SUITE 1200, WASHINGTON -- I have been selling on Amazon on and off for a few years recently I decided to focus more on selling on the site. After getting income of about $1500 for about two months I decided that I could use a pro account. After making several inquires to amazon's customer service, (and it took a few inquires) I was told that the only way to do this would be to close down my current account and start again. I was unhappy about doing this but I reluctantly agreed.
So I closed my current account and opened up a pro-account. The site said that funds would be held on new account for two weeks as a security measure. I was not happy with this but it seemed reasonable. Right before the two weeks were up I had accumulated about $1400 in my account. The day before the funds were to be released, I received the following message.
As part of our ongoing commitment to improving the customer experience on Amazon.com, we are conducting a review of your seller account. During this review period your funds will be reserved in your Amazon Payments account for up to 30 days.
I immediately stopped selling on Amazon despite them telling me that it was OK. I called customer service and they told me that I had been "selected" and that this was "routine". At that point I started doing research on Amazon and I was surprised to learn how often they do this and get away with this. I provided them with all the tracking information like they requested (everything was delivered and there were no complaints). I also receive a total of 17 positive feedbacks with no negative feedback.
They requested information about where I source my merchandise from and other business information. Information which I feel is an invasion of my privacy. Why should I have to reveal to Amazon detailed information about how I sourced my merchandise. No other online company has requested this. Not eBay; not overstock and not others. My merchant account company has also not requested such information. It is clear to me that they are requesting it to gain useful selling information for their own use.
I did not try to contact them again about the fairness of holding my funds because I read that a number of people that have tried to do that have had their accounts permanently terminated, rudely told that any further emails would not be returned and fund that were already held for a long time would remain in "custody" for several more months.
After I received the notice mentioned above I sent them in all the information that they requested in spite of my objections. Immediately afterwards, I emailed them asking if the information that I sent was sufficient. I only received a form letter that did not answer my question. I repeated this and I got the same response.
About a week ago (3 ½ weeks after they sent the initial email), I received another email that the information that I provided them was insufficient and that my funds would be held for an additional 15 days. They did not explain what was insufficient, but I knew from experience that it would not help to ask. I again sent them more detailed information and I am now waiting. It has been more than thirty days since I shipped my last orders and I have no complaints against me. If they do not want me to sell on Amazon because they think that I am not trustworthy (actually I think that the opposite is true), so they should not let me sell, but why should they hold my money?
The Merchant program that Amazon.com offers is absolutely deplorable and shockingly unprofessional. It has turned out to be a nightmare for our small business. We wonder how they have been able to get away with their mistreatment of merchants for so long. There is no support or protection for merchants at all and you are left defenseless against Amazon, as well as scam artists who make a living off of purchasing items and claiming they "never received" them to get refunded.
Amazon has a very lax and customer-friendly refund policy. I am all for customers who legitimately did not receive something they purchased or are unhappy getting refunded, being that I have been a consumer myself numerous times myself. Amazon, however, refunds customer even in situations when the merchant can substantiate that the claim is untrue. We recently had a situation where a customer was refunded for an item that they initially claimed they never received, and tracking confirmed that the item was "delivered", and the customer recanted their story.
We urged them to inform Amazon that they received their package so the claim could be dismissed. We also forwarded the A to Z Guarantee department and the Seller Guarantee department (because it was affecting our sales statistics) a copy of an email from the customer stating that the item was received and asked what we should do. We did this repeatedly five times. There was no response. We then tried to get the situation resolved by contacting the only help by phone that they have available, the tech support department. We were told by them that they couldn't assist us with any areas other than technical issues.
We attempted to get a number from them to contact the Seller Performance and A to Z Guarantee department. The customer service rep's response was that they could only be contacted through email and they did not even have a number to contact them. So essentially, we had to wait for someone that was not responding to us and that we had no contact number for, to contact us at their convenience about money that was rightfully owed to us. Finally, we were contacted by the Seller Guarantee department SEVEN DAYS LATER, stating that the claim was dismissed and we would be credited for the refund!!
The next day later, we finally received a response from Seller Performance as well, which was not what we expected. The email said that our account was suspended, all of our listings removed, and any disbursements to us withheld. It did not mention how or when we would get paid the money they owed us and instead referred us to another department, the Payments department, which also has no contact number. The email also was very vague as to why our account had been suspended.
