Sometimes, buyers who purchase from a third-party Amazon seller find an issue with what they’ve bought and turn to Amazon’s customer service for relief. One recommended process, the A-to-Z Guarantee Claim, has irritated several sellers who feel that process unfairly hurts them.
According to Amazon’s website, “The condition of the item you buy and its timely delivery are guaranteed under the Amazon A-to-Z Guarantee.” The program provides protection for up to $2,500 of the purchase price of an item.
But some buyers may be turning to the claim process too readily, at the behest of Amazon customer service reps. Those claims can impact a seller’s order defect rate (ODR). That’s been the focus of a recent discussion thread on Amazon’s Seller Central.
These sellers perceive a recent uptick in buyers being referred to the A-to-Z process, when instead the seller is willing to resolve issues directly. One poster said “we would rather lose money (than) have a bad reputation, but it seems the A-to-Z system is becoming an abused scapegoat.”
That seller claimed a buyer opened an A-to-Z claim for receiving an “item not as described” and not getting a response from the seller. “We replied 6 hours after she initiated her initial request,” the seller said, a reply that detailed the process for getting a return authorization.
Among the requirements buyers must meet according to Amazon’s A-to-Z terms, however: You must contact the third-party seller through your account, and you must have waited two business days for a response.
“The ill-advised filing of A-Z claims by poorly trained reps is a real sore spot for sellers,” another poster said, claiming “Amazon refuses to address this issue despite repeated requests.”
Amazon spokesperson Erik Fairleigh told EcommerceBytes the company always encourages buyers to communicate with sellers. He said there has not been any unusual increase in A-to-Z claims.
Sellers can lose their privileges on Amazon if their ODR is hurt by unnecessary or fraudulent A-to-Z claims. Clearly some sellers feel there is a long-standing problem, exacerbated by Amazon reps turning too quickly to recommending these claims for resolving problems.
“I personally wish Amazon CSR’s would direct customers to our customer service number rather than opening an A-Z for the customer or telling them to do so,” another seller said in the discussion.
Ina Steiner contributed to this story.