What About Negative Feedback on Pricing?

by Jonathan Tombes, on October 22, 2013

We’ve all been there. You buy something and the next day (or even hour) you see an equivalent item for less than your purchase price. And you get upset.

Buyer’s remorse is a common experience. The act of buying raises your awareness of a specific item. After purchasing it, your brain continues to “lock in” on that target, which means that you are inclined to notice comparable goods. The trouble arises when instead of living with the decision – or even taking steps to return the item – you get angry. “I just got ripped off!” Or to shift from passive to active voice: “That seller cheated me!”

Will Amazon Remove it?

What happens when you’re that seller? Can buyers complain about the price they paid for something you sold? Or more to the point, if they post that complaint as negative feedback, will Amazon remove it?

The experience of one seller we know (let’s call her Char, because that is her name) is emphatic. Yes, Amazon will. The evidence is an email Char received from an Amazon Seller Support agent, responding to her concern about pricing-related feedback. In the note, the agent explains that the feedback is removable “since it exclusively talks about the experience of the buyer with the price of the product.” The email continues:

“Please be advised that in light of the recent changes in our Standard Operating Procedures we are now authorized to remove feedback that contains comments on the price of the product or price of the shipping only, provided that the entire feedback is still eligible for removal under existing Feedback Policy.”

Price: A Product Attribute

The logic of that statement is clear enough. A complaint about a price is a complaint about a product, or in particular, its value. Given existing policy, Amazon will remove negative feedback that is entirely about a product. So it makes sense for Amazon to remove negative feedback that contains comments on pricing, assuming it otherwise qualifies for removal.

Note, however, that this Amazon agent describes the decision as an application of recently changed procedures. This may not become a publicly stated policy. Another seller, asking Amazon about its rules on pricing-related negative feedback, received a boilerplate response simply listing the four standard cases for removing feedback:

  • The feedback includes obscene language.
  • The feedback includes personally identifiable information.
  • The entire feedback comment is a product review.
  • The entire feedback comment is regarding fulfillment or customer service for an order fulfilled by Amazon.

This interaction confirms the theory that negative feedback about pricing falls within existing policy. When requesting removal, you may nonetheless benefit from mentioning the “recent changes” in Amazon’s “Standard Operating Procedures.”