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Tue Dec 17 2019 15:58:36

Amazon Feedback Crackdown Has Sellers Nervous

By: Ina Steiner

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A thread on the Amazon discussion boards shows some seller are concerned about how Amazon is now handling feedback. 

The original poster warned that just mentioning feedback removal on the phone with customer service would result in a suspension: "Just in from a customer service rep. If you open a case, or mention feedback removal on the phone, Amazon will now suspend you. Yes, you read that correctly. The only way you are allowed to request removal now is by using the automated system."

Colleagues disagreed with the specifics but did note some changes in how Amazon was handling feedback removal requests.

One seller responded to the original poster, writing, "This is has been the case for about two months now but what others have reported is that if after appealing the initial removal rejection and getting denied you open another case you will be threatened with suspension if you persist. Have not seen any reports here of a seller actually getting suspended for this reason."

Another seller was unsympathetic: "You heard incorrectly. What IS happening is sellers try to get around the Feedback system and think that complaining to SS will get them what they want. They have been warned not to do this. But they keep trying. I give a thumbs up to Amazon enforcing the rules."

A seller noted the Amazon help page about feedback removal where it states:

"Important: You can request for feedback removal only via Feedback Manager. Contacting our Support teams through ‘Contact Us’, or any other methods to request for feedback removal, other than the Feedback Manager, may lead to account deactivation. Removal requests must be made within 90 days of the feedback submission. The system prevents feedback removal after 90 days."

Another issue causing concern: a reported change in who is responsible for getting an FBA item safely from an Amazon fulfillment center to the customer. 

"Amazon expects us to package product to withstand the abuse it is subjected to from the time it arrives at the fulfillment center to the time the customer receives it," one seller wrote.

Another said that if the buyer doesn't mention in their feedback that the shipping box was damaged, Amazon may place the burden on the seller. The merchant said they received the following response from Amazon about a damaged item: "Please note that buyer has not indicated any damage to the shipping box thus it is clear that item was not damaged during the transit."

Another seller said they were able to get a feedback removed because it was feedback about the product itself, but Amazon told the seller it was notifying the buyer and would allow them to make a one-time update to their feedback and star rating.

You can find the full thread on this page on Amazon Seller Central. Are you seeing changes in how Amazon is handling feedback-removal requests? What do you think?



Comments (19) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Tue Dec 17 16:23:58 2019

Well I think if you remove the occasional bleeding heart syndrome and make everyone follow the same process, it doesn't seem too bad. Problem is, who is actually the decision maker in that process. That can be a big win or a mighty fall.

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 17 16:44:34 2019

Really? You call customer service to take care of a problem that the system doesn't seem to be taking care of properly and they'll threaten to suspend you? That sort of bully tactic should be illegal.

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Tue Dec 17 16:55:58 2019

@purpleiris

I didn't say it was perfect, but it's certainly not fair if people are subject to the whims of each individual customer service person. Good God, look at eBay. There is no consistency anywhere at all.

USPS has a process for lost mail. You fill out the form online. I think sometimes the less human intervention can be beneficial.

Business that have millions of purveyors cannot afford to look at each individual situation one on one. That's just insanity.

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by: bd greatbuys This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 18 11:50:14 2019

WE GOT A CUSTOMER MANIPULATING THE RETURN MAKE A CLAIM #1 (SEE ATTACHMENT claim -Return reason: "Bought by mistake-5-days a part (8 days ago ) he make a claim # 2 return -Return reason: Missing parts or accessories- ) AND MAKE BED FEEDBACK ON AMAZON BUT WE TRY TO SPEAK WITH AMAZON IT THE SELLER !!! WHO GOT THE WARNING SEE EVIDENCE If you continue to request feedback removal it will result in the deactivation of your account.
BELOW !

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This user has validated their user name. by: DeathFromAbove

Thu Dec 19 00:41:33 2019

Just one more step leading to amazon's torpedoing of every other retail operation.  If our "system" deems your feedback isn't worthy of removal, it has to stand!  Call us to appeal or complain, and we will suspend you!  So why isn't amazon under investigation?  This has been brewing for over 20 years now.  Their obvious end game is monopoly - not to "help" anyone but themselves to YOUR customers - then CUT YOU OFF.  We're doomed.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Dec 19 01:55:42 2019

That is a ridiculous policy and overly punitive.  

I guess it is good that most buyers on Amazon don't even leave FB.

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by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 05:16:15 2019

I cant recall the last time I left feedback on AZ

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by: Rooms This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 07:45:14 2019

Seems pretty ridiculous to me, to allow non verified comments. This opens a big can of worms that's virtually impossible to control. If trolls, or competitors want to leave negative feedback, force them to buy the product first.  

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 08:52:03 2019

A person can leave feedback without buying something?

