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billed for test campaign that I did not Enable

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Google Adwords,


I have a Google Adwords Account but never used it professionally so far.


I have just noticed yesterday 16 July 2017 that a campaign I created at the beginning of June with the purpose of seeing how creating campaigns works has been active during 1 June 2017 - 21 June when it run continuously.


The campaign was a mockup, was called "testcampaign", did not have any real ads - the Headline words were 'Test' and 'Test', the description was "doc" and the final url was a mockup url.


I was not announced by Google by any means - not even email - during any of the days the campaign ran that it was incurring charges.


The campaign has spent the total amount apparently allowed by Adwords without a credit card actually being charged, which is 50 $.


I remember distinctly that I let in the Adwords Console the campaign status as Paused. But it appears it has been somehow Enabled during that time. In fact , yesterday I made sure it was Paused but today coming back to the Adwords console I saw that it was Enabled again! I made the campaign status Removed, to prevent any more surprises. 


For the reasoning above, I solicit the amount of 50$ to be eliminated from my account.


How to proceed?


Thank you,





3 Expert replyverified_user

billed for test campaign that I did not Enable

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hi @Nicoara T,


Please note that it does not matter what your have put in the ads, if the campaign was enabled by you, the ads will get triggered on the queries based on your keywords.

This is not a system fault and unfortunately you will not be entertained with the credit for this spent.

AdWords only send emails if the ads stop running due to disapproval or the alert email settings preferred by you in the Adwords UI.


It is recommended to allocate minimum possible budget to the campaigns if you want run such tests.

Archit, AdWords Rising Star, Community Profile
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Accepted by topic author Nicoara T

billed for test campaign that I did not Enable

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hi @Nicoara T,


Along with using the info provided by Archit, you can use this information to read more and use this interactive web form to interact with billing department at AdWords support


Please note that your account history will show which email login was used to create and enable the campaign. It would typically have to 'clearly show' your email account was not used in order to get consideration for a refund of charges since performance of ads did take place.


I would add that the naming of a campaign as test (or anything like) this makes no difference.  But in your specific case, I do think the system should not have approved or run the campaign, ads, etc.. 


Kind Regards,



Google AdWords Top Contributor | Google Partner | GYBO | Local Guide | My Profile




Re: billed for test campaign that I did not Enable

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭


Thank you for your answer.

I am convinced the campaign was somehow wrongfully triggered, since as I mentioned after I discovered the campaign was run, I distinctly put it again on pause, and found it enabled again. It may be a bug. 

I have written to the billing department via the link you kindly provided, and look forward to the kind  of proof that you mention that my email enabled the campaign.


Thank you

billed for test campaign that I did not Enable

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

You should be able to see when the campaign was paused, or enabled in your "change history" which is under the campaigns tab, next to the search bar "find campaigns". Is it possible you only paused an ad group instead of the entire campaign? What the other two users have responded with is also totally correct. It is surprising that adwords approved your ads if the destination url was a fake, however if you just made up a url and it was in fact an active site, adwords would still send your ads to that destination. Were you just running through the steps to go through the motions of creating a campaign? I totally get doing that for learning purposes, however if you never planned on actually running ads and collecting data then i'm not sure why you would input your billing info, and adwords will not make an account go live unless there is an active form of payment on file. You can create many campaigns and go through all the steps without actually entering in billing info. 

Re: billed for test campaign that I did not Enable

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭



I was just going through the motions of how to run a campaign, I never intended to run the ads. 

The domain apparently was a live domain; it was a mockup in the sense that it was not mine, I had no relationship to it and I did not even bother to check if was live or not.

Probably Adwords requested that I input a credit card at some point via pop-ups which I did. I think I did this to get access to the Adwords API at some point, and Google figured that if it had a card on file it should run the Adwords inteface campaigns. 


