How to Get Bad Feedback Removed


#1

Following the posting of my series How To Win A-z Claims, literally none of you have PMd me to ask if I could do a similar series on How to Get Bad Feedback Removed. With no one demanding a discussion of this important aspect of Amazon selling, how could I say no? And to whom would I say it?

Amazon documents four reasons that feedback can be removed:

  1. Obscenity
  2. Personal information
  3. Product review
  4. FBA sale

But experience has shown that Amazon will remove feedback for a large variety of reasons. With a good appeal and some logic, and maybe a little humor, you can get a lot of feedback taken off that doesn’t meet the Big Four reasons. If this post does nothing else, I hope it will help to squelch the notion that only feedback falling under the Big Four reasons can be removed.

One reason missing from the Big Four but known to work is:

  1. Price objection

Sometime around June of 2013 Amazon became willing to remove feedbacks that relate solely due to price, such as “I found this cheaper at Wal-Mart” or “You charged me $50 but the box says $10”.

Let me mention here that it is important to ask customers to remove feedback, and I frequently do so – but not always. Sometimes, when it’s really an obvious win, I just go straight to Amazon.

As with A-z claim responses, I recommend keeping it brief. There also should be a call to action (“Please remove this feedback.”)

Below, in no particular order, are twenty successful feedback removal requests, with a little discussion on each. To be clear – I certainly do not have a 100% success rate in getting negative feedback removed; these are examples where I was successful.

In the below I describe some additional reasons that feedback can be removed. Those reasons are by no means 100% effective, but the success I’ve had will, I hope, demonstrate that feedbacks that don’t fall under the Big Five reasons can frequently be removed.

1: “This is a product review. Please remove it. Thanks.”

Not much to say about that one, and if you’re right it always works. Note the brevity. Reason #3, Product review.
.

2: “Customer’s negative comments are about the product, not us or our service. Please remove this. Thanks!”

In this feedback the customer had made a positive comment about us, while dissing the product. In the past this might have been a little difficult to get taken off, so I tried to make clear that the negative parts of the feedback were not related to us (and that this was, more or less, a product review). Reason #3, Product review.
.

3: “Customer states that delivery took too long to arrive. In fact we delivered in five business days, considering Christmas, and delivered the day BEFORE the start of the estimated delivery period – we delivered on 12/29, the estimated delivery period was something like 12/30-1/15. Would you please remove this? Thank you.”

Here we encounter our first example of a feedback that unquestionably does not fall under the Big Four (or Five) reasons for removal, yet it was removed. We’ll call this Reason number 6, “Demonstrably Untrue”.
.

4: “Customer’s complaint is that this item is in German. The catalog page says (German) at the top, and ‘Language: German’ in the details. We shipped the customer the item he ordered, which we are required to do. He is also using feedback as e-mail. Would you please remove this? Thanks!”

And here’s another new one – let’s call this number 7, the “We Did the Right Thing” defense. The catalog page said what the item was, and we shipped it. Not our fault, and removed.
.

5: “This is a combination product review and (mildly) price objection, both of which are removable. Please remove this feedback. Thanks!”

It doesn’t have to be one or the other to be removed. Just make a clear case. Reasons 3, Product review and 5, Price objection.
.

6: “We refunded this customer back in November. If you look at Buyer/Seller messaging you will see that she does not seem to be receiving our e-mails. That is obviously not our fault. Would you please remove this feedback, and e-mail the customer yourself to tell her that she was refunded two months ago? Thanks.”

Customer had complained (I guess . . . obviously the feedback is gone) that she had not received an item, when in fact she had been refunded long before. This falls under #7 “We Did the Right Thing,” and to some extent #6 “Demonstrably Untrue”.
.

7: “Item was delivered on the second business day of the delivery range. That is not “slow” by any reasonable standard. Would you please remove this? Thanks!”

Customer had called our delivery “slow”. Removed for being #6 “Demonstrably Untrue”.
.

