A Google Support Nightmare

We always strive to provide our customers with the timeliest and most accurate service possible. While as customers we are all likely to complain of “poor service” when we don’t get everything we want right when we need it (keep in mind that at InstallAware, we are very close to this ideal), – I wanted to share InstallAware‘s experiences with the Google AdWords team to put things in the right perspective – not only for the benefit of our over demanding customers, but also for the benefit of all Google’lers there – in whose shoes I’d feel quite a bit of embarrassment after reading the below.

On 8/13, we contacted our Google account rep Summer Prevé (summer.p@google.com) with suspicions of click fraud for the preceding week. We had been gradually increasing our AdWords spending – and seeing a correlated return in revenue – until a very anomalous drop the week before.

After much back and forth trying to convince Summer that the issue at hand was not with our tracking systems and what-not, on 9/21, Summer finally wrote “I’ll be in touch in the next 3 business days when I have answer from invalid clicks.” By this time it had been about six weeks since our initial contact, and we had provided Google with direct access to all of our server logs (and everything else they asked us for).

Unfortunately, we never heard back. Summer was uncomfortable with our “not letting the issue go”, and was complaining that she was assigned to 250 AdWords accounts, in addition to ours. I suggested that she transfer us to another representative who might be more motivated to provide us with a resolution.

Enter Michael Griffin (michael.gri@google.com), on 10/23 (almost three months after our escalation to Google). Michael has been incomparably worse than Summer. To date, Michael responded to only two emails from InstallAware.

The first one ominously read “Please call me asap at 650-253-5671.” This wording suggested that he had finally obtained some good, actionable information – upon which I called him immediately and he promptly hung up with some random excuse.

His second email, on 10/30, read “I’ve been out of the office. Please give me a call at 650-253-5671.” He has not returned a single email or phone call ever since.

Now, our spending on AdWords has been scaled back to about 5% of what it was before the incident on 8/6. Clearly, it is in Google’s interest to respond to us – but the employees they have brought on board apparently couldn’t care less. I reached out to my EO network, asking for feedback, and this is what I heard from them:

Google representatives have always been hit or miss (mostly miss) for us…we really don’t want to be on their radar. They do have the ability to ‘tweak’ your account and turn it up or down some – somewhat forcing you to spend more to basically stay in one place…I do know that Google Reps only respond to folks with spends higher than 10k per month…” – John

Good luck. Dealing with Google is not easy. They know they are the 800 pound Gorilla and they behave like it too.” – Jack

It is 11/17 today – more than three months after we spotted a problem, and provided Google with all they asked for in trying to obtain a resolution.

As with Bing, who had magically de-listed InstallAware in 2011 (and were ignoring our contact requests at the time), we have no recourse other than to attempt to engage the attention of Google via a public Internet posting. Hopefully somebody at Google still cares!

2 Replies to “A Google Support Nightmare”

  1. That’s Google for you. They don’t care because they don’t have to. They figure you can’t really go anywhere else. Its been written that whoever makes the golden rules does so because they own the gold in the first place. I’m equally sure they manipulate the figures because they can. Time will tell how long companies like Google can ride the wave. It’s a pity search engines as useless like Bing or as faded like Yahoo! can’t compete with Google as healthy competitors. You want to seach for and find something then you’ve googled it, that is, the company name is both a noun and a verb. You don’t hear about people saying they successfully bing’ed or yahoo’ed searched for something. Until Google becomes smaller and less popular they won’t have to chase too hard for the dollar blowing in the wind. It’s a pity InstallAware got caught out by Google’s lack of professionalism or indifference and market manipulation of the statistics. It seems InstallAware got well and truly googled by Google.

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