What is an A-to-Z Guarantee?
An A-to-Z Guarantee is a policy offered by Amazon to protect buyers when they purchase items from third-party sellers on their platform. It provides a way for buyers to seek a refund or resolution in case they encounter issues with their orders, such as receiving a damaged or incorrect item, not receiving their order at all.
When can a buyer file an A-to-Z claim?
As an Amazon seller it’s important to be aware of when A-to-Z claims might be made so you can work hard to avoid them.
Here are the reasons why a buyer might activate the A-to-Z Guarantee:
1. Late or Missing Deliveries
If a customer claims they haven’t received their package. The following conditions must be met:
- Three days have passed since the latest estimated delivery date or the tracking shows a delivery confirmation, whichever is sooner.
- The customer has contacted you, the seller, more than 48 hours ago, but you haven’t responded or resolved the issue.
2. Damaged, Defective, or Not as Described Items
If a customer received a damaged, defective, or incorrectly described item, and they have requested a return more than 48 hours ago, and you, as the seller, haven’t authorized the return request, an A-to-Z Guarantee claim can be filed.
3. International Returns
If a customer wishes to return an item purchased from an international seller, you must provide one of the following options:
- A return address within the United States.
- A prepaid return label.
- A full refund of the item without requiring a return. Please note that for authorized returns with an international return address, you, as the seller, should be given five days before a customer can request an A-to-Z Guarantee.
4. Closed or Unauthorized Return Requests
If a return request was closed or not authorized by you, the seller, or if a prepaid return label with an invalid tracking ID was provided, the customer can file an A-to-Z Guarantee claim.
5. Delayed Refunds
If a customer returns an item in line with Amazon’s Return Policies but hasn’t received the expected refund, the following conditions apply:
- Seven days have passed since the return was delivered to you, the seller.
- The return with the label provided by the seller was lost, undeliverable, or is being returned to the customer.
- The refund amount owed to the customer is specified based on specific timeframes, as detailed in Amazon’s refund policies.
6. Extra Customs Charges
If a buyer was charged extra (for example, by Customs authorities for a shipment sent internationally) and the seller didn’t cover those costs, an A-to-Z claim can be filed.
These points outline the situations and conditions under which customers may file A-to-Z Guarantee claims, and as a seller, it’s essential to be aware of these scenarios and respond promptly to customer inquiries and return requests to avoid potential claims.
How to avoid A-to-Z claims
In order to avoid receiving A-to-Z claims from unhappy buyers, sellers should work on the following:
1. Reliable shipping & logistics
The easiest way to avoid A-to-Z claims is to enroll in the Amazon FBA program.
This ensures your shipping and logistics operations meet the highest possible standards, and any negative experience will be managed by Amazon.
If you don’t want to—or aren’t able to—enroll in the FBA program and instead fulfill orders in-house, it’s essential to have systems and processes in place to ensure customer orders are shipped within expected timefames.
2. Accurate product descriptions
By describing the features of your product accurately, you’re helping customers make an informed choice before purchasing.
This can help eliminate instances of customers buying products only to discover they aren’t what they need, or indeed what was described.
Create engaging infographics to call out the specific features of your products and give customers key purchasing information as quickly as possible.
3. Protective packaging
Designing your product with packaging that not only looks good but also protects your product is key.
Delivery services won’t always handle your products as delicately as you may like, and having an extra layer of protection can help reduce damages and therefore A-to-Z claims.
4. Attentive customer service
Responding to customer inquiries as quickly as possible is another key to avoiding A-to-Z Guarantee claims. Whether it is you personally, or someone on your team, there should always be someone available to respond to customer inquiries within 24 hours in the working week.