Go read, it’s quite enlightening. Via the Washington Post:
SEATTLE — When Jeff Peterson’s Amazon seller account was hacked recently, he frantically tried to reach Amazon’s customer service for help restoring access to his sports memorabilia store.
As nearly 4,000 fraudulent orders rang up, the Garden Grove, Calif.-based seller called Amazon’s seller support line, phoned its main customer service number, reached out via a separate account on its Canadian site, and even sent an email to chief executive Jeff Bezos. Nothing worked.
“I can’t get any answers from Amazon at all to fix this,” Peterson said, as negative reviews of his service accumulated, decimating his business.
One thing he hadn’t done was pay as much as $5,000 a month for a program Amazon offers sellers as a way to get quick help from a real person.
Amazon has become a powerful marketplace alongside its role as an online retailer, with more than 2.5 million third-party sellers who have become global businesses on its platform. Early on, Amazon compelled sellers to use its warehouses to guarantee speedy Prime shipping, in addition to other programs that largely benefited consumers. But now, sellers and former employees familiar with Amazon’s internal strategy say the company is increasingly focused on boosting its profits on the backs of its sellers — often without any clear upside for customers.