Product Review Team and the Forum's FAQ/Guidelines


#1

The new FAQ/Guidelines for this Forum encourage us to “Give us honest feedback about the things at which we are succeeding, and constructive criticism about those which can be improved.” So here goes…

The background to this is one of my products ASIN: B00H7YV1YG was made inactive after a customer made a Product Condition Complaint. She thought the product was secondhand (it wasn’t) because the packaging was unsealed. She didn’t return the product and is happy with it.

I totally understand the seriousness of the complaint and worked hard to identify the Root Cause and produce an Action Plan that prevents it happening again (members of this forum made very useful contributions as I was doing this - thanks).

I was asked for more information and submitted this on 29th December.

I received an email from the Product Review Team asking for yet more information and a warning “we may not respond to further emails about this issue”.

At this point I was stumped for what else I could write down and have waited to see if, in fact, they would respond with guidance on what more information was required.

But they haven’t.

Why can’t they be clearer about what is missing?

For example:

  • Is there something they don’t believe that requires extra evidence?

  • Is there a misunderstanding that could be easily corrected?

  • If they “do not have enough information to reactivate your listings at this time”, what is the information they are looking for?

My constructive criticism is that their repeated email requests for more information are not constructive. And there seems to be no way for me to speak to anyone to get a better understanding of what is stopping the listing being reactivated.

This is very frustrating and feels very discourteous. Surely at this stage of the process I should be able to get some feedback.

All comments welcome. If anyone knows how I can solve the impasse, I’d be very grateful.


#2

Haha - do you really think they will listen ?
A couple of years ago they started a forum - and for the life of me I cannot remember the name, think it was Eureka or something similar - there were some excellent ideas for improving things, but it died a death after only a few months and was withdrawn.


#3

Here some general tips for all while creating the plan of action regarding Material Different complaints;

  1. First, you must acknowledge that you have identified the problem and that you now know the cause.
    You must confirm that you have deleted the problematic offers and then please explain the root cause of why this happened at all. Please refer to the relevant directive for that root cause. (Please avoid ambiguous expressions once you have identified the root cause.)
    Even if you think that the buyer/complaint is not fair, please try to understand what causes customers to doubts (e.g. packaging, chemical composition, etc.)

2.Please describe all the steps you have taken so far to solve the problem as concretely as possible. Overall, how do you ensure that your inventory complies with our policies and that no policy is violated?

  1. Please explain any preventive and proactive measures you can take to ensure that similar complaints are not repeated in the future. I suggest that you read our guidelines in detail. (Please review your account as a whole to determine if there is another offer with similar issues, and remove it as well).
    Please explain in more detail how you will always ensure in the future that your suppliers are always reliable, how you carry out spot checks/quality checks, how you check and control the product detail pages/packaging/products.

  2. Please submit invoices. If it is not possible, please explain why you cannot submit an invoice and ensure that the action plan is strong and effective enough.
    Please note the invoice requirements (they should be issued in the last 365 days before the relevant warning):

Copies of invoices or receipts from your supplier issued in the last 365 days for the ASINs listed below
–These documents should reflect your sales volume during the last 365 days.
–Please include contact information for your supplier, including name, phone number, address, and website. We will maintain the confidentiality of your supplier contact information.
–You may remove pricing information, but the rest of the document must be visible. For ease of our review, you may highlight or circle the ASIN(s) under review.

Here are a few things to consider as you create your plan:
–Sourcing: Are you sourcing the product from a trusted supplier?
–Listing: Is the product accurately described on Amazon? Have you ensured that there is no ambiguity and the customer is well informed?
–Packaging: Is the product in its original packaging as listed on Amazon?
–Shipping: Have you taken all appropriate steps and quality checks to ensure that the product is stored, packed, and shipped appropriately?
–Review your communications from buyers to better understand the issues.
–Be as specific as possible in your plan.
–Do not limit your plan to issues with specific orders

You can only send .pdf, .jpg, .png, or .gif files. These documents must be authentic and unaltered.


#4

Thank you Anare, your tips are appreciated as they reinforce what I have already read.

