was intended to be my wedding dress, and I would like to be able to move on so that I can find something to wear for the occasion. They ask me to hold tight for another 48 hours, but hey! feel free to shout if I have any q's in the meantime!
Now, 4/7 was a Thursday, and my Spidey senses immediately began to tingle -- 48 hours would put us smack dab in the middle of a Saturday. I, personally, try not to work Saturdays and I know that many other business will not respond on the weekend. But, they're the ones who said 48 hours to an already aggravated customer. I bit my tongue, however, and waited until Monday to ask if anything had been resolved. Nothing.
I hollered again on Tuesday 4/12, and did not receive a response until 1:40 this morning, asking me to hold tight for another 24 hours.
Guys, at this point it's been three weeks. I know that's not like eons or anything, but it's a helluva lot longer than the 6 days promised on their shipping page. And when you're waiting for something like a dress you're going to get married in, it's a really, really long time.
After finally issuing an ultimatum (I want the dress tomorrow or a refund tomorrow, otherwise I will be reversing the charges with my bank), ASOS has informed me that they will be issuing me a refund ... that could take 5-10 days. Not the best resolution, but a resolution nonetheless.
Now, this post isn't to entirely bitch about a company -- I'm really, truly bummed out that this experience has turned out like it has, because I really really wanted to love ASOS. But I'd be remiss as a friend and a blogger if I didn't share my experience with you. I know some people who have had wonderful experiences with the company, but I am not one of them, and I would rather others know my troubles than run headfirst into such a situation completely unaware of the possibilities.
As I mentioned, I feature ASOS regularly on The Broke-Ass Bride, and I strive to post with integrity both here and there. I would absolutely hate for one of my readers, not knowing that this is a genuine situation that could arise, to order her wedding gown for a helluva lot more than $43 and be stuck in a similar circumstance. Would I be willing to give the company another go? Probably not, unfortunately. Do I think no one should ever try to order anything from them ever? Absolutely not. I just happen to have super shitty luck with customer service.
**** I struggled with whether to include affiliate links in this post, but at the end of the day I'm in the business of making money and giving my honest truth about things.