Google My Business: Clearly Don’t Read Your Support Emails

Google My Business, We Don't Read Your Support Requests

About a month ago, I wrote about my less than stellar experience with Google My Business in regard to fake reviews of one of the properties my employer manages. And here we are again, another piss poor experience with Google My Business, sending a clear canned response, clearly without actually reading the issue described in my support request, that I took 10 minutes to write to include extensive details.

To explain the issue I am having, without divulging any details of the company I work for, or the property name. The property is a 23 unit apartment building, which has mailboxes for residents, but no onsite office. The management office for the property is based out of our corporate office. Initially, I set the address to the corporate office, to receive the verification postcard, as there was no phone call verification option upon initial setup. I got that postcard and verified the listing, but the address is obviously wrong.

I changed the address to the physical location of the apartment building, and it asked me to verify again, which I expected, and it gave me the option for phone verification, I contacted the management office, as I work remotely from the corporate office, to expect a call, and I initiated the call, it connected, but the code was not received, so I tried again, 2 dozen more times and the onscreen message I got was “Couldn’t connect, There was a problem connecting the call. You can request another phone call in XX seconds”

After 1 1/2 days of rinse and repeat; I reached out to Google My Business, explaining this whole situation in my support request; and the response I received was, complete with grammatical errors;

Google My Business Canned Response

For those who cannot see the screenshot; it basically says, you made a significant change, request a postcard and wait 14 days, followed by step by step instructions on how to achieve this task.

Which is obviously not possible, there is no office on-site, hence no mailbox for the office. All bills for this apartment building come to our corporate office. It is not unusual for small apartment communities to have an off-site office. It amazes me that Google, don’t account for, and allow for scenarios like this.

It seems the reason the call is not connecting is that Google is rejecting the number. On the Info tab of GMB, the phone number is highlighted in red with a strikethrough. If I remove it and retype it, the number shows as “under review”, for a few minutes before returning to being red with a strikethrough.

And now, the option for a phone call has disappeared, leaving only the postcard option, or verify later.

The reason I started this whole process was that when I search Google for “[street name] Studios”, it shows a listing on the right for “[street name] Lofts”, a rival apartment building not far from where our building is located! If it just showed nothing on the right, I would not care as our website for the building is #1 in the organic search results. The question is, how much time do I waste fighting Google on this?

UPDATE [Mar, 12 2020, 14:01]

I followed up with Google, reiterating the postcard verification issue, the response came back as follows;

Google My Business Second Response

For those who cannot see the screenshot, it says in basic terms, Google has to send out a postcard, and if you do not receive it within 14 days, on the 15th day, reach out to us again, and we can do a manual verification. Although a stupid policy, knowing we’ll never receive the postcard, at least I understand now.

If Google had sent this response initially, directly addressing my issue, I probably would’ve never written this blog about my experience. Companies need to stop with the easy option of canned responses, and actively address the issue being experienced by the customer. If this was a paid service, I would have just assumed they don’t care enough about my business, and given my money to someone else.

Unfortunately, this is common practice in many companies, including my employer in the past before I addressed the issue internally when I found out about it. Companies need to understand that you are effectively marketing from the first advert a customer sees through to the final interaction, in our case, when a resident moves out. Everyone should be treated as an individual, not just another lead, customers are unique people, with uniquely different needs, not just a number or statistic in a system.

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