You can understand that I believe I have structured my Action Plan to answer all the questions and have provided the supporting documents from the supplier along with a year’s worth of invoices.

So why can’t the Product Review Team tell me where the plan is unacceptable? That is my criticism.

Would you be prepared to give feedback if I post my plan here on the forum?

Many thanks.


#5

Of course you should post your plan here for feedback.
Either an Amazonian or someone from the forum will be pleased to give advice on it.


#6

Many thanks. Here it is (without attachments):

Dear Amazon UK Seller Performance Team,

Thank you for the opportunity to resolve this issue. I have included more detail as requested.

What was the root cause of the problem?

ASIN B00H7YV1YG

The root cause of the problem has been found to be an isolated mistake during the final packing process at the UK Supplier/Importer coupled with a lack of awareness of the Condition Guidelines for New Home & Garden items by the UK Supplier/ Importer who dispatch the items to the customer.

The mistake happened at Step 9 of the attached manufacturer’s packing instructions ( KMHM-CA-018 RugBuddy Packaging Rev 2.pdf ) and resulted in the sealed packaging being opened before final packing into the supplied manufacturer’s retail box. We believe the item fell out of the opened packaging, the plug was scuffed inadvertently, and the item placed back in the packaging before being sent to the customer. These actions contravened the Condition Guidelines for New Home & Garden items and led to the complaint. The item should have been rejected.

Supplier invoices from the last 365 days are attached ( Speedheat UKFR 180 Amazon.pdf ). There is a green mark against the product that relates to the ASIN under review. In the Details column the description references whether it was an Amazon order or not. Invoice 13503 (31/10/19) details the new item dispatched to the customer in question, Mrs N C Howard.

Actions we have taken to resolve the issue

The UK Supplier/ Importer has checked that none of the existing stock on hand has had the integrity of the package seal compromised and is packed correctly ( Speedheat UK Letter UKFR180.jpg ). The check indicates that the complaint arose from an isolated mistake, and poor training led to the item being sent to the customer.

I have contacted the factory to check their packing instructions ( KMHM-CA-018 RugBuddy Packaging Rev 2.pdf ) are current and had been issued to the UK Importer/ Supplier. This has been confirmed by the factory and by the UK Importer/ Supplier ( Speedheat INV UK Letter UKFR180.jpg ).

I have contacted the UK Supplier/Importer to check they are following the packing instructions correctly and all relevant personnel have been trained. In addition, the UK Supplier/Importer has trained its staff in the Condition Guidelines for New Home & Garden items ( Speedheat UK Letter UKFR180.jpg ).

I have reviewed the relevant guidelines to ensure ongoing compliance by all parties involved:

Amazon Anti-Counterfeiting Policy https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/201165970

Product detail page rules https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/help.html?itemID=G200390640&language=en_GB&ref=ag_G200390640_cont_521

Policies and Agreements https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/help/521

Prohibited Seller Activities and Actions https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/200386250

Condition Guidelines https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/20033950

I have responded to the customer who was happy with my response.

What steps we will take to prevent future issues

Better training will ensure only items that meet the Condition Guidelines for New Home & Garden items will be dispatched to Amazon customers.

The manufacturer’s factory specific instruction on how to box and pack the heater in the UK ( KMHM-CA-018 RugBuddy Packaging Rev 2.pdf ) will be followed at all times. Items that do not meet the Condition Guidelines for New Home & Garden items will be rejected.

I will continue to closely monitor all returns and customer queries for quality issues of any kind. If a trend appears, I will immediately withdraw the item from sale pending investigation and resolution of the issues.

I will continue to only source genuine product from the sole UK Supplier/ Importer.

Additional information:

Sourcing: The product is sourced direct from the UK importer, Speedheat UK Limited, who is a trusted supplier. Speedheat UK Limited sources the product direct from the manufacturer Klimax Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd. ( Speedheat UK Letter UKFR180.jpg ).

Listing: The product is described correctly as ‘NEW’ on Amazon. There is no ambiguity and the customer is well informed.

Packaging : The product is in its original packaging as listed on Amazon. Items are delivered to the UK Supplier/ Importer in individual sealed bags. The manufacturer also supplies the retail boxes in flat form to be made up by the UK Supplier/ Importer in accordance with the manufacturer’s Quality Assurance instructions ( KMHM-CA-018 RugBuddy Packaging Rev 2.pdf ).

Shipping: The product is stored, packed, and shipped appropriately. Shipping is handled by DHL and tracking codes are entered for each order.

Review: This is the first comment of this nature in nearly 6 years listing the product on Amazon. This action plan has addressed the need for a specific understanding of the Condition Guidelines for New Home & Garden items by the UK Supplier/Importer. Any future packing mistakes, including where the sealed packaging has been opened, will result in that item being rejected.

I look forward to the outcome of your review. I sincerely believe I have addressed the root cause of the complaint but please let me know if there is a specific area you would like more information on.


#7

So you are drop shipping from the UK supplier and it is they who made the mistake by sending a scuffed item?
In your root cause section you have detailed the procedure very well, but the resultant damage [the scuff] which arose from the packaging error, is hidden away in the text and might easily be overlooked by a rep skim reading your POA.
Maybe this damage, which led the customer to believe that the goods might be secondhand, should be highlighted as a bullet point and the reason, the root cause, then explained beneath?

In your actions taken section you have covered what the manufacturer and the UK supplier from whom you drop ship will do, but you personally have still got zero control over the final process and cannot QC the goods yourself, whether Amazon see this as a failing or not I don’t know.

Could you have the order sent to you first for QC and then you dispatch to the end buyer? An extension of your handling time would accommodate the extra transit time needed.

Your extra steps section mentions better training, but you wouldn’t be involved in that or have any control over that training…

The plan does look good if only you were not drop shipping and had any control over the implementation of it, as it stands you are still completely reliant on other parties, never see the physical item yourself and have no idea what condition any item is actually dispatched in, let alone know whether it does indeed match the listing exactly.

There have been several drop shipping suspensions on the forum recently, and they are proving hard to overcome because of the business model.


#8

Thanks Adrian - that has given me some real insight.

I do have a control of the shipping with a dedicated member of staff at the supplier getting the goods ready for my courier. I am the only business they do this for so I set out what I expect from them. I regularly visit. I do get involved with the training which is why they have incorporated the Amazon guidleines. Just this one complaint in 6 years selling the same product.

I will expand on this, introduce spot checks to my visits, and address your other points in a revised plan.

Thanks once again.


#9

So not drop shipping as such, more working with a shipping partner?
I presume that your details are included as the seller of record in the goods when dispatched? Just to show Amazon that you are doing this correctly?

Yes, the spot checks and dedicated staff member are good points to mention, as is the fact that you will personally oversee the training.


#10

Yes to all of that.

I can see I need to explain it all much more clearly. That’s really helpful.

Thanks.


#11

At the risk of pushing my luck with you, here is my revised version:

Dear Amazon UK Seller Performance Team,

Thank you for the opportunity to resolve this issue. I have included more detail as requested.

What was the root cause of the problem?

ASIN B00H7YV1YG

The root cause of the problem was an isolated mistake during the final packing process and a lack of awareness of the Condition Guidelines for New Home & Garden items by my shipping partner.

The mistake resulted in:

  • The sealed packaging accidently being opened, and then,
  • The item falling to the floor, with the moulded plug picking up a scuff mark in the process

The mistake happened at Step 9 of the attached manufacturer’s packing instructions ( KMHM-CA-018 RugBuddy Packaging Rev 2.pdf ). It resulted in the sealed packaging accidently being opened before final packing into the supplied manufacturer’s retail box. We believe the item fell out of the opened packaging, the plug was scuffed inadvertently, and the item placed back in the packaging before being sent to the customer. These actions contravened the Condition Guidelines for New Home & Garden items and led to the complaint. The item should have been rejected.

Supplier invoices from the last 365 days are attached ( Speedheat UKFR 180 Amazon.pdf ). There is a green mark against the product that relates to the ASIN under review. In the Details column the description references whether it was an Amazon order or not. Invoice 13503 (31/10/19) details the new item dispatched to the customer in question, Mrs N C Howard.

Actions we have taken to resolve the issue

I took immediate action with my shipping partner to check that none of the existing stock on hand has had the integrity of the package seal compromised and is packed correctly ( Speedheat UK Letter UKFR180.jpg ). The check indicated that the complaint arose from an isolated mistake with a gap in training leading to the item being sent to the customer.

I control the packing and shipping of my goods through a dedicated team member at my shipping partner who is also the UK Supplier/ Importer. They offered me the chance to set up this facility and BeWarmer Limited remains the only business they serve in this way. As a result, the training, standing instructions, quality control, and choice of courier, are all in my control.

I have contacted the factory to check their packing instructions ( KMHM-CA-018 RugBuddy Packaging Rev 2.pdf ) are current. This has been confirmed by the factory and my shipping partner confirms they have received them ( Speedheat INV UK Letter UKFR180.jpg ).

I double checked with my shipping partner they are following the packing instructions correctly and all relevant personnel have been trained. In addition, I instructed my shipping partner to train staff in the Condition Guidelines for New Home & Garden items ( Speedheat UK Letter UKFR180.jpg ).

I have reviewed the relevant guidelines to ensure ongoing compliance by all parties involved:

Amazon Anti-Counterfeiting Policy https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/201165970

Product detail page rules https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/help.html?itemID=G200390640&language=en_GB&ref=ag_G200390640_cont_521

Policies and Agreements https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/help/521

Prohibited Seller Activities and Actions https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/200386250

Condition Guidelines https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/20033950

I have responded to the customer who was happy with my response.

What steps we will take to prevent future issues

Better training will ensure only items that meet the Condition Guidelines for New Home & Garden items will be dispatched to Amazon customers.

The manufacturer’s factory specific instruction on how to box and pack the heater in the UK ( KMHM-CA-018 RugBuddy Packaging Rev 2.pdf ) will be followed at all times. Items that do not meet the Condition Guidelines for New Home & Garden items will be rejected.

On my regular visits to my shipping partner I will carry out spot checks on the products and the training.

I will continue to oversee the training.

I will continue to closely monitor all returns and customer queries for quality issues of any kind. If a root cause appears, I will immediately withdraw the item from sale pending investigation and resolution of the issues.

I will continue to only source genuine product from the sole UK Supplier/ Importer who is also my shipping partner.

Additional information:

Sourcing: The ASIN B00H7YV1YG product is made exclusively for BeWarmer Limited by the manufacturer Klimax Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd. My shipping partner and trusted supplier, Speedheat UK Limited, is the sole UK Supplier/Importer ( Speedheat UK Letter UKFR180.jpg ). No wholesalers are involved and there is no risk of counterfeiting.

Listing: The product is described correctly as ‘NEW’ on Amazon. There is no ambiguity and the customer is well informed. It is clear that the seller is BeWarmer Limited.

Packaging : The product is in its original packaging as listed on Amazon. Items are delivered to my shipping partner in individual sealed bags. The manufacturer also supplies the retail boxes in flat form to be made up by the shipping partner in accordance with the manufacturer’s Quality Assurance instructions ( KMHM-CA-018 RugBuddy Packaging Rev 2.pdf ). All documentation within the packaging makes clear the seller is BeWarmer Limited.

Shipping: The product is stored, packed, and shipped appropriately. Shipping is handled by DHL and tracking codes are entered for each order.

Review: This is the first comment of this nature in nearly 6 years selling the product on Amazon. The Feedback Rating is 100% Positive over the Lifetime of my Seller Account. This action plan has addressed the need for a specific understanding of the Condition Guidelines for New Home & Garden items by my shipping partner. Any future packing mistakes, including where the sealed packaging has been opened, will result in that item being rejected. Monitoring and spot checks will continue.


#12

The plan looks better this time and is probably worth a shot.
Word of warning though, Amazon seem to be making it tougher to overcome a suspension these days, generic templated appeals are useless and what appear to be genuine well actioned plans are also being turned down as their targets for reinstatement seem to be getting harder to meet.


#13

Understood - and thanks again.