Apparently Jeff Bezos does care. I just got off the phone with one of his assistants, she read my blog entry and here is roughly what she had to say:
- The person who originally took down my review shouldn't have done so. He is a newer employee and was unfamiliar with Amazon's Feedback Removal Policy. She apologised for this and took full responsibility that, as a company, this shouldn't happen. The rep in question will receive additional training to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. She was very clear that, except in the cases outlined in their policy, Amazon does not remove consumer feedback, whether positive or negative.
- When I called yesterday and was told my feedback violated their policy, the Seller Department did not actually look into the specifics of my file, despite being asked to do so by my customer service representative. They looked at the notes written by the person who had removed the feedback and assumed he'd done everything by the book. She was very clear that they should have looked into things in greater detail, she said that they intend to address the issue and will do their best to ensure that processes are reiterated so that this kind of situation is avoided in the future.
- They were already aware that there was a glitch in the system and that instead of receiving an accurate message saying "Amazon has removed your feedback" it currently implies that the customer has done it, which is what made me think that my account had been hacked. They have now escalated the issue and hope to have it resolved quickly.
So despite absolutely and utterly flubbing my case, here's what Amazon did right in the end:
- They paid attention to social media and took my complaint seriously. They took the time to read about my experience and they had someone personally respond to me who was actually in a position to speak with authority about the situation.
- They apologised and admitted they were in error and hadn't followed their own policies and procedures. Although they gave a few reasons for the errors, it didn't feel like they were making excuses. They also told me that they are taking steps to correct the problem with their process and that my unfortunate experience was being used as a learning opportunity.
- They clearly stood behind the importance of consumer reviews, particularly of third party sellers. The person I spoke to understood the policy inside and out and spoke passionately about how important it is to Amazon.
Thanks to everyone who commented, shared the original post and Tweeted about this. It was heartening to get such a supportive response.