Asos.com has been left red-faced after work to improve its Barnsley warehouse led to cancellations and delays of customers’ orders, prompting hundreds of angry shoppers to vent their frustration on Facebook and Twitter.
Asos is understood to have experienced a technical hitch when it upgraded to a new warehouse computer system last month, which has resulted in it struggling to keep up with deliveries since.
The etailer was forced to temporarily suspend next-day delivery towards the end of the month, while a note posted on its website on October 7 said it had also switched off its UK nominated day service to cope with the backlog.
Asos, whose sales hit £754m for the year to August 2013, extended its standard delivery timeframe from four to seven days to help meet demand. It is understood some orders have been cancelled.
Customers took to social media to complain. Twitter user @ownthefringe wrote on October 4: “Hello! My order got cancelled (glitch) and now reordering with my promo code it shows no delivery options - help!”
Asos’s customer services team told another customer on Twitter: “Sadly we’ve had a glitch and had to cancel some orders. We’ve refunded you for your order and the funds should be in your account in 10 working days.”
In a statement posted on its website on October 7, Asos said: “Due to some improvements we’re making to our warehouse, we’ve had to switch off our UK nominated day service. Our standard service has also been increased to six working days. We’ll be back to normal soon - just keep an eye on the site.”
A spokeswoman said it had been making “improvements” to its Barnsley fulfilment centre. “These will enhance our fulfilment capability moving forward, ensuring we can continue to offer the best cut off and fulfilment experience to our customers.” Asos declined to answer any further questions.
The glitch is another setback for Asos after it was hit by a fire at the same warehouse in June, resulting in lost sales of between £25m to £30m. The technical glitch is not related to the fire, the spokeswoman said.
Last month the retailer issed a profit warning for the third time this year after the strength of the sterling impacted international sales growth and it invested in its overseas business. But its shares rose by more than 15% on October 6 after UBS analysts said a takeover from Amazon could be on the cards.