When it comes to selling on Amazon, we all know that getting an A-Z Guarantee claim on Amazon is simply a matter of inevitability. Amazon’s A-Z Guarantee gives customers confidence when they purchase items sold from sellers directly.
This article will discuss what the A-to-Z Guarantee claim is, how this claim will affect you as a seller, as well as an outline of how to handle the claim if you are getting trouble with this issue.
What is an Amazon A to Z Guarantee claim?
According to Amazon, the A-to-z Guarantee was implemented to protect customers when they purchase items sold and fulfilled by a third-party seller. The guarantee covers both the timely delivery and the condition of your items.
An Amazon A to Z claim occurs when a customer is not satisfied with an aspect of his or her purchase. This could be for a number of reasons including:
- Order not received – It is also possible for the buyer to file a dispute if the item arrived late. They can already file a claim 3 days after the estimated delivery date or 30 days from the day you processed the order.
- Product not as described – This is when the product is materially different from what was described on product page on Amazon. This is inclusive of products that are: Damaged, Defective, Incorrectly described, Misclassified, Misrepresented, Missing parts and pieces
- Returned item not refunded – When the customer returns the item to the seller but hasn’t gotten his payment back or has issued an improper refund amount.
- Refused return – In case the seller refuses to offer customer returns as per the Amazon policy.
If any of these circumstances happened, buyers can start appealing to A to Z Guarantee claims within 90 days of the estimated delivery date and get their refund.
In the event of these problems, a customer should try to resolve the issue with the seller – if, however, this is not possible or is not resolved to the customer’s satisfaction, the customer can then take this to the next stage by filing an Amazon A to Z claim which allows Amazon’s staff to investigate the issue and to make a decision regarding culpability.
How does A-to-Z claim affect Amazon sellers?
For the seller, the Amazon A to Z claim system is a way of ‘keeping them honest’. When an A to Z claim is settled in favour of the customer due to non-delivery or damaged/bad quality goods, it can affect the seller’s rating leaving you with lower sales. It will also affect the Order Defect Rate (ODR) in the seller’s account health, in extreme cases, can result in the seller being suspended from the site.
Sellers should maintain an ODR under 1% in order to sell on Amazon. An ODR above 1% may result in account deactivation.
How to deal with an A to Z Claim?
Should you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having a claim made against you, you need to act quickly and proactively in order to limit the damage caused. So then what should you do? Here are important steps that you should take:
Determine your problem
Your first step is to make sure that you understand exactly what the problem is by asking the customer if he or she has not left detailed comments when making the claim. Once you’re armed with this information, you need to check the facts – sadly, not every customer is honest and so you need to check that the problem actually exists before going any further. For example; if the customer claims to have not received the product, check with your delivery provider and supply the customer with evidence of delivery if applicable.
If the customer’s claim appears to be genuine, you need to deal with this in a professional and proactive manner as the following steps.
Contact the customers to let them know that you have received their claim and that you are anxious to solve the problem to their satisfaction. This can be done by offering a solution such as a replacement product. If the buyer agrees to the terms set out by the seller, he or she may then choose to close the claim with Amazon.
When communicating with the buyer, always use professional language – however angry or upset you may feel about the situation, this should never be communicated to the customer. The following is a good example of things to include in a customer email following a claim:
- An apology for the fact that the customer is dissatisfied (but don’t apologies for the problem itself at this stage)
- Make it clear that you value the customer’s opinion
- Make it clear that you are keen to resolve the issue to his or her satisfaction
- Offer a satisfactory solution as a gesture of goodwill
- Politely ask for a response as soon as possible
You only have three days in which to respond to a claim – which is why it’s so important that you monitor your account regularly. If the customer has not responded to your email or, has refused your offer of a solution, you need to respond to the claim via Amazon within the required time frame. Within your response, present all of the facts, including dates, times, prices and attach communication with the customer (including non-response from the customer) with your response.
If the problem lies with Amazon rather than yourself, do not refund the customer within the claim as this is tantamount to admitting guilt and will be included in your ODR rate. In this instance, simply refer the matter to Amazon and close the case.
Once you have done this, if you do feel that the customer is in the right, you can always refund through your dashboard by finding the order on your dashboard and issuing a refund through that channel. This way, the case can be closed without affecting your ODR.
In any case, prevention is always better than cure. As an Amazon seller, you are strongly advised to respond immediately to buyers’ communications in the hopes of preventing any and all claims filed against you. If you have more than one claim per 100 orders, your account may be at risk for review or suspension from Amazon, so you should be particularly mindful of your fulfillment model, your response time, and the accuracy of your listings. However, if you are facing with A to Z guarantee claims, I hope that you can pick up some helpful tips to handle your issue.
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