Account Suspended - Need Help Urgently Please


#1

Hello,

Yesterday we received a dreaded account suspension notification from Amazon. 99.9% of our sales are on the UK Marketplace and we get the odd occasional sale each week on one of the other European marketplaces. Yesterday, we got a notification to say we had been suspended due to 3 ASINs on the France Marketplace but this has suspended us in the UK also. WE HAVE NEVER SOLD ANY OF THESE 3 ASINs or had to buy any from our wholesaler yet. The exact notification is below. We quickly fired off an email with proof of the wholesaler we use (the largest pet wholesaler in the UK), a couple invoices from them with the Pedigree and Beaphar brands circled and our account registration form with the wholesaler confirming we have an account with them. They are 100% genuine products, the wholesaler is recognised as the largest in the industry and have accounts with all of the major pet manufacturers worldwide so I don’t doubt Amazon already know who they are.

We deleted our entire inventory on the France marketplace already as we only sell 1 or 2 products anyway per month. Just to add, all of our metrics are perfect, no complaints, reviews is 4.6. We have yet to hear back from Amazon but this is destroying our livelihood. Can someone please help us get reinstated and know how long it’s going to take?

The message came in French but I’ve used Google translate to put it into English.

Hello xx,

Your Amazon seller account has been temporarily disabled and your offers have been withdrawn. The funds will not be transferred to you and will remain in your account while we work with you to resolve the following issue (s).

Why did this happen?
We are currently examining your Amazon seller account for the reason (s) described below. To ensure customers have a confident shopping experience on Amazon, we regularly request additional documents from sellers to verify their account information and confirm the authenticity of certain items.

How can I reactivate my account?
To reactivate your seller account, please resolve the following issue (s):

Please send us the following information:
A plan explaining:

  • The reason why you are selling products that you are not authorized to sell
  • The steps you have taken to resolve this problem
  • The steps you will take to prevent this problem from happening again in the future

Here are some things to consider when solving this problem:

  • Sale: is the product described precisely on Amazon? Have you checked that your offer is unambiguous and that the customer is well informed about each aspect of the product?
  • Packaging: is the product in its original packaging, as presented on Amazon?

You offer potentially non-genuine items. A list of these items is provided below:


ASIN - B01M04YKLB
BRAND - PEDIGREE
TITLE - Tasty Pedigree Stings Treats Cheese And Beef 140G (Set of 2)

ASIN - B01M19TNWF
BRAND - PEDIGREE
TITLE - Tasty Stings Pedigree Treats Cheese And Beef 140G (Set of 4)

ASIN - B00O4AO2AQ
BRAND - BEAPHAR
TITLE - Beaphar - Light treats Anti Hairballs with malt - cat - 35 g


Please send us the following information:

  • Copies of invoices, receipts, contracts, delivery notes or letters of authorization issued by your supplier in the last 365 days. The quantity of articles indicated must correspond to that of your stock.
  • If you are not the owner of the brand, provide an authorization letter and all documents, including authorization letters, proving the validity of your supply chain.
  • If you are the owner of the brand, provide a copy of the brand registration certificate, as well as the commercial license or a national identity card.
  • Contact details of your supplier (name, telephone number, postal address, e-mail address and website).

The accepted file formats are: .pdf, .jpg, .png or .gif. These documents must be authentic and not modified. We may call your supplier to verify the documents. You have the right to hide pricing information, but you must ensure that the rest of the document is visible. We will keep your supplier’s contact details confidential.

How to send the required information?
Send us a confirmation email by clicking the Claim button next to this message on the Seller Central Performance Notifications page (https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/gp/customer-experience/perf -notification…).

What happens if I don’t send the required information?
If we do not receive the required information within 17 days, or following two unsuccessful claims (whichever comes first), we are entitled to deny you permission to sell on Amazon. If you do not contest this decision, payments may be withheld.

You can also check your account balance and payment details in the Payments section of Seller Central. For any question relating to these funds, contact us by e-mail at investigation-amzpayments@amazon.fr.


