Did you know that 15 to 40% of online purchases are returned? And in the next few years, with the growth of eCommerce, the number of returns will hit the trillion-dollar mark?

Due to this rising challenge, businesses are striving to provide solutions against returns as more and more shoppers buy items online.

Amazon on its part introduced the A-to-Z claims Guarantee to help curb this problem. The initiative was brought about to protect customers and their wallets if they purchased an item from a third-party seller and something goes wrong, like late delivery or receiving the wrong product.

However, it doesn’t take much effort to stumble on numerous posts and forum topics about customers wondering how to file an Amazon A-to-Z claim or sellers having difficulty responding to one and winning them.

There are even incidences of customers trying to game the system using the A-to-Z policy.

So regardless of whether you’re a seller or customer, knowing how to file an A-to-Z claim, prevent it or win one is crucial to ensure you don’t get ripped off.

What is the Amazon A-to-Z Claim?



The Amazon A-to-Z claim protects customers that buy items sold and fulfilled by the seller directly. The claim covers two aspects – the condition of the purchased product and the timely delivery of the item.

If those aspects are unsatisfactory, customers can contact Amazon about the problem and the Amazon team will decide if the individual is eligible for a refund. Amazon put up this policy to protect its values and the customer.

Sadly, for sellers, having many A-to-Z claims, which are like negative reviews, can ruin the authority of the seller account and will hamper the ability to make sales.

As a seller, you don’t want to take A-to-Z claims lightly if you’re hit with one.

Even though it isn’t a knockout, if you receive too many A-to-Z claims, it’s a red flag to Amazon and they could suspend or terminate your account.

The Importance of Understanding Amazon A-to-Z Claims

Amazon only covers refunds for products shipped with “Buy Shipping Labels”. They also fund claims for damaged or lost FBA items based on their policy.The seller pays for anything else.

Most claims can damage a seller’s Order Defect Rate (ODR), except cases that have been classified as withdrawn, denied (closed), or granted (Amazon funded).

This places the seller in a tight spot, as they sometimes have to plead with customers to withdraw wrongful claims. And the urgency of the whole situation makes it worse.

Handling an A-to-Z claim isn’t a simple task, so as a seller you need to know how to wriggle your way out of one or preferably prevent it from occurring.

Why Does a Customer File an A-to-Z Claim?

When there’s a problem with an order, a customer can file an A-to-Z claim if they’ve contacted the seller about it and waited for the issue to be resolved within 2 days but it wasn’t fixed.

The two-day period gives ample time for the seller to resolve the problem.

The reason the customer needs to contact the seller first is to give each party time to resolve the dispute on their own before Amazon comes into the picture.

Customers can file an Amazon A-to-Z claim once they satisfy one or all of the conditions below:

  • The seller didn’t deliver the product in 3 calendar days after the delivery date or 30 days after the date of order. Whichever is earlier.
  • The product received was damaged, materially different, or the buyer changed their mind and returned it under Amazon’s return policy guidelines but they haven’t received a refund or the customer got a refund in the wrong amount.
  • The customer is dissatisfied with the quality of the services delivered by the third-party seller.
  • When a customer desires to return a product internationally and the seller doesn’t (1) offer a complete refund without requesting the product to be returned (2) give an address for the customer to return the product in the United States (3) make available a prepaid return label
  • If the customer was charged extra, for instance, by custom agencies for shipping to the United States alongside the dispatch and purchase costs paid, and the seller doesn’t cover those fees.

How can a Customer File an Amazon A-to-Z Claim?

To request a refund on eligible orders, you must follow the steps stated below:

  • Navigate to your orders
  • Find the order in the list shown and tap “Problem with Order”.
  • Choose the problem from the list
  • Click “Request Refund”
  • Input the comments in the text field
  • Click submit

Keep in mind that for customers, it may take up to a week for Amazon to investigate the refund request(s).


Amazon will inform the customer of what they decide through the email address of the customer’s account.

It’s important to note that this isn’t something third-party sellers should be involved with directly, neither should they be communicating with the customer during Amazon’s ongoing investigation of the customers claim.

If customers want to view their refund request status, they’ll need to find the order in the menu of the ‘Your Orders’ page and choose the “Problem with Order” option.

Customer Requirements for A-to-Z Claims

A customer has up to 90 days after the maximum estimated delivery date to ask for a refund under the A-to-Z policy.

It’s important to note that the A-to-Z guarantee doesn’t cover payment for services, digital items, and stored value instruments.

Plus, if a customer requests a chargeback with their bank or payment provider, they won’t be eligible under the A-to-Z guarantee for a refund.

What Can Sellers Do to Prevent an Amazon A-to-Z Claim?

