A-to-Z Claim but customer never contacted us first?!?

Just had my first A to Z in a long time…customer opened a return request a week ago, that was auto-authorized from Amazon, and then never sent the item back. Claimed it was defective/poor quality. No other contact, tracking number via UPS was generated from Amazon but is not active/has not been scanned. Should not have been able to open an A to Z, as far I can tell from the screenshot attached

Amazon A2Z claim is “under review”…should I pre-emptively reply, or should I wait until they decide, and what should my response be?

My current Account Health (other than verification issue) is 0% defect out of 927 orders in 60 days, so I can take the metrics hit, but I’d rather not…

Thanks!

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Amazon has not enforced the must contact first rule for maybe 5 years or so.

It was completely killed off early 2020

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A-Z policy of contacting buyer first is still written in policy. I always proactively respond during review especially in cases such as this where clear policy is broken. Handmade, the category I sell in, is different in many ways such as no RFS, and no Auto returns (except for FBA in both cases), no Safe-t, but all else should be the same. The only thing I can think of that would by policy initiate this action, would be if support decided this based on buy shipping method (not Amazon Buy Shipping) or the actual arrival scan date past ship by date. Certainly frustrating when Amazon does not follow their policy. Good luck.

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I don’t think the buyer not contacting you is relevant here. What does matter is that they asked for a return, had it approved, got a label and then didn’t send it back.

Personally, I would let sleeping dogs lie at this point. There’s a chance Amazon will pay the claim themselves, saving you the hassle of having to take the item back.

If Amazon decides against you, then appeal it and say -
The buyer requested a return on xx/xx, which was approved and a pre-paid (if so) return label issued on xx/xx. The buyer has not yet returned the item. The buyer is not eligible for a refund until they return the product. This A to Z claim should be denied and the buyer instructed to follow Amazon policy and return the item using the return label they were issued on xx/xx date.

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If a customer opens up a return, that is considered first contact.

This is what it says under Amazon’s A-z claim policy:

  • Item does not meet customer expectation: If the customer has an issue with the condition of the item, Amazon directs the customer to file a Return Request to alert you of the issue.

I would respond to the A-z claim and inform the Rep that the item has not yet been returned. You will issue a refund according to policy once the return has been received and to kindly close the A-z claim.

Include your return address and the return tracking info (carrier and tracking #)

Respond to an A-to-z Guarantee Claim

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Thank you, I replied as suggested, waiting on decision:)

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Any update @BennyMac ?

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Nope, still under review…thanks for checking in though:)

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Amazon withdrew the A2Z claim and told customer to return the item for a refund first :slight_smile:

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Now the plot thickens, how should I reply to customer (I’ve had no contact from them so far)

Full back story (my thoughts in bold, I have not replied yet):

Purchased 5-7
Return Request 6-2 Auto Authorized return, they requested replacement but never returned it, so Amazon cancelled the Return 5 days later.

They filed an A to Z on 6-11, I successfully got Amazon to withdraw the claim.

Tonight 6-20 I get an email: “Amazon Payments customer inquiry: Received Damaged, Defective, or Wrong item” <----strange topic heading, is this a precursor to a chargeback?

Customer states “There are 3 different pieces of this set that were broken up on receiving it. I requested a replacement, which Amazon said they would send to me, after which I could return this one, but I never received a replacement. this is not how this works for a FBM order, it has to be scanned before Amazon releases the replacement order to us Since this was my son’s birthday present, that was ideal so he didn’t feel like we took his present away from him after giving it to him. kinda sucks, but that’s how it works When it comes as a long time and I never received a replacement, I requested a refund, and the seller was not helpful with that process no, you filed an A to Z and I fought it. I’d just like a replacement and to send this one back. It is the only XYZ brand we have ever had that arrived damaged. Very odd that 3 pieces of the same set are damaged.” customer included pics that show hard use of the toy, clearly broken while played with, they are hoping for a free replacement toy

Order is $125. I cannot get any sort of credit for it. In used condition, it is literally trash at my end, I cannot re-sell it I can tell them to return it for full refund, and I am going to incur the return shipping cost, or I can tell them to keep it, take my licking, and move on. Unless someone else has a better idea?

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At this point I would probably refund and move on. Customer isn’t going away, although they have not done themselves any favors (ie, wanting a replacement before returning the original, good luck dude…) I don’t believe the not wanting to take it away from the child if it’s a broken toy? But I’d be in the place of not wanting this living in my head any more since you can’t recover any value even if you do get it back.

Here’s what I would do:

Send them a return label, and wait for it to be returned. At that point either refund (with restocking fee) or replace. Honestly I doubt they will ever return it.

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For these folks, no refund without return. I know that puts you out, but they need to follow the rules. Send them the return instructions, return label, and instructions for reordering if they choose.

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It’s possible they called Customer Support and the Rep told them this ↑↑↑ and gave them incorrect info instead of just relaying the message to you. (FBM replacements are handled differently than FBA)

Regardless, when customers request a replacement for FBM orders they receive instructions; so it’s not your fault if they failed to read them.

This is what I have an issue with…↑↑↑
Why wait so long to request a replacement especially if it was a gift? (almost 3 weeks)
Her message also indicates she gave it to him; It would make more sense if it was discovered broken after her son opened the gift, but she said it arrived damaged. Lastly, who gives a broken gift?

Under your Manage Returns page does the return still shows as open with a tracking # (unused) or is it closed due to the replacement not being sent?

The return window is closed so it would need to be manually approved with a return label. You could charge a restocking fee and include a good side-by-side photo of a new versus what was returned as evidence to dispute the return reason. If you go this route she could open another A-z claim.

To be honest I’m not sure what I would do; it would depend on what mood I was in and if I wanted to stand my ground or just refund and be done with it.

Whatever you decide, keep the response/message simple and short, don’t engage or ask any questions.

As mentioned by Pepper there’s a good chance they won’t return it if you simply attach a return label with a brief message/instructions.

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Seconded.

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I emailed them back and told them that the FBA return is different than the FBM and briefly explained that we don’t get the “replacement” order to fill unless they return the original, that the Amazon system has automated that part of the return process and that’s just how it is.

I told them that I do not have the item in stock to offer a replacment at this time, but offered to get them replacement parts for the set that they theoretically received damaged (a figure and a couple parts of the vehicle), or I would be happy to accept the item back for a full refund if they’d like to go that route instead. I asked if they were able to print off the UPS label that was generated when they requested the return, or if they needed me to provide a new one. I was polite and offered to assist in any way that I could.

I won’t charge a re-stocking fee, it’s just asking for an A to Z. They could probably do a chargeback, or leave negative feedback, but that’s a risk at this point.

We’ll see what they say:)

Thanks guys!

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Keep us posted. :wink:

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I have a question that goes along with this post. I have had several A to Z Claims recently that people have not sent back the product until they file the A to Z. As soon as we receive them back we process the refund however Amazon still counts this against or defect rate. Is there a way to appeal that as I feel it should not count against us as the customer filed before the return.
Any help would be great.

Welcome RebeM. More information is needed. Did the buyers contact you prior to returns or A-Z? Did the buyer submit a return request thru their “orders” or were they auto authorized returns? (which leads to the question…do you sell on “Marketside” or “Handmade”?

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So the way I was always taught is you fight the AtoZ while the item is being returned. AKA reply to the AtoZ with:
“Please close and deny this AtoZ as per Amazon Policy. A refund will be issued once the item is returned.”

I’ll be honest I haven’t had to do this in some time so I don’t know if this is still “the way” but it always was the way in the past.

I hear you and this is a major flaw in the Amazon AtoZ system and has been for years.

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