8: “This is a price objection. Price objections are removable under your Standard Operating Procedure, so please remove this feedback. Thanks!”

I used to write a much longer diatribe about price objections, but this worked, so I’ll use the briefer version from now on. Reason #5, Price objection.
.

9: “This is a price objection. Buyer is complaining about restocking fees, which is a form of price objection, and has been removable many times in the past. Price objections are removable under your Standard Operating Procedure. Please remove this feedback. Thanks!”

Restocking fee complaints are price objections, and are therefore removable. Reason #5, Price objection.
.

10: “Customer’s complaints about delivery are due to her misunderstanding. She claims to have paid for faster shipping – she didn’t, and we don’t offer it. She claims she wasn’t told by Amazon when the item would arrive – of course she was. Finally she complains that the item took 22 days to arrive, which is true, but that is within the estimated delivery period for this item. Would you please remove this feedback? Thanks!”

Reason #6, Demonstrably untrue. Note that you can be really late (or in this case, USPS can) and still get a feedback removed if you delivered within the period. I’ll be honest and say I was a little surprised that this one was removed, but the customer was wrong in so many ways . . .
.

11: “This not feedback - as some customers who are clueless about Amazon do, the customer is using feedback as e-mail. We have e-mailed the customer to resolve the situation. Please remove this. (And please DON’T tell us that we can ask the customer to remove it . . . we have, but someone who doesn’t understand that feedback isn’t e-mail is not going to be able to remove a feedback.)”

Yes! New reason #8, Using Feedback As Email. This happens occasionally, we’ll get a “2” with “I would like to return this, as it is not what I want”. They can be removed.
.

12: “This is an APO shipment. The estimated delivery range for this order is Jan 12, 2015 to Feb 2, 2015, per Amazon. This customer ordered this item on December 14 and now leaves us a “1” saying that we did not deliver by Christmas. Ridiculous! Christmas is 2.5 weeks BEFORE the start of the estimated delivery range for this order! It’s not our fault that this buyer waited until December 14 to place her order. She’s blaming us for her error. Would you please remove this feedback? Thanks!”

Obviously I was a bit annoyed with this one . . . nonetheless, removed for Reason #6, Demonstrably Untrue.
.

13: “Customer stated in Buyer/Seller e-mails that he is himself an Amazon seller. Now he is leaving us a neutral. Competitive sellers should not be buying from us and leaving neutrals. Please remove this.”

Let’s call this reason #9, “Feedback from a Competitor”. Removed – but interestingly, the Amazon rep removed it saying that our “item was as described”. Call it Rep Discretion – if you can give them a good enough reason to remove it, and they agree with you, they will slide it through.
.

14: “This is the season for stupid feedback! Apparently this guy decided he should leave us a “1” because he’s not sure if his FREIGHT FORWARDER is going to get the item from Miami to South America. But that has nothing to do with us! This item shows as delivered on November 20 in Miami. We have nothing to do with any further movement of the item. Would you please remove this feedback? Thanks!”

This feedback had said something like “I’m not sure this is going to get to me in South America,” which is irrelevant to our part of the transaction. So that’s new reason #10, “Irrelevant Comment”. Also note that I made a point of hammering the Freight Forwarder angle. Removed.
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15: “Customer gave us the wrong address, item hasn’t arrived, he’s given us a “1”. That’s ridiculous. It isn’t our fault that he gave the wrong address. Please remove this feedback.”

That’s Reason 7 popping up again, “We Did the Right Thing”. We have no choice but to ship to the address we are given, and the customer had admitted the address was wrong.
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16: “Delivered on time and in perfect condition by the buyer’s own admission. She does not have the right to demand that it arrive even faster than what we all agreed to, and to damage our feedback with a “3” when it does not. We did what we said we would do. Would you please remove this? Thanks!”