This mysteriously followed an email sent to us two days before from the Merchant Approval department after being notified that our account was under review. The email did not state the reason why we were under review and actually said that the review was a common practice. They also said they needed tracking information for all items we had already shipped so they could confirm that they had been mailed out and encouraged us to submit "a plan for improving your selling performance" if review was due to poor performance.
We gladly complied and gave them tracking information. We were unaware why we were under review but submitted a plan for performance improvement just to be safe. In the letter that included the outline for seller improvement, we stated that we strongly believed we had been targeted because of the A to Z claim filed against us that was reversed and that we tried to contact them numerous times so that they could prevent the claim from affecting our seller performance. The response from them was suspension of our account.
They also implied that a factor in suspending our account was order cancellation (we cancelled three orders and notified customers in advance). We pointed out to them that we had not cancelled one order since four days before they sent us the first and only notification that order cancellations could affect seller performance. Otherwise we had no negative feedback, late shipments, or other warnings from Amazon.
The outcome of all of this is that we only sold on Amazon for a month and had the worst selling experience with them out of all selling platforms. We are out of around $400 and are considering legal action so we can recover the money owed to us by Amazon. We will share our story will as many merchants as we can to make sure that they are educated about the dangers of selling on Amazon. We will also never encourage anyone to sell nor buy on Amazon again!!
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- I am a new seller on Amazon and I am using a dropship supplier to ship my orders, basically my supplier. I listed the inventory I intended to sell, over 500 items. Because I was new, I wasn't clear on how to do my pricing so I listed my items for what the MSRP is.
I soon began receiving email messages from Amazon, claiming that my prices are too high and due to this, they stated that they are deactivating my listings; they began doing this on certain items, not my entire inventory. They stated that my pricing should fall within the wholesale and MSRP prices.
There were a multitude of items that were deactivated and instead of checking each SKU to determine if an item was deactivated I simply removed all inventory. I then proceeded to go to my supplier's website to download a fresh inventory feed. I adjusted my pricing to exactly what Amazon wanted and I uploaded everything fresh, to my webstore because it was easier and less time-consuming to do it this way.
I began receiving those same email messages and Amazon started deactivating my inventory again. I got upset and emailed them. I stated that I adjusted my prices but they continue to deactivate items. When I complained about it they claimed that it was just a "suggestion" to lower my prices so I can make more sales. I emailed back and said that if it were just a suggestion then why do you continue to deactivate my items? And besides that, I looked on the marketplace and compared my prices with other seller's prices and theirs are higher priced.
I initially had a webstore through Amazon but got frustrated and discouraged and cancelled the webstore. A week later I decided to open a new seller account using a new email address that isn't associated with my first webstore. Now what's going on is that I have tons of orders from customers and Amazon is sending me order notifications to the email address that was associated with my first webstore, not the email address associated with my current webstore.
Even worse, none of my orders are posted under "manage orders" in my webstore. I wouldn't know that there were any orders at all if I didn't check my email account that was associated with my first webstore. Now I have customers emailing me asking where their orders are, and complaining about it.
I looked at all of these orders which made me enough money to buy a used car but yet Amazon has not posted them to my account. I have no way to contact those customers unless they email me first; their orders show no email contact addresses. I don't even know what to tell them.....
I've been trying to find a nice winter coat for my no-longer-baby Clutzy. But of course finding one at a reasonable price is hard to come by. I thought I had one at Walmart, but when I looked at it, it wasn't what I had in mind. So, in the middle of my local Walmart, I ordered a London Fog bubble coat from the Amazon.com app on my phone. It was only about $10 more than what the Walmart coat was going for, but it's London Fog, so it's a name I know.
When I got home and looked at my order online, I noticed that there was a promo code for 20% off eligible outerwear that I could have applied to the order. Of course, my order was in the "shipping now" status so cancellation and reordering wasn't a very good option. So I decided to call Amazon customer service. After explaining what happened, the CSR managed to apply the discount to my order, bringing the cost of the coat down to about what I would have paid for the Walmart coat (especially after taxes). How awesome is that?
