Why is Dealing with Amazon Seller Support so Hard?



Liran Hirschkorn joins us again to rant about dealing with Amazon Seller Support

  • Seller Support reps abroad sometimes don’t work for Amazon but are contracted out
  • They have limited knowledge andexperience
  • As experienced sellers you must give them pushback on poor information
  • They can tell you wrong information so you need to be on top of it
  • Getting canned responses is a regular frustration from Seller Support
  • There’s a lot that can be improved there
  • It’s okay to pushback
  • Okay to ask for escalation to the Leadership and Captive team
  • Call at another time to get a US representative which are better trained employees than some of the other countries

Horror stories with Seller Support

  • Liran is in the Amazon Exclusives programme
  • A benefit of being in is thast they ‘gate’ your brand to stop hi-jackers
  • Rep asked for all the ASINs on a Friday
  • He sent them over to Seller Support and they said they’d get it done over the weekend
  • Liran checked his account on the Saturday morning and he had ZERO sales
  • Turned out Seller Support had ‘gated’ him out of his own product!
  • Didn’t get onto his listings until Monday
  • He left the Exclusives Programme after this

Another example

  • Another example was where Liran raised an infringement case against a competitor that had his brand name in the backend of their product
  • Seller Support immediately sent back a canned response that they saw no infringement in the “listing”
  • This frustrated Liran and he went straight back in ALL CAPS pointing out that the infringement was in the  BACKEND and not the  LISTING and was a clear break of ToS by that competitor
  • In this case Liran emailed the Seller and they took it out themselves
  • Seller Support were just reading an instruction sheet on what to look for and don’t have the knowledge themselves

Closing your cases

  • They also close your case without it being fixed and just send you some cut and paste email response

Danny’s example

  • Had an issue with Merchant Fulfilled in Japan
  • He had weak information from Seller Support and ended up in a huge email chain with Seller Support
  • He forensically broke down the inaccuracies in their responses
  • Due to the time difference the email ping-pong took weeks when dealing with Amazon seller support
  • He even ended up trying to find people in the Amazon offices over there on Linkedin
  • They ended up telling Danny he cannot raise another case on this topic for support ever again

Amazon pilot dedicated support

  • Liran heard of a pilot programme where Amazon was looking at a paid for Seller Support dedicated representative
  • This doesn’t appear to have taken flight though

Don’t take No for an answer

  • There is a way to get things done if you don’t accept the first answer in dealing with amazon seller support front-line people
  • Liran never accepts Seller Support’s answer when they say NO he can’t do something
  • Don’t accept that exceptions can’t be made in dealing with Amazon seller support
  • Liran has managed to get his over-size stock holding limit raised by pushing to escalate to a manager
  • You can always escalate
  • Ask for them to please put you through to someone with more experience in the area of your problem

Which Amazon Team

  • In dealing with Amazon seller support, the first layer of support is the canned response screen reader staff
  • You can get past these by asking for someone in the NEXT Layer with more specialist skills to help with this problem
  • The 1st Layer don’t want to pass you through as it hurts their rating and metrics – they cling on to the call and won’t pass it on
  • Liran was told by an Amazon Rep that he should ask to be transferred to the ‘Captive’ team
  • Liran has highlighted the ‘Captive’ and the ‘Leadership’ teams
  • He’s found these teams have been more able to help with his problems than the front-line support team have been able to

Progress?

  • There was a Boost event held in NY where Amazon setup this event so Sellers could hear from and meet Amazon Support people
  • You could book a 1-2-1 with some of their reps at this event
  • Liran found the quality of information available from these reps was inadequate
  • In many cases Liran knew more about Amazon and the systems than they did
  • He and others that attended this event gave Amazon this feedback

Liran has a Dedicated Amazon Rep

  • Liran is in the Exclusives programme and has a dedicated Rep
  • Marketing and advertising help is their core role
  • But he has used them for Support issues recently for a Lightning Deal that wasn’t working
  • emailed fba-deals@amazon.com and had a false-positive issue
  • They were able to help and get it fixed
  • Any chance you have to go to an Amazon event and pick up business cards from them it’s worth doing it

Amazon high churn rate

  • Good people are quickly identified and moved up into more senior roles from Support
  • Two years in Amazon is a long time according to people working in Amazon
  • If you’re good at support then you are earmarked and moved up quickly
  • Amazon is a big company with lots of opportunity

Have persistence in dealing with Amazon Seller Support

  • It’s just like any other aspect of your business
  • Keep you persistence and overcome the frustrations

Reviews Removal episode

  • Liran has a bad review on his product that he could prove was a competitor
  • Screenshots and evidence that it was a competitor leaving a bad review on his product
  • He wrote a letter and pushed and pushed but could not get it removed
  • Liran won’t generally go to Amazon to get reviews removed
  • Amazon really don’t want to remove reviews as it damages their integrity
  • Amazon will not remove reviews, even when the terms of service say it would be allowed to

Competitor Leaves 5 Star review for you

  • A competitor has left 5 star reviews on a Seller’s product saying he’s received the product for free in return for the 5 star review
  • Then this competitor reports you to Amazon!
  • Liran has heard something similar
  • Where a Seller received 1 Star reviews on his product that said ‘go buy this other product instead’
  • This Seller contacted the seller of this other product
  • And it turned out that there was a 3rd Seller who was placing the 1 star reviews but pointing to this other product to hide the fact he was the competitor!
  • It can get this crazy it seems
  • These things Liran would fight hard to resolve

Seller Feedback upgrade

  • Liran has heard that Amazon is looking at Seller Feedback to make changes to it
  • Frustrating for Sellers who get constant product reviews in Seller Feedback
  • It’s often shipping related issues that come through
  • Merchant Fulfilled and FBA should not be the same system
  • Rather than Amazon send out ‘seller feedback’ it should be ‘product reviews’ instead

The Captive Team

  • There is also the “Jeff Bomb” if it’s all not working
  • Danny has found these to be very helpful
  • If you’re going to make a telephone call to support do it in US daytime hours to get the US Support people who are generally better
  • The routing of your call is down to luck
  • Don’t let Seller Support dictate your business – think like Jeff Bezos and push the envelope at every turn

Contact Liran

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