Season 1, Episode 99
Correcting Listing Content When Your ASIN is Restricted
[00:00:07] Chris: Hey everybody, this is Chris McCabe. Welcome back to Seller Performance Solutions. I’m here once again with Leah McHugh, our expert consultant extraordinaire when it comes to listing misuses and things that sellers do or fail to do when they’re trying to correct mistakes on their listings. Some are opening cases with civil support, but not correcting their flat files. That’s one scenario. And others do correct the flat files, but never call in and talk to catalog.
[00:00:37] Leah: Yeah. Or some people just don’t do any of that and just send email appeals that aren’t gonna go anywhere because they’re not correcting the issue.
[00:00:44] Chris: That goes without saying, some people will always write to Jeff before they do anything else, even though Jeff left a long time ago.
So, you think it’s one way or the other. Do you think they don’t take the action in the flat files, they just open a case with support, hoping that they can explain what they were trying to do or what they didn’t do. Or do you think it’s not a lack of working on the flat files, it’s the failure to call catalog?
[00:01:12] Leah: Well, I think Amazon doesn’t make any of this clear. So I know this because I work on it every day. So what Chris is talking about is if your agent is suspended for a restricted product claims, the only path to reinstatement is to remove those product claims, which Amazon does tell you.
But what they don’t tell you is that when a listing is blocked, changes that you make to the listing in Seller Central, don’t push through to Amazon’s internal system meaning what you see on your listing isn’t necessarily what Amazon sees on their side and people that are looking at the listing to reinstate it are only looking at their tools.
They’re not logging into your account to see what the backend of the listing looks like on your end. So the only way generally to get changes pushed through on a listing when it’s suspended is to upload the changes via a flat file. And then once that flat file has processed, use the batch ID and call into catalog and make sure that they can see the changes that you’ve made on their end and if they can’t manually process those changes for you. Amazon tells you none of this. They just tell you to correct the listing and let them know when that’s done.
[00:02:28] Chris: They don’t say that. They don’t even say that. They say, create a case with seller support and go from there.
[00:02:34] Leah: Well, they do say to remove the restricted claims usually, but they also don’t tell you what the restricted claims are most of the time. Or where they are. So that’s specifically if the claims are in the detail page, like regular content.
If the claims are in the A+ content, again, what they don’t tell you is that your changes aren’t going to go through while the listing is blocked. So what you have to do is make those changes, then remove it from the ASIN, and then save it as a draft. And again, you need to confirm with catalog that has actually been removed from the listing, because sometimes it’ll still stay attached on their side, even though on your side it’s not attached to the ASIN at all. So everything that you’re doing with contents, when your listing is restricted, you need to confirm with the catalog team because you can’t trust what you see on your side. You can’t even trust the category listing report. Unfortunately, when the listing is blocked, you can only go off of what catalog can see internally in their system.
And usually that means more than one phone call to catalog because not everybody has the same level of training or understanding of their job within Amazon. So I like to do other things while I’m on hold with catalog. Because you may be spending a good amount of time on the phone.
[00:03:49] Chris: That was a lot of info. People might get pieces of that process, but very few will get all of that consecutively in a row correct. So what are people doing who don’t follow that? They’re just opening cases with support, making random calls, not understanding why the listing’s coming back live. How would they eventually figure that out, let’s just say if they missed one of those steps?
[00:04:14] Leah: Yeah, I see a lot of people that struggle with it. Eventually they’ll get someone in support that can make the changes for them. But generally speaking, general support, don’t know how to do this. Generally speaking, general support don’t have access to the compliance team. So you do need to speak to catalog, but again, you need to be making those changes, particularly if you are the brand registered owner catalog can’t necessarily make those changes for you without a flat file.
Also, if you do make the changes and then call into catalog, catalog may be like, oh, we can’t do it. Brand registry has to do it. And then brand registry comes back with instructions on how you can like upload a flat file and it’s like, yep, that’s what we did.
So again, that’s where you often have to call catalog more than once to get somebody that knows what they’re doing to actually push those changes through for you.
[00:05:03] Chris: I’ve noticed lately brand registry is pointing fingers at catalog and catalog is pointing fingers at brand registry a lot more than last year. it’s about the same for you?
It seems to me like there’s more people just saying, why are you asking us how to do this? We don’t do this stuff. Those guys do. If they told you to come to us, go back to them.
[00:05:26] Leah: Well the thing is catalog isn’t saying go to Brand Registry Catalog is actually transferring your case to brand registry with all of their notes and with all of your information that you’ve already given to catalog.
And then brand registry just sends you a template of how to upload a flat file. So that’s pretty much consistent with my experience with Brand Registry for the last three or four years.
