Feb 062013
 

Update (8 February): Joel Headley (Consumer Operations Manager for Google Maps) said: “This was an isolated problem, which was corrected.”

The horribleness of the customer service at Google, and especially the customer service for their free products is notorious and has a long and sad history. Google Places/Plus Local is one of those unfortunate products, which had to go a long way before getting the deserved attention on the support front. And while things are improving there, Google apparently still has a lot to do in terms of training their sales representatives. A user at the Local Search Forum shared an email from Google, which made a great impression on me. The email goes like this:

I tried reaching you earlier to brief you on the Google Places Page.
If it’s easier, please call me at this number 1-877-503-0842 (ext. 23920) to discuss your Places Page.

Please Call DO NOT Respond to this email as it will not be received.

You need to reclaim you Google Places Page or it will be set for removal for having no ownership.

LOW ACTIVITY
NOTES
1)Your Google Places
Page:
Go to www.Google.com/Places
Then Click “Get Started Now” (Blue Button under the lady on the
right)
Sign in with your email account : Once your signed in take note of your Total Activity.
MAKE SURE: Your listing is up to date

Your Impressions vs. Actions
Impressions are how many people searching for keywords
related to your business and Actions how many people click specificly on your
business.

To help with your activity check out your Adwords Express right above your activity graphs.
You should’ve recive a credit in the mail for you to use to help build and gain eyes to your business.
If you haven’t recieved yours in the mail feel free to contact me back and I’ll get one re-generated for you.
Video’s below are to help you gain a little knowlege about what Adwords
Express is and does.

How to Set up Your Adwords Express

Google AdWords Express: Local online advertising made easy

What is AdWords Express?

AdWords Express Stories: Connecting to customers

There is a $100 Credit availible to you that I can provided for your AdWords Express, contact me back via phone if you would like to use it.
Otherwise you should have recived on via email at some point or in snail mail.
Call me at 1-877-503-0842 (ext. 23920) for any other questions you may
have.

Talk to you soon”

The fact that there is no link to any non-Google property, the links that are provided are not tracking ones, and the phone number provided is an official AdWords Express number, leads to the obvious conclusion that this email was indeed sent by a Google employee. And this is probably the first time I see a Google sales representative using threats (the listing will be set for removal) in a sales pitch.

Overall, the email is badly structured and formatted, and includes a few punctuation and spelling mistakes. The potential reason for the removal (having no ownership) is invalid, based on the feedback of the user who manages the listing. The guidance on how to check the “activity” on the listing (apparently “low activity” is the other potential reason for removal) is incorrect. The explanation on what “impressions” in the Google Places Analytics are is also inaccurate.

It is very possible that this is not a template email, but rather one that was created by that particular sales rep. However, the questions this case raises are valid:

- Is the quality of training at Google really that bad?
- Is Google really having such major financial problems financial problems that they are hiring inexperienced and potentially cheaper labor force?
- Is Google really having such major difficulties selling their paid products and hitting their targets that their sales representatives start using threats to pitch?

  9 Responses to “Google Threatens to Remove Listing While Pitching AdWords Express”

Comments (9)
  1. Hmmm – that’s scary. On the bring of the new ‘phone support’ for local listing issues too… not sure what’s going on :

    • Hi Andrew,

      It definitely sounds scary. Especially having in mind that Google+ Local is obviously a free product and all content therein is property of Google, i.e. there is nothing one could do if Google decides to pull the plug of their listing.

  2. Google cares too much about the user and not the business that made them wealthy and a search engine conglomerate.

  3. I’m still not sure this is from Google. I’d seen the thread in Linda’s forum, of course, but the question of authenticity still seems up in the air to me. Maybe I’m missing something, though.

    Thanks for starting a good discussion, Nyagoslav!

  4. It was from Google and confirmed by Google personally to me when I reported it. They told me they dealt with the situation, but I’m not sure how. Hope I didn’t get someone fired.

  5. I received a phone call from a Google sales rep today. Basically said if I didn’t pay them for ranking that Google was going to remove my listing from their search engine.

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