Closeup of a businessman pointing towards five gold stars.

Brands Can Now Contact Customers Who Leave a Negative Review on Amazon

Ryan Faist

Ryan Faist, Channel Key

January 31, 2022

When it comes to online shopping, reviews matter. According to Spiegel Research Center, 95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase. Of course, as a seller on Amazon, you will inevitably run into negative reviews. Such is the nature of e-commerce. While most shoppers are aware that virtually every product – regardless of its quality – will always have a few bad reviews, it is important for brands to manage negative reviews appropriately. Fortunately, Amazon has just made this much easier for brand owners in the U.S.

Amazon’s Strict Communication Policy

As part of selling on Amazon, sellers communicate with buyers both directly and indirectly. That said, the company has strict guidelines that limit how sellers can contact customers. Brands may only send Permitted Messages to customers who have contacted them about purchasing a product or who have already purchased a product. Amazon defines Permitted Messages as “communications necessary to complete an order or to respond to a customer service inquiry.” For example, brands may contact buyers for order fulfillment, additional information required to complete the order, return-related questions, invoices, and a few other clearly defined reasons.

For years, sellers have been asking Amazon for more freedom in how they can contact customers – especially those who leave a negative review. After all, dealing directly with an unhappy customer is one of the best ways to resolve a complaint. While it may have taken a while, Amazon finally responded to this request. In June of 2021, the retail giant surprised sellers with the following announcement:

We’ve been tracking feedback from brands related to the Customer Reviews experience. We heard that you love having a way to see all your reviews in one place and that it is nice to be able to filter by star rating and time period. You also shared your frustrations over not being able to directly engage with your customers who left critical reviews.

We’re now offering a brand-only benefit that allows you to reach out to buyers who purchased your branded product directly from you, who left critical (1-3 star reviews) via templated emails that allow you to communicate with buyers via buyer-seller messaging.

We believe this will build brand trust and help establish stronger relationships between you and your customers.

How Amazon’s New “Contact Buyer” Option Works

Before you get too excited, this update does not give every Amazon seller free rein to contact customers any way they want. Far from it, in fact. However, it provides U.S. brands enrolled in Brand Registry the ability to send templated messages to buyers who have left a critical review of three stars or less.

It’s important to note that this option doesn’t guarantee that a customer will modify or remove their negative review. It merely offers an opportunity to reach out to unhappy buyers and initiate a conversation to address the issue.

To use Amazon’s new Contact Buyer feature, login into your Seller Center Dashboard and follow these simple steps:

1. Go to Brands > Customer Reviews.

2. If you have a product with a critical review of three stars or less, click on the “Contact Customer” button on the right.

Screenshot of the Customer Reviews Dashboard on Seller Central.

3. Click on the “Customer review” option in the pop-up window.

Screenshot of the Contact Customer Dashboard on Seller Central.

4. A new window will open, containing a pre-written message from you to the seller that states the following:

Thank you for purchasing from our brand on On [date] you left the following review of our product:

[Buyer’s Review]

We’d like to address any issues or concerns you have. Your business is important to us so please contact us and we’ll work to resolve your issues.

Best regards,


The customer will be able to send an anonymous message by simply replying to the email. From there, you will be able to communicate directly with the buyer and address the issue that led to the negative review.


Until recently, brands had only two options for addressing negative reviews on Amazon: 1) comment publicly on the review, or 2) ask Amazon to remove it. While the former was the better of the two choices, a public comment thread between a brand and an unhappy customer risks unwanted exposure by drawing attention to itself and inviting further criticism from the buyer. At last, there’s a third option that allows brand owners to contact these customers directly with templated messages. While it may not be 100% freedom of communication, Amazon’s update to the Customer Reviews tool is a victory for brand owners who have long-awaited a more effective way to address negative reviews.

Mastering Amazon SEO Ebook Cover

Let us send you our free ebook

Mastering Amazon SEO: How to Rank on Page One of Amazon Search

Recent Posts

Illustration of Amazon's new Coupons dashboard.

Account Management

Amazon Rolls Out New Coupons Dashboard with Better Targeting Capabilities

Read More
Collage of Prime Video original shows and movies.

Account Management

How to Set Up Amazon Prime Video Ads and Reach Millions of Viewers with Shoppable TV

Read More

Channel Key News

Channel Key Acquires True Hero

Read More
Small shopping cart on top of a laptop keyboard.

Account Management

The 2023 Holiday Shopping Season Recap: Top Takeaways for Ecommerce Brands

Read More
Flatscreen television on a desk with a blue background.

Amazon Advertising

Amazon’s New Sponsored TV Helps Brands Reach Upper Funnel Audiences

Read More
Abstract logistics matrix with arrows and dots.

Account Management

Amazon’s 2024 FBA Fee Changes Provide Incentives for Brands

Read More
Seller Central screenshot showing Lightning Deal results.

Account Management

Cyber Week 2023 Recap: Revenue, Trends, & Client Data

Read More
A person online shopping for holiday gifts.

Account Management

Adobe’s Top 5 Consumer Shopping Predictions for the 2023 Holiday Season

Read More
Neon letters glowing on a brick background.

Account Management

The 2023 Amazon Cyber Week Checklist for Brands

Read More

Copyright 2023 Channel Key, LLC. All Rights Reserved