#2

We attached an invoice from wholesaler, a letter from the wholesaler confirming the authenticity of their products and their contact details.

POA here:

To Amazon France,

Further to the information we have sent on our supplier details and the supply chain of our products. We enclose further details on our resolution to this problem addressed in the deactivation.

Cause of violation:

3 ASINs have been found to be in violation of the Amazon policy.

We made the mistake that we thought we can list the same products we are authorised to sell in the UK in other market places. Given these are automatically listed when we list on the UK marketplace, we did not realize that they could be in violation of the EEC regulation 1223/2009.

Our resolutions:

We have deleted all 800 ASINs we listed on the France marketplace.

We have also paused all other marketplaces except from the UK.

All other policies have been reviewed by our team and continue to do so to ensure we meet all the amazon policies and can supply supplier and authenticity where asked to do so.

Our supplier information has been provided in the attached document and we detail it again below. This wholesaler is the biggest wholesaler in the UK and is authentic. They provided us further email in the case you need to get in contact with them about authenticity or our account matters.


#3

eeerrrrrrrrr - this is a Cosmetics Regulation ! ! ! !


#4

In all honestly, we didn’t know what to write and looked at similar plan of actions. We cant see what we have done wrong so it’s very difficult admitting to something we’re unsure of. We buy from a reputable wholesaler who buy direct from the manufacturers…


#5

Hello @MikeBP,

I understand your concern related to the deactivation email you have received on your European selling accounts.

Occasionally seller performance team conducts a review on the accounts to identify if our selling partners are adhering to the policies. Since, the review on your account is related to authenticity, they might have taken the action.

As you have mentioned that you have procured the products from authorized wholesaler, who are buying these products from the manufacturer and that you’ve also submitted the authorization letter of the wholesaler from the brands in question, the team will get back to you once they validate the documents.

Alternatively, I’d suggest that you work on a plan of action which you can implement and follow to avoid similar violation in future.

I see you have mentioned in your appeal that the main root cause was that the listings were auto listed on other European accounts when you intended to list them only in the UK marketplace.

Make sure you delete all the listings which you are not authorized to sell before sending a plan of action.

I’d suggest that you work on the future preventive measures, as in what changes can you make so that the products that you are not authorized to sell are not auto listed in other marketplaces. If you want to list these brands in the future, what are the steps or process you would follow in order to verify the authenticity of the products before you list them.

Provide the required details as requested so that the team can review and help you accordingly.

Thanks,
Preet


#6

Thank you Preet. We have now deleted every single listing in the France, Spain, Germany and Italy market places and also paused them countries. We also removed the connection so listings are not automatically put into those market places when we list on the UK. We have submitted a new POA. This is really killing our livelihood, is there no indication to how long it will take for them to respond? It’s been 5 days now but feels much longer! Has anyone here recently been reinstated and can advise how long?

New POA:

Dear Amazon Seller Performance Team,

With help from Preet, an Amazon employee on the Seller Forums, I have decided to take further action on my account. I have outlined these in my refreshed plan below.

Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to appeal my seller account suspension due to Amazon wanting confirmation that the products I am selling are indeed authentic.

I understand that Amazon takes failures to comply with their policies and requirements seriously and I would like to share with you my Plan of Action to address the concerns and prevent this from happening again.

What went wrong:

  • Amazon has flagged our account as potentially selling Pedigree and Beaphar products which are not authentic.
  • Amazon is concerned that we are listing Pedigree and Beaphar products and do not have authorisation to sell them in the France marketplace. We assumed free movement of goods in EU zone was allowed.
  • My Amazon account was set up to list new products in the France, Germany, Italy and Spain market places automatically.

What I have done to fix the problem:

  • I deleted every single listing on the France market place and will not relist any items.
  • I have also deleted every listing in the Germany, Spain and Italy market places.
  • I have removed the connection on the France, Spain, Germany and Italy market places so products no longer automatically list in these countries.
  • I continued to ship remaining outstanding orders received up to the suspension notice.
  • All customer messages have been answered, return requests have been processed.
  • I have attached invoices from our wholesaler who is an authorised distributor of the brands Pedigree / Beaphar and is the largest pet wholesaler in the United Kingdom to prove our products are authentic.
  • I have read and understand all of Amazon’s policies especially those relating to the Anti-Counterfeiting policy to ensure these are always adhered to.

