What is going on at Boohoo HQ?

Emily Perry-Musgrave
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Emily Perry-Musgrave

Artist & Writer at Under The Art House
Northerner with a passion for lingerie, art, guinea pigs and sarcasm.
Emily Perry-Musgrave
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When I started writing this post it was because I was frustrated at Boohoo’s returns practices. I never really bought anything from them, only quick fixes when my funds were running extremely low – after all, they have been profoundly criticised by the plus size community and beyond. Now, a few weeks later, I am flabbergasted by the mountain of nightmarish experiences I’ve uncovered. The odd thing is all of this is easily accessible to see when you simply look on social media, but no one has picked up on it yet and questioned it. While Boohoo is breaking records and turning a huge profit, I found a heap of evidence that something is going seriously wrong when it comes to their customer service.

boohoo

Generally, I don’t keep track of my returns. I post them, keep the proof of postage and then wait for the money to appear in my account in less than a week. There’s never really a hiccup in this tactic. The returns labels I use always get the parcel to where it needs to be. So why have I had issues with Boohoo recently? I got in touch after I realised it had been months after posting one return and hearing nothing, and then sent another at the beginning of June and not hearing so much as a peep.

It appears though, that it’s not just me…

And these are just a handful of tweets to the company over a span of two days. Here’s some more..

And this is just their Twitter page! Head over to Facebook and you’ll see a score of annoyed customers asking exactly the same thing: “Where is my refund?”

Let’s not beat around the bush. Boohoo is a company that has has some HUGE names associated with it, like Zendaya, Paris Hilton, and Stefflon Don. They have reported a massive rise in their profits and they’re introducing new collections constantly. It’s safe to say that whatever they’re doing in terms of fashion, they’re doing it right – with low cost clothing that has some amazing names attached. So, how are they doing returns this wrong? Boohoo seems to be the only online retailer with this extreme volume of queries about returns.

Well then, Boohoo – in an age where your customers expect things speedily, why are there so many problems with your current return system? With an online company like ASOS, in comparison, it takes a matter of days to receive confirmation of a return and the funds back into the account you paid with in usually less than a working week (they aim to process within one week).

Returning items with Boohoo in the first place is a bit of a task. Logging into your account, finding the order, requesting a return, filling out the paper form included in your purchase and then sending it off. If you, for example, get it delivered to work and want to send it back straight away you’ve also got to find the time on your lunch break to register the return instead of just throwing it in the post. Whereas again, with ASOS, fill in the form, post it off and jobs a good’n!

These are Boohoo’s instructions for returns and refunds:

UK Returns Returns are FREE and easy! Follow the simple steps below.

STEP1

Log onto our portal – 14 days to receive your refund

STEP2

Select one of our trusted carriers (Hermes, Royal Mail or Collect+) for a FREE 48 hour trackable returns service and print your label

STEP3

Post it off! Make sure you keep your proof of postage!

STEP4

Your return arrives back at boohoo!

STEP5

Your refund is on its way! Please allow 14 days from the date you send your items back for your refund to be received.’

“Free and easy”. Show that quote to all those customers in those tweets and I’m sure they’d disagree.

A typical refund will take up to 21 days, that’s 14 days you returning and us processing it, with up to 7 days for it to make its way through the banking system.If you are using Royal Mail, Hermes or Collect+ the tracking will show it delivered to our nearest distribution centre. It can be up to 7 days from this point for item to be received into the boohoo warehouse, where it will be processed and refunded. You will receive an email when this has happened, from this it’s up to 7 days to show in your bank statement, this is dependent on your banks processing time.The refund will go back to the payment method you used when placing your order, once we’ve done our bit you’ll get an email confirming it’s on its way. If you’ve waited more than 14 days from the day you returned your item and have received no email from us then please get in touch by going to the ‘Contact Us’ tab on this page.’

Something else that has frequently cropped up is a lack of returns label and invoice arriving with the purchases:

Also, a lack of being able to get access to the returns portal to even register a return:

 

So, with the small selection of tweets (and tweets only) I could probably estimate that the number of customers with these issues since the beginning of the year could potentially be in the hundreds. I started to scroll back through all the tweets but I got to mid May and gave up as the volume of tweets regarding refunds was so huge. In the space of an hour while writing this article, two more tweets about missing refunds popped up. Within the space of 4 hours, there was an additional 7 tweets. I’ve gotten in touch about my own missing returns. One was sent the first week of April, the other the beginning of June. Two completely separate parcels sent at completely different times both via Royal Mail. I haven’t been sent email confirmations that they had received the returns for either which means to me that the parcels haven’t been processed or haven’t arrived at the warehouse in the first place. I got in touch with Boohoo after which they asked for proof of postage. I ended up giving them a bit of a grilling about their refunds processes. The refund for one of the returns arrived in my Paypal account that same evening without them seeing my proof. After chatting with a handful of disgruntled customers that had issues with the same refund problems I established that none of them received emails saying the parcel had arrived back at the warehouse and refunds took longer than expected (or hadn’t yet arrived at the time of writing this article).

Rather than the parcels arriving safely at the warehouse and being processed quickly and smoothly, there seems to be a wild goose chase the customer is lead on, needing to get in contact with Boohoo and then provide proof of postage to create an investigation before a refund is ever issued. Some may forget and not realise the money didn’t go back into their account, or some may simply not feel the hassle is worth it. After all, Boohoo do specialise in low cost clothing (of which there has been an investigation on the factories they use in the UK to produce) – the refund may not be chased after by all.

Not only are there issues of their refund processes, but also of purchases looking like they were sent out in the same condition someone had originally returned them in…

I’m fairly certain, Boohoo, that it’s part of consumer rights that faulty items, when no fault of the customer, do need to be accepted.

https://twitter.com/zaralouisexox/status/1002912814615482368

Now, Boohoo are making good money. We know that already. So, why are they making things so hard for their customers? Just scrolling through Twitter, there’s already a mass of people who have pledged to avoid the site after bad experiences, including paying for next day delivery and not receiving their purchase at all.

In the space of 6 hours, there were 20 tweets with the phrase “Boohoo next day delivery”. Only 1 of those tweets were a general enquiry. The rest were complaints.

So Boohoo, what is going on at your HQ?

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Emily Perry-Musgrave
Emily Perry-Musgrave

Northerner with a passion for lingerie, art, guinea pigs and sarcasm.

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