Looking at the change history , for the whole month of june when the campaign run (3 - 21 june) , there is a single change , on 3 June:

Updated's notification setting to receive all non-critical billing messages

Updated's notification setting to receive all non-critical report messages

Updated's notification setting to receive all critical campaign maintenance messages

Updated's notification setting to receive all critical report messages

Updated's notification setting to receive all non-critical campaign maintenance messages

Updated's notification setting to receive all critical disapproved ad messages

Updated's notification setting to receive all non-critical disapproved ad messages

Updated's notification setting to receive all critical billing messages


I do believe that reaching the maximim limit for the allowed credit without payment (50$) would constitute a 'critical billing message', but again, I received no communication from Google. 


Looking more into it, the campaign was actually created in January 19, and no more modifications were done on it until it today. 



Jan 19, 2017 4:42:00 PM
testcampaignAd group #1Ad group createdHide details

Max CPC is RON10.00

Max CPM is RON0.01

Status is enabled

Name is "Ad group #1"


1 expanded text ad createdHide details

Headline 1 is "test"

Headline 2 is "test"

Description is "doc"

Final URL is ""


3 broad match keywords addedHide details

doctor on demand


video consultation


Jan 19, 2017 4:14:27 PM
testcampaign Budget createdHide details

End date is "No end date"

Budget status is active

testcampaign: Budget amount is RON10.00

Budget "testcampaign" created


Campaign createdHide details

Bid strategy type is "Manual CPC"

Campaign type is "Standard"

Location options (advanced): Exclude is "people in, searching for, or viewing pages about my targeted location"

Location options (advanced): Targeting is "people in, searching for, or viewing pages about my targeted location"

End time is "No end date"

Start time is Jan 19, 2017 4:14:26 PM EET

Ad rotation is "Optimize for clicks"

Opted into "Search Network only"

Campaign "testcampaign" created


3 platforms addedHide details


Mobile Highend



1 language addedHide details



Budget set to "testcampaign"


I see here that just the Ad group is 'enabled'. As I expected, I don't remember putting the status of the campaign itself to 'enabled', and this is not showing in the change history.  


Thank you

billed for test campaign that I did not Enable

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

So, based on your change history it looks like the campaign was enabled Jan 19th and if that concludes the change history then it doesn't look like the campaign was ever paused. Critical and non-critical billing messages are going to be things like if your credit card is set to expire, when money has been funded to the account, etc. 


At this point, I would recommend removing any active payment methods - adwords does request you input your billing info at the initial setup of a campaign, but you can always skip this step or remove and continue to explore the adwords interface without spending any real money.  Keep in mind you won't get to see how your ads actually perform - but until you're ready to put some real ads out there and see how they work, I wouldn't recommend collecting data anyways as it wouldn't be for anything specific.


Adwords support is very helpful, and maybe if you give them a call and explain the circumstances they could refund you in the form of adwords credit, so that when you are ready to run some real ads you will have the funds in the account to do so. No guarantee, that's just what I would try! 



Adwords Support


Good Luck! 

billed for test campaign that I did not Enable

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

(1) generally, access to the api requires a live, active, ad-account --
there are test-accounts for some outlier api-testing, but test-accounts
cannot be used to request api-tokens and cannot accumulate test-data,
such as clicks or impressions, for any ads.


there is no such concept as a test-campaign in a live, active, ad-account --

any and all ads created have the potential to receive live, valid, clicks.

(2) removing any credit-card or payment-method does not remove the
requirement to pay for any active, approved, ad -- payment is per click.

(3) unless all ads are paused, clicks can be accrued and payment is required --
a click is akin to eating the food in a restaurant, where payment is required;
any such "test" ads can (still) receive clicks.

the account-history is usually the best way
to evaluate what was done within an account.

however, this is mainly a peer-to-peer help forum --
google is the final arbiter of all billing related issues.


as an aside, there is also no such concept as a test-campaign or
test-ad in a live, active, ad-account with respect to the policies --
an ad, website, or business, within a live ad-account may be

re-reviewed by the policy-teams, at any time.


see also