Amazon, one of the largest online retailers in the world, has been facing criticism for its policy of declining to recharge customers’ credit cards in situations where third-party sellers issued a refund for undelivered products or when customers received a full refund after opening an A-to-z Guarantee claim against the seller for non-delivery and then receiving the products after a couple of days.
The sellers in question claim that when customers contact Amazon’s customer service to request a retro-charge for an item that has since been received, the customer service agents are telling them to keep the product and the refund as a “gesture of goodwill.”
This policy has led to accusations that Amazon is training its staff to act in a manipulative way, and that it is discriminating against third-party sellers. Furthermore, sellers have pointed out that Amazon’s policy seems to be different for items sold by Amazon directly, as the company is able to retro-charge orders for those items.
The sellers have also stated that Amazon’s customer service lacks common sense and that they fail to process simple requests. They have also contrasted Amazon’s customer service with that of Ebay, claiming that Ebay values its sellers more.
One potential solution that sellers have proposed is for Amazon to include a retro-charge button on the order screen, allowing customers to authorize a recharge without any interaction with Amazon customer service.
However, some sellers have acknowledged that Amazon’s policy may be motivated by a desire to ensure that customers return to the platform, as the company still charges fees(Sellers) for transactions even if a refund is issued. They argue that by giving away products and refunds, Amazon is encouraging theft and that ultimately, it is the sellers who lose out.
It’s worth noting that Amazon does charge fees for the use of their platform, so they are not directly losing money in these situations. However, sellers are the ones who bear the brunt of the cost when products are refunded or replaced.
Amazon’s seller policy states that customers must contact Amazon customer service directly to request a retro-charge and provide the order ID and authorisation to charge their payment method. However, the sellers claim that even when customers have followed this process, they are still being told to keep the item and the refund.