What I will do to prevent similar complaints in the future:

  • I will continue to only source products from authorised wholesalers with permission to sell, or directly from the manufacturer.
  • I will seek permission from the brand / IP right owners to resell their products on the European marketplaces on Amazon. However, until clarity is confirmed, I will not be listing on any other marketplaces but the United Kingdom.
  • I will continue to follow Amazon’s policies and guidelines.
  • Before listing any products on Amazon, I will carefully check whether they match Amazon’s product page in every detail.
  • All units will be thoroughly inspected upon receipt to review their condition and authenticity.

I believe these solutions are effectively addressing the problems noted by Seller Performance and the original deactivation notification.

Thank you for reviewing my appeal and I hope to resume my UK account again soon.

  • Attached the 4 invoices again and the letter from the wholesaler. Please note we have hundreds of invoices so please let us know if you would like to see more than originally sent.

#7

Does anyone have any idea how long it’s taking for Seller Performance to respond currently? We’re still waiting and become very impatient.


#8

Unfortunately that won’t matter to Amazon.
No response yet means they have not rejected your plan, which is good in so far as it goes.
Don’t try and escalate until 30 days have gone by or you may just push yourself to the back of the queue again.


#9

We have waited long enough now. To not get a single response from Seller Performance UK / France, Managing Director or Jeff… Enough is enough. This is having a tremendous impact on our financial state.

We’ll be filing a small court claim in the next day or two. Can you drop me a PM if you have previously submitted a claim against Amazon, did you send a letter of intent first, how far did it go, did you claim loss of earnings / compensation too?

This was the last email we sent them 3 days ago to their legal team, jeff, md and the performance teams without a response.

Our Amazon Seller account was suspended on 23rd January 2020 for reasons relating to authenticity and permission to sell specific brands. Despite submitting multiple Plan of Actions addressing the concerns, deleting our entire inventory in the European marketplaces, and sending invoices from the largest and most reputable pet wholesaler in the United Kingdom, we have still yet to get a response from either the Seller Performance Team or the UK Managing Director email addresses.

Given the lack of response, we have therefore been left with no choice but to pursue this through the UK Courts. We will be appointing legal representatives this afternoon to take this forward within the UK.

Additionally we will also be contacting the police today to ascertain if your withholding of funds reaches the threshold of theft in relation to the initial suspension notice that you will be withholding the monies. Your own anti-counterfeiting policy states you only do this when you have determined criminal activity has occurred.

“We may withhold payments if we determine that an Amazon account has been used to sell inauthentic goods, commit fraud or engage in other illegal activity.”

As we know these allegations are not true, the claims are defamatory and we have sent proof to this effect to you already. The same supplier already supplies many of your current sellers who are not under suspension.

There is circa ÂŁ10,000 in the account currently, and we plan to claim this including interest, loss of earnings, legal fees and an amount proportionate to defamation.

We will also be highlighting this case to UK regulators, the European Competition Commission and national media. We are already aware that this is an ongoing issue and their are numerous third party sellers who also feel their treatment has been unfair and unwarranted. We believe this business practice and conduct is out of line of the UK regulation and that Amazon is abusing their dominant position. I expect proper business conduct from Amazon which should enable me to be able to speak to an appointed Amazon representative to resolve matters especially when my business is being accused of malpractices without justification – this should also be done in my home language and not in French as per the initial suspension notice.

I expect a response and account reactivation within the next 24 hours before I start the escalation and proceed with legal action.


#10

Well good luck with that.
If I were Amazon then whilst I may release your funds I would also ban your selling account.
Your account was only suspended one week ago and you believe that this is already the time for an aggressive email and the start of court action?


