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Account Suspended - for complying with Manufacturer MAP guidelines

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

So out of nowhere we got an email stating our account that we've had for at least 6 years was suspended for non-compliance. 

 

Hidden/unclear prices

We found that for many of your items, the price as submitted in your product data is either unclear or does not show on your product landing pages. Please ensure that for all products, the price you submit in your product data is clear and easy to find on the corresponding landing pages.

If multiple items or variant-combinations are on the same page with multiple prices, it has to be straightforward for the user to find the correct item and corresponding price.

 

A few examples of products that have 'slash-through' pricing were provided, claiming that no price was mentioned in the landing page. This is incorrect. A price is visible on all product landing pages in our feed - though many of our products are bound to MAP pricing by our manufacturers and we are unable to show the lowest price outside of the cart. Thus the slash-through on the price. 

 

We received no 'previously outlined data quality violations' as stated in the email sent to us and the feed inside of merchant center dashboard didn't identify any errors with pricing. Furthermore, there are multiple competitors doing the exact same thing that are still showing up. 

 

How are we supposed to fix a problem that isn't a problem!?

1 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author proj
September 2015

Re: Account Suspended - for complying with Manufacturer MAP guidelines

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor


the price submitted to google and the price displayed on
the link landing-page must match exactly, at all times, for
all users.

google recommends only one single
item and price on the landing-page.

as was indicated, if there is more than one item or more

than one price seen on the landing-page, the submitted

item and price must be straightforward for users to locate;

however, google is the final arbiter of straightforward.

generally, map-based pricing models are not allowed --
although, there are a few possible implementations that
should conform to google's policies and some merchants
may be able to implement.

 

potential policy violations by others

may be reported directly to google.

 

a disapproval or suspension related to the website,

supply-chain, physical inventory, or similar issues,

would normally not be reported as a feed issue.

google may disapprove or suspend an item,
data-feed, website, or account, at any time.

 

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author proj
September 2015

Re: Account Suspended - for complying with Manufacturer MAP guidelines

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor


the price submitted to google and the price displayed on
the link landing-page must match exactly, at all times, for
all users.

google recommends only one single
item and price on the landing-page.

as was indicated, if there is more than one item or more

than one price seen on the landing-page, the submitted

item and price must be straightforward for users to locate;

however, google is the final arbiter of straightforward.

generally, map-based pricing models are not allowed --
although, there are a few possible implementations that
should conform to google's policies and some merchants
may be able to implement.

 

potential policy violations by others

may be reported directly to google.

 

a disapproval or suspension related to the website,

supply-chain, physical inventory, or similar issues,

would normally not be reported as a feed issue.

google may disapprove or suspend an item,
data-feed, website, or account, at any time.

 

Re: Account Suspended - for complying with Manufacturer MAP guidelines

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you for your reply, Celebird.

I don't want to take it out on you, because I know you're only trying to help but I don't know how the very common practice of a slash through price to represent a lower price in cart is worse than sending someone directly to the shopping cart where there is absolutely no product information OTHER than the price. This is the solution B&H takes and I can only assume this is the preferred action from Google's perspective.

Of course this is an uphill battle I'm sure to lose since Google is the final arbiter of what is best for the user. We've made all the changes to the site as directed and are approaching day 3 of a suspended feed. We've probably lost 50k at least for an issue we had no idea was even an issue until our account was suspended.

If you have any pull with the merchant center team, please pass along to them that there should also be a 'suspension warning' in merchant center that appears at the same time they send the 'suspension warning' email, as we never received it. Checked all of our email accounts, junk and deleted email folders. It's just frustrating to know we spend 500k/yr with Google and don't even get one day reprieve to fix the issue.

Ok I'm done ranting. thanks

Re: Account Suspended - for complying with Manufacturer MAP guidelines

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor


first, you're welcome.

a slash through the price would not necessarily be an issue;
but that depends on all the details of the landing-page and
exactly what price or sale_price are submitted for the item --
google does recommend only one price on the page.

 

seeing any items listed on google-shopping or its landing-pages does

not necessarily mean that a person at google has approved the items

or that their related actions or behavior are preferred.

working directly with google, especially a product-listing-ads specialist,
is likely the best course to resolving the issue to google's satisfaction.

unfortunately, forum members cannot look into the feed or account --
we would normally need more exact information, posted here in the
public forum, to help with feedback on a specific issue.

generally, with respect to map-based pricing models -- one possibility is
to have only one, single, item displayed on the page, with only one, single,
very prominent, price displayed on that link landing-page -- the map-price;
with a matching add-to-cart price, that is submitted to google.

then, during the normal checkout-flow, allow the
application of a visible "discount" to the cart-price --
resulting in a non-map-price (only) at checkout.

however, the discounted (non-map) price could normally not be displayed
on the website landing-page or submitted to google -- which generally
is not acceptable to most merchants who implement map-based pricing.

this approach may also effect the use of microdata or automatic-item-updates.

of course, google is still the final arbiter
of any such solution and all their policies.

another possibility is to use different ad-formats and
campaign-types to advertise the map-based items.

the suspension warning email and a time-frame to fix the issue, is typically
sent ahead of any action in the account; during the warning period, items
should still show on google-shopping; currently, the warning-period is not
displayed in the merchant-center and is the current documented process.

however, google does actively read the forums for feedback.

once a suspension is seen in the account, further action has been taken
and typically indicates that either the issues have not been resolved or,
the data (feed) was not resubmitted or google not notified of exactly
what long-term fixes were implemented in the submitted data or on
the website, or both, so that the suspension can be removed.

currently, the normal process to resolve such an issue is --
(a) make all corrections to the submitted data or website or both;
(b) after the data or site or both are fixed -- resubmit the feed;
(c) contact google directly to review the changes.

working more directly with a product-listing-ads specialist,
or posting any details here in the public forum for review
by others, may sometimes help.

https://support.google.com/merchants/?#topic=3404779