A friend of mine was starting a business and so I helped him out with designing a website and getting his business listed on Google. We started the set up process and filled in all the information required. Finally, we got to a page where Google said that it will send a postcard by mail to the business for verification. No problem, we just need to wait a few days for the postcard to arrive. I clicked on the button for it to be sent. Then Google My Business took me to a page where a notification said “Google has suspended your page due to quality issues.” What? How did Google suspended his business page when he hasn’t even done anything yet?
To see why Google suspended the page, I tried to find their customer service phone number. It was not an easy process. The Support button on the page only shows me a list of frequently asked questions. There was no contact information where I can speak to an actual Google representative. After spending a while looking for it, I decided to just type in “google customer service phone number” directly into Google search. The first result gave me exactly what I needed in just 5 seconds of typing. I wish Google made it easy to find that information without having to rely on a third party. I gave it a call and an automated system picked up and gave me some options to choose from.
The First Call
I followed along to where the voice said all the representatives are currently busy and said the wait time is around 45 minutes. Fortunately, the system will hold my place in line and allow the rep to call me back when it’s my turn. Great, I thought to myself. I don’t have to wait around listening to elevator music for 45 minutes. I went out to get lunch, devoured it, and went back to do some work. When the call arrived, I explained the situation to the rep and she transferred me over to the business department. Then another rep picked up and I had to tell him the story again. He did some research and told me the reason Google suspended the page was because the business needs to have a physical address.
The rep said that he could help us out if I can provide him with a photo of the business with the business name visible. My friend was just starting out, he didn’t have the money to lease an office building. So I asked the rep if we can just verify the business by mail since Google gave us the option to do that when we registered. Unfortunately, he said the mail verification has been denied since the page has been suspended. I thanked the rep for his time and called my friend to tell him about the situation. He was incredulous since he did not think the reason why he got denied was because of the business address.
So I went back and did some research on business listing on Google. The information said the business must have a physical address, including home address, if it provides services at customers’ location. That is exactly what my friend’s business is. Before I made the changes, I wanted to call Google customer service again to clarify the information with them.
The Longest Call
As expected, when I called this time, I was given the option to be called back. It’s in the afternoon now so the wait time was approximately 57 minutes. I placed myself in the queue before going home to do some more work. A rep called back an hour later so I explained the situation to him again. He gave me the number to the business department this time and stayed with me for a while during the transfer. 20 minutes went by, I placed the phone down and put it on speaker so I don’t have to hold it. Another 20 minutes with no one picking up except for the occasional automated message from Google saying all the reps are helping other customers.
At this point I stopped my work and went to the kitchen to make some food, with the phone still nearby. I finished my dinner and the elevator music was still playing on my phone. The call duration now was an hour and ten minutes. I thought maybe they were really busy today since it’s Monday. I waited for another 30 minutes as I went about my business but still nothing. At this point I feel like I had been on hold with Google for the longest time. I don’t mind having a rep to call me back since I could do work in the mean time. However, not having sufficient customer service to handle issues is unacceptable for a multi-billion dollar company like Google. The longest I waited on the phone before this was for T-Mobile and it was only around 40 minutes. Even then, the rep was still able to get my problem resolved.
Google’s (Lack of) Customer Service
Don’t get me wrong. I freaking love Google search and I think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. But we are not at a point where technology can solve all problems without having a real person. I’m just ranting because I feel extremely disappointed that I would encounter this kind of problem with Google. I’d expect it from a cable company back in the day but seeing a problem like this from a top tech company today is just disheartening. I looked at my phone still playing the same tune for the last two hours and decided to cut my losses. I’ll just call Google back tomorrow and hope I won’t have to be placed on hold for another two hours.