Amazon has adjusted the Seller response policy for the A-to-z Guarantee


#1

We are making two changes to the A-to-z Guarantee Seller response policy to help in providing customers with a positive and timely post-order experience.

Reminder: You have a responsibility to respond to customer messages and return requests within 48 hours.

What is changing?


  1. In the event that a customer files a claim and you have not provided a response to the customer’s contact, we will grant the claim and debit your account.
  2. We no longer require that you ‘Respond to Amazon,’ when a claim is filed. Our team will review it using the information provided by both you and the customer leading up to that point to make a decision.

To help you avoid any potential or unnecessary A-to-z Guarantee claims, we will continue to ensure that customers either contact you or submit a return request 48 hours prior to being eligible for an A-to-z Guarantee resolution.

If you wish to dispute a claim then we still provide you with 30 calendar days to file an appeal and provide new information for the investigation.

All customer return requests can be found on the Manage Returns page, and all customer contacts in the Buyer-Seller Messaging Service. Learn more about how you can prevent A-to-z Guarantee claimshere.


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#2
  1. Previously, message responses were required in 24 hours. Is this a policy change?

  2. Regarding returns–are these official return requests, or customer messages regarding returns, or either/or, within 48 hours?

  3. What is the best way to direct a customer to opening an official Return Request?

  1. Does this mean that we don’t get a chance to represent ourselves on any A-to-z claims?!
    …but only to appeal if not found in our favor, despite following Amazon’s policies???

AZ Claim goes against their own policies
#3

This really sounds like Amazon is looking for loop holes in their buy shipping protection.

Yes, you used amazon’s buy shipping and yes, you shipped on time, but you didn’t respond to this customer’s 5th message demanding a refund within 48 hours so you are liable for the claim.

Plus this “In the event that a customer files a claim and you have not provided a response” and this “We no longer require that you ‘Respond to Amazon,’ when a claim is filed.” doesn’t make sense and is poorly worded.


#4
  1. there is a customer service metric, wich requires responses to customers’ contacts within 24 hrs, to stay healthy. That is seperate from the 48 hours, that put in the losing seat on A-Z’s.

  2. no difference, since you get the losing seat reward, for not responding to A general contact, just like not responding to an official “Return Request”

  3. I have my robot provide this link, https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201824330

  4. I believe you can still represent your case, if you believe you have strong facts to add. the difference is that they are not demanding you to represent your case. In the past, even if you were very obviously right, they were able to & did rule against you for not representing your case.

However note, that these changes are not the brand new, the only brand new change, I believe, is getting the losing seat for lack of response to Customer’s inquiry within 48 hours.

@ShipZero

now reads,


#5

When will a seller’s refund not automatically mean a defect for the seller?!
I cannot repeat strong enough, how many times I’ve come across buyers A-Z for a refund of an item that was supposed (authorized) to be returned, before buyer even shipped it out.

Now seller responds that, “As per the return authorization provided to you last week, we will issue your refund, as the return is received, inspected, and processed.”

Why should that be a defect for the seller, when they refund?
Can the bots & humans not differentiate, between a refund given in response to A-Z VS refund issued in conjunction w/ the return Authorization which was authorized, and waiting to be refunded, way earlier??


#6

Amazon is making decisions based on a customer AZ claim without getting the facts from the seller? This is not a step in the right direction in my opinion.


#7

What about when you DO respond to the customer within 48 hours, and even with amazon documenting the dates of when you respond to said customer. But customer claims “they haven’t heard from the seller” what do you do then??


#8

If a customer files an A-Z out of the blue, no previous contact, how are you given proper opportunity to respond? You could only appeal. Not even close to due process.


#9

“we will continue to ensure that customers either contact you or submit a return request 48 hours PRIOR to being eligible for an A-to-z Guarantee resolution.”…Amazon—> you posted this similar “news” earlier…but I received(and it was granted) an AZ CLAIM --WITH NO COMMUNICATION from either Amazon or Buyer!! So, either you need to post FURTHER REQUIREMENTS about your new policy, or FOLLOW WHAT YOU POST!


#10

This is a highly confusing change.

So…as long as you always respond to customers within 48 hours there can never be a claim? Even if the customer feels his situation hasn’t been resolved? Even if you’ve gone back and forth with the customer multiple times?

Am I understanding this?


#11

No. It is sort of saying the opposite: if you respond to every customer message, you can still be held liable for a claim (and will not be given the opportunity to represent yourself). Instead, it is saying that if you do NOT respond to the customer then you will automatically lose… because the messages to the customer are now your representation for the claim.


#12

I not bothered so much by the slight change in policy. It has always been the default position to charge the seller regardless of the circumstances. What I find more annoying is Amazon’s reluctance to abide by their own shipping guarantee. Our A to Z claims are always due to INR and Amazon is supposed to take responsibility for those without demanding an explanation from the seller. It is a matter of record. I have had to create a cut and paste text file containing the Amazon Shipping guarantee policy that I use to respond to Amazon when they charge me for a wayward shipment using their service.


#13

This change in policy does 2 things:

  1. pushes more sellers to FBA to avoid A-Z entirely
  2. Punishes 3p sellers for doing business on Amazon.

Even if you do everything right and follow all policies you will undoubtedly eventually get an A-Z filed against you. Not allowing the seller to state their case to Amazon before a decision being made = an 50% decrease in the already 1% of claims found in favor of the seller.

Time to raise fees again!


#14

@SEAmod, @Chris_Amazon

This news post is confusing for a variety of points all laid out here.

This seems to be a trend with the party/dept writing these news posts about policy.


#16

A few weeks ago the policy change was that a buyer first needs to submit a return request (For a shipped order) before filing a claim. If the return isn’t approved within 48 hours it was auto granted if a claim is then filed.

If I understand this correctly that policy has changed.

Now all they need to do is contact you…wait 48 hours and they are then eligible to file a claim. Even if you have responded. This claim may then be auto-authorized.

This is hugely significant because buyers often don’t receive emails sellers send from messages. They do seem to receive the return authorization emails.

For example:

Buyer: received item but I can’t get it to work as I expected
Seller: Have you tried using this method?
——no response and no return request——

Now what? Can buyer file a claim?

Also, will we even see the A-Z? At the moment we would often receive an email saying amazon is reviewing and we don’t need to do anything. But there is still an option to provide amazon with additional information.’ Will this change?


#17

Translation: You have no right or ability to defend yourself in claims anymore.


#18

Not allowing the seller to respond to the claim to provide our side of the situation is unjust and unwarranted. Instead of not wanting seller input, it should be the FIRST thing Amazon does. What fair-minded arbiter of any dispute wouldn’t want to hear from both parties BEFORE making a decision? The A-Z system is already hugely biased in favor of buyers. This is just another brick in the wall.


#19

Sorry @we_istock there is no longer such a metric. But it is still somehow a requirement.


#20

Yes - they can file a claim (after 48 hours of this “contact”). Now, the notice indicates Amazon will “continue to ensure customers contact you” OR “submit a return request” – what it doesn’t say is will Amazon ensure the seller also tried responding to the buyer? And as many know, that response may not ever be looked at, acknowledged or received by the customer.

Amazon will “ensure” that customer contacted you – doesn’t appear to matter if return was requested or not. Just a contact and if this customer so chooses then to file an A to Z after 48 hours, the claim is set for auto-refund. It will then be up to the seller to try and have this overruled.

Well, that’s my take on it (and what we have already experienced before this “adjustment” of policy).


#21

Is this immediate or given with 30 day notice that most have the decency to provide a seller especially during the height of the busy season?

WILL AMAZON NOW SHOW A BUYER THEY HAVE MESSAGES WAITING LIKE SELLERS SEE ON SELLER CENTRAL?

Silo management at its best.