Considering going to arbitration for refusal to reimburse FBA shipment

Good morning all,

Amazon recently closed one of my shipments after 90 days of inactivity, with 0 units received out of 1260. I opened a case with SS to have it investigated, but they refused to do so.

After a couple of attempts, I was able to get the case escalated, providing the original invoice from the manufacturer, as well as the POD signed by Amazon. An investigation followed, but the outcome was as follows:

For shipment FBAxxxxxxxxx, our investigation did not locate any inventory receive events that matched the inbound shipping plan or similar ASINs. Although the carrier provided documentation stating this shipment was delivered, we do not have record of adding inventory into the fulfillment network. This shipment remains ineligible for reimbursement at this time as indicated in the shipment summary in Seller Central.

Both the carrier and the manufacturer confirmed that shipment was delivered to the corresponding FC, as shown in the POD, and that they couldn’t do anything else. This shipment was worth over $4k, and I am now out of the product and the money. I’m wary of continuing to reopen and escalate the case, as I’ve seen sellers suspended for that very reason, and am not sure of how to proceed here. The only solution that occurs to me is arbitration, although I’m also concerned about potential retaliatory measures; maybe I’m just being paranoid.

Any thoughts?

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Aside from arbitration costing you a pretty penny in lawyer fees, I am not sure what they could/would do in this case.

I will leave the other part of your question to more seasoned fba sellers here.

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@Gandalf that’s awful and honestly suggests something shady.

Perhaps before moving ahead with arbitration, you could have your lawyer write to the legal department, simply requesting that Amazon reopen the investigation, and attach the proof documents?

I’m also going to page @VTR and @ASV_Vites.

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If you have a business lawyer you use, have them draft a letter first outlining the facts of the case and sent Amazon that FIRST, after that, Arbitration.

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Couple of questions…

Amazon partnered LTL carrier?
How long since delivered?
Automatically closed does not always mean lost, so they could just be stonewalling you while it sits in a trailer on the lot un-received.
[email protected] email used?

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May I also add 1 additional question,

How did you open the Case with Seller Support? Which link or Help Tree Links did you use to open the case?

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Answers to your questions below:

Amazon-partnered LTL carrier?
No, this wasn’t Amazon’s partnered-carrier (manufacturer paid for freight). I did upload the PRO # on Seller Central, though.

How long since delivered?
Shipment was delivered on 11/26/22.

[email protected] email used?
No, I haven’t used that resource yet.

How did you open the Case with Seller Support? Which link or Help Tree Links did you use to open the case?
I used the help tree with the following path: Fulfillment by Amazon > Inventory Shipped to Amazon (Inbound) > Other Shipment to Amazon Questions. I was only able to get this escalated by contacting the Amazon Seller Help team on Twitter.

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Does the shipment show anything under the Content Tab on the Shipment Summary?
This is where I normally open the claims for reimbursement.

Do you think the wrong department was looking into your claim.

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No, this went to what’s supposed to be the appropriate department (FBA). Also, the content tab just shows there’s been no activity on the shipment:

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It would seem his entire shipment has been lost without receiving a single unit which makes this a bit more complicated. Usually you can escalate to Missing From Inbound Team from the content tab of the shipment.

The case title should be something like:

Warehouse Lost Investigation into FNSKU: X00-whatever your fnsku is

And the content of the message in the case would be like this:

A case has been created for Amazon Selling Partner Associates to investigate.

Contact reason: Selling partner requested a Warehouse Lost investigation into FNSKU.

Information from the Seller:
FNSKU: X00whatever your fnsku is

It’s that simple.

The fact that you can’t open a case from the contents tab is a problem.

I believe without further acknowledgement legal action may be necessary but you always have to assess whether the cost is wroth the return.

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I have never had a shipment not received or Checked-In.

I will think about this situation tonight and post if I come up with any thoughts.
I cannot remember anything off the top of my head right now.

What does Shipment Events show?

click for Shipment Event image

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At less than 90 days on hand I would not consider arbitration. We have had inventory sit in a trailer for over 90 days both pre and post pandemic so keep that in mind. A signature of acceptance does not mean the trailer was touched yet, as absurd as that seems. I would be more worried if they only received part of the shipment than loosing all of it, unless the distributor failed to label correctly.

Reach out to the carrier and get the ARN appointment information of what was delivered on that trailer. Open a case outside of the FBA Shipments page, using all available information about the shipment tracking, delivery dates, signatures and stamps.

If it were an Amazon partnered carrier I would have you cite the part of the carrier program that makes it Amazon’s responsibility but that won’t work here.

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Thanks all for chiming in. No new info appears on the Shipment Events tab, and I already submitted documentation that includes the ARN appointment info, delivery dates and Amazon’s signature.

I’ve requested one more revision of this shipment with the team that did the escalations. If that doesn’t go anywhere, I’ll wait for a couple weeks to see if the load is found. If it’s not, I’ll probably have my lawyer send a letter to legal requesting reimbursement for the shipment.

What a PITA Amazon is to deal with some(most)times :disappointed_relieved:

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I would use the jeff email before spending money on a lawyer.

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Here’s my current fight, not near the scale of what @Gandalf is dealing with.
Definitely not arbitration-worthy.

One box of 60 units, Amazon partnered carrier (UPS);
image

So they note it as delivered and checked in on the Shipment Events tab but there is this on the Contents tab:

image

But they claim they received nothing. Like I sent an empty box??

I could not open an investigation from this page, it said I had to choose something in the status column but the thing I needed to choose was not there.
I did open a case under FBA-Other and they are claiming my invoice isn’t original - it 100% is. I’m not giving up. I reopened the case and sent them a new picture of the same invoice.

It’s ridiculous, their own documentation says they received it, they just didn’t count it apparently. That’s their responsibility. So sick of their unprofessional unethical m.o.

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It looks like someone just didn’t bother to count and/or record, but I wonder … is it possible the same type of data black hole that produces ghost listings could be losing receiving data?? Could the record of it being logged in be lost in an inconveniently timed glitch? hmmm there is no perplexed emoji.

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Use the reports and open a separate case under help and do not reference the shipment. Just point out the date there was a negative receipt of inventory and the warehouse from the ledger.

Looks like thi

So we would request reimbursement for the inventory lost from DAL3 on 27 Feb 2023 in our example.

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Thanks for the tip! I will try that if this doesn’t pan out - my last reply to the case is still pending Amazon action. Longer than the others have made it.

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I’ve checked the reports for both shipments, and they don’t even appear as “Receipts” in the list of events. After exhausting all options, my lawyer is going to send a letter to Amazon Legal requesting reimbursement for these 2 shipments. If they refuse, then we’ll have to go to arbitration.

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My case got closed again, so I am ready to try your method. Do you attach the report or a screenshot of it?
I used the Inventory Ledger Report and it does not have the Reference ID column, did you use a different report?

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