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Letter to the Editor: Is Amazon support slipping?

By Chris Dawson September 13, 2016 - 10:56 am

A Tamebay reader writes asking why Amazon support appears to be going down hill. Is it just their business, or have you noticed more of your calls being routed to the Philippines and the responsiveness of Amazon support slipping?

Letter to the Editor

amazon-supportI’ve noticed Amazon support grinding to a halt the last few months. Since May, a backlog has built up (see below). Whereas support requests used to be resolved quickly, in 2 to 3 days at most, now it seems more like 2 to 3 months. What could have happened?

In parallel, I’ve also noticed all my support cases handled, not by reps from European call centres, but from a new call centre in the Philippines. I understand new staff take time to train up but I question if there is more to it than that.

Amazon measure practically everything – if there’s a metric, they’ll find it. This has been a crucial part of their success. So I can’t help wondering is the level of support tied to any seller metric, e.g. revenue, number of cases, etc.

If I were managing a support team (or any limited resource), I would allocate resources my best customers got the best support. I’m happy our account is in good stead and I’ve not seen any official metric yet I’m wondering if our level of support has been lowered based on a metric. Has anybody else noticed support quality and timeliness fall off a cliff? Perhaps by being tied to this new call centre?

Here’s a view of our Amazon case log – never have I seen so many cases go unanswered:

Pending Amazon Action
12-May-16 Feedback removal
22-Jun-16 Feedback removal
20-Jul-16 Tax questions using Cross-Border Inventory Movement
08-Aug-16 Cannot send FBA inventory – EANs not linking correctly to ASINs
09-Aug-16 Feedback removal
14-Aug-16 Feedback removal
14-Aug-16 Feedback removal
22-Aug-16 Feedback removal
29-Aug-16 Other FBA issue – products not received correctly
02-Sep-16 Feedback removal
05-Sep-16 Merge product page request
07-Sep-16 Feedback removal
07-Sep-16 Cannot send FBA inventory – EANs not linking correctly to ASINs

  • Josh
    10 months ago

    Yes we recently went from a partnership to a Limited company and Amazon suspended our account telling us we had to start a new one, thus losing our feedback, listings etc. Having messaged Amazon to instruct the best way through this due to us needing to re-register all of our details on a new account, they are still yet to reply. This was over 1 month ago!

  • Amazon Seller
    10 months ago

    Certainly have seen a slip in service levels. I now call them or use the chat function as the email side of things is taking an age to get a response to.

  • Russell T
    10 months ago

    “If I were managing a support team (or any limited resource), I would allocate resources my best customers got the best support”

    I totally agree with that, however, I question why a company, such as Amazon, who make millions in profits would have such a limited customer support team.
    The time it takes them to respond is a joke, and many responses that I get show that the support team do not actually understand the problem.

  • SAM
    10 months ago

    I have some stock that has been stuck in “reserved” for weeks on end. Emailed Amazon FBA support transferred and has now been pending amazon action for a week now.
    These companies make fortune out of small business but all offer nothing short of terrible support to the sellers on their platforms.

  • Jon
    10 months ago

    I dont sell on Amazon but the last two purchases I made were cancelled by the selller because they said they did not have the item in stock even though they are still selling it right now. I purchased on June 6th & still don’t have the product & Amazon say they have no power to make the seller send the goods. Although Amazon support is pretty bad eBay support is the one that has fallen off a cliff. Top Rated seller support is now non existant. Every time I get the Philippines who are all undertrained & pretty much clueless. I hate the long silences while they think about the question. Half of them don’t understand what you are saying or echo what you are saying or they tell you what they are going to do & ask you if it’s OK. Way too overpolite. Just get on with it. It’s infuriating. On the other hand the whole process of phoning eBay support is now a complete mess & takes ages to get a human on the line. There was no problem getting through to eBay support but now it takes 3 times as long. Well I suppose eBay have always tried to mimic Amazon. eBayzon or Amabay. Useless communications either way.

  • 10 months ago

    Yes, customer support has deteriorated over the last year.

    It has coincided with them opening a new call centre, the staff seem to have no power to make any decisions. It’s okay if its a general support query, but if something has gone wrong, they are not able to fix it.

    I have a case still open going back to last Feb where we are due £3k in rebates. Despite 30 odd emails, no action other than we are investigating. They wouldn’t treat an end-user in this way.