Customer had said something like “I wish this had arrived faster”, which is not a reason for bad feedback. “We Did the Right Thing”, Reason #7, again.
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17: “Customer canceled order, this is not our fault. This customer placed an order on Monday, then wrote in saying she had to have the item by Friday. We told her no, we can’t do that, Standard Shipping is all we offer and it’s 4-14 business days. She canceled the order per our suggestion. How do we now end up with a “1”? It’s not our fault that she bought from us knowing full well we don’t offer faster shipping, then wrote in and requested it anyway. We did exactly what we should have done – we advised the customer that we could not provide the service she was requesting, and explained how to cancel the order. We should not get a “1” feedback for not providing service that we never said we would provide in the first place, but that this customer apparently required. Would you please remove this? Thanks!”

Reason #7, “We Did the Right Thing”, one more time. No reason we should get a 1 for explaining to the customer that the shipping we offer would not meet her needs. My appeal was much too long, however.
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18: “Customer states that the item had a tear on a page that she thinks happened during manufacturing. These items come to us shrinkwrapped, so it is impossible for us to look for torn pages, and she’s probably right that this is a product defect, making this a product review. Would you please remove it? Thank you.”

Reason #3, Product review. I believe this customer stated in the feedback that she felt we should have caught this problem with the product, so I explained that we couldn’t have.
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19: “We shipped this item on Sep 24. On Sep 25 customer left this feedback saying “Book didn’t arrive - seller never shipped it”. We did ship it, the day before. In addition the delivery period for this order is Sep 26, 2014 to Oct 14, 2014, so he left this feedback saying the item “didn’t arrive” two days before the delivery period had even started! Would you please remove this feedback? Thanks!”

Reason #6, Demonstrably Untrue. It seems likely that this feedback was left for the wrong seller.
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20: “It is not late. This customer is a dropshipper, who has ordered from us twice to ship to disparate customer locations. The estimated delivery range for this order is Sep 17 to Oct 2, so we aren’t even past the range yet, and it is going to be delivered today. It is therefore not “late”. Please stop abusive dropshippers from hurting our business and remove this feedback. Thanks.”

Customer had said our shipment was late. Reason #6 again, Demonstrably Untrue. If we’re not late, you can’t say we are.
.

In closing, here is my expanded list of reasons feedback may be removable:

  1. Obscenity
  2. Personal information
  3. Product review
  4. FBA sale
  5. Price objection
  6. Demonstrably untrue
  7. We did the right thing
  8. Using feedback as email
  9. Feedback from a competitor
  10. Irrelevant comment

Happy appealing!

bunga bunga!


Removing a buyers feedback
C'mon Amazon, Is this really a Feedback?
Customer is demanding refund for 2nd day air package, but Fedex made a delivery attempt and he was not home
Our competitor is using Drop shipping
Unbalance between seller and buyer
What a headache. Why can't this feedback be removed?
I need help w/ response to negative feedback
Negative Feedback for Nondelivery to customer provided wrong address
Seller lost A To Z claim about Item Defective then Left Negative feedback about INR
Drop shipment from competing Amazon seller
Feedback removal, this is just beyond reasonable
Customer claiming [brand new] item defective/damaged and return label
Neutral feedback because FedEx asked for a signature - not me
Negative feedback for the 20% restocking fee
Can a customer leave negative feedback after a denied A-Z?
Amazon removed negative feedback!
#2

Love your intro and the rest is good stuff.

If enough asked, think the Mod’s would pin this and your a-z thread? Not that anybody would read it, but would make it easier for us to refer them to it.


#3

bunga bunga!,

Thanks for this post! I think the Aces need their own category where they can post informational pieces like this. Can you help me out on a few questions:

  1. Can you post the link to your A to Z series?

  2. Is there a better way to search the forums?

I ask the second question because I can’t seem to find a whole bunch using the search bar here. I tried to search for your A to Z posts but it wouldn’t come up? At least not the one you are talking about. I even used your name in the search for posts. It seems that the search can put a string of words together to do a proper search or maybe I am doing something wrong?

Thanks!!!


#4

Bunga,

You da MAN! I will be sure to bookmark this, along with your A-Z Claim post.

