HAMPTON, VIRGINIA -- On March 5, 2012 my company was deleted from Google because “anonymous” reported us as having “gone out of business”. Google deleted us without confirming the report. It took approximately two months to reinstate our listing. During that time, a listing was briefly put up but on March 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm (EST), we received a phone call from 650-253-2000. It was difficult to understand the woman who called and she hung up on me as I was trying to get someone to the phone who could understand her. Within a couple of hours, our listing was deleted again. Finally, our listing was put back for a couple of weeks.
On April 16, 2011, I received a call from the same phone number and despite problems hearing the person, I answered her questions as best I could. After she hung on me, I researched the phone number and found that 650-253-2000 was owned by Google, 1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountainview, CA 94043. Within two hours, we were dropped by Google.
At the time of this posting we remain unlisted by Google and have been unable to find any relief from this problem. Since being dropped again, I have edited our Google Places to hide our address but that did not help. The list of services we provide was then edited out, our list of cities served was removed, our business hours were removed. None of these efforts to clean out any material that might be bothering someone has helped. Every edit is marked “Denied”.
A new claim for our business has been added to Google Places but it will take a while for the verification process to be completed. In writing that listing, I did not show our services, cities we serve, or our business hours. In short, we tried not to list anything that could, in the remotest sense, be a violation of Google Places policies. There have been no responses to repeated inquiries to Google. We are unable to find out what we did wrong and cleaning our listing has not resulted in any response.
Ours is a small, 31 year old tow company employing just my wife and me. We do not do any type of “parking lot enforcement” or repossession work nor do we do any type of police towing. All of our towing and road service is done for those who want our assistance for their own vehicles. Google has largely replaced printed telephone books so Google is the place new customers go to find a towing company when assistance is needed. Our repeat customers go to Google to find our phone number but since our listing is gone, they cannot reach us.
The March and April deletion of our company almost sank us and despite receiving a Google approved listing, we were deleted. If history is any indication of what will happen again, we expect to be unlisted another couple of months. The first two months were a disaster for our company and this second delisting will probably finish us off.
Google needs a clear policy for listings that should be enforced on companies and Google employees.
Google should notify a company of violations before dropping it so corrections can be made.
Google should then send a notice to an offending company that it will be dropped if the company has not corrected the problems.
There should be an appeal process to allow for a systematic approach to delisting a company if procedures have not been followed by the company or by Google people.
There are no systems as described above and any company can be dropped for any reason by any Google employee or volunteer. I have reached my wits end trying to find someone at Google who can talk with me about this and take steps to help us. I have been polite in all my messages until last night when I let my anger out. There must be a way to correct this problem. Mr. ** (CEO of Google) is known for his philosophy: “Focus on the user and all else will follow”, “Fast is better than slow”, and “You can make money without doing evil”.
Google Places/Google Maps does not know about or it ignores Mr. Page's ideas. Rather than help the customer, it tries to destroy him. Instead of solving problems, Google ignores them. Rather than make money without doing evil, Google employees destroy companies. That is evil. Now the big question: Will someone at Google straighten this mess out?