How to Manage Negative Reviews on Amazon

understanding customer ratings

Nobody wants negative reviews. However, sellers and brand owners cannot please every one so these are inevitable. The only way to avoid the impact of negative reviews is to handle them appropriately. 

In a previous blog post, you learned why customer reviews are crucial to a business.Dealing with negative reviews can be time-consuming and frustrating. But we can learn a thing or two from these reviews. These honest reviews let you know all about their experiences and you can build upon those experiences and turn them around. 

Reviews vs Feedback: What’s the Difference?

Before we move on to dealing with negative reviews, it is important to determine the difference between customer reviews and customer feedback. 

Simply put, customer feedback talks about the overall customer experience about your products such as packaging and shipping, customer service and professionalism, and whether they would like to buy your products in the future or recommend them to others. Amazon feedback affects your Amazon Account Health metrics and your ability to win the Buy Box. 

Customer reviews, on the other hand, talks about what a customer thinks about your product and how useful or beneficial they find it. Although reviews do not affect your account health, it affects how consumers perceive your brand. Customers read product reviews because these are shared by people who have already tried the product. 

Amazon reviews are determined by 1 to 5 star ratings with 5 stars being the highest. Customer feedback is rated on a scale of 1 o 5 with 5 being the highest. 

How to Handle Negative Reviews

There are 2 acceptable ways to handle negative reviews as outlined by Amazon’s Customer Review Guidelines. 

First, Amazon allows sellers or brand owners to send a pre-set message to the buyer. They can ask for clarification or offer a refund to compensate for the damage. You can send a follow up message after the customized message but make sure to follow Amazon’s messaging guidelines. 

On the right side of the negative review (1 to 3 stars), you will find a link that says Contact Customer.

contacting customer who gave negative review

After clicking the link, you are presented with 2 options:

sending a message to Amazon customer

Here are the the message templates that will be sent to the customers:

message template for Amazon customer for refund
message template for customer, clarify issue

Second, you can request the review to be removed by Amazon if it meets the following criteria:

  • The review is NOT about the product but about the seller or something else.
  • Comments on comparative pricing, product availability, or alternate ordering options are not allowed. For example, customer says that, “I saw the same item for $5 less selling on Walmart!” 
  • Content that is libelous, defamatory, harassing, threatening or inflammatory (e.g., profanity and hate speech).
  • Content that is obscene, pornographic, or lewd, or that contains nudity or sexually explicit images.
  • Sharing personal identifiable information such as email addresses or phone numbers. 
  • Drowning out opinions by posting from different accounts or coordinating with others.
  • Promotions of products, incl. URLs
  • Offering or requesting compensation in exchange for content 
  • The review is from a competitor.
  • Review is from a family member of the seller or the brand owner. 
  • Several negative reviews by the same customer for one product.

You can click on the Report Abuse button or send an email to Include a screenshot of the review and why it should be removed. 

Previously, sellers or brand owners can comment publicly on the review and ask the customer for clarification. However, since there are limitations to this. Sellers cannot provide an email or contact number or offer refunds. Also, buyers do not get notifications that someone commented on the review that they posted. This option has already been removed.

How to Avoid Negative Reviews

Your primary goal is to avoid negative reviews. The best way to do this is to conduct quality checks and make sure that your products are as indicated on the listings. Avoid giving false promises and false information about your products. 

Another way is to make sure that you address all customer concerns, whether they are negative or positive, in a timely and appropriate manner. Even though the customer is unreasonable with their claims, you still have to empathize and acknowledge their experience. 

What you should NEVER do is to specifically ask the customer to remove the negative review and promise them a refund or a freebie. However, if the product was clearly damaged, you can offer them a refund just to compensate for the damage but not to remove the review. Oftentimes, customers would be kind enough to revise the review after you have addressed the issue. 


Customer reviews can make or break your brand. Not all negative reviews will have a negative effect on your brand. In fact, when addressed properly, customers will appreciate the service that you gave them in handling their issue. This builds trusts and gains the loyalty of the customers and they will surely share their experiences with others. You can also learn from your customers reviews and use these to improve your products and services. 
Do you have questions about managing your account health? Give us a call or send us a message and we’ll be glad to help you out!

managing negative star ratings

“When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed.”

Indra Nooyi, Indian-American Business Executive, former CEO and chairperson of PepsiCo. 

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