Update 11/18: The coat arrived last Tuesday, however Amazon failed to process my refund. I called and explained the problem. The person I spoke with said he would process it, it would take 2-3 business days and he sent me an email to confirm it. Fast forward to this morning (business day #3) and still no refund. I was about to call Customer Service AGAIN when I happened to check my bank account online and noticed that I was being charged less for a pair of pants I had just ordered.
I checked my email and they had applied that refund to my AMAZON account and just used it for my next order. Obviously it doesn't matter at the end of the day since the money just went back to Amazon, but what if my coat purchase had been a one and done? I'm a little disappointed in Amazon's less than upfrontness about the whole matter.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- Amazon now has a feature called, "Add on". What it means is that you can't order the product you want unless you spend $25! Even a Prime membership won't help with Add-on products. This is a ploy to make profit. The claim is that shipping on certain items is costly and making it an Add-on alleviates the shipping cost. Maybe it alleviates the shipping cost for Amazon, but it alleviates nothing for the customer who doesn't want to buy more or unnecessary items. If you don't want to increase your order to $25, you CAN'T order the item - even if you were willing to spend the shipping fee!
Consumers are very capable on deciding if they want to spend the shipping fees. Amazon has now decided for you. I am already ordering fewer items from them. I am finding other sites where shipping is less than having to bring my order up to $25. I was a great fan of Amazon until this ridiculous move. I will be much more wary of what I order from the company. They have already lost my business twice - and that is in one week.
I made this "informative" other than a "complaint" as I'm not really sure who's at fault. My first XBox went out after 3 years or so, so being fat with all those expensive games, I pretty much had to get another one. Ordered it from Amazon for a OK price and excellent shipping (always have good luck with Amazon and shipping) and got it 10/25/12.
Last night it decided to stop working after not quite 2 months. Found all the warranty paperwork and started the process. Registered it online (required) to start a ticket. At this point it says my XBox is under warranty (good deal) and the warranty expires 1/25/13. Huh? So, evidently, if you order this stuff from Amazon it has been sitting in some warehouse eating up its warranty until you buy it. Supposed to be a year warranty, I get 3 months.
So, I got that going for me... That was sort of my first issue. The problem with my XBox is all over the web and they say it just needs an updated power cord/supply. Which could easily be sent to me in no time. But, that isn't how things are done. So... I had to pack the thing back up in (pick one) the original packaging (which is what the first info told me) or totally different packaging (which is what the second info told me) and ship it off to them. Which is what I did (and I mixed original packaging with new packaging just to cover all my bases). Now I wait for "2-3 weeks".
In Microsoft's defense, they do pay for the shipping when it's under warranty, but that seems to be where the customer being right pretty much ends. Is it Amazon for eating my warranty or Microsoft for being hardly customer-centric? I'll let you decide...
WASHINGTON -- We ordered a Remington Razor advertised as NEW. Amazon's vendor DiscountJungle.com sent a Factory Serviced unit. This is illegal in Ohio. Discount Jungle Reviews on Google show many complaints where NEW merchandise advertised but Refurbished shipped. Amazon would not respond as to why Amazon allowed this to continue without stopping this for all of their customers, though they refunded me.
If this happens to you, please contact the Attorney General's Office for the State of Washington where Amazon is located, or contact me. Amazon is a good company, but with a weak tolerance for correcting bait and switch patterns that are brought to their attention. So let's help change this for Amazon and keep the internet fair and honest.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- There is no way to talk to Management. Employees do what ever they want because there is no way to complain. I have an issue with Amazon for over 4 weeks and I have not been able to resolve it, because they don't care.
YOU CONTINUE PUTTING MY ACCOUNT IN HOLD (very unprofessional) I am planning to bring to your Management this type of actions. I have called several times to your customer service and they promises they will put a note in my account, so they don't put my account in hold again but guys disregard any notes and continue PUTTING my account in hold. I am sincerely believe that the problem in your company is the account specialist department. Every time I call they open a request to the account specialist and they claim that he/her will call me within the next 24 hours. It never happen. I have never received a call from an account specialist.
I have a log of all the nightmare that I have with you guys. I am planning to send all this proof of very bad service to all the executives including Jeff Bezos. I have requested for a supervisor to call me, and never received a call. I AM REQUESTING AGAIN FOR A SUPERVISOR OR A MANAGER TO PLEASE CALL ME MY PHONE NUMBER IS **. Every time you put my account on Hold I buy from eBay and other places, so your company loses the business. But I think your company don't care. That is a bad business.
