If you were going to hire a company to handle your customer service, you’d likely provide it with instructions on how to handle each kind of problem your customer might experience.
But when the company you outsource your customer service to is Amazon, things may work a bit differently.
Amazon told sellers on Friday it had launched SAFE-T for CSBA – that’s the acronym for Customer Service by Amazon – for orders on Amazon.com.
Amazon’s SAFE-T program lets sellers claim reimbursement for losses incurred due to CSBA issues “in accordance with the program policies.”
“You can request reimbursement when a customer has been refunded by Amazon and you believe that you should not be responsible for the charge (for example, return is not received in original condition). Your request will be assessed and any reimbursement decision will be made in accordance with our Customer Service by Amazon refund reimbursement policy.”
Some sellers reacting to the announcement felt vindicated for expressing cynicism when the CSBA program launched last year. As we reported in August, some sellers feared Amazon would be too customer-centric in how they handled customer inquiries.
To paraphrase a seller, Amazon says they might refund sellers if Amazon CSBA refunds a buyer for a return not received in the original condition. (For example, if a buyer returns an item that can’t be resold, the seller might be out of luck if a CSBA rep refunded the buyer anyway.)
The conversation then turned to sellers’ helplessness in the face of buyer fraud that some said they felt Amazon enabled. One seller said despite Amazon acknowledging that sleeping bags cannot be returned, it refunds buyers who do so.
If you’ve had experience with Amazon SAFE-T appeals for FBA orders, have you been satisfied with the outcomes? Do you think SAFE-T claims for merchant-fulfilled CSBA orders will prove satisfactory?
It’s fascinating to see if Amazon can offer customer service to other sellers and retailers. It may prove trickier than offering tech (AWS) and shipping (logistics as a service).