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# 1
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Maybe I've been away from AdWords for too long, but once upon a time I know you could choose "Manual Billing" as an option, and when your current balance ran out, ads would stop.


I assumed the same thing when I started them up recently as a new account for a new business. Used a promo code of spend $25 and get $100 free. 


Well, after finding a $250 charge on my VISA today I went to investigate. Turns out there's no way to disable any auto-payment, you can only pause the ads. So, no way to tell Google DON'T take any money from me.


Not only that, this foolish "threshold" thing just keeps going up and up as it chooses, and you get no e-mail notification of anything that's happening or that a bill is coming. 


$350 in total is what Google took from me. As a newbie entrepreneur, that's days of work, gone. Money I really needed for other things.


Google, of course, doesn't care to refund. And as wrong and misleading as this all seems, bank says there's no case for disputing the transaction since Google had my credit card on file. Fail to see how them just letting things run wild and billing you for whatever happens is honest business, but I guess a company the size of Google doesn't care about the little guys who work 16 hour days just to pay rent.


Anyways, this is a warning to anybody new to AdWords, don't make my mistakes. Ideally, don't sign up at all. So many other things I needed that money for, and it was all wasted on a keyword that got clicks but not a single business inquiry on my site. 

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Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Joel N while I sympathise with your situation, the way in which AdWords charges, and information on how to control spending is well documented in the AdWords Help pages.  It is also, and has always been, your responsibility to monitor your Account and ensure you understand how and where spend is taking place.  There are several options for controlling spend in an Account, any of which were available to you:


#1 - Monitor the Account and simply pause the Campaign(s) once your desired spend had been reached.

#2 - Set up an Automated Rule to pause the Campaign(s) when a specific spend had been reached.

#3 - Set an end date for the Campaign(s) based upon your daily budget.


If the spend was so important to you, it seems hardly fair to blame Google for an assumption you made, where options to prevent the overspend were readily available.



AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits


[ Edited ]
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# 3
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Odd that I've never had Facebook Ads or Bing Ads simply help themselves to my credit card.


Create a Facebook ad and a stop date or budget cap is one of the main settings of creating the ad.


Google, on the other hand, appears to have opted to make "take as much money as Google wants" their default setting while purposely making it less obvious how to control spending. I still can't find a simple budget cap rule like Facebook offers, just a daily cap. 


If I remember correctly, Google did have a budget cap once upon a time? They also offered manual payments. Both which seem to have disappeared. 


By hiding such obvious features and suggesting that people should have read the help pages to avoid being automatically billed is extremely shady business on behalf of Google, hence my warning to other users, and my choice to never spend with Google Adwords ever again. Hopefully, others will find this post and make the same decision, or at least learn from my mistake and take better measures to protect themselves, which is the purpose of my post. 



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# 4
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Hi @Joel N,


I am sympathetic to your unwanted charge, which is never fun. Yet, I also see solid points by Jon and have a few of my own. 


Please note that I am an advertising agency (not a Google employee) and mange ads on every major platform. You are correct that other platforms lets you set a cap or end date... AdWords does, as well. And the AdWords promotional codes clearly state that all charges above the promotional amount are yours and to monitor the account accordingly as the campaign will not stop after the amount is reached. 


And I agree with you about this thread hopefully helping others understand the features more, which is what this community is here to do. I was once charged over $750 for FB ads that I did not set an end date to (which I covered and did not charge my client for). That was years ago when FB did not have the dashboard or control of their ads that they do today. Even with this mishap on my part, I am still actively running campaigns there (and everywhere else, too). Do I monitor my ads more carefully from that paid training, lol, oh yes I do! 


Just last night, I added a new AdWords client into my AdWords Manager Account. One of the steps for creation that was specifically presented to me was ad scheduling, where I could set the end date. I also set up a promotional code, as I always do for my clients. And I set a $7 per day for the first week, as I do with a new account. Since I have 30 days to spend $25 and new accounts need shaped, I generally do not spend much for the first week. I like to give each ad group a little time to set before ramping up spending. I visit a new account every 6 hours during the first week, which include careful auditing of the spend. This is what new advertisers should do, too, in my opinion.


Let's go a step further and truly help others understand AdWords and have better control over their accounts and campaigns. 


-> The daily campaign budget is set by the user. It can be any amount at all. The daily budget times 30.4 is the maximum monthly budget. So, $10 X 30.4 = $304.00. I can rely on this as being the maximum I could be held responsible for with my AdWords campaign - even if I walked away from it for 30 days. 


With that info, I could set a calendar appointment to return and stop it... which would be wasteful, since a new campaign should be monitored like a new born baby. Or I could set an automated rule to shut the campaign down at a specific spend threshold. Or I could set an automated campaign stop date, which will pause it on that date, regardless.


All of Jon's great tips are spot on for controlling a campaign and my further discussion here simply expands that logic... and reinforces his options and beliefs that we each are in complete control of our accounts. AdWords simply works differently from other platforms and any advertiser should research AdWords' features before jumping in too deep. 


I do appreciate you wanting to help others, which is what I take from your post and why I am adding what I am. It's also a given that it can help to vent frustration with a unpleasant action, to which a surprise can be. 


Kind Regards,



Google My Business & Google Ads Top Contributor
Google Partner | GYBO Agency | Local Guide | My Profile





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# 5
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This happened to me also. Google even sent me a message saying I needed to pay more to renew my ad. I decided not to renew yet later on I noticed on my credit card bill they kept charging! Called Adwords up and complained many times to no avail. Ended up costing me $500 over what I intended to spend.