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Merchant help > Resolving disputes

Customer service best practice tips

Introduction

Over the years, Amazon has built a base of millions of satisfied buyers by providing them with high quality service and being responsive to their concerns. When you add Amazon Pay buttons on your site, Amazon customers will expect the same high-quality customer experience from your site as they get from Amazon. Customers will expect:

  • Fast customer service
  • Clear policies
  • Easy returns and refunds
  • Easy-to-find contact information (email, chat, and phone)

To meet buyer expectations, we require merchants to comply with our policies. In addition, this document provides hints and tips that may be helpful as you strive to keep your and our customers satisfied.

Providing good customer service is in your best interest, in large part because a high-quality buying experience reduces transaction disputes, and can lead to happier customers and a potential for continued business with those customers. If a buyer is unhappy, and if it is too difficult for the buyer to find resolution, the buyer may file a dispute, and if a dispute escalates to a chargeback, the potential cost of resolution increases.

The importance of providing good customer service

Your customers need a clear and easy channel to contact you when there are issues with an order or transaction.

Try approaching your site with fresh eyes. How easy is it to get help on your site? At a minimum, you should have a Contact Us link and a Help link either at the top or bottom of every page on your site. Ideally, you should consider listing your customer service phone number, email, or chat link on every page as well.

In addition, there should be an easy-to-find section of your site that provides links to your:

  • Privacy policy
  • Terms and conditions
  • Refund and exchange policy
  • Any other customer policies that you publish

Handling returns and refunds

Of course you prefer for your buyers to make purchases, pay promptly, and happily keep the items that they receive. However, it is unrealistic to think that every buyer will be happy with every purchase. Making it easy for that buyer to return the item to you and to obtain a refund can help ensure that the buyer will continue to want to shop on your site. Even more important, it can help prevent buyers from needing to file an A-to-z Guarantee claim or a chargeback.

Verify that you have a readily-available FAQ or Help topic that explains your policies, and explicitly describes the steps that the buyer should take to obtain a refund and return an item to you.

Customer-friendly policies such as having a no-restocking-fee policy, and providing free return shipping, can reduce customer effort and lead to happier customers.

When disputes occur

If a merchant is unable (or unwilling) to deal directly with buyers to resolve purchase issues, and if the claim is covered, buyers have the option of filing an A-to-z Guarantee claim with Amazon.

Note: If one of your customers contacts Amazon Pay customer service with a problem, we usually ask whether they have contacted you directly to resolve the problem.

If your customer is unable to resolve the problem by dealing directly with you, Amazon Pay customer service will sometimes contact you on behalf of the customer.

Understanding Amazon's A-to-z Guarantee

It is important to realize that buyers who are not satisfied with their order can file a dispute under the A-to-z Guarantee. You will receive notification from us in an email, and also on Seller Central, and you must respond within the specified timeframe with the requested information (see the Amazon A-to-z Guarantee for Merchants for details about what is required of you).

We encourage buyers and merchants to work together to resolve issues. However, if you and the buyer cannot resolve the issue, we will use the information presented to us to settle the A-to-z Guarantee claim.

Be sure to respond quickly to an A-to-z Guarantee claim. Keep in mind that performance issues can affect the reserve policy in effect for your account. For details, see Amazon Pay reserve policy.

Links to A-to-z Guarantee policies:

Understanding chargebacks

A chargeback is a reversal of payment issued by the bank or credit card issuer, when a customer disputes a charge through their bank or credit card issuer (and not through Amazon Pay). A chargeback can occur when a customer has not received the items they purchased, has been charged multiple times for a single purchase, or is dissatisfied with the purchase and has not been able to resolve the matter with the merchant.

If a customer cannot resolve their issue with you, they typically contact their bank or credit card issuer to request a chargeback. The bank or credit card issuer will then notify the credit card issuer, which in turn will notify us.

Keep in mind that if a customer files a chargeback, the bank or credit card issuer will take the lead in resolving the issue, and as part of the process Amazon will present the relevant information you have provided to us.

If you choose to dispute the chargeback via Amazon Pay, you will need to respond to the email from Amazon Pay, and provide the information in support of your case. (Please see the Chargeback FAQ for details on what is required of you to handle a chargeback.)

Our Disputed Chargeback fee is £14 (excluding VAT) per chargeback regardless of the dispute's outcome. Amazon Pay will communicate with, and present the relevant information you have provided to, the credit card company or bank. If you have provided the required information and the chargeback is covered by our Payment Protection Policy, you will not be charged a Disputed Chargeback fee and Amazon Pay will not collect the chargeback amount from your account. The Disputed Chargeback fee will be collected regardless of the outcome of the dispute.

Note:

  • This information applies only to chargebacks that are not covered by our Payment Protection Policy. Under our Payment Protection Policy in the Amazon Payments Europe User Agreement — Merchant Accounts, we will not hold you liable for chargebacks and we will not collect a Disputed Chargeback fee if you and the transactions meet all the requirements of the policy.
  • If you process a manual refund after a chargeback is filed, but before it is resolved, there is the possibility that the bank or credit card issuer may still issue a refund directly to the buyer which can result in a "double" refund. You can check the status of chargebacks at any time in Seller Central.

See also:

Customer service best practices checklist

  • Update your Customer Service email address in Seller Central.
  • Update your Claims Notification preferences in Seller Central.
  • Make sure that you have a process in place for handling chargeback claims and A-to-z Guarantee claims.
  • Make sure that you have a process in place for regularly checking the buyer/merchant messaging system in Seller Central, to see if any customer communications have arrived for you.
  • Verify that you have updated your website pages related to returning items and obtaining refunds.
  • Verify that your customers can easily find contact information on your website.
  • Verify that you have a process in place for collecting and storing order details, in case a dispute occurs and you need to provide detailed information about your processing and handling of the order.
  • Create a matrix that helps you decide how to make appropriate decisions when a customer has a problem with an order. For example, determine for your own business what your monetary cutoff points are: that for any order under £xx.xx, you will immediately refund an unhappy customer, but for any order over £xx.xx, you will require additional steps.

If you have questions, Contact Us. We will be happy to help.