If you’ve decided to sell on Amazon, you must be aware that it is almost inevitable to face the Amazon A – Z guarantee claim. Amazon’s business is based on customer service, and their satisfaction is crucial for the sales performance of your products.
Since this Amazon A-Z guarantee allows customers to confidently buy directly from sellers, we want to provide you with all relevant information to help you handle – and hopefully avoid – these types of claims.
What Is an A – Z Guarantee Claim?
An A-Z claim is a guarantee that Amazon offers to customers when they decide to purchase directly from a seller.
The guarantee covers the product being delivered timely and in good shape.
Here’s how an A-Z Claim works:
- If the customer is not satisfied with the product, they are encouraged to contact the seller first (via message or return request) and try to reach an agreement.
- If the seller and customer are unable to solve the matter within 48 hours, then the customer will be able to file the complaint directly with Amazon.
- After the complaint has been filed to Amazon, the seller has 72 hours to respond, otherwise, the customer will be granted the claim and the amount will be withdrawn from the seller’s account.
- If Amazon requires additional information to make a decision, the seller will be contacted via email and he/she must respond within 72 hours. However, if the claim is granted to the customer, the seller has 30 calendar days to file an appeal on the decision.
5. We must highlight that as a seller, it is very important to continuously check your email since this is how the communication will be handled.
These claims directly affect your Order Defect Rate (ODR).
You should keep in mind that providing good customer service is a crucial part of doing business through Amazon.
Additional read: Amazon Seller Metrics: Your Way to Success in 2020
When does the A-Z guarantee apply?
Customers are protected on specific cases, and they are eligible to get a full or partial refund if:
- The item arrives 3 calendar days after the latest estimated delivery date, or arrives 30 days (or more) after the order was placed.
- The item received is damaged, defective, missing parts, misclassified or misrepresented.
- The customer returned the item to the seller, but hasn’t received the refund.
- The seller didn’t accept the return request as it is specified on Amazon’s return policy.
- The customer wants to return an international shipment, but the seller has not provided a prepaid label, return address, or full refund without the need of returning the item.
- The customer considers he or she was overcharged.
Source: Amazon Seller Central
Check Your Product Descriptions
The A – Z guarantee claim will also apply if the product is not described accurately.
Customers rely on the descriptions of the products to make their purchases. The descriptions must be as detailed as possible, and must include information about the conditions and features of the product.
If the product complies with the description, the customer will not be eligible for this guarantee. If you find out that the customer regretted their own purchasing decision, you can determine what is the best way to answer or solve that particular claim.
How to Avoid These Claims?
Overall, customers must be satisfied with the purchase they make online. However, you can review the following checklist to make sure you are doing your part.
1. Offer good shipping and handling services
You must ensure that your buyers will receive their product in good shape and on time. Amazon only covers the items shipped with its own shipping labels through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). If you decide to use any other shipping service, then you will be in charge of handling all claims from customers.
You should also consider providing your customers with shipment tracking. Adding this service to your order fulfillment will give your customers the ability of tracking their shipment themselves. Keep in mind that in case of a claim, if the seller does not upload tracking information, the claim will be granted by default to the customer.
A confirmation by signature is recommended, especially for valuable items.
The packaging is really important too! Good packaging will ensure that the item will arrive in a mint condition. Make sure you ship the orders on time, complying with the expected delivery date.
Don’t forget to update your return policy and include realistic timelines and rules. You should also advise your customers that a return request may require them to cover the cost themselves.
2. It’s all about the details
Customers will decide to buy an item based on what they actually see and read on the platform. They’d expect that the product they receive will look exactly as the one they saw online.
Make sure to give accurate information in the listings. The buyers expect to receive what they paid for; thus, the description should be as accurate as possible.
Your products should be listed under the right Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN), and under the right condition (new, second-hand or used). Titles should include brand, color, material, size, product line, key features, quantity, etc. Place relevant keywords first!
Tips for your product’s pictures:
Providing high resolution and clear images will result in a better ranking of your product. Customers look for pictures taken from different angles, with the ability to zoom in (1000 x 1000 pixels), therefore, make sure to highlight any feature that may be relevant.
We recommend that you use a white background with clear lighting, show your brand and highlight the benefits and uses of the product when taking the photos for your listing.
3. Check and respond to your emails quickly
If a customer files a claim, they certainly expect to receive a timely response. This is why you should try to respond to these inquiries within 24 hours, in order to ensure a good experience. If you realize they are in the right direction, you can be proactive and refund your customers directly.
Keep in mind that if you don’t respond within 3 calendar days, Amazon may take this into consideration and grant the claim in favor of your customers resulting in the blame falling on you.
Also, if you receive more than one claim for every 100 orders, you may fall into a review for a suspended status, so be aware of the products you offer and your sale processes. Try to keep in mind that customers come first.
If you happen to receive an order for a product that is out of stock, make sure to inform your customer and cancel the order as soon as possible; this will avoid unnecessary waiting time and frustration for them.
Make sure to delete and blacklist those items that have presented issues, and report any inaccurate listings to Amazon.
Closing Thoughts – What if Customers are Trying to Scam Me?
It is clear that if a customer does not receive what they paid for, they have the right to file a claim and get a refund, but, unfortunately, you may also find customers that will try to scam you. In this case, you should first determine if the cost of the product’s worth the pain. Sometimes, it’s better to just give a refund than getting into a claim dispute.
If you get into a dispute, we strongly recommend that you keep things short and polite, since your words will remain for future reference.
Track your packages so that you can have clear information about the shipping of your product. If you decide to not use Amazon’s shipping labels, try to work with a known company such as FedEx or UPS, that provides good service and actually responds for the shipments.
NEVER argue with the customer, remember this is all in writing. Keep it polite!
To wrap up, you can watch this 5-minute video that summarizes it all very well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix9t0WffOjM&feature=youtu.be.
AMZ Advisers is a full-service eCommerce consultancy focused on creating growth opportunities for brands, manufacturers, and private labels across the US, Europe, Canada, and Asia. The AMZ Advisers team has been able to achieve incredible growth on the Amazon platform for its clients by optimizing and managing their accounts and creating in-depth content marketing strategies.