Customer phone number anonymization


#1

You or your delivery carrier may only contact the customer via phone for delivery issues through our phone number anonymization system.

When calling a customer, use the temporary phone number, including the extension if provided, and follow the prompts. The phone number will expire once the package is delivered. This system is scheduled to be rolled out over the next few weeks.

As a reminder, in accordance with our Communication guidelines, you should only contact customers to fulfill an order. If you need to contact a customer for any reason other than package delivery, please use the Buyer-Seller Messaging Service.

Refer to the Prohibited seller activities and actions policy for information about appropriate use of customer phone numbers.

Visit the Help page to learn more.


As usual amazon fails again with the customer phone numbers on shipping labels this time
High Value Order, unable to get in touch with customer; UPS Sig REQ
#2

Our shipping software does not allow for an extension to be put on the shipping label, only a 10 digit phone number. How would we proceed here?

Are SFP labels now going to feature the phone number and extension?

How long is the phone number and extension valid for? Question is being asked because if a packages is being held at a UPS, USPS, or FedEx location for the customer they can hold it for a week or two. AND there can be up to a 30 day lead time for sellers. Plus transit time. So probably has to be valid for at least 60 days?


#3

Well, this should (but sadly won’t) put all the posts about “fake” numbers and scammers to rest.

While I did guess that the number would expire after delivery, I wonder if this will cause issues when carriers mark stuff delivered prior to it actually being delivered.


#4

Your help file states:

How do anonymized phone numbers work?
When your carrier calls the phone number during delivery, they will be prompted to enter the five-digit extension for the phone number and the postal code. Once both are entered correctly, they will be connected to the customer.

Sometimes the zip code on the label is changed because the customer entered it incorrectly for the ship to city. If the carrier only has the zip code on the actual label and it does not match your internal order zip code record will the authentication fail and they will not be connected?


#5

Fix the software … or have someone fix their software. It is not unusual for a phone number to have an ext.

Good question. I’d also like to know for sure … I believe it’s quite some time though as it’s linked to the order and the seller. Exact timeframe would be good though.


#6

Thanks for the response, we can get the program changed.

Also I re-read the news post and it states the number expires when the package is marked delivered. Hopefully the carrier does not mark the package as delivered before it’s actually taken care of.


#7

Answered in the initial post:

If the carrier screws up and marks it as delivered before it actually is but for some reason needs to call the customer before truly making the delivery, that will be something to take up with the carrier as their inability to deliver the item would be due to their own mistake.


#8

The answer is in the original post. It expires after item is delivered.


#9

The answer is in the original post. It expires after item is delivered.


#10

How will putting an anonymous number and extension on overseas orders work? The UPS / Fed Ex ticket needs an exact phone number if they need to call the customer to claim a package, say at Customs, and those agents will not know what to do.


#11

If UPS is investigating an INR claim, they will often contact the buyer. If the buyer does not respond, UPS will deny the claim. How can the seller or carrier contact a buyer in such a circumstance?


#12

Also our business invoicing system does not allow for more than 10 digits in a telephone number.


#13

In addition to the UPS claim investigation (occurring AFTER delivery), what if we need to contact the customer quickly and they are not responding to emails?

The OP excerpt says that the anonymous number will be only active DURING delivery. Will they provide a number for us to contact (anonymously) before we process the order? At times, customers might incorrectly order items and we do verify with them their order if there is any confusion (especially fitments for vehicle parts) - all of this to meet the SFP shipment cutoff. I know it is written in stone that whatever comes in MUST be shipped out the way it is ordered but we try to intervene to prevent unnecessary returns, restocking fees, and headaches for customers - all the while providing the smoothest experience for the consumers.

  • **you can say that we can have the order shipped AND then call the customers but that will create more issues in terms of SFP metric defects (On-time Shipments, Valid Tracking, etc.) AND I guess you can say that we can just email the performance team to notify transaction issue. Just doing a cost benefit analysis on the new changes and seeing what steps to implement.

#14

I wouldn’t put it past Amazon to record these calls as well.


#15

Will this work for foreign numbers also? If you are shipping to a PO box, you need to put a phone # on the customs form.


#16

This is utter nonsense. Almost all of the items we sell/ship are shipped by freight and require a phone number to schedule delivery. We already have an issue with customers forgetting to update their numbers and including old numbers with their orders. Sometimes no phone number at all. Tracking down current phone numbers to provide to the freight companies is already a hassle. Now Amazon wants to take it a step father and hide the actual phone number? We also have deliveries (white glove deliveries) that are a two stage process. The original shipment is picked up and shipped to the white glove service. At that time the tracking shows the item as delivered by the freight company. But its only step one of the process. So the white glove service will not be able to call the customer to schedule the actual delivery? Geez Amazon. You should run for congress. We already have 535 people there applying solutions to problems that dont exist. There is no need to further complicate the fulfillment process for honest sellers. What next? Will you be hiding the delivery address too?


#17

Sellers violating the policy that Amazon has been prominently reminding them about with every order and calling buyers anyways is why they are switching to this type of system. :roll_eyes:

Under prohibited seller actions it states: “Never contact a customer using their phone number. To contact a customer about their order, only use Buyer-Seller Messaging.”

It doesn’t say “never (unless you need to reach them quickly and they are not responding to emails)”.


#18

“In limited cases, such as Value Added Services orders, orders shipped to customers outside the United States, and orders using the freight shipping template, we still provide actual customer phone numbers. Please refer to the prohibited seller activities and actions policy for information about appropriate use of customer phone numbers.”

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/help.html/?itemID=GRXT7XJ8GKS4LXJ4&ref_=id_GRXT7XJ8GKS4LXJ4_h_r0_cont_sgsearch


#19

In limited cases, such as Value Added Services orders, orders shipped to customers outside the United States, and orders using the freight shipping template, we still provide actual customer phone numbers.


#20

This is a big help. Thank you.