Upcoming changes to the Communication Guidelines


#1

We are making changes to the Communication Guidelines that will go into effect on December 3, 2019. The key changes are available for review here.


#2

Will it violate the policy if I send follow up message to buyers to check if they have received their products and provide product instruction in text?


#3
  • More than one request for a product review or seller feedback

It is unclear to me and many other sellers whether the following constitutes multiple requests for a product review: sending an email with a request for a product review and clicking on the “Request Review” button in the order detail’s page. In this particular case, there is a single request for a review via email, but the other request (via a button click) may or may not be considered a duplicate request.
What is the official Amazon stance on that?


#4
  1. You can check the tracking.
  2. If the buyer does not get the product, he surely will contact you.
  3. Instructions should be with the product.
  4. Don’t bother the buyer !

#5

Excellent, protecting the customers email box is key and I have actually discontinued further communication with the buyers unless contacted. I would like for someone on the Amazon team to be a person that thinks about the sellers in terms of building their audience. It’s not all about Amazon, sellers should be able to build their audience also. When creating rules and restrictions there should be someone asking, when we make this restriction is there something we can do to offset or make this better for sellers also? If we take something away from sellers (a restriction) how can we in turn enhance? Thank you in advance for any member of the Amazon team for reading this and at least considering it. Thank you also for the ability to sell on one of the biggest platforms ever created. Use your power wisely. Respectfully - Wyatt


#6

This is still a bit confusing. It would be helpful if there were either an FAQ section here or a list of common scenarios that are allowable. For example, can we send one neutral message asking for a review (provided there is no incentive, selection bias or language slanting it to be “positive”)? When I read the top of the new page it seems that this type of communication is not allowable, but then when I read the bullet points it says you can’t send more than one of these requests which implies that one request is allowable. We, like many sellers, are trying to be fully-compliant but we’re quite confused on what’s acceptable and not.


#7

From my understanding, this is now considered “pro-active” customer service and is not permitted. And even if it is permitted, you’re at risk for getting “temporarily restricted” from sending out messages to buyers.


#8

Amazon is, by design, notoriously vague and ambiguous in their wording. This allows them to take action without a seller being able to point to anything concrete in the policy. What you see in the new guidelines has been so meticulously “word-smithed” by attorneys and providing specific examples would undo all that effort.


#9

Really?? You even bolded the “and” Everyone would see this as a duplicate or two separate requests. So thus it is not allowed. Both actions send a message asking for a review.


#10

I more or less read this as do not ask, encourage, request, plead, beg, hint at or suggest anything to do with reviews or feedback to a customer for any reason, excuse, clarification or other needful want.

Period…end of story.


#11

I don’t read it that way … :slight_smile:

“More than one request for a product review or seller feedback” … still means you are allowed 1 request.

JMO

PS - Not sating one should do so. I do understand why newer sellers find the need to do so though.


#12

If you send a permitted message to a buyer, your message may not include any of the following:

  • Language that requests removal or update of an existing product review

Won’t this directly contradict CS reps responding to feedback removal requests with their standard “Ask the customer to remove the feedback” ?


#13

I totally understand new sellers seeking good will as well @Oneida_Books – but for me (me, myself, and I) the policy says “more than one” in the main section but then (IMHO) contradicts that in the highlighted note:
Note: In any communication you have with buyers (including shipping box inserts), you cannot ask them to leave a positive customer review for your product, or to leave a review only if they had a positive experience with your product. Similarly, you cannot ask only customers who had a positive experience with your product to leave a review. It is also prohibited to offer them any compensation for a review, including money or gift cards, free or discounted products, refunds or reimbursements, or any other future benefits.

So to err on the side of caution on what Amazon will deem a “permitted communication” – just omitting any reference to a review or feedback keeps one a little more to the safe side of things (we hope). :slightly_smiling_face:


#14

I sell a lot of used equipment. Sometimes certain equipment (like a bar code scanner), has a 600 page configuration guide. I’m not printing that out and sending it to the buyer.


#15

What can we do when we need to finish an order ( customer has not provided photo needed to finish a product) but customer has opted out of receiving emails from Amazon? we are still not allowed to call them and if we cancel the order we get penalized…so how do we solve that problem?


#16

Product Reviews and Seller Feedback are completely different things.


#17

…but you can include a link to the instructions, included with the item.


#18

You are allowed to communicate, if it’s related to completing the order.


#19

This is still a bit confusing.

In general, you may contact a buyer who has purchased from you on Amazon only to complete an order or to respond to a customer service inquiry.

VS

More than one request for a product review or seller feedback

  • Links or attachments that are not necessary to complete the order

Can we add an Amazon product review link?


#20

I read this as, basically, do not initiate contact with customers for any reason whatsoever. I realize that’s not exactly what it says, but that’s what I see ‘between the lines’ as being their intent and the reason for the ambiguity. Their desire is for us to be amabots.
Of course, that’s jmo.