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Another company owns our Google My Business name

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Apologies for the length of this initial posting but we believe this requires at least a minimum of history.

We recently purchased Barrass’s John Bright Motor Inn, 10-12 Wood St, Bright, Victoria, more commonly known as John Bright Motor Inn. Our Phone number is 03 5751400. A few weeks ago a guest who had a future booking with us called and advise that she had seen on Google that our motel is now ‘permanently closed’ and asked what happens to her booking. We advised her that the motel is certainly not closed and her booking is still valid.

 

The google maps URL for our listing is https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/John+Bright+Motor+Inn/@-36.7291315,146.9588495,15z/data=!4m5!3m...

This prompted us to contact Google to advise that this status is incorrect. We received a response that Google will contact the ‘Owner’ of the listing to give us access.

 

 

We were contacted by a company called Search Results Pty Ltd who said they own the listing in Google and that we would have to pay  them an annual fee of $499.00+GST for them to continue to maintain the listing or a one off fee of $500+GST to take ownership. When we pointed out that the listing had an incorrect posting that the motel  is permanently closed their response was that they were ‘cleaning up’ accounts where customers no longer required their services. When the point was pressed about the ‘permanently closed’ message being false, their response was that they cannot control that and the only way to fix it was to pay the annual fee for them to continue managing the listing.

We had contacted the previous owner of the motel business and he advised that he had never engaged any other companies to manage any google listing and we certainly have not.

One of our family members did some research and found the Google My business Guidelines that states:

 

Ownership

Only business owners or authorized representatives may verify and manage their business information on Google My Business.

 

We re-contacted Google asking how a company that has never owned the business or been given manager rights can own the Google My Business. The only response was that Google had contacted who they say owns the listing and that company does not want to release it. Endless loop! The Case number is 9-6037000011898.

 

We tried several times to email Google and get a response from Google about their own rules and that as the legal owner of the business we should be given ownership, but all they do is follow the one process of ‘contact the person they have as the owner and ask if they will release it’.

 

Our feeling is that Search Results has found the listing was not owned by anyone and somehow managed to convince Google that they owned the business so they could then get control of the listing, then put pressure on the real owner to pay them a fee to get rid of the ‘Permanently Closed’ status.

 

We would like to take control of the listing but, if nothing else, can anyone advise if our reading of the Google My Business rules is correct that as the owner of the business we should be the only ones that are entitled to the ownership of the Google My Business listing?

 

Any help gratefully appreciated.

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Another company owns our Google My Business name

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Lynne,
I will escalate the matter to Google employees.
Does the business have a web site that you control?
Do you have an e-mail address that reflect the business domain?

Do you have copies of any e-mail that you have exchanged with this other company?

Typically, if you can proof that you are the owner of the business Google should transfer ownership removing the verification from the SEO company.




treebles, Google My Business Top Contributor

Re: Another company owns our Google My Business name

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Treebles,
Thankyou for your prompt response.

Yes we have a web site that we control, johnbrightmotorinn.com.au. We have just added a notification at the top to say that the Google statement being permanently closed is false... etc.

The email address is <edited by a Community Manager as noted below> we do not have one for the business domain only from the ISP's domain as this was the address when we bought the business and would detrimental to change it away from the well advertised email.

We still have copies of the emails from the SEO but there were also a number of contacts via phone where they said they did not know where the 'permanently closed' is coming from. Looking at the Google maps entry that is coming from the option to set the business as permanently closed. So to say they don't know where it is coming from is either a straight out lie or they have no technical ability and should not be prompting themselves as an SEO.
One of the emails we have states 'We not only verified the listing, we created it.'. All their emails only have a team names and no names of any people plus a link to their web site and a phone number.

In terms of proof of ownership we have the official ASIC certificate of ownership of Barrass's John Bright Motor Inn in our company name.

Thankyou in advance
Lynne

 

Note: this post has been edited by a Community Manager, per Community Guidelines, in order to remove account specifics and/or personal contact information. This is done to protect account security and privacy.

