|Tue Nov 8 2011 10:23:59|
How Many Claims Should Marketplace Buyers Be Allowed?
By: Ina Steiner
Some sellers are abuzz about a change in Amazon's policy about customer claims under its A-to-Z Guarantee. The policy now allows customers up to 50 claims for purchases from third-party sellers on Amazon. According to the policy:
"Buyers are limited to a lifetime maximum of fifty claims for purchases from Amazon Marketplace or Merchant seller on the Amazon.com website. Withdrawn claims do not count towards this maximum. Buyers who pay for Amazon Marketplace or Merchant purchases via the Amazon.com website and buyers who use Amazon Payments for qualified purchases from a third-party website are eligible to receive up to $2,500 of the purchase price, including shipping charges."
As consumers, we all want to be able to file claims if transactions are unsatisfactory. But retailers and online sellers also know that consumers can take advantage of such policies, whether it's buyer's remorse or outright fraud.
In reacting to Amazon's policy in which shoppers can file up to 50 claims, a seller on the boards wrote, "Whoa, seriously? Buyers can get 50 items for free now?!" But one could also argue that Amazon sellers get more sales because consumers feel safe shopping there thanks to the Amazon A-to-Z guarantee.
eBay has its own Buyer Protection policy - it does not appear to have any maximum number of claims that a buyer can file. It's clear from Amazon's policy it is tracking buyer claims. On eBay, it's not clear (we sent an inquiry to find out) - and in addition, eBay buyers can have multiple accounts.
How well do you think Amazon, eBay and other marketplaces perform in protecting buyers and sellers from false claims?
And how many claims should an online marketplace allow customers to file?