Amazon constantly evolves.
It was over the last year that we started seeing these types of complaints show up. At first, the process was frustrating. However, over the past year we have resolved EVERY single one of these complaints.
So, what is a product safety complaint?
Basically, this is a complaint received by Amazon (either through email, feedback or product reviews) that pertain to a safety issue they have experienced with your product. Like all Warning or Notification emails from Amazon they are incredibly strongly worded, but, in reality, have been really easy to resolve.
The first thing to realize is these complaints do not inherently mean that the product is dangerous. It could be related to confusion about how the product should be used. The next thing you have to understand is Amazon is obsessed with the customer experience. So, while this may seem like unnecessary coddling, their goal is to have happy customers who love shopping at Amazon.
Customer obsession is why we are able to sell on the world’s greatest marketplace. Amazon has truly built the world’s greatest customer base.
In this instance, these complaints could be equivalent to the traditional warning of (WARNING: HOT COFFEE) on a cup of coffee from McDonald’s. Amazon is hoping that we as sellers take this same type of precaution to preserve the customer experience and insure the customers both enjoy and use their products safely.
Identifying the Problem:
This is actually one of the trickier aspects of dealing with these complaints. Amazon wants you to research and address the complaint issue directly (they don’t tell you the complaint reason that you need to address).
To identify the issue, you can do a few different things:
1) Review your feedback – if someone left feedback regarding this product and had a “safety complaint” you have likely identified the culprit. However, this did not apply with any of the Safety Complaints that we had.
2) Review your buyer messages – you can search your buyer messages and see if you have any relating to the item in question. Again, this did not apply to any of our cases.
3) Review the product feedback – we reviewed the negative feedback for each listing, and in ALL cases found the actual complaint regarding the product.
So, at least in our case(s), we have been most successful in dealing with this from the side of reading the Amazon reviews. After you identify the issue, you can then proceed to finding out how you may solve the issue.
Developing a Solution:
In all of our cases, we developed a warning label that we ACTUALLY will be including in all units of these products. Two of these items previously did not require bags. As part of our Plan of Action, we are bagging all items and are including the Warning Labels in the bag.
To give you a more concrete example of what your warning label might say:
One of the items that we received this complaint on was a coffee maker. The primary issue? If the handle was loose at all, when you touched it, it would emit steam that would scald your hand. Here is the Warning Label that we created to help with this:
WARNING: Please handle with EXTREME CAUTION!!! This product may have a loose lid which could cause steam release and lead to SERIOUS BURNS!
We built our Plan of Action around the inclusion of this warning label with each package. This Plan of Action sufficiently addressed the Safety Complaint with this product, and we were allowed to sell on the listing again.
What Type of Plan of Action Should I Use:
We have a pretty simple template we feel addresses the major points of concerns. This template is not designed to be a “do this and you will get back in”, it is simply a layout to remind us which concerns to address. Here is the template that we use:
We are writing you today about our listing [INSERT ASIN]. We are writing to you address the product safety complaint in regards to this product.
Our product is purchased directly from the manufacturer, and we have attached invoices for your convenience in verifying the authenticity of our products.
We have identified the root cause of this complaint to be [insert root cause].
Our plan of action will help to prevent future safety concerns or issues related this product, by making customers more aware of this being a potential issue.
• [Address issue with any existing inventory]
• [Review Prep Guidelines – Institute a Company Change to Reflect the Root Cause]
• [Create Action Step that DIRECTLY addresses the Root Cause e.g. Warning Label – If you create a warning label, attach it to this and tell them you attached it]
• [Reduce Handling, Install Additional Review Point, Etc that will prevent future problems]
We truly do appreciate your diligence in this matter. Our goal is to provide the highest level of value to the customer, and this issue has given us the opportunity to review and further improve our internal processes. Thank you so much for the opportunity to allow us to improve.
Please let us know if you have any further questions.
We truly appreciate all the time you have given us with this situation.