#11

Whilst you might think 7 days is acceptable Adrian, we don’t and neither do many others. Without a single complaint, if Amazon’s AI bots are wrongly suspending accounts on authenticity grounds and the performance teams can’t handle the volume then that isn’t my problem. On Amazon, you’re guilty until proven innocent and this isn’t fair.

They might ban our account forever, but we’re standing firm that we’ve done absolutely nothing wrong.


#12

Whilst your wholesaler may be an authorized reseller you do not appear to have been, since you state in your appeal that you “will” apply to the RO to become an authorized seller.
At this early stage in the proceedings you should have waited until you got those LoA’s [even better if you had obtained them first].
I think that you are overreacting and placing your selling account at risk.


#13

It’s not required Adrian, we were just trying to please Amazon in their eyes moving forward. We have authorisation to sell the brands and have a letter from the wholesaler confirming their agreement with the manufacturers.

I’m really not overreacting. Amazon can’t just go suspending accounts on a suspicion knowing of the impact it’s going to have to families, livelihoods, employees and the economy. You have to build up a case and have facts. Their suspicion is baseless and defamatory.

There’s many big sellers on Amazon with hundreds of employees, do you think it’s fair Amazon can suspend them for weeks and months without a single complaint? Do you think it would be fair on all them employees losing their jobs, or being told to go home without pay until Amazon’s performance teams get round to responding? Yes this is the reason why businesses diversify but there’s plenty of big sellers that rely on Amazon as their sole income to pay their mortgages and feed their families.

I don’t disagree with AI bots making decisions, but there has to be a fair process. When there’s a suspicion (with no complaints), give sellers 7 days to submit invoices within their accounts so the performance teams can look into it. If the invoices are not adequate, then suspend the account but only once a review has taken place first!

When you submit the POA through Amazon’s Health section, they say you’ll receive a response within 1-2 days - we’ve given them 7 days.


#14

You simply did not have authorization from the brand owner to sell these goods [on Amazon].

I could pop down to Macro and buy various items in bulk quantities, and get a receipt but that does not mean I have authorization to sell any of those goods on as new because I don’t have that permission from the brand owners.
Your wholesaler may be an authorized seller of authentic goods, but the verifiable supply chain ends there since you don’t have the authorization to then continue on and sell them yourself.

You did not give Amazon what they asked for and only waited 4 days before sending your above email to the MD.

The letter from the wholesaler confirming the authenticity of their products is not relevant to this situation as it is not your wholesaler whose right to sell is in doubt, it is yours.
You need to get Baephar and Pedigree to send you LoA’s .
It also looks like your POA was partly a copy of one of Kika’s old templates, and unfortunately that was a bad idea since Amazon will have read the

Many many times and may think, “Oh no here we go again…”

You listed 3 points as being the root cause of your issue.
1: Amazon flagging your account
2: Amazon’s concern over authenticity [isn’t that the same as point 1?] and your assumption of free movement of goods within the EU
3: Automatic listing across the various EU market places.

But in your plan to specifically address these issues you do not address the issue of free movement but simply say that you have deleted all listings in FR, DE, SP and IT and removed the BIL connection.
How do you think deleting the listings shows an understanding of the suspicion of inauthenticity?

Customer messages about what? Return requests for what reasons/ Did these buyers question the authenticity of the goods? or was this just a stock line from a templated appeal that you saw?

Name and link the specific policies to show Amazon you read the relevant ones…

Your plan should have had more actions.
Where is anything about your sourcing methods and did you include

To be honest though the biggest failing in your POA, to my mind, comes in your final section when you state

Which says to me that as of yet you do NOT have authorization from either Pedigree or Beaphar to sell their goods.
That should have been your very first step not just something that you vaguely promise to do, at some unknown point in the future.

Sorry if I sound negative but your POA is poor and your impatience with Amazon unreasonable.
Why should they risk being put in the firing line by having what could be an unauthorized seller of these brands on their site when you could have prevented this before it started by gaining that authorization before you listed?


#16

I’m pleased to say that despite my negativity Mike has been reinstated without having to make any changes to his POA, so well done to him :smiley:


#17

Hi Adrian, did Mike say how long it took for them to respond in the end? Thanks