Check my account and see the activities I have in the past. My credit card number was stolen in Amazon. The bank issued a new credit card. I provided the new credit card number to Amazon for some previous charges. My account was put in hold for weeks now. When I call Amazon, they claim I will be call within 24 hours. I have never received a call from them. I have send several emails, no response. They don't care because there is no way to call a resolution department or complain to Management.
WARRENTON, VIRGINIA -- I liked 1-click because it's fast and convenient. I hate it because Amazon lies to the consumer. They make you think that you can cancel an order if you need to make a change - but you can't. On any attempt to cancel, Amazon wastes your time requiring that you fill out a form with the reason for the cancellation before you can cancel. After you fill in the form, you are to press "Submit". According to the directions, doing so will cancel the order. Instead of that, the form resets to a blank form and your order is still there.
Customer service is no help: the representative kept me on the phone until the option to cancel expired (it was as if she didn't know what 1-click was) talking about other issues. Although she did offer one piece of advice at the start of our conversation: "Disable 1-click!". I called the seller, (within 5 minutes of the cancellation, mind you), and was advised I might be too late to stop the order because it "may have gone out already" (Imagine that! Service at the speed of light!). I was told I would be contacted by email if they were successful.
This isn't my first run in with 1-click. I once received - and paid for 2 books when I had ordered only one. It was cheaper to donate the unwanted book than return it. Another time, I 1-clicked a gift item for delivery to another state; it came to me instead.
I do intend to disable 1-click. But, I have another concern: can Amazon be trusted? Does Amazon care that I'm dissatisfied or is my business expendable (I previously spent $500 with them on one item but what can 1 person matter when the world is their market?)? Amazon offers convenience. But, is it worth it: as more of us decide to use Amazon for the majority of our buying needs - you can have everything from toilet paper to furnace filters auto-delivered to your door on a schedule of your choice - will trusted local merchants be driven out of business allowing Amazon's service be to grow even more untrustworthy?
I know that I can buy with from confidence from my local merchant who cares about me because he cares about community relations. If there's a problem with the product, I can return it, no questions asked. There is a direct and immediate response to any request or issue. But Amazon is in no way beholden to its customers - its size obviates that. I've heard seller complaints of unfair play; are we customers next?
Yes, I will continue to buy from Amazon. But, because I no longer trust them, I intend to frequent local merchants when possible and from sites other than Amazon, e. g., manufacturer's sites, using PayPal or my PayPal credit card (the other option for secure shopping). Oh if it were only that easy to unchain myself from my cable service!
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- I've been a long time Amazon customer so it's been really disappointing to the kind of customer service experience I've had recently. I contacted them because I didn't get an order confirmation. In all the years buying from Amazon, I've never had that happen. As a precaution I also changed my account password from my laptop - which was what I was using at the time. When I got on my PC later that evening and when to Amazon, I was automatically signed in - using the old password. So, I contacted them about both issues.
The woman that took my call (**) said she would report my situation to tech support. I asked her when I could expect to be contacted to which she said, 'I would check your email often.' So, I checked for a day and then emailed CEO Jeff Bezos' office. I didn't expect my email to reach him, and the woman that did respond (**) said she was doing so on his behalf.
First, she said she tried to call me - I was home all day and have caller ID with call waiting - she didn't call. Then she says they for sure sent a confirmation and directed me to a plain text receipt at the bottom of her email. With regard to my account security, she tells me that while I may have been partly logged into my account, I wouldn't have been able to view personal information or place an order.
When I called the Amazon corporate office and asked to speak with her, they said they couldn't connect me to her. The female that answered said she could connect me to Customer Service and when I asked where that was, I was told that she didn't know, that she had a list of things to do and that based on my concerns, connecting me was what she should do. I told her that it sounded like she was going to connect me with the same customer service I started with a few days ago when I called and that it hadn't helped. I asked if she could connect me with a supervisor and she promptly hung up on me!
I see a real pattern here with regard to lack of training/problem solving ability of customer service representatives. If they don't know what to do, they refuse to get a supervisor or just give some lip-service. Otherwise they just hang up. This isn't the first experience I've had with being treated this way as of late, either. People may love Amazon for its easy returns and refunds but have a problem or question that takes someone to actually problem solve and then see how you feel.