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by: moonmyst This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 08:56:00 2019

As with all these letters to the editor, we are getting only one side of the story. I'm thinking this seller has been a problem child for Amazon and they simply put an end to it. My friend's uncle sells on Amazon and has called a couple of times about feedback but was never suspended for it. So to me, something else must be going on with this OP.

Obviously, Amazon started the automated feedback dispute system because they must have been inundated with calls relating to feedback. It's gotta be apparent to everyone, that there are more important vital matters that Amazon wants their CS reps attending to. In my estimation, if you have to actually call Amazon to complain about a buyer's feedback rating, then maybe you can't afford to sell on Amazon.

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by: sellerchick This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 09:47:13 2019

Good to know! I have used "contact us" multiple times to get around the stupid auto-judgement system about feedback removal. And I was successful because I interacted with a human who possessed a small amount of common sense. Why is Amazon so anti-feedback removal? Why is it so important that every moronic comment remain as negative feedback?

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 10:26:01 2019

"if you have to actually call Amazon to complain about a buyer's feedback rating, then maybe you can't afford to sell on Amazon."

While I agree there could be more to the story, I wouldn't go as far as saying that a small business owner doesn't have the right to protect their new and/or small business's reputation just because they haven't grown, yet. You can't grow if you've got evil people trying to take you down -- whether a fellow competitor or someone looking to take advantage.

Just look at what happens in marketplace forums -- all the games people play to position themselves in a position of power. You don't think that doesn't happen in other ways, too? Some people simply don't have the skills to succeed without stomping on their competition. I guess it's just too hard for them to learn to do things the right way.

So, it's about far more than an unhappy customer or lost revenue on a single transaction. If negative feedback isn't deserved, then it shouldn't be allowed to remain. Especially not when you're trying to grow your business.

I was going through the settings on my website yesterday and came across the option to turn on product reviews. I thought to myself, "Now, why would I want to open up my business to such things?" If I could rely on my fellow humans to be honest, not to mention civil, then maybe, but we all know that's not happening. LOL

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 10:37:19 2019

I should add that if Amazon doesn't want to deal with all the problems that come with having a feedback system, then maybe they should do away with it altogether. If you can't manage your own systems, then you have more serious problems.

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 14:31:31 2019

""...buyer has not indicated any damage to the shipping box thus it is clear that item was not damaged during the transit.""

This is a demonstrably false assumption, and Amazon, claiming world class fulfillment, should know better. Or they're flat out lying.

There are countless instances of package contents breaking due to G-force shock without any damage necessary to the packaging. This can happen no matter how 'well' packaged an item is too.

Furthermore, given Amazon's proclivity (time crunch?) to toss an item into an oversized box without sufficient duff (padding, stuffing) to keep the widget from ping ponging around inside - or worse, in their oversized branded poly bubble bags with no ither protection, is no less than unabashed hypocrisy.

If Amazon wants to blame a seller for Post FBA damages, let them inspect and make any breakage claims prior to accepting seller shipments for warehousing. No claim? Then further damage is on them.

Let THEM reconcile with their manufactured paradox.

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by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 18:02:08 2019

If they are going to do that then they need to have a system set up that gives the seller automatic positive feedback for all transactions after 30 or 45 days.

As it is now only 3% of satisfied customers leave feedback and unsatisfied customers are always quick to leave negative feedback.. so if your hit with a negative and 97% of your (obviously) satisfied customers don't bother to leave feedback then you should have credit for those positive transactions to help offset the feedback metrics of your account.  God forbid you try and contact customers to remind them or ask for positive feedback.

It's completely lopsided and unfair to sellers.

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by: ElectronixRecyclers This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 18:59:31 2019

I just have to ask... when you say you want Amazon "investigated" for these practices, under what statute law are you requesting the investigation?  Your use of their service is entirely at their whim (unless you've negotiated a separate user agreement directly with Amazon.)  They can suspend your account if you wear a blue shirt on Thursday.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 19 21:15:35 2019

Amazon has a complete broken feedback system.

If you can't handle your millions of users and their issues, you should be fined daily.

end of story.

you have TRILLIONS in the reserves, to buy up other buisinesses INSTEAD of use that money to deal with the increase of clients.

Amazon feedback is rediculous. the product and seller feedback.

Amazon are pieces of you know what and can take their broken systems and their draconinan corporate ass kissers right to hell.




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by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 20 02:14:26 2019

I recall years ago when Ebay let anyone at anytime leave feedback. A couple of young men in Seattle went on a negative feedback spree, and gave several hundred negatives out to sellers. I tracked them down (at that time you were able to do research as to who left feedback and when) and reported it to Ebay. I have no idea if the other sellers got the feedback removed, but the one they left for me got removed. The two yahoos had not even purchased anything from me, and I doubt they did from any of the sellers they called "Thieves."

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 20 11:23:29 2019

@ElectronixRecyclers, there are laws that protect businesses from unfair practices.



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