You may have wondered why Amazon keeps asking you for “more information” when you submit a Plan of Action that gives them exactly the information that they have asked for, usually multiple times, in the past. Well here’s another wrinkle to this appeals quagmire: What if they suddenly stop asking you for that information and mention something altogether new and different that never before appeared in either your suspension notification or your recent correspondence with them?
You may relate to this recent seller situation below. Amazon suspended an eventual client of mine for too many buyer reports of “inauthentic” items deriving mostly from their complaints over the condition of their orders.
Three times they received this response after covering every conceivable area of their inventory and any possible failing or weakness showing up on their Amazon account around this subject.
Thank you for responding to our request for information. However even while we review your account, we still need more information regarding your plan of action for “inauthentic” complaints before we can reinstate your selling privileges.
Amazon appeared satisfied with the final revised Plan of Action covering authenticity because they moved on to a new, never previously mentioned subject at this point.
Thank you for responding to our request for information. However, we still need more information regarding your plan of action for Item Not as Advertised, Incomplete Item and Incorrect Item complaints before we can reinstate your selling privileges.
Once the seller sent in a new POA which may have fallen short in one or two of these new areas, they immediately received this response regarding future POAs.
You have not sent us an acceptable plan to address the problems with your account. This is against our policies. As a result, you may no longer sell on Amazon.com, and your listings have been removed from our site.
Amazon teams, in this case Product Quality, moved them from suspended to blocked yet still allowed them to appeal the block and gave them yet another “Appeal” button. It started all over again. They already took three shots at reinstatement because they were asked three times for more information about “authentic item” complaints, so by the time they submitted the final POA addressing everything newly mentioned, they apparently only had one chance left.
I got involved and got them reinstated, so in this case we created a good ending. But what can you do to prevent this from happening to you? And what does Amazon get out of spinning you in so many circles?
How does this Happen?
- They get to pass the buck. Another investigator will be on the hook for the reinstatement if things go wrong afterwards and you’re blocked again, not the person looking you over.
- They don’t have strong capacity for audits and investigation quality reviews, they’re too busy keeping up and dealing with escalations from other poorly handled cases.
- Training programs are weak or uneven across the various global offices.
- Management is not scrutinizing possible needs for SOP changes or implementing such changes to any real effect
There’s no set number of appeals in their SOPs — they say it’s three to me, but when they ask for something entirely new does that reset you to zero? No.
What Can You Do?
Hire an account consultant first, before taking numerous shots at reinstatement yourself. Don’t think someone can come along and magically fix everything with one email after you spend two weeks trying to sort this all out yourself. This is a process that takes time, effort, energy and expertise. Start with someone who knows the process from the get-go. These teams are unpredictable and don’t always ask for what they say they want. Confusion and chaos ensues, and you stay suspended in the meantime.