[00:05:46] Chris: Yeah, I understand. Brand registry used to have value everybody. There used to be some degree of competency.
There used to be some professional skill level or value or insight into what’s going on with your brand. Those days unfortunately are long behind us.
[00:06:02] Leah: Well, and I do think a big part of that is because there isn’t phone support for brand registry, because when you email catalog, nine times out of ten, you get the same kind of response from catalog where you ask them a very specific question or you’re trying to fix a very specific issue and they send you just a general template of instructions, stuff that you’ve, half the time have already told them that you’ve already done and it didn’t work.
So I think part of the issue is that when it’s email support, They have a very limited amount of time that they’re allowed to spend on your case, whereas when you have them on a phone call, they can spend as much time as you are willing to stay on that call. And brand registry doesn’t have phone support, so you don’t have the option of actually working with brand registry to work through the issue.
They just have to respond to you as quickly as they possibly can. I think that’s why we consistently see just templated answers that aren’t even necessarily relevant half the time from brand registry. Because they’re only being audited on speed and you have no way of getting them out of that KPI hell that Amazon has put them in. Whereas with catalog, you can call and you can have them spend an hour if necessary on the call with you, assuming the call doesn’t drop or get disconnected, or maybe they hang up on you, I’m not sure which, because that happens a lot too. But you don’t have that option of working through the scenario with them where they aren’t on the clock, where Amazon’s like, you’re taking too long. Come on, answer it. Answer it, get it off your desk.
[00:07:22] Chris: Well, it’s the same with account health reps, right? They seem to have all day. They can put you on hold as many times as they want. Even if they come back, the answers they give you don’t show that they really researched anything while you’ve been on hold. But the amount of time can range to hours.
[00:07:37] Leah: And I’ve also been told by both account health reps and catalog reps, because I’ve said to them, things like what we discuss on a call often doesn’t really have anything to do with what you email me after we’ve had the call, they send some other messaging that is like, okay, well this is not what we discussed.
And I’ve had multiple people tell me that they are actually very restricted in what they’re able to email you. So they have to choose from a certain number of options when emailing.
Whereas with a call they can actually discuss it with you. So again, I feel like that’s probably why we’re consistently seeing this issue with brand registry because they have no option of calling you.
[00:08:16] Chris: Right, exactly. Any other words of wisdom for our now petrified audience in terms of how to navigate this. I’m sure you’ve seen escalations that really haven’t contributed to change internally in terms of how catalog operates or what brand registry teams do. So do they need to escalate a certain way? In order to break through and push past some of these barriers, or is it really just calling back and getting the right catalog person?
[00:08:46] Leah: So I like to do a little bit of both at the same time. Specifically with restricted product claims, I do generally find that you can get it resolved a lot faster if catalog transfers the case for you to compliance as opposed to you emailing compliance directly. Also, because half the time when you try to email compliance directly, it gets routed to the wrong team and then seller support sends you a nonsensical answer.
Whereas when it’s actually transferred by catalog, it actually does get sent to the correct team for review. Catalog also has the ability of requesting a manual review of compliance issues, whereas when you’re emailing into compliance, sometimes those are just like AI looking at your information probably and sending you a response.
[00:09:26] Chris: Wait for the future when it’s all AI.
[00:09:30] Leah: Yeah, I’d like to do a little bit of both, but I do like to continue to work with the catalog team while also potentially escalating it externally, because in my experience, most people within Amazon that don’t work in catalog don’t actually understand how the catalog works.
So you can escalate it and they’re like, oh, that sounds messed up. But they don’t under actually know what to do. So I like to do a little bit of both because it also allows whoever I’m escalating it to, to refer to whoever was working on the case previously. And you’re likely to get a quicker resolution that way.
[00:10:10] Chris: Very logical. Yes. I think that’s good strategy to navigate. Some of these twists and turns. We understand that all of the wonderful many things that Leah just said might be overwhelming. If you have any questions on these, feel free to ask us. We’re going to be doing more episodes like this.
Covering what the heck do you do with catalog? What the hell do you do with brand registry? I don’t know what to do, I don’t know how to escalate. We’re getting these questions every other hour. We’re probably getting a couple while I’m talking right now.
[00:10:40] Leah: I’m surprised you said ask us. I thought this was definitely one of the situations where you’d be like, ask Leah.
[00:10:45] Chris: Don’t ask me, ask Leah. But I say that every time. So I had to say, ask us this time. Um, and I’ve been talking about stuff like this all day, as you can hear in my voice, starting to fail. So, Thank you for listening to my My hoarse voice and to Leah’s wisdom. We will catch you next time on Seller Performance Solutions.
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