Account suspended incorrectly for inauthentic complaint


#1

I sold this book sold 66 days ago. The buyer opened a return for the reason “bought by mistake”. I politely turned down the claim because it was over 10 days out of my return window. No claim of authenticity whatsoever. 22 days later I was hit with this suspension for just this book. I assume either there is a mixup on amazon’s end, ot the buyer called and changed their reason for return. I have very good feedback and strive to make my buyers happy, even issuing full refunds including shipping on “changed my mind” returns and the like. This is why I am really surprised about quite a few things; A Why would my account be suspended for one suspected infraction, B in the used book category (not exactly selling new items or Prada handbags), C when the buyer (most likely) changed their reason for return, D so far out of the return window, E with so little recourse, lack of communication, and assurance that I will ever be able to sell again on amazon.

It is beyond frustrating and mind boggling that just one customer out of thousands cam simply say something false to get refunded and take down my whole account just seems crazy to me.

Here is the email from amazon:

Hello,

Your Amazon Seller account has been temporarily deactivated. Your listings have been removed. Funds will not be transferred to you but will be held in your account while we work with you to address the following issue.

Why is this happening?
We have temporarily deactivated your account because we have concerns about the authenticity of the item(s) listed at the end of this email. In order to ensure that customers can shop with confidence on Amazon, we routinely request additional documentation from sellers to verify their account information and confirm authenticity of certain items. The sale of counterfeit products on Amazon is strictly prohibited.

You can learn more about Amazon’s policies regarding the sale of counterfeit items in Seller Central Help:
– Amazon Anti-Counterfeiting Policy (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/201165970)
– Policies and Agreements (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/521)

How do I reactivate my account?
To reactivate your selling account, please send us the following information:

  1. Copies of invoices or receipts from your supplier issued in the last 365 days for the ASINs listed below
    –These documents should reflect your sales volume during the last 365 days.
    –Please include contact information for your supplier, including name, phone number, address, and website. We may contact your supplier to verify the documents. We will maintain the confidentiality of your supplier contact information.
    –You may remove pricing information, but the rest of the document must be visible. For ease of our review, you may highlight or circle the ASIN(s) under review.

  2. A plan of action that explains:
    – The root cause(s) that led to the complaints about the authenticity of your items.
    – The actions you have taken to resolve the complaints about the authenticity of your items.
    – The steps you have taken to prevent future complaints about the authenticity of your items.

Here are a few things to consider as you create your plan:
–Sourcing: Are you sourcing the product from a trusted supplier?
–Listing: Is the product accurately described on Amazon? Have you ensured that there is no ambiguity and the customer is well informed?
–Packaging: Is the product in its original packaging as listed on Amazon?
– Shipping: Have you taken all appropriate steps and quality checks to ensure that the product is stored, packed, and shipped appropriately?
–Review your communications from buyers to better understand the issues.
–Be as specific as possible in your plan.
–Do not limit your plan to issues with specific orders.

You can only send .pdf, .jpg, .png, or .gif files. These documents must be authentic and unaltered.

How do I send the required information?
Please send the required information to pq-sv-appeal@amazon.com.

What happens if I do not send the requested information?
If we do not receive the requested information within 17 days, or after two unsuccessful appeals (whichever occurs sooner), your account will be permanently deactivated. Failure to successfully appeal this decision may result in us permanently withholding any payments to you and any FBA inventory of the items that caused “inauthentic” complaints may be destroyed at your expense.

We’re here to help
If you have questions about this message, policy, or the information requested above, please ask our Seller Support team to contact you (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/hz/contact-us/performance). Additionally, you can get help creating your plan in Seller Central Help (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/200370560). You can see your balance and settlement information in the Payments section of Seller Central. If you have questions about those, please write to payments-funds@amazon.com.

You can view your account’s performance at (https://sellercentral.amazon.com/performance/dashboard?ref=ah_em_pq) or select Account Health on the home screen of the Amazon Seller app on your iOS (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/amazon-Seller/id794141485) or Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.sellermobile.android&hl=en) device. The Account Health dashboard shows how well your account is performing against the performance metrics and policies required to sell on Amazon.


ASIN: 766826953
Title: Industrial Maintenance 001st Edition


Suspension for customer trying to defraud me and then claiming inauthentic
My account suspended for possible counterfeit textbook. Had 1 copy of this book. It had a McGraw authentication sticker on back of book
Intellectual Property Rights
#2

I just got this same exact suspension, and its for a book I have sold 3 copies of over the last year. Same exact situation, no claims of inauthenticity

I have one return request that is out of policy submitted 45 days after ordered…(bought more than 2 months ago) for “bought by mistake” which Amazon’s return manager automatically denied.

ASIN: 1429234148

What do we do?


#3

I’m not sure. I wonder if this is just fishing for sources on amazon’s part. I have sent in one explanation appeal, but that was over a week ago and I haven’t heard back. I have read on here it can take a week, two weeks, a month, 90 days, and beyond. I don’t have a high confidence that my appeal gets approved because I did not admit any guilt. My options are wait, try again, or email Jeff and I don’t know what to do either. This could not have come at a worse time.


#4

I was suspended today, when were you?

Did you see the section at the bottom in the appeal

"We’re here to help
View your account performance in the Account Health Dashboard.

  1. Has your account been deactivated in error?
    If you think your account has been deactivated in error, please provide an explanation. Your explanation should include 1. How your account has complied with Amazon policy, 2. Evidence demonstrating compliance to Amazon policy."

My account health shoes 0 product authenticity complaints. How do I appeal a product authenticity complaint when I have none.


