As much as RepricerExpress wishes it wasn’t the case, getting an A-Z claim on Amazon is simply a matter of inevitability. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can minimise your chances of getting one.
Amazon’s A-Z Guarantee
No matter what length of time you’ve been selling on Amazon, you know that reputation matters a ton for them. And if a customer is upset — like if they didn’t get their item or it wasn’t as advertised — then they have the option of opening a claim.
However, sometimes it’s the case that a customer has started a claim just to stir up trouble. You can spot some of these from a mile away (especially knowing they can only file a limited number of A-Z claims), but it may not always be worth to counteract. You have to balance the price of the product against the cost of the claim in terms of your business’s health.
Reacting to a Claim
Before you get back to Amazon or slash open pills out of frustration, take a bit of time to analyse the situation. The first thing you want to do is ask yourself if you’ve truly messed up, from the aspect of your buyer. Is it possible that perhaps you didn’t send the item or sent the wrong thing?
It’s always good to put a tracking label on packages, as that allows you to see where it ended up and if the buyer is making things up. If not, though, and the fault is on you, then you’ll need to compose an action plan to ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future.
But let’s say this buyer is trying to scam you — then what? Like we said before, it’s up to you to decide on the price-cost balance of how the A-Z claim will play out. Sometimes it’s easier to eat the cost of the claim, and sometimes it’s better to politely but assertively tell the customer you won’t be giving in.
Responding to Amazon About Your A-Z Claim
Not only will you have to get in contact with your consumer, but you’ll have to reach out to Amazon, too. In terms of the former, just keep things short, to-the-point and civil, and write as though your words will be associated with you again in the future.
And with the latter, you’ll have to fill in a response form. Now, this is also pretty simple, but we’ve seen merchants make the same mistake over and over again: not putting in a value like ‘none’ into the tracking number field. Don’t do this, and the claimant automatically gets a refund because nobody will actually read your response.
We can’t guarantee that everything will turn out rosy for you, but it’s worth a shot. At the worst, you’ll be no worse off than when you started; and at the best, Amazon might foot the bill for the refund, although you’ll still have a strike against you.
Other Options for Handling and Avoiding a Claim
Think about the shipping avenues you use. If you go with a company like FedEx or UPS, contact them right away and see what happened to the package (i.e. did the buyer sign for the delivery? That’s a pretty good sign they actually got the package). It’s up to you how far you want to take it, whether it’s just handing over the refund or going as far as calling the police.
As much as you want, never argue with the buyer. Not only will it not look good, but it’s in writing and you want to keep things as polite as possible (no matter how steamed you are). You don’t have to act on the claim right away, so give yourself a bit of time to cool off.
We also recommend getting really, really acquainted with all of Amazon’s rules. You’d never want a claim to be the result of your not knowing something, as that makes it painful in hindsight because you could have so easily avoided it.
Lastly, closely examine your business practices. Are you selling lousy-quality products that could possibly mislead buyers into thinking they’re getting something else? Are your product descriptions and listings completely accurate? Or are you getting burned-out by work and making mistakes you’re not even aware of? There are always three sides to every story — your side, the buyer’s side, and the truth — so be totally honest with yourself and see what the truth really is.