Verified Merchant status was suspended a few weeks ago. Reason given was "excessive pin removals"... something I'd already contacted Support about many times as these were obvious AI errors or targeted harassment since they were well within guidelines. No support, just repeatedly pointed back to the merchant guidelines.
VM appeal #1 rejected, support similarly unhelpful... just cut & paste replies pointing to the Merchant Guidelines page.
When pushed, finally transferred to someone within that department and were sent 2 genuine human responses(!)... neither of which mention the pin removals or answer any direct question. Instead presenting two entirely new reasons for the VM suspension and considering appeal #2 now rejected, despite the fact that I specifically stated that I was contacting support to clarify and address before using the 2nd appeal.
First new reason given was a broken social media link on the site... valid & easy to fix, just never pointed out prior.
However the second new reason seems entirely unrelated, appears nowhere in the Merchant Guidelines, and seems entirely nonsensical... being at odds with pretty much all standard online marketing, pricing strategies, etc.
They first told me that the issue was with SALES that we were running not having specified terms and conditions, start and end dates, etc. Except, we aren't running any Sales.
As I explained to them, we rarely do so, instead preferring to price things reasonably and competitively rather than relying on more heavy handed marketing, etc. That for some products we use "compared price" on Shopify more inline with how Amazon seeks for marketplace sellers to do so... Showing MSRP or average online price or our own pricing on platforms like eBay, Amazon, etc. vs. our current asking price via the website. We aren't running sales, we're basically stating our price vs. MSRP/average price.
I received this as a response:
"We reviewed your website again, and it was rejected for sale violation meaning that the merchant's products are on sale with no clear end date.
Please display information regarding sales and discounts on your website."
Obviously, finally having gotten to human support that will at least give me something resembling a proper & personal response but which is far less than forthcoming or helpful... It's both unlikely to yield results and counterproductive to try to push them for further clarification or guidance. However, given what I've already explained to them, I'm really at a loss on how to satisfy this vague, unstated 'guideline' short of removing ALL comparative pricing from the website... something which is quite at odds with all online pricing/marketing strategies.
I did a search of the forums and found a few others had encountered something similar... though I have no idea if their sites were running sales or not... and there aren't any responses that aren't simply "contact support" or follow ups about the outcome.
Anyone here have any idea what the actual 'requirement' is, advice on how to address it, etc.? Do I simply need to add a section to our policies about how pricing is stated? Is Pinterest really trying to dictate pricing strategy to all Verified Merchants? or is this simply another random vague issue pulled out of thin air to avoid addressing the original issue/error that caused the VM status suspension?
They tried to close the ticket again... I replied asking to keep it open and that I was seeking clarification elsewhere for what a "Sales Violation" was since there was no information about it in the Merchant Guidelines, we aren't running sales, etc.
and suddenly, there's no violation... They response says they've reinstated it. Though that's not reflected on Pinterest thus far.
If true, I'm glad to finally be reinstated but still no answer to any of the questions asked... The reason for the original suspension, the mass erroneous pin removals, the 'Sales Violation', etc. Pinterest really needs to fix the support department as it kind of feels like inquiries mostly get random auto-responses and you just have to keep trying until you're today's lucky winner.
Hi @DomesticPlatypus , I'm sorry to hear this has been happening to you, I can see how frustrating you might feel. Did support assign you a ticket number by chance?
@PinterestFernanda, would you mind taking a look at this please? It will be helpful here and to anyone else who is having the same issue.
An update... I contacted support again after 'reinstatement' about it not being reflected on Pinterest and we told it could take up to 48 hours. Over 3 full days later, it's still shown as 'Needs Attention' and shows the same issue with no appeals.
The catalog is supposedly approved and appears to have been ingested but when checking the shop tab in the profile, the only products shown are a small selection of socks. There's also only a single category from the site vs. auto-generated by Pinterest... "Home & Office" which, confusingly, contains just 3 pairs of socks which aren't even in that category on the site.
I've reached out again to support. Hopefully someone just didn't flick a magic switch but I suspect the problem is going to come back down to the same original issues weren't actually addressed.
@michaelbliss thank you for your response and tagging in @PinterestFernanda. There is a support ticket (hopefully still open) but they've not provided the ticket #. I've just requested it in my follow up with them this morning.
