Reading Time: 5 minutes
Not every A-to-Z claim on Amazon is an open-and-shut case. And fighting one is much harder than preventing it; especially if you don’t keep up with the latest Amazon claim policy changes. Here’s a short refresher course on how to handle an A-Z claim.
Back in March, we talked about the fact that Amazon had taken a Tougher Stance on A-Z Claims. Not much has changed in the meantime, with limited hands-on information about dealing with A-to-Z claim on Amazon, as seen below.
Amazon will only cover the refund for items shipped on time with Buy Shipping labels. It also funds claims for lost or damaged FBA items, according to policy (sign-in required). The rest comes out of the seller’s pocket.
Also, most claims affect the ODR. The only exceptions are cases classified as Withdrawn, Closed (denied), or Granted>Amazon-funded. This puts sellers in a difficult situation. They sometimes need to plead with buyers to withdraw unfair claims. And the urgency of it all makes it worse.
But handling an A-Z claim is no small feat. For sellers who want to avoid a suspension this holiday season, now’s the time to brush up on the A-Z guarantee and put together a strategy for appeals. Below we take you through the main points you should consider when drafting your strategy.
Some sellers are a law unto themselves. So, Amazon keeps updating its claim policy. For buyers, it’s easy to look up changes on the A-Z guarantee page. But for sellers, keeping up with the Amazon A-to-Z Guarantee Policy for Merchants takes a bit more effort.
A-Z claim policy for buyers. Here are the situations where Amazon can step in and issue the buyer a refund. Bear in mind that if a claim is denied, the buyer has another 30 days to bring new information. They also have 3 days to respond to specific questions from Amazon’s investigator:
Amazon claim policy for sellers. Officially, there’s a certain sequence of events that buyers must follow to file an Amazon claim. And there’s a brief window of opportunity for sellers to challenge it. However, there are a few loopholes:
Prevention is better than cure. To reduce your risk of an A-Z claim, go through all the items on this list:
The A-Z claims page has been spruced up with search bar and date sorting. So, it’s easier for sellers to visualize and deal with an A-to-Z claim on Amazon quickly. They can also see how a claim is classified when a decision is reached, and point out any mistakes to Amazon.
There are cases where you’re not in the wrong, for instance. But for some reason, the investigator or the system may not have picked this up. You should bring this up with Amazon if you want the case closed. For instance:
If Amazon is not liable for the refund, the next step is to ask the buyer to withdraw the A-Z claim. While the claiming process has been streamlined for buyers, the withdrawal process hasn’t. Buyers can’t withdraw a claim from their order dashboard anymore. So, be ready for some hand-holding
When you only have a 2-3 day window to challenge a case, you need to be very persuasive. A charm offensive is the only option. Explain to buyers that they need to let Amazon know that they’re withdrawing the claim, and that you can’t do it for them.
Try to be prompt and concise when you make your appeal. Think ahead for busy sales seasons, and don’t fall behind on your appeals. Keep an eye on claim count and appeal status. Maintain regular claims reports to visualize and prepare for the busiest times of the year.
If, after a successful appeal, your claim status doesn’t change, it may still affect your ODR score. Contact Seller Performance to ask that they ignore these A-Z claims when they calculate your ODR. It can take up to 2 days, so don’t put it off.
Clearly, with so much at stake, sorting out an A-to-Z claim on Amazon is a race against time. If you feel like you’re falling behind, our Account Monitoring team may be able to help take the pressure off. And if Amazon has already removed your selling privileges, you can rely on our Account Rescue experts for impartial advice.
Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed