Nov 012011
 
Google Places Support Vanessa Schneider

Vanessa Schneider, Google Places Community Manager

Google’s support is proverbially bad. This is why some months ago I wrote an article on the easiest ways to get customer support on problems with Google Places. And most of them were anything but easy. However, in the last month this stereotype is gradually changing.

Everything started on October 3rd when Joel Headley posted an article on a newly introduced support feature for Google Places. A whole new section named “Fix a problem” was added to the Google Places Help site through which numerous widespread problems could be reported and faster streamlined to the tech team. These include incorrect information appearing on the Place page, verification problems, and others – Googlers claim they will gradually be increasing the list.

Later, Google introduced new email notification system, which to some extent resolved one of the biggest problems on Google Places – overwriting owner-verified data with third-party such. That was not so much of a customer support improvement, than a precaution against possible problems that require manual human support.

Another great improvement was related to the Google Places Help Forum. Previously, comments by Google employees were more than rare. They would happen once in a blue moon. Now almost every day at least a few threads are being “resolved” by a Google representative. The most active ones, who deserve kudos are vanessagene and Dasha C. Recently a few new custom service executives (AshleyJC, BrianL., BryanLF, j.chu) seem to have joined the team. The plan is that they would solve most of the issues related to bugs on Google’s side, and the Top Contributors would be giving advice on ranking problems.

Talking about Top Contributors, did I mention I am one of the three new TCs for the Google Places Help Forum? This puts me in an exclusive group of only 7 TCs total in the forum. The advantages? All TCs have direct access to the respective Google team and to a private forum. For example, if you are a TC for the Google Webmaster Forum, you will have access to the Google Webmaster team. I believe that this enlargement of the “Top Contributors corpus” for the Google Places Help forum is part of the support-related improvements.

Another new way to get customer support since my previous article on the topic is via the new customer service phones for AdWords Express users in the UK, Germany and France. The phones are:

UK AdWords Express: 0845 602 5387
Germany AdWords Express: 0800 – 58 94 305
France AdWords Express: 0 805 540 722

All these support enhancements give us hope for less issues and spam in the Google Places world!

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