How an unhappy customer made me happy!

By Sharon Fussell, May 25, 2012

I know that feedback on Amazon is a contentious subject and one that has been discussed many times before.

If you receive a neutral/negative rating it is easy to lose sight of the fact that one or two of your buyers may be unhappy (for whatever reason) but that, by and large, the majority of your buyers are happy. Okay, not all will leave feedback, but you can conclude that in not leaving feedback they are effectively signalling satisfaction with the transaction.

I usually attract one or two adverse feedback ratings during the month. This equates to a mere fraction of the total sales made but Amazon still shows it as 1%.

The reality of feedback on Amazon

In reality one or two bad comments shouldn’t even register due to the amount of sales compared to feedback ratings but they do. They disappear after 30 days as one or two comments get immersed into the total of feedbacks left within a 30 day period.

Most negative feedback concerns the postal service but, as Amazon post out my sales using FBA, they remove any adverse feedback of this nature.

This week I received a feedback comment relating to an order that did not appear to arrive by the ‘expected date’. The customer appeared irate at this. Amazon responded to her comment by processing an immediate full refund.

Now, this item was sold for £25.99 and although I had noted the refund, I had no idea it was a refund for a ‘lost in the post item’ I just assumed the customer had returned the item. Because the customer had left a comment relating to the non arrival of her item, I was able to query the refund with Amazon.

Why? Amazon had neglected to issue me a full refund for an item lost in the post as per their FBA rules. So I was happy the customer had left a comment drawing this issue to my attention and making me over £20 plus fees etc. by way of refund in the process!

Amazon only remove feedback comments that relate to FBA so if I receive adverse comments on other issues, such as condition of an item, I ask politely, via email, if they will remove the comment. On the whole I am usually very successful as most buyers do remove feedback once I have explained why the comment they left was adverse. Some email and apologise if they left a comment that was unwarranted and remove it straight away.

One particular customer was not happy, she felt I had patronised her by asking her to remove her comment, left unfairly I felt. Apparently she was not happy with her book at all, and thus left a 3 out of 5 rating.

It appeared she had bought the book for a gift, and it had a mark inside. She explained she would not have bought it if she had known, especially as she claimed I had described as being in excellent condition. In fact, I had described as being in ‘very good’ condition and had indeed made a comment regarding the mark but she had failed to read the description.

In fact, we never list books as ‘exceptional’ as this is not a category – I don’t use it in descriptions either. I did of course send her the original description and explain that if she had of read the description, she may have chosen another book to buy as a gift (especially as she could have paid only a few pence more for a new copy).

I was quite aggrieved as she had the option to contact me to complain, before leaving feedback, allowing me the chance to redeem myself of any ‘wrong doings’ but she obviously opted not to do this, if she had done so I would have offered her a refund.

Just goes to show that no matter how you try you will never please every one!


What do you think?

You must be logged in to post a comment.