Re: Another company owns our Google My Business name

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hi Lynne,
Have you reported the business as open through the Maps' listing?
There is a "Suggest an edit" link on the left panel from where you can report it as open.

I will not hear back from the Google employee until tomorrow, I will add the URL of the web site to my escalation.




treebles, Google My Business Top Contributor

Re: Another company owns our Google My Business name

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Treebles,

Yes we did report the business as open and the permanently closed did go away for a few days. It was then changed back to permanently closed again and we then received another email from Search Results wanting payment again. We did no go back down the path of responding to Google again as it just keeps going round in the same circle without any satisfactory resolution.

Lynne

Re: Another company owns our Google My Business name

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
Hi Lynne,
It seems that the SEO company keeps closely monitoring the status of the business and force the Closed status from their dashboard.
I asked also, if possible, to set the status as Open while this issue is resolved. I do not know if it would stick even if Google sets it but is worth a try.




treebles, Google My Business Top Contributor

Re: Another company owns our Google My Business name

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Lynne and treebles, I have just been alerted to the exact same problem for a client that has come to me as they cannot take over their own Google Business listing as it being held by the same company that Lynne has holding her listing.

Search Results Pty Ltd who said they own the listing in Google and that we would have to pay them a one off fee of $500+GST to take ownership.

Surely this is no coincidence, this company is Verifying listings and holding the business owner at ransom, Google must be made aware of what is going on, how can they let these rogue businesses 'Verify' Business listings.

My clients website is http://www.silomotorinn.com/ and domain email stay@silomotorinn.com
Of course the email that has verified this listing is a gmail.com not our domain email.

Here is the Google+ page https://plus.google.com/113448914336416505003/about

And business listing https://www.google.com.au/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=motels%20biloela&rfl...

There is no way to contact Google about this, as the option does not exist, when the illegitimate owner is holding the listing for a ransom. I have spoken to Google before about other issues but those options seem to have been removed from Google My Business.
Any help would be appreciated
Lynne [another Lynne!]

Re: Another company owns our Google My Business name

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Hi Lynne H
Please, follow the procedure that Lynne M followed to try to gain admin rights to her listing.

It is described in this help article
https://support.google.com/business/answer/4566671
Google would send your request to get admin rights to the page to the current owner.
If the person does not reply in a week, you should contact My Business support to request assistance from Google to gain control of the listing.

My Business support can be contacted by pressing the "Need more help?" link at the top of the Business help center
https://support.google.com/business/?hl=en#topic=4539639

 

Since the SEO company would refuse to transfer ownership of the listing most likely, you would have to contact the My Business support.

If GMB support tells you there is nothing else they can do, please post here the case # for your issue and I will escalate at that point to Google employees.
A call back can be requested from the support team during regular business hours.
Monday - Friday, 1 AM - 5 PM PST




treebles, Google My Business Top Contributor

Re: Another company owns our Google My Business name

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor
Hi Lynne,
The Local listing is no longer marked as closed. Please, keep an eye on it and post back if it reverts to closed.

I was informed that there is still an open case for the transfer of ownership case that you initiated.
Aren't you still in contact with the My Business support handling your case?
What is the current status of the case?
Thank you




treebles, Google My Business Top Contributor

Re: Another company owns our Google My Business name

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Treebles
It is good to see that the status has again changed and the permanently closed has been removed for now, however it is disappointing that we have again received another email advising that Google have contacted the listing owner who do will not release the listing.

This just seems to be a process on Googles behalf that all they do is the same thing over and over again, contact the person they have as the listing owner then send a standard template response. Of course the SEO is not going to hand it over by google just asking them as they purely want to force us to pay rather than abide by Google rules and Google themselves do not seem to be interested in adhering to their own rules here.

While the permanently closed status has been removed for a second time the fact that Google have asked the same question of the SEO yet again, and of course got the same response yet again, will prompt the SEO to go in and again list our business as close again and send us another demanding letter to pay them.

To us this should be simple: Is the actual business owner the only ones that can own the listing or not? If so, then Google should be intervening, verifying we are the actual owners and passing that ownership to us once verified.

Lynne M