Amazon Tests a Paid Customer Support Model
Amazon.com is testing a paid customer support model. For small sellers, it may sound ridiculously expensive at $400 per month, but for larger merchants, that may be a small price to pay for help to resolve problems that impact their business. Amazon announced the initiative to attendees of its recent Women's Entrepreneur Conference in Seattle. The customer support program is called Seller Support Plus (SS+), and offers sellers a single point of contact known as a Seller Success Manager.
Total Retail's Take: Making people who are using your marketplace, off of which Amazon is collecting a healthy commission, to pay for support on that very platform is … well, let's just say nervy. It's analogous to having to pay the super to come and fix a leaky pipe in your apartment (after you've already paid the rent). Sellers are getting hit from both ends. But if anyone can get away with a pay-for-support model, it's Amazon. The online marketplace has clearly established its dominance, and sellers are forced with a choice: play by its rules, or don't play at all.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.