Requesting removal without pressure or incentive is NOT feedback manipulation.
Agreed. The issue is that one person in seller performance will tell you it’s ok and to feel comfortable in certain circumstances and to go ahead; and the next staff member will be nasty and threatening for the exact SAME question and situation. I don’t ask for ANYthing from buyers. Until Amazon decides it is really ok and has clued in all of their staff, I wouldn’t risk it.
As a buyer I am contacted repeatedly; solicited for feedback and reviews from both Amazon and other sellers. I unfortunately am not allowed to perform this miracle as a seller, therefore I do not. Nor do I have time to figure out how others get away with it.
No, because a product review is not the same thing as seller feedback.
So now they are clarifying that the policy has not changed. What? There is a huge headline that says:
Changes to program policies
Listed below are upcoming changes to Amazon’s program policies.
LOL, I wonder why we thought the policies changed …
Truly this is not new!
Amazon has frowned upon sellers contacting buyers for a while now.
Amazon handles all communication when once an order is placed to sending out emails for feedback & reviews
Sellers who constantly emailed customers for feedback and or reviews is what put the Opt Out of messages/emails into effect for buyers
The only time you should contact a customer is
- if they email you
- if there item will be late (which should not be the case unless due to severe weather)
- customized item
- to respond to a return request or A to Z (only if necessary)
These customers have never been yours and will never be yours - they are Amazons customers and Amazon makes their rules on how you can or cannot contact their customers
Read again about communicating with customers, what you can and cannot include in the packages as far as asking for feedback, reviews
We suggest this or you will find yourself here asking us how to write an appeal
A lot of Amazon’s policy pages are confusing. Can we expect updates on them as well?
Many of us would like to comply with Amazon’s policies in order to avoid trouble. However, when trying to navigate through the vague wishy-washy wording and the contradictory ‘clear as mud’ verbiage, it’s sometimes impossible to know what to do.
Some of it is so bad that even your own reps can’t interpret it properly.
There is clearly a problem and it needs urgent attention.
I disagree…the link providing literature, manual of the product, etc…is part of the product, and in my opinion allowed.
What happens when a buyer has issue with a product after the return period expired ?
would you provide him a link to the manufacturer website ?
I agree - but it seems to me that the question here is whether or not the Buyer-Seller Messenger Amabot will be parameterized to do the same.
The same is likely to be true of sending a Create A Review link in response to received Feedback (Seller or B-SM); long before the 3Oct`16 Incentivized Review Policy Revision rolled out in the wake of Amazon garnering negative publicity over bad actors gaming the system*, it was considered Best Practice to send a Create A Review link - hence the reason for the existence of so many forum posts made through the years by seasoned forum veterans (like our friend, the well-missed MAV-DAK) providing examples of the ‘raw’ (“Suffix your ASIN”) Create A Review link’s format.
Given Amazon’s track record in properly-parameterizing this or that automated mechanism - especially those designed to police Policy Compliance - the existence of apparent conflicts of published policy such as the one that our friend @Forum_Account astutely highlights in post #35 above, and the rise in recent years of the number of reports of SoA Account Suspensions and/or Feature Throttling for perceived violations (c: our friend Oneida Book’s recent & oh-so-prescient tutorial thread “For everyone … but especially those temporarily restricted from initiating contact with buyers” [link]), even SusanH’s reassurance in the Solution Post for this thread (#33 above) does not lend me a great deal of confidence that the programmer(s) will hit the ball out of the park on their first trip to the plate…if ever.
An initiative that, as our friend @Underwater_Audio astutely notes upthread in post #30, and as was predicted by many other members of our Seller Community at the time of its launching, has heretofore had precious little success in producing a substantial ROI by any reasonable measure…
I think it would be helpful for buyers if we could contact them with more detailed instructions on how to use our products and be able to provide them with a link to a blog post or youtube video especially when it comes to how to install a product in their home especially if its much further down the line after we have already sent them the product and we just developed something better to help them get more use out of it. or better use out of it.
Usually the scheme involves paying “professional” reviewers to purchase the products, so the reviews generated are verified reviews. Non-verified reviews barely affect the star rating, so they aren’t very valuable. We do have non-verified reviews on our products because customers will purchase on our website and want to air their grievances or joys with the rest of the world, so I know there are legitimate ones.
This maybe very expensive because the seller has to pay amazon fees.
Is anybody else confused about “Similarly, you cannot ask only customers who had a positive experience with your product to leave a review.”
So, I HAVE to ask customers who have had a negative experience to leave a review?
Why on earth would one ever purposefully ask a customer who has had a negative experience to go and leave a review?
For my part, I believe that you may be parsing the ‘either/or line’ a tad too finely there, my friend.
I have no doubt that what Amazon prefers in this regard is rooted in both neutrality and uniformity - i.e., if one is going to make use of its allowance for one drink at the trough per transaction, one should do so straight across the board, come what may.
There’s a reason why Amazon allows Third-Party Service Providers who offer automated solutions for garnering Seller Feedback via access to its MWS API’s to exist - and there’s a reason why none of them are folding up shop in the light of the recent policy revisions that Amazon has made in its ongoing attempts to negate the deleterious effects upon its Brand Integrity (and consumer confidence in same) that bad actors who are engaged in gaming the system produce.
Both of your examples fall under pro-active customer service messages, Amazon is actively
enforcing violations with a 30 day ban on sending email to buyers.
The following messages are considered critical to complete a buyer’s order:
• Product customization questions
• Delivery scheduling
• Issues with a shipping address.
The following messages are not critical to complete an order:
• Requests for seller feedback or buyer reviews
• Order, shipment, delivery, or refund confirmations. Amazon already sends these emails
• Proactive customer service, for example: product manuals, tips for using the product, answers to frequently asked questions, suggestions if something goes wrong
• Out-of-stock or delay notifications, or offers of alternative products (please cancel the order instead).
"What happens when a buyer has issue with a product after the return period expired ?
would you provide him a link to the manufacturer website ?"
What would you do in this case ?
We get ‘Restricted from initiating emails with Buyers’ just because we sent an email to customer to request updating a negative review as we solved the customer’s issue. But this seller: Ankovo and Metene have manipulated tons of reviews, even if I have noticed amazon for this, Amazon didn’t take any action to them. What’s wrong with you, amazon?
It is also prohibited to offer them any compensation for a review, including money or gift cards, free or discounted products, refunds or reimbursements,
that is, unless of course you pay the $60 bribe to Amazon for early buyer kickbacks…
err… pardon us…
we meant to say…
“… unless you sign up for the Amazon Marketing Teams inspirational program to incentivize Amazon buyers to leave impartial, honest and non quid-pro-quo review with actual cash money they get for freely giving their non-influenced opinion of products— for which they will emancipate $60 from your Seller Account!!!”
If the buyer reaches out to you after the return period then you’re no longer providing unsolicited, pro-active customer service, you’re responding to a buyers question.
That said, I’m not an expert here as I’m all private label. If I sold goods that I didn’t manufacture I would want to be 100% about this and in order to do so I’d email the Seller Performance team and run that by them.
You’re NEVER allowed to ask buyers to remove or change their reviews. This is one area where there’s no ambiguity, it’s crystal clear.
Ratings, Feedback, and Reviews
You may not attempt to influence or inflate customers’ ratings, feedback, and reviews. You may request feedback and reviews from your own customers in a neutral manner, but may not:
- Pay for or offer an incentive (such as coupons or free products) in exchange for providing or removing feedback or reviews
- Ask customers to write only positive reviews or ask them to remove or change a review
- Solicit reviews only from customers who had a positive experience
- Review your own products or a competitors’ products