New responses from Pinterest Support... told "upon further investigation, we'll need to escalate this to a different team... this ticket will be closed but, don't worry, someone from the appropriate team will respond again soon." -- Thanked them for their assistance but, not exactly being convinced I'd ever hear from that team or that the transfer wouldn't just mean starting back at the beginning, I requested the ticket # for reference. No response.
To their credit, I did receive a message from the other team within a matter of hours... but stating that the account is not actually reinstated. Told that it cannot be reinstated, same issue from the start despite Support's prior assertions about the causes and resolution.
Still no further clarification or response to questions about the erroneous Pin Removal issue that I tried to address & sought support for a year+ which it seems finally escalated to a VM suspension. No explanation for other causes I was given or the false assertion of reinstatement.
Told that the catalog will still be ingested, simply with the VM status removed. Questions about the fact the catalog ingestion is seemingly not working properly (nothing changed... but just a handful of socks) days after false 'reinstatement', etc. not addressed.
Apparently Pinterest Support is quite committed to maintaining their track record of never answering a single direct question.
At this point, even if the VM status is never restored.. as much time & energy as I've spent on this over the past year+... as much runaround as I've gotten from support... eventually leading to the impact on business, etc. I'm steadfastly committed to getting to the bottom of it and seeing that upper management is made aware & can address it for the future. Whether it's just an AI system error that Pinterest Support is refusing to acknowledge, targeted harassment which it is unwilling to recognize, this is unbelievable and remarkably consistent lack of actual support.
And here we are, another 7 days later. Still no actual help from @PinterestSupport
The last agent, despite still not answering a single direct question (maybe it legitimately is Support policy), did seem to genuinely try to be helpful. If nothing else, he at least actually responded to the content of the communications.
However, after I pointed out that days later the catalog was still not working properly (only the dozen pairs of socks & 0 items in all categories despite the catalog & ingestion showing zero issues) and that it was very much affecting our business, all analytics being down ~90% over the course of the month... He responded that unfortunately neither that or the Pin Removal issue were something that he was able to address... but that he'd transfer it internally to the proper departments.
Nothing from either of those @PinterestSupport departments in 5 days.
Ticket that was already opened via the Shopify Sales Channel about that catalog/shop tab issue and the fact that the catalog feed seems to be grabbing items specifically excluded from Pinterest (and all other sales channels)... No response from @PinterestSupport
New tickets opened on those issues days later when I hadn't heard anything, no response from @PinterestSupport
As for the boards here, I appreciate @michaelbliss' attempt to help. However, despite @PinterestFernanda giving kudos for being mentioned, there's been no response at all from Pinterest staff here either. I've seen some helpful responses from @PinterestIvania on other posts. But otherwise, it's unclear who @Pinterest someone might reach out to or tag in on a post here. The vast majority of moderator comments seem to simply direct people back to the same Guidelines pages or assuring them that Support will help them.
I love Pinterest and it's is a great tool for businesses when things are working properly & there aren't any issues... but there eventually will be. When they are, Pinterest "Support" has been amongst the worst I've ever encountered. From the many posts here and elsewhere, my specific issues and experience are far from unusual or unique.
It seems clear to me at this point that no matter how many times your inquiries are transferred, supposedly escalated to supervisors, etc. Pinterest Support is either not tasked with or simply wholly uninterested in providing answers & solutions to tickets opened by business users. The problem is systemic and self perpetuating... it's always another department's job or official policy not to provide any actual information or assistance. The only way that's likely to change is going to be making those outside and/or above the department aware.
At this point I'm assuming, at best, support will eventually respond but continue to be wholly unhelpful. So I'm moving on to ensuring Pinterest's leadership & board of directors are made aware and would encourage anyone experiencing similar issues to stop wasting your time and do the same.
Hi @DomesticPlatypus . Thank you for writing to us.
We understand your frustration and really appreciate your feedback on these issues. As much as we would love to help more regarding this, unfortunately there's not much we can do here on the Community considering that the support team is the one that can analyze your account and help you more with this.
Though, I will make sure to carry your feedback and present it to the team internally. All kinds of feedback really helps us make a better platform for everyone.
Please, let me know if I can help you with anything else!
Hi @DomesticPlatypus. Thanks for bringing this to our attention and sharing your experience on the community.
Unfortunately there's not much we can do here considering that the support team is the one that can analyze your account and help you more with this.
Thank you for your feedback on this situation, let me know if we can support you with anything else on the meantime.