On June 25, 2016, Amazon posted this on their News section in the Amazon Seller Central dashboard:
In April 2018, we changed the A-to-z Guarantee claims process to make it easier for us to detect unfair attempts from buyers to get refunds or win claims. There are also ways for you to raise the alarm. You can use the Report link in the Buyer-Seller Messaging Service if you see a suspicious message, to let us know when you think a buyer is providing inaccurate information.
A-to-z guarantee claims are challenging and it’s Amazon’s way of protecting buyers from items purchased from third-party sellers on seller-fulfilled items. A buyer who has some issues with the item/s they bought as well as the overall service from the sellers can report this to Amazon via a “self-service experience” or a by calling the Amazon contact center hotline.
Amazon encourages customers to contact the seller and return the item bought instead of immediately filing an a-to-z guarantee claim. Once received, you, the seller, will need to take action on the request by providing a return shipping label for the customer to use to ship the item back to your warehouse facility.
Reasons for filing an A-to-Z Guarantee Claim
There are many reasons why an A-to-Z Guarantee Claim can be filed:
- Order not received – item never showed up, or was received after the maximum estimated delivery date
- Product not as described – product received was materially different from the item represented in the detail page.
- Damaged or defective item
- Misclassified, misrepresented items
- Items with missing parts
- Returned item not refunded
- Seller did not issue a refund
- Seller issued refund for the wrong amount
- Seller refused to accept a return. Seller refused to accept the return request that comply with the applicable Amazon return policy
- Seller did not provide a local or in-country address or offer free return shipping for an international address
If you come to think of it, most of these issues can be avoided if Sellers will only work with buyers in order to resolve an issue. I always advocate erring on the side of the buyer in order to resolve an issue. Besides, what is a few dollars if you can keep your account in good shape. However, just like in many parts of the world, there are abusive, irresponsible customers and this is something Amazon is trying to do as well – keeping the balance in check, putting balance to the force. You may have heard Amazon suspending a few Amazon buyers’ accounts due to huge return rate as well as filing a high amount of claims against sellers.
Being responsive to customer feedback and messages and dealing with complaints squarely will definitely help you avoid all these claims. If you need assistance trying to maintain your account, contact me so I can personally see how to keep your account in good shape.
As always, happy selling!