#5

This whole process really needs an overhaul on amazon’s part. Very confusing.
Under Performance > Performance notifications there was a Review of Your Amazon.com Seller Account and a button to appeal. STOP! before you submit anything be sure to read up before you make some mistakes that I made. I did not see this at first and contacted seller support via email. Then I did the appeal. After finishing the appeal I saw this box (#4), and was going to copy the text of the explanation but I, for whatever did not. At the time I guess I just assumed that the CSR would get the idea and understand the situation and that my account would be back up in a day. I have been kicking myself ever since. I did not realize this process would be so much on a razors edge, and my account would be so much at risk for such a simple and obvious issue. As an ebay member for almost 20 years, I am used to a platform where the seller gets at least a little benefit of the doubt.


#6

I was suspended on Tuesday Nov 20th.


#7

@Nymba_Group and @book_folio, do your accounts show that the customers have been refunded since you declined? My apologies if I have missed this info.


#8

I did not refund since it was over the return time limit. I still have the issue refund button and when I click on it, I do not see any refund issued. Is there someplace I can look to see if Amazon refunded them?

My hail mary was going to be contacting the buyer, issuing a refund, then emailing Jeff.


#9

I would check in your statements…but I’m just trying to figure out whether there was actual contact from the Buyers to Amazon after their refund requests were declined OR if y’all are the victims of rogue bot-work.

It’s just very odd that you both had customers request out-of-policy refunds that were declined and then weeks later hit with Inauthenticity SUSPENSIONS despite great metrics and no prior issues–not even just suspended listings but suspended accounts. :thinking:

And to top the oddness off, it’s not like you can really have a conversation with someone to clarify the events in question or what specifically prompted a suspension. :unamused: I personally just don’t see the point of submitting a POA where no problem exists. :woman_shrugging: Of course, truly the best advice you’ll get is “give Amazon what they want”, but that’s so tricky in these situations.

None of this necessarily helps with your “next steps” at the moment, but hopefully a Seller more experienced with these situations than the three of us will be able to chime in over the weekend with some suggestions.

I wouldn’t contact the Buyer or refund. It doesn’t seem that they are actually involved in this, possibly.


#11

Am I reading this correctly your entire account got suspended because of 1 order? :scream: how is this possibly, if this was the case a nasty competitor could take another seller out by having a co-conspirator purchase an item and do a dishonest return. Have you talked to CS on the phone, how do you know it was the buyer who “bought by mistake” maybe a complaint by author or publisher, but even so I could understand the listing being under investigation but your whole account? This is extremely troubling, please keep us posted. So sorry. :slightly_frowning_face:


#12

Something seems very off???


#13

That is exactly what has occured, right in the middle of peak holiday sales. The timing is impeccable. If this is an attack from malicious sellers to gain market share and eliminate competition I would not be surprised except for that this particular book is super obscure and doesn’t sell, the rank is in the hundreds of thousands. You’d expect that to happen on best selling items, not something that never sells. Maybe thats part of the exploit because its resulted in a COMPLETE suspension of my account. Can’t sell, can’t withdraw funds.

Curiously, I looked up the ASIN I’m suspended about and it no longer has any offers for new condition. Previously there were atleast 3 or 4 pages full of new offers. It looks like anyone offering the item as new has been mass suspended/inactivated. There are ONLY used offers now for this book.

For sure something seems very off.

It was bad enough having the “pricing error” algo incorrectly flag hundreds of books with a pricing error when there was none, now its going for the kill thinking that books are counterfeit of all things… How do you even counterfeit a book?? :frowning: :frowning:


#14

How awful and like you said right before Christmas, have you been able to talk to SS on the phone? This could just be a bot error. :pray:


#15

It is published by Cengage. I fear that explains a lot.


#16

@rms–“I’m asking you because you know about these things”–why would their whole accounts be suspended and not just that publisher’s offerings? :thinking::grimacing:


#17

Happened to me too on a non-Cengage textbook. I denied refund because of fraudulent refund attempt - they told Amazon it was a counterfeit, and now I’m dealing with the same situation as you! Buyer was a freight forwarder out of Seattle.


#18

Cengage, Pearson Education, John Wiley, and McGraw-Hill have banded together in an attempt to quash counterfeit textbooks. They won a lawsuit against an importer back in April, and the precedent established therein gives them enough clout that even Amazon takes them seriously.

Amazon does not want to be the defendant in the next lawsuit - they do not want any possible proof that they let a seller of counterfeit books continue to sell on their site after being identified as a seller of counterfeits. So they suspend the seller on a mere accusation.
The down side is that they lose a handful of sellers out of many hundreds of thousands. Such sellers, they reason, can be replaced. That is minor.
The upside is that they have protected themselves from losing a multi-hundred-million dollar lawsuit to the above mentioned publishers.

Sure, it does not seem fair. But fairness is not Amazon’s goal.

The unfortunate thing for us sellers is that we have no standing in such matters. Cengage et al may make a false accusation, and a seller cannot compel Amazon to admit that such an accusation came from them. So there is no way to collect damages from Cengage, and thus very little that the average seller can do to stop them.


#19

Thank you for the insight. Appreciate your information, even though it’s not great. It’s hard to be the bearer of bad news. :sunglasses:


#20

AZ is culling its herd of used booksellers…? :slightly_frowning_face:

Consider it your Lucky Day…

Find something to do that actually makes Money…:rofl: Like Working at Taco Bell…

AZ should cancel all “new” listings if they fear the publishers…and gate that “condition” to only sellers that have reciepts…

Allowing “New” Listings from Prohibited Publishers…Sets up a Suspension Trap for used booksellers…

Most of Whom would be better off financially doing Almost ANYTHING Else…:disappointed_relieved:


#21

Amazon is culling its instances of liability.