A woman is claiming that popular online retailer ASOS has cancelled her account due to her job as a sex worker, despite spending ‘tens of thousands of pounds’ over several years.
The woman, known professionally as ‘Goddess Lydia,’ took to Twitter on Tuesday to inform her followers of the ‘ban’ which she says is because her account ‘could be identified against my sex work’.
“To all my fellow sex workers... don't post about your ASOS orders on Twitter, as they don't want to serve us h**s,” the self-styled ‘professional dominatrix’ from Brighton, UK, wrote.
“5 years, 1000 orders, tens of thousands of pounds spent and this is what I get because my account could be identified against my sex work,” she added, along with a screenshot of an email from ASOS.
In the email, a member of the company’s ‘Customer Verification Team’ explained that ‘after an assessment’ of Lydia’s account it was decided that her account would remain closed.
“ASOS have made the decision not to accept any further orders from you. If any orders are placed, they willed be cancelled,” it went on.
The team member advised that any future correspondence from Lydia ‘will be automatically closed down with no response’ although no reason was supplied.
Outrage over discrimination
Lydia’s tweet sparked a flood of outraged comments from Twitter users, with many demanding ASOS provide a reason for the ban and some stating that they would no longer purchase from the retailer moving forward.
“Oh, ASOS, you know we are all just going to Pretty Woman you now, right? *deletes app*,” wrote one.
“How's @ASOS gona go and discriminate against my favourite community? You know how much courage it takes to do this kind of work? Y'all on some serious bs "without judgement" lmao bet your company strives on nepotism,” stated another.
“Why do they care, and what makes it any of their business?” asked one.
“hey @ASOS @ASOS_HeretoHelp what the hell is this? Do you have a list of acceptable occupations for your customers? Are you going to vet every order to see if it comes from someone you might not approve of? This is appalling and ridiculous, I'll be telling everyone I know,” said another.
According to the Law Society in the UK, “It is unlawful to refuse to provide a service to a prospective client on the basis of age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex or sexual orientation”.
In a YouTube video posted the following day, Lydia revealed that her final order prior to the ban was not paid for by herself but one of her ‘lovely’ clients who wanted to buy her ‘a lot of stuff on ASOS’.
She said that during a Skype call with the male client she made two orders that totalled to ‘700 or 800 pounds’ which he paid for ‘with his card’.
“He put in his credit card details... he ordered it on my account with his card, and he was very happy, I was very happy,” she said.
When the orders arrived, Lydia tweeted a photo of her purchases, which she says ASOS ‘liked’ but later ‘unliked’. At that point, Lydia claims they ‘deleted my entire account’.
In the same video, Lydia said that after her initial tweet, the brand informed her in a private message that her account had been closed because she had ‘made too many returns,’ a claim that she denies.
Indeed, in April this year ASOS commenced a mass purge of customer accounts as part of a crackdown on ‘serial returners,’ people who purchase then send back items for refunds, often after using them first.
Accusations of ‘fraud’
However, in a later email from ASOS that Lydia tweeted on Thursday, ASOS claims that Lydia’s client had approached them to report the transactions as ‘unauthorised,’ explaining that her account had been deactivated as part of their ‘fraud process’.
“We were advised these orders were placed without authorisation and the card had been used fraudulently,” the email read.
They added that as soon as they received confirmation from the cardholder, they’d be able to ‘assist’ Lydia further.
Lydia, however, claims that her client has in fact tried to get in touch with ASOS but ‘can’t get anywhere’ due to privacy regulations.
“Client has tried to contact @ASOS @ASOS_HeretoHelp after they sent me this email to confirm all is fine, but he can't get anywhere because he can't pass GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation] as it's my account,” she wrote.
Lydia pledged to keep her followers updated ‘if anything else crazy happens’ on YouTube.
Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to ASOS for comment.
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