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Previous domain owner racked up huge bill

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi,

 

re: Case: 0-7645000003678

 

Recently, 6 months ago, we bought a domain name, from VentraIP for $19.95 in a normal domain buying process.  VentraIP is a large domain registrar in Australia.

 

Since that time we've spent money designing and building a website for it.

 

At the time of registration, we had no idea this domain had previously been owned, or had a prior website on it, let alone Adwords.  As you can see from web.archive.org the last time a website was seen on this domain was in 2010, and from Adwords billing summary the last time they used Adwords was in May 2008.

 

You can also see from whois data that we are completely different company/person to the previous domain owner.

 

This site, and this domain owner have no connection to us, and we have no idea who they are.

 

Recently, we setup email for the domain, and set all email to go to a catch all email, which within 1 week, started getting emails from Adwords.  This was a surprise to me as I didn't think it was previously owned.  We wanted to see what the go was with this, so we reset the password for adwords on that domain and on that email, and logged into their Adwords account (ID above).

 

When I logged in I saw that there was a red bar saying the account had been suspended, as the prior domain owner ran up charges to a total of 2700 and it seems then requested a chargeback on those with their bank.

 

Obviously this is not ideal, as we had plans for this domain, and for some advertising with Adwords.

 

I contacted Adwords support, and they repeatedly, after several emails, state that they will not remove this suspension, or remove the payment outstanding for the domain, they also stated that bills for Adwords apply to the domain and not the person or individual who ran up those charges.  Essentially saying that the domain owes Adwords $2700.

 

I am being told by adwords support that I should change domains, and that I cannot now use this domain at all.

 

This seems idiotic - there are only so many decent 1 or 2 word domains in the World, and if other people run up charges on them, then you're left with a bill before you can use them.

 

I've tried escalating to someone who can actually help me as this is just silly - buy a domain from a registrar and get stuck with someone elses charges for that domain.

3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Previous domain owner racked up huge bill

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi, Chris.

Can you please edit out the personal data at the beginning of the message, for your own safety, while this issue is being sorted out? We strongly advise any poster not to use any personal data in their posts (https://www.en.adwords-community.com/t5/custom/page/page-id/Rules)

Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
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Re: Previous domain owner racked up huge bill

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Let's try and break the issue into parts:
In Google's view: What was the reason for suspension: An a bill left unpaid or a violation of the content on the URL (when was previously owned)?

 

Please post the last email received from Google. (Mask any personal info, and remove personal info in your initial post - as requested)

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Previous domain owner racked up huge bill

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
thanks - done

Re: Previous domain owner racked up huge bill

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi MosheTLV,

Actually the only emails WE have ever received from Google were campaign update emails, "AdWords Report Request | Placement Report" - of which they came every week, but as there was no paid and active campaign they were empty of any real information and obviously had no placement/clicks.

These started in Sept 2013, when we setup the email .. and continue now. We have never received any account suspension email, as they were probably sent to the original domain owner in May - July, 2008, when (it seems) they lodged a dispute with their bank over the Adwords payment of $2700 -- I gather this from dates on last payments to Adwords, and the last campaigns being run. We bought the domain, as mentioned, in August/Sept 2013

The issue here is:- we bought this domain from a registrar, and not at auction, or from the original domain owner. We have no knowledge of the original domain owner, or their activities and yet Google Adwords team want to hold the domain to ransom on charges for Adwords charges - not allowing us to launch a website on this domain, as we would never be able to promote it on Adwords. This in itself seems idiotic !!

Re: Previous domain owner racked up huge bill

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hi Chris,

 

If I may jump in here, did you try filling up this form and explain each and every aspect in detail to the AdWords support Team about this account:

 

https://support.google.com/adwords/contact/pf_suspended

 

Little off topic here, but since your case is little sensitive, I would like to share this video by Google web spam head Matt Cutts, where he explains what to research before buying a domain:

 

 

Pankaj

Re: Previous domain owner racked up huge bill

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

No;
Google does not "hold" a domain accountable due to unpaid charges incurred by a business  entity previously run a campaign
So, either the issue is billing on YOUR side, or a landing page violating the Policy, and someone "mixed one issue with the other"

 

Pleas share the URL in question

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Previous domain owner racked up huge bill

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Pankaj1972,

Yes, we did - this was how we first reported the problem to Google Adwords, and got the case number. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above Google Adwords seem to apply suspensions and bills to domains, and not to individuals - which is idiotic!

Re: Previous domain owner racked up huge bill

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi MosheTLV,

Okay, that may be your opinion but what you are saying goes completely against the 2 different managers from the Adwords team which I have spoken with. Both stated unequivocally that the previous domain owners outstanding Adwords bill will apply to the domain, and that my only option is to ditch the domain entirely, and buy a new domain. This is what they both said, and given this is a similar message to emails from them I believe it to be so.

I do not think you're not understanding the problem here - we have never run Adwords on this website before, this is an outstanding bill from the previous domain owner and not us - so neither of your other scenarios work.

Re: Previous domain owner racked up huge bill

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor

 

 

@Chris;

I fully understand your explanation and the sequence of events you have outlined and explained.

 

However; the discussions with Google were not documented (i.e. There is no written communication on the case between you and Google)

Before we could go ahead and ask Google to recheck the case, we need to verify that the current URL in question (fully) complies with the Policy.  This is the process!

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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