    I’m trying to find a direct contact in UK customer support to complain and solve the issue, in the meantime, I urge everyone to issue 1 x star for support in the hope that Amazon will see the problem

  • Carl Stinson
    10 months ago

    I have cases opened for nearly a month now which are critical due to barcodes switched on 2 branded products, these were FBA products , thus causing double the problem and double the refunds ,products have been sold fine for over a year until some idiot changed the barcodes clearly without authority or checking manufacture information. the ramifications are dissatisfaction rate dropping to red, when the account is normally perfect metrically. desipte 30+ email exchanges , other staff are butting in and confusing the issue on support cases, senior manages and team leaders who took calls to resolve the issue have vanished into thin air like spinal taps 8th drummer. this is the second time ive had a long drawn out case, the first was £2500 of stock vanishing but stating delivered to amazon…. , after reading the letter to editor i can now see my suspicions are correct. i will be sending the Managing director a complaint and copies of the case notes. i suggest others do the same as this is the only real way to have your voice heard,ive had promises for the catalog team to correct the issue, recompense for loss of stock, reset metrics,total removal of feedback , non of which has come to light.

    i would suggest anyone contacting amazon by phone to do this simple task… record the issue in a message and play it down the phone it will help save your breath and sanity, as for what its worth you will only have to repeat yourself every time you call ..its strikes the mentality of a business who “goes silent” or speaks babble in the hope you just vanish into the sunset. yet sellers are dictated to by a metrically balanced system that does indeed have flaws…..”seller support” its also pays to keep close tabs on cases as there is also a habbit of them being closed and not dealt with.

    Pending Amazon Action 15 Aug 2016
    20:07 BDT
    Pending Amazon Action
    19 Aug 2016
    12:27 BDT

  • Richard
    10 months ago

    Yes support has gone downhill in the last 3 months. I posted something on the Amazon seller forum about this 4 weeks ago and have asked Amazon Seller Support to advise us as to what their service levels are to us as we get judged on everything as a merchant. They never respond to this request regarding their service levels.!
    We have cases currently ongoing which are upto 2 months old. When you ring them they can barely speak English and you never get anything resolved on the phone any more, they put you on hold for 10 minutes and come back to say they need to route your case to another department who we can have no contact with or in some cases they just cut you off.
    In a nutshell it is becoming a serious problem and with it coming upto Christmas I worry about how much further it will deteriorate.

  • Andrew
    10 months ago

    FBA support is appalling, I currently have more than 20 cases open and half of those are aged over more than a month.

    Irish fba support team are now few and far between.

    Warehouses are damaging / losing FBA inbound stock on a daily basis.

    They’ve also changed their policy on lost inbound fba stock from 72 hours post delivery to now 30 days. This just adds further delays and complications.

    • elvis
      10 months ago

      Good shout about the lost inbound stock. 30 days is an absolute joke. I wonder if it is to try and get the current number of open cases reduced?

  • elvis
    10 months ago

    Yes there has absolutely been a huge change in amazon seller support. I would always get replies, usually with a resolution, within 24 hours of opening a case. Now it is easily weeks before there is a response, and several cases where it has now been 2-3 months.

    Simply shocking.

    Jeff Bezo would break his heart if he knew what was really going on. It’s things like thi which start a downturn in a large company and the knock on effects can be business threatening in the long term.

  • Mr Dock
    10 months ago

    Support has gone down the drain over the past 6 months with no replies for weeks, it seems to be that the main issue is the FBA warehouses not getting back to the general support staff.

    I think the warehouses in the UK are being bombarded with support requests and this is the bottleneck where the warehouses don’t have the staff to carry out the tasks.

    There is also the catalog team who also take forever.

    I find using the new chat function is useful and if its a problem that can be solved without contacting the warehouse/catalog department they can usually do it straight away even if my ticket has been open for a week!

    Give it a try and use the chat option!

    • elvis
      9 months ago

      Do you have a link to seller support chat as I don’t see this option when contacting them?

  • Carl Stinson
    9 months ago

    We have also noticed high amounts of lost inbound stock and the sudden change from resolving recompense within a few days to a month. just a couple of months ago they had 200 units of one sku lost for 7-10 days before they finally updated stock. signed for by DIRECT_TRUNK . whomever Mr Trunk is he is certainly invisible as from entry into amazons FC stock could not be located for a unacceptable amount of time. then after several calls and a screaming match because some support staff just talk nonsense in the hope you go away or get cut off.. they finally find the stock..

    I wonder if tamebay have any way of voicing our concerns direct to amazon UK HQ with a petition of complaint and asking for a meeting at the Holborn offices in London. As the Good man already said we all have Christmas looming, and this current service level at Amazons FC and seller support is surely going to put people out of business with large consignments.Its a Disgrace , some might say Hypocritical how a company can measure sellers yet seems to have wild west rules when it comes to there own house… i have been put on hold in the last few days for 50 minutes and yesterday for 1 hr 14 minutes…..

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