We work hard to earn and maintain customer trust, meaning that safety is a top priority for us. In 2021 we invested more than $900 million to protect our store and our customers, building robust safety and compliance programs, and we continue to invest for our customers. We want them to shop with confidence and, if ever a customer has a concern, they can contact our customer services team and we will investigate. Amazon offers customers hundreds of millions of items – all of which we require to comply with applicable laws and regulations – and our objective is always to block unsafe or non-compliant products from ever being listed to our store.
In 2021 Amazon employed more than 12,000 people - including machine learning scientists, software developers, and expert investigators - who were dedicated to protecting customers, brands, selling partners and our store from counterfeit, fraud, and other forms of abuse. And in 2021, our teams proactively blocked more than four billion suspect listings for various forms of abuse, including non-compliance, before they were listed to our store.
Our tools use natural language processing and machine learning, which means new information is fed into them daily and they learn and get better at proactively and automatically blocking suspicious offers. When a concern arises, we move quickly to protect customers and work directly with sellers, manufacturers, brands, and government agencies. Additionally, any Amazon employee can pull an ‘Andon Cord’ if they receive feedback that a product is unsafe or non-compliant. Pulling this ‘Andon Cord’ immediately triggers an investigation, and the product will be removed from our store if it is unsafe.
We are in close contact and work regularly with European regulators and market surveillance authorities. The information we share helps them identify trends, and in turn we listen to feedback so that we can continuously improve our product safety and compliance programs. We see data as key: a better mutual sharing of data that is complete and actionable is important to inform proactive systems, understand trends and where action may be needed, and help enforce against rogue actors. We are also active in industry working groups and committees that are dedicated to developing new solutions and guidelines that will benefit all retailers and consumers. We engage with a broad range of other stakeholders, such as consumer groups, striving to understand common goals, such as developing publicly available product safety guidance for consumers and sellers.
In addition, Amazon is a founding signatory of the EU Product Safety Pledge, which highlights our existing commitment to, among other provisions, proactively monitoring recall websites, making it easy for customers to contact us about potentially unsafe products, and pledging to remove any potentially unsafe items that have been flagged for us from our store within 48-hours. The Product Safety Pledge formalized our efforts to act with precision and speed on product safety issues, build collaborative relationships with regulatory agencies, and improve overall customer safety.
All of these initiatives and actions - as well as our human expertise and technology - are there to keep our customers safe, and safety will always be our priority.
To view the full interview with Dr Jeremy Opperer on Amazon’s commitment to product safety, click here.
Read more about our continued efforts to ensure customer protection on our stores.