One possibility to add, though it might go under the “Demonstrably untrue” are the “Slow Shipping” or “Did not receive on time” Feedbacks that are in fact delivered within the stated ETA on the customers order. I have had luck with these.

If I come up with anything else to add, I will post.

Thanks!


#5

Sorry I forgot
To request you do this post
Bunga Bunda Rocks


#6

How to Win A-z Claims is here:

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=3042587

As to searching, I find using Google to search the forums generally works better than the forum search. A straight up Google for

how to win a-z claims bunga

puts that post at the top. If you want to make sure you only get hits from the forums you can use the site: directive

how to win a-z claims bunga site:sellercentral.amazon.com/forums

and of course you can use Google’s tools for searching back in a specified period of time, which can help narrow things down if you are looking for a post that’s fairly recent, for example.

bunga bunga!


#7

Thanks Trying the email on one as well as the address In the same Feedback.


#8

I will read them and appreciate the effort you guys make to do this.


#9

Customer removed his feedback about 4 minutes after sending this:

Hello Xxxxxxx,

I just read your negative feedback that you left for us. I must be missing something here. You mention a horse & carriage and 2 weeks delivery, but I have to protest. You placed your order on April 30th. The wrench was shipped on May 1st and is due to arrive to you tomorrow on May 5th. According to the estimated timeline that Amazon provides, we weren’t even supposed to ship your order until May 5th, let alone get it to by that date. By our agreement, as stated in Amazon’s selling policy for us and Amazon’s buying policy for you, we are within our obligation to deliver by the last day of the delivery window, and even longer if there are carrier issues. May 12th is the last day you could have expected your wrench.

I’d like you to reconsider the negative feedback that materially affects our company’s business. It’s hard enough competing with the huge corporations, including Amazon itself, and when we get a negative feedback we are punished in the market place.

I don’t see how under promising and over delivering is worthy of 1 out 5 stars when we shipped your order early and you’ll have the tool in less than 3 business days from ordering. That’s nearly perfect, 5 out of 5, not 1 out of 5.

Maybe you got someone else’s carriage mixed up with our jet engine.

Thank you for your consideration.

Warm Regards,

Kxxxx xxxxxxxxN
Director of Operations
XYZ Co.
1xxx XX Jxxx St
Dxxxx, XX XX2XX-3XXX
123.456.7890 - office
098.765.4321- fax


#10

bunga bunga ,

>>> In closing, here is my expanded list of reasons feedback may be removable:

  1. Obscenity
  2. Personal information
  3. Product review
  4. FBA sale
  5. Price objection
  6. Demonstrably untrue
  7. We did the right thing
  8. Using feedback as email
  9. Feedback from a competitor
  10. Irrelevant comment

I found your message bunga bunga very enlightening and thank you for it.

Under Number (6) Demonstrably untrue … if a buyer claims they emailed us but there is no record in Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messages of any communication from the buyer, do you think Seller Support will be disposed to remove a negative feedback?

We have emailed the buyer multiple times asking the erroneous feedback be removed and also printed hard copies of the emails and mailed them to the customer with tracking but they are unresponsive. Their claims are they never received the item and we never responded to their email but tracking shows it was delivered in 3-business days. It was a $60 book … could they be just trying to get a free item and would you recommend I suggest that possibility to Seller Support?

Roy


#11

>. . . if a buyer claims they emailed us but there is no record in Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messages of any communication from the buyer, do you think Seller Support will be disposed to remove a negative feedback?

I fairly frequently find myself saying, in feedback appeals, "Buyer claims to have contacted us regarding (X), but Buyer/Seller messaging shows no such contact. Upon learning about this issue through his feedback, we took action (Y) . . . ". I think that can make an effective appeal, and making it clear that you not only did not shirk your responsibility but took action makes it more likely that the feedback will be removed. You can also question whether perhaps the feedback was intended for another seller, since the buyer had never actually emailed you.

bunga bunga!


