Dr Mumbo

Making an ASOS of your customer service

A recent complaint on the ASOS Facebook page has reminded Dr Mumbo we’re still a very, very, very long way from any meaningful kind of artificial intelligence when it comes to customer service.

It all started with a simple complaint from customer Nick Paterniti whose return had been lost by the company. While he’d attached an image with the order details to the post the automated response from “Ashley” asked him to send it in a private message to the company, along with his details and date of birth – information he’d clearly already sent them.

asos complaint start

This led to someone else asking: “Are these responses computer generated or something? They don’t even make sence [sic]!”

To which Asos replied with exactly the same auto-generated message, followed quickly by another which said: “These aren’t auto generated. if you could send over a pm that would be very helpful. ASOS Ashley.”

asos not auto generated

Oh dear.

Another person commented “Just reading this stresses me out…” to which ASOS sent an auto-generated reply, clearly based on the word stress: “I’m sorry to hear that you’re stressed about your return. Not to worry – it can take up to 7 working days for your return to reach our warehouse. Once it does we’ll drop you an email with all the deets.”

asos stresses

That triggered more hilarity for the increasingly-engaged comment thread, encouraging more people to try it out with someone called Brad commenting: “This is why God invented Facebook. Thanks ASOS!”

Unfortunately for ASOS they managed to misspell Brad as ‘Bred’ in the autoreply, irrelevantly telling him “our email queues can get a lil busy at times but we can deffo help you from here too just fire over your order number”, leading to yet more mockery of the ‘customer service’.

asos god facebook


Then someone posing as Star Wars robot R2D2 got involved to see if he could get more sense out of the bots:

asos r2d2 2

And you know you’ve lost control of the situation when people start parodying your customer responses in the comment thread. After one person commented “This thread is now the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning,” another responded with: “If you could please send me a copy of your usual wake up times and just fire over a screenshot of your bed that’d be great. ASOS Adam”

That triggered yet another auto-response from ASOS.

ASOS bed

And yet despite constantly offering to assist people who didn’t need any help, asking Nick who posted the original comment three times for his details so they could help him and generally becoming the butt of all jokes from the comment thread, ASOS still continued to deny its responses were auto-generated:

asos denial 2

There are some occasions when you should just quit while you’re behind.

Dr Mumbo wished Nick all the luck in the world in getting that refund.


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