How to Write a Plan of Action When You've Been Suspended


#1

(Even your friend and humble narrator bunga bunga has been suspended . . .)

So you’ve been suspended, and you’ve received that email from Amazon telling you that you need to tell them how you’re going to fix the problems. Maybe you’ve even sent in a plan, and gotten back the enigmatic “Your plan is not complete” email. Here are some tips as to how to formulate a Plan of Action and get back on Amazon. This is not a cure-all list by any means. You are in hot water, and you may or may not be able to get out of it, depending on how serious your infraction was.

I will admit to some hesitancy in even posting this list, as I have no interest in helping bad sellers get back on Amazon. But we’ve been suspended, and others have been suspended who perhaps didn’t deserve it, or who committed only minor infractions. It is those people that I hope will be helped by this post.

1) How to format your plan of action

The format for your plan of action should be:


A) What went wrong

(explain)

B) What we have done to fix the problems

(explain)

C) What we have done to prevent the problems from happening again in the future

(explain that what you did in “B” will keep the problems from recurring)


Now when I say “the format should be”, I mean you really should use those lettered headings “A) What went wrong” and so forth.

When I say that in section C you should basically only say “The actions we took under #B will keep the problems from recurring,” I mean it. Use your own words of course, but all action items should be in B. C, preventing issues from happening in the future, should be a result of what you have done in B, and you should simply say that it will be.

2) What to include

Make sure that you address any and all issues Amazon had with your account. Make sure that your plan solves the problems they mention.

3) What not to include

This is even more important than #2. Don’t include a bunch of extraneous verbiage. Don’t talk about how wonderful you are, how wonderful Amazon is, or how sorry you are. Don’t address problems that Amazon did not bring up. Stick to the facts – here’s what went wrong regarding what Amazon is asking about, here’s how we have fixed the problems, and here’s how we will keep those problems from recurring in the future.

4) Serious issues

With some Amazon infractions, it may not be possible to recover. An incomplete list of examples of such things might include opening a second seller account when your first one is suspended, rampant counterfeiting, obvious lies about having shipped product, and the ever-popular large-scale shipping of things that aren’t what the customer ordered. If you’ve done things like that, the formatting of your Plan of Action probably won’t matter.

5) Other things to do and not to do

Be patient. Amazon is in no hurry to reinstate you.

Do not bombard Amazon with status requests.

Do not make things worse than they already are, e.g. by refusing to ship open orders until Amazon reinstates you.

Do not make things worse than they already are, e.g. by writing your customers and complaining about your suspension, or writing JeffB and doing so.

Make real changes in how you operate so that you are not suspended again. If you were being a sleazeball, stop. If you are a one man shop and, say, "didn’t ship because I went into the hospital and " blah blah yes we’ve heard it all before, create a contingency plan that gets your product shipped and your storefront on vacation when such things happen. If you were sourcing your “new” product from hinky distributors, knock it off with the knock-offs.

And if you get reinstated – congratulations – but don’t just say “Hey, I got back on, no need to change anything” . . . or one day you will be back here reading this post again.

Good luck!

bunga bunga!


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#2

Fantastic Post.

Question:

Do you think Amazon asks for appeals even when they have already decided they will not reinstate your account?


#3

I have my “Surviving in the Jewelry Category Thread” and now we have a NEW forever thread, “How to Write a Plan of action …”

I am going to bookmark the link and post it several times a day when this question is asked (unless you post it first!!)

and we’ll try to keep it bumped.

Great job!!


#4

Thanks for writing this with such clarity … and humor.

I’ve bookmarked this as well with the hope (knock on wood) that I’ll need never look at it again.


#5

To quote Lord Melchett from +Black Adder+: As private parts to the gods are we! They play with us for their sport.


Account Suspended for Selling "Inauthentic" Item
#6

It happens to the best of us…


#7

>Do you think Amazon asks for appeals even when they have already decided they will not reinstate your account?

I don’t think so. There is a “You are toast” email that they send in that circumstance. If they say you can appeal, you can.

bunga bunga!


#8

Bunga with yet another fantastic guide. Well done, good sir!

I’d like to add a couple points, if I may.

First. If you have multiple reasons for suspension, address each one individually. As Bunga suggested, keep a clean and easy to read format.

Second. As Bunga said, you need to REALLY make the fixes you said you would. Along with point C, include any processes/procedures/software/programs/fail-safes/initiatives/etc that you have implemented. They need to see some tangible fixes.
On a side note. We were suspended earlier this year for Late Shipments. It was a result of a feed of mine glitching out and I didn’t catch it within 48 hours. I fixed that feed AND created a report to run so I can manually update if needed. We were reinstated in 19 hours, 3 hours to fix the issue by confirming all open shipments and creating a back-up plan, 16 hours for them to review my POA (yes, I was freaking out so badly that I timed it)

Third. Stick to the topics at hand. Don’t bring up irrelevant items like “I know I was suspended for A-Z Claims/ODR but my response time averages 5.5 hours”. ONLY bring up information/stats/whatnot that is directly relevant to the reasons for your suspension. For instance, in our POA I pointed out that our late shipment rate jump was during a 1-week period resulting in our 1-week and 1-month rate jumping above 4%, but our 365 was still below 2% and if they went back further they would see it has NEVER risen above 3% lifetime; thus, it was an isolated incident.

Fourth. Do NOT try to blame someone else. This includes internally and externally. For example : you had an employee quit suddenly, you drop-ship products from a vendor who shipped the wrong items to 100 people resulting in A-Z Claims, the FedEx store near you closed. It is YOUR business and YOUR problem.

Lastly… and probably most importantly. Keep in straight forward, professional, and honest. NO EXCUSES. Simply fix the issue. Don’t clutter your POA with cliche jargon and needless/useless filler. They aren’t looking for your Business Plan, just a fix to the problems you had. It shouldn’t be half as long as my post here.

We see it on the forum almost weekly; emotional, sad/sappy, borderline begging POAs. It’s harsh, but Amazon doesn’t care if your Grandma died, you had pneumonia, house got caught on fire, you were in Africa feeding hungry children, etc. They just don’t. It’s a business to them and they expect you to run with their rules and have a contingency plan to cover emergencies/outages/etc.

Check out Bunga’s other posts on Feedback Removal and A-Z Claims. This will help your ODR immensely.

Other than that, if you stay on top of things, ship quickly, take care of your customers and keep yourself out of trouble, you might actually come out ahead and make some $ here!

Best of luck!


#9

I dunno. I think for some violations like counterfeits Amazon goes through the standard series of responses even if there’s no chance anything the seller writes will matter.


#10

Bunga bunga, how kind you are! I took the liberty to post a link to this guide twice already. This is so generous of you (and witty)! :clap::facepunch::ok_hand::bouquet::+1::pray::trophy:


#11

BUMP!


#12

I think this thread is +the+ “Go-To Resource” for writing effective POAs. So I’ll keep bumping it!


#13

Bump for Bunga.


#14

Bunga bunga, you are a mensch.

Bump.


#15

hi,
I also wrote the plan, but the instructions on amazon told no detailed plan to further my ability my english is not good that someone wrote then please help me, thanks a lot, looking forward with the assistance of the community to help me overcome this difficulty


#16

One bad week and it could happen to any of us unfortunately even if we are not doing anything wrong

Thanks for the pointers I will save them


#17

This isn’t the place to post your suspension or POA questions. Please stick to your own thread.

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/message.jspa?messageID=3764319#3764319


#18

You are so RIGHT Cliff!

Hey, Bunga, Bunga

I have an idea for an Amazon #1 Best Seller! Use your outline to write sample appeal plans for all the ways a person could be suspended and compile them into a book.

You have the expertise to do this!!! Bunga, Bunga!!! Best Wishes!


#19

You’re too late. :wink:

People already post spam here, trying to sell pre-written plans to suspended sellers.


#20

Yes I know! I have received emails for that as well. Actually, I was talking about a kindle ebook or a physical book, not to be sold using the forum.