Though there’s no certain way to prevent an A-to-Z claim, there are a bunch of preventive measures sellers can implement to increase the possibility of providing a positive customer experience.

Not all A-to-Z claims on Amazon are open-and-shut cases. And dealing with one is a lot harder than preventing it, especially if you aren’t in touch with the current Amazon claim policy updates.

So here are some steps to reduce a protective case:

  • Make it clear in your return policy that buyers may have to pay for return costs themselves.
  • Optimize delivery using a tracking service with signature confirmation.
  • Reply emails quickly, especially queries on order status
  • Confirm all dispatches quickly and put up the tracking number immediately.
  • Improve images and descriptions with accurate details and precise measurements.
  • Keep your return policy updated with realistic, well-thought-out rules.
  • Ensure that customers agree with the terms of your return policy before returning the item.
  • Keep delivery reports, use safe packaging, and change carriers if necessary.
  • Upgrade warehouse equipment and layout to avoid shipping mistakes and mixups.
  • Report inaccurate listings to Amazon and delist, blacklist, and dispose of problem items.
  • Put a cap on the number of messages you send to customers to avoid annoying them.

How Can Sellers Minimize the Number of A-to-Z Claims?

The Amazon A-to-Z claim page has a search bar and date sorting, which makes it easier for sellers to deal with an A-to-Z claim quickly.

As a seller, you can also see how the claim is classified after a decision is made, and point out any error to Amazon. There may be instances where you aren’t wrong, but somehow the system or the investigator didn’t pick up on it. You can bring this up with Amazon so the case is closed.

For example, if a buyer confirms the delivery of an expensive product, albeit late or with a perceived flaw but declines to return it.

If Amazon isn’t accountable for the refund, your next move is to ask the customer to withdraw the A-to-Z claim.

Keep in mind that even though the claim request process is straightforward for customers, the withdrawal process isn’t. And customers aren’t able to withdraw claims from their order dashboard, so you must guide them on how to go about it.

Make it clear to customers that they’ll need to inform Amazon that they’re withdrawing the claim and you won’t be able to do it for them.

Addressing an Amazon A-to-Z Claim - Best Practices

You need to be concise and prompt when making your appeal, as busy sales seasons will come and you don’t want to be behind on appeals at such a time.

Monitor your appeal status and claim count. Also, if after a successful appeal your claim status remains the same, it can still hurt your ODR score.

So contact Seller Performance to request that they ignore such A-to-Z claims when calculating your ODR. This usually takes up to 2 days, so you’ll need to be patient a bit.

With that said, there’s so much at stake, so ensure that your handling of Amazon A-to-Z claims is timely.

What Protective Measures can Sellers Take if a Buyer is trying to “Play the System” with Returns?

In certain situations, customers will attempt to “play the system” with returns. But how does this work? And how can sellers protect themselves in such scenarios?

Let’s use an example to explain this:

Company R sells camping tents through FBA. And one of their primary pain points is the triple hit fee:

  • 1st Fee: Company R must pay shipping fees when a customer returns an item
  • 2nd Fee: They have to cover the FBA Weight Handling Fee for the delivery and shipping returns to the fulfillment center.
  • 3rd Fee: Company R has to cover the shipping fee of the “unsellable” tents back to their warehouse.

This is frustrating for the seller when the customer tries playing the system by using the item for as long as they need it, say for a camping trip, then returning it stating it is defective.

So how does company R protect itself from buyers attempting to game Amazon’s return policy?

Unfortunately, sellers have little control in such situations because of Amazon’s buyer-friendly return terms.

FBA returns policy works in such a way that if the returned item is received in a sellable condition, the item will be returned to the vendor’s inventory.

If however, the item is received in an unsellable condition, Amazon will then decide who is in the wrong (the customer or Amazon), and reimburse per the FBA Lost and Damaged Inventory Reimbursement Policy.

What the seller can do is make the buyer pay return shipping on the product (rather than providing a pre-paid mailing label) and then inform the buyer that the product cost and shipping will be refunded if the item is defective.

If the product isn’t defective, the seller can refund the cost of the item after receiving the returned goods.

To prevent negative feedback in such situations, it might be useful to communicate your return policy with the buyer upfront so they understand they won’t get a free lunch.


Amazon A-to-Z claim guarantee was set up to protect the customer from negative experiences.

However, misunderstandings or miscommunications happen that may give the seller the short end of the stick and cause losses.

Like when a buyer tries to game the system or when the situation has been handled but the buyer’s claim is still up, giving the seller a poor ODR.

With the right steps as we’ve just seen, you’ll know how to protect your business or even prevent such situations from occurring.

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