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I am an Amazon seller and I am having a problem with my

Good morning. I am...

Good morning. I am an Amazon seller and I am having a problem with my Amazon account. For the past 2 months, my account advertising has been messed up. I've noticed a lot of questionable activity. One of my products was even deemed ineligible for ads. I have made several complaints and I was first treated as if I just didn't like the results. I was told to increase my bids for each keyword.Then a few weeks ago, I finally reached someone who took a look at my account and "reset" the ineligible product. But the suspicious activity continued. Finally, over the weekend, I was able to reach an engineer who looked at the back end of my account and said they believe I am being attacked by a bot. He said he was referring my account to the appropriate section for an investigation.So I waited a few days and heard nothing. Yesterday, I called back and got transferred to the engineering department. The guy who answered said that they are backlogged and short staffed. It may be 2 months before they even get to my case.In the meantime, the bot is continuing clicking on certain keywords and driving up my advertising budget. When I am out of budget, my products don’t show to potential customers.And because I am getting a lot of clicks but no purchases, Amazon is showing my products less often. One of my best sellers was ranked at 30k and I was selling 10-15 per day. Now I am ranked at 200k+ and I’m lucky if I sell one per day.Moreover, Amazon is charging me storage fees per unity because I am no longer selling products.The person that I spoke to yesterday said that once it is rectified, they will credit me the money wasted on ads but that does not fix the damage done to my ranking or compensate for lost revenue…and as I said before, this will continue for at least 2 months because they won’t even get to my case for 2 months!Is there anything I can do about this?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And when did the issue begin?

I live in Virginia. The issue began in January or so

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

Did you read my initial comment? i have called them several times and been sending screen shots about the issue

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Answered in 33 minutes by:
3/21/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,348
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. This appears to be a breach of contract based on the failure to perform within a reasonable time if it is going to take them two months to fix the issue with the bot. Courts regularly look toward the Uniform Commercial Code as their guide, since many states have adopted this code into their own statutes. Under UCC Section 2-309(1), the law says that each party has a reasonable time to perform if it is not expressly stated in the contract. What is considered “reasonable” is a matter of fact and depends on the circumstances, but it is an argument that you would have to make that it is unreasonable. Regardless, there is a legal basis for your particular claim. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract. It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to either go through an informal mediation or file a lawsuit in your local court. This website is also pretty cool because all you need to do is click, purchase, and download. Click here to get started. ​What other questions did you have for me today?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
While they I am waiting for them to address this bot issue, I am being charged excessively for advertising fees and storage fees. And at the same time, my products are losing ranking which means they are not being shown frequently to potential buyers, so I am also losing sales. Before this issue began, I was making over $2k per week but now my account is being drafted to pay for all of their fees. Is any of this (loss of sales or fees) recoupable?
You can recover your actual and consequential damages. Your consequential damages are damages that are reasonably foreseeable and objectively certain in light of the Breach. So things like lost sales and additional fees that pile up as a result or things that are recoverable.
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thanks and I apologize for the previous typo...
And what about future damages... I was ranked at 30k and now I have slipped to nearly 300k (and still falling). It took me 6 months to get to that ranking. The ranking is important because it determines how frequently buyers will see what I'm selling. At my current ranking, my products are showing beyond page 20 (so you know nobody is seeing them).After all the damage is done, I will have to work my way back to a decent rank before anyone will even see my products. That means paying a lot more in advertising for several months to get a good click:purchase ratio (along with paying storage fees). As that ratio improves, my ranking improves, my ad costs will lower, and my sales will increase. But to achieve all of this, it takes time and a considerable investment.

Future damages may be tough to get because those may not be "objectively certain" as far as damages are concerned. It's possible and probable a judge would figure that if you made it into the top 30,000 before, you can do it again, so it probably won't be compensable. Nonetheless, it is still something that you could argue that your loss of being near the top hurt your sales and if you can logically connect the two, that's what you can recover.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Amazon is based in WA. Does all litigation or mediation have to be done there?

In all likelihood, yes. You will need to check your agreement to determine whether you consented to some particular jurisdiction if you were to bring a lawsuit and I would strongly recommend trying to resolve this informally if you can, but typically jurisdiction is going to be proper where the defendant is.

Did you have any other questions for me today that I could help you with?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you so much! You have been a huge help.
Should I wait until the issue is resolved before formally complaining?
Do you have any other recommendations or suggestions with angles I should consider taking?

You're certainly welcome. It's tough to say whether you should wait. If you can whether the storm financially, then perhaps waiting would be wise because litigation will take a lot out of you. But if the financial damages are going to be too hard for you to keep your business running, then I would formally complain and get things resolved. Regardless, my best suggestion is to treat Amazon as if you're on the same side of the table. The more you make the more they make so just remind them you both have an interest in getting this thing fixed.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Excellent advice. Thanks!!

The pleasure is all mine! Unless you have additional questions, there’s just a few other things I’d like you to know before we wrap up this conversation:

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
nice pic ;-)

Oh, you're too kind. Thank you so much!

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
How do I save you as a favorite?Will this conversation be emailed to me?

Honestly, I wish I knew how to save a favorite, but from what I heard there's a button you can use to do so. Even if you can't, if you have a new question, you can always post FOR LEGAL EAGLE and the moderators will direct it to me. Also, the conversations aren't emailed, but they're saved for you when you log back in. Most people copy and paste it into a Word document to reference later.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Will do...thx

You bet!

Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
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