Suspended – One Man’s Story of Losing His Amazon Account Part #1

It was a beautiful May evening and I was playing golf at my favorite golf course. I can clearly remember that I had just shot a par on hole number 7 and I was changing the song on my phone. Out of habit, I tapped the mail icon and my new messages loaded onto my phone. I had three notifications of items shipping, two work emails, and one email that I wouldn’t have expected to see in a million years:

“Chris: Your Amazon.com Selling account has been suspended”

Needless to say: My golf game went to hell in a hand basket and I just wanted to get home to figure out what in the world was happening. How could my account be suspended? I follow almost all the rules and I am a seller with over 300 5-star feedback and impeccable seller account health. Why in the world did I get selected to deal with all of this?

Here was the reasoning I received from Amazon: “A review of your account indicates you have listed against detail pages that do not exactly match your items.”

Ok – That should be an easy fix. I will removed that item from my inventory and never sell it again. Easy enough.

In the heat of the moment, I went home and draft a very concise appeal letter and sent it to Amazon to try to fix this issue as soon as possible. I sent them the letter and the next day I got this response:

“We appreciate the information you have provided. However, a review of your account indicates you have listed against detail pages that do not exactly match your items.”

No shit – I just told you that I messed up (Tip #1 – Always accept blame). I clearly explained how I would fix this issue now and moving forward. What else do you want from me?!?!

So I submitted the letter again (thinking that maybe they just didn’t read my Plan of Action). I got this response:

“Before we can consider reinstatement of your selling privileges, please provide us with a detailed account of the steps you will take to ensure your listings comply with our policies. We will then review your plan and determine whether to reinstate your privileges.”

Now I am getting pissed. In my opinion, Amazon isn’t even reading my Plan of Action. I sent a very clear set of steps (even labeled it PLAN OF ACTION) and they are telling me to send them a plan of action.

So I response again. And I got this response.

“Upon careful consideration, we have decided not to reinstate your selling privileges.
Any remaining funds may be reserved for up to 90 days from the date your selling privileges were removed. After 90 days, the funds will be disbursed, provided we do not receive charge-backs or A-to-z Guarantee claims against your sales. If you have further questions about your disbursement, please write to payments-funds@amazon.com.”

So now I am on a war path with Amazon. I take a step back and take a deep breath. At this point, the only people that know my account is suspended are my wife and my father-in-law (because he was in the golf cart with me when it happened). I decided to reach out to my good friend Nate McAllister and ask him for his advice on this. He helped me craft a very nice appeal letter (looking back, I should have reached out to him first before writing my own). And I sent it to Amazon and got this response:

“Upon careful consideration, we have decided not to reinstate your selling privileges.

Any remaining funds may be reserved for up to 90 days from the date your selling privileges were removed. After 90 days, the funds will be disbursed, provided we do not receive charge-backs or A-to-z Guarantee claims against your sales. If you have further questions about your disbursement, please write to payments-funds@amazon.com.”

Really!?!?! You are just sending me a stupid form letter. That’s it. I want to punch the first person I see from Amazon. I send in the following response:

“Could you please inform me of the reason why you have decided not to reinstate my selling privileges. I have provided a specific plan of action and removed all the inventory that was listed under the wrong ASIN. “

Their response:

“Upon careful consideration, we have decided not to reinstate your selling privileges.”

So I decide to pull out the big guns. I read an article that said you can email jeff@amazon.com and he will read your email (or someone on his staff will). After sending my request to Jeff, I get this from Amazon:

“Thank you for your email regarding your selling account.

Jeff Bezos received your correspondence and asked that I respond on his behalf.

We appreciate the information you have provided. However, a review of your account indicates you have listed against detail pages that do not accurately describe your items or are not in accordance with our Condition Guidelines, or that items were expired.”

The number of detailed emails I sent after I received that email was a little crazy. The final response I got from Amazon was:

“Thank you for writing.  After a review of your account by an account specialist, we have decided not to reinstate your selling privileges.

We regret we are unable to provide further information on this situation. Further correspondence regarding the closure of your selling account may not be answered.

The closure of this account is a permanent action. Any subsequent accounts that are opened will be closed as well.”

That was it. They weren’t going to respond to my emails moving forward. I was stuck with 3,000 units of inventory in the FBA warehouse and they were going to hold all of my money for 90 days.

Tune in next week to find out what I did next (isn’t the suspense killing you).

CW

5 thoughts on “Suspended – One Man’s Story of Losing His Amazon Account Part #1

  • September 26, 2015 at 10:32 am
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    Wow, cw.

    Why would you ever bait me into reading PART of your saga?

    I opened your email to get a short story not serial…

    I think I know the answer….

    My response to this email is.

    “Chris: My following of your material has been suspended”

    NO BAIT AND SWITCH, no wonder they suspended you!

    Reply
    • September 26, 2015 at 12:47 pm
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      It says Part #1.. you didnt read, do you work for Amz? 😉

      Reply
  • September 26, 2015 at 7:49 pm
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    what was the item and what was the issue?
    If I know what made you in trouble, and I can prevent same thing happen to my own account.
    I don’t want to go through my amazon account closed just without warning.
    I hear all the time that amazon account is just closed without warning, and I am in fear that same thing happen to me.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2015 at 8:28 pm
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    Perhaps a great reason to get that second account approved while still in good standing and work on other marketplaces, including your own e-commerce site, which should be the end-game. It’s just that the bar to entry is so low, and the candy so delicious-looking that it’s hard to leave that money on the table.

    Just don’t be distracted from the ultimate goal of a stable income in areas that you control. That means diversification.

    Chris, I look forward to the conclusion of your saga. Will the Hero save his business, will Chris reclaim his inventory, will Amazon EVER actually read support emails?

    Reply
    • September 27, 2015 at 12:50 pm
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      I need more details on what your offence was. Obviously youbwere pulling something at least a little shifty to boost your rank. Having trouble findingnany empathy without more detail.

      Reply

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