#12

Thank you bunga bunga for your reply. Your point on proving there was no email ever sent through Amazon’s Message System is good … as cumbersome as the system is (can’t send links, etc) it can be beneficial.

As it turns out … after 3-emails over 3-weeks that were also printed and mailed to the buyer, they woke up, apologized and removed the erroneous negative meant for anther seller. The third one was sent with signature confirmation … it may have scared them.

May all your feedbacks be “5s”,
Roy


#13

:slight_smile: Glad to hear about the positive outcome.

bunga bunga!


#14

Thank you for this well-written article on feedback removal. I only recently began requesting removal of erroneous, unkind or mistakenly submitted feedback after over 10 years of selling on AZ. It is good mentoring to advise sellers to request removal when you have “done the right thing.”


#15

Great information! Customer gave us a “1” saying horrible service blah blah. Posted his review before he ever e-mailed me (In the emails he seemed nice enough but never responded) . He sent pictures of the package he did receive and once I expanded the shipping label Russia appeared. I told Amazon he sent to a FREIGHT FORWARDING COMPANY to have it go to Russia. I put “CAPS” on Freight Forwarding and showed tracking that showed all items arriving and signed for by the forwarding company, I said I filled my end of responsibility and included #10 as the reason to remove. Amazon removed in under 3 hours! Thank you very much! BUNGA! BUNGA!


#16

That’s great to hear. I’m not sure we’ve ever experienced that particular set of circumstances, where we got bad feedback for damage that had occurred after the item had been forwarded – which is odd, considering how frequently we ship to freight forwarders. We had an A-z on something similar once, but feedback, I don’t think so.

So it’s good to know that Amazon is consistent in accepting the logic that the damage, had it been present, should have been caught at the forwarder, and that once the item has gone beyond them it’s no longer the seller’s responsibility. Congrats!

bunga bunga!


#17

this is the best article i have met.it us the sellers, bible


#18

Any ideas on how to get bad +product reviews+ removed? We are the manufacturer and sole supplier of our items, so product reviews are important to us. One of our products is a case for a personal medical device. The case is sized to fit +one+ device, and the measurements are listed clearly in two places on the product description. The customer gave the item 2 stars, and the following review:

“too small
will only fit one pen (+my note: the device is a pen+)
(always carry 2)
my bad 4 not reading description well
I liked it for the purple
& that it was made in USA
oh well!!”

Since the item was exactly as described (and it isn’t like holding only one device makes it an inferior product - if we, say, offered a case that didn’t fit the device at all, I can see that it should get a low rating even if we described it properly because it would just be a bad product), and the customer admits that she didn’t read the description, do you think we can get this taken off? If so, who do we write to? Thank you!

Edited by: Makers World on Jan 27, 2016 8:59 AM


#19

(Sorry it took me so long to notice this post.) I have only a little direct experience in this, but from what I have seen and bumped into myself Amazon seems very reluctant to remove product reviews. A customer left one with our sellername in it, and comments on the transaction. Amazon wouldn’t even remove that obviously irrelevant review. People on the boards frequently comment about Amazon’s unwillingness to remove product reviews. Apparently that’s just the way it is.

bunga bunga!


#20

I just had to escalate a feedback removal after my first request was denied with the typical statement of

We have reviewed your request for feedback removal. In this case, the feedback you received does not meet the criteria for removal so we are unable to remove it.

For your reference, Amazon will remove feedback for these reasons:

  • The feedback includes obscene language.
  • The feedback includes seller-specific personally identifiable information.
  • The entire feedback comment is a product review.
  • The entire feedback comment is about fulfillment or customer service for an order fulfilled by Amazon.

The feedback was used as communication, I was given no opportunity to fix a postal damaged package. I messaged the customer after seeing the feedback, but didn’t receive a reply. I used bunga bunga’s terminology, changing the wording a bit to fit my situation and within minutes of resubmitting, it was removed. THANK YOU bunga bunga !!