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Former internet marketing company refuses to turn over GMB listing now that we stopped using them

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello everyone,

 

About 5 years ago, we purchased a simple website & "marketing" package from 411locals.com

We recently decided to stop paying for their services, since we wanted to revamp our web presence and handle it in-house. We purchased our domain name from them and they made me a manager of the GMB listing. About a month ago, they revoked my access, changed the name of the business to a generic name, and changed the phone number.

 

The original listing can been seen here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/A+Tree+Service/@36.2178794,-87.0193205,10z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1...

 

When I called to asked why they did this, they said that since I was no longer paying for the services, they would sell the listing to someone who would pay for it. So essentially they are trying to pull a rank-and-rent on my old listing and are holding it hostage.

 

The original name of the company and the listing was Wades Total Tree Service, it is now "A Tree Service" (you can even see they didn't bother to remove our old company logo in the pictures, haha).

 

I phoned Google support and initiated a request to change ownership a month ago, and 411locals.com never responded. I was then re-contacted by another Google support rep who I explained the situation to and was helpful enough to go through the process of verifying our ownership by calling the old number on the listing before it was changed, and then releasing the listing so that could claim it.

 

I was instructed to create a new business listing that was just like my old one and request a postcard verification, which I did. I was then told that the listing would automatically be joined or reconnected after a few days and I would have ownership to my original listing. This hasn't happened and I've been unable to get an email response from the original email chain and phone support hasn't been much help either :smileysad:

 

My new listing I made is here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Wades+Total+Tree+Service/@36.2176519,-86.7391389,15z/data=!4m2!3m1...

 

Basically, we just want ownership of our original listing that was stolen from us. We can prove ownership in anyway needed. Thanks in advance to anyone who can be of help!

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Former internet marketing company refuses to turn over GMB listing now that we stopped using the

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

411locals again! So sorry you had to go through this Elliot!

I feel like you may have gotten some bad advice from support. If the name and phone was still the same on the old listing they would maybe merge, but I don't think so if the 2 listings have different name and phone.

Support has the power to just transfer the listing. Not sure why they didn't.

If you ever need to quote it, here are the guidelines they violated: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177?hl=en&ref_topic=4540086

See section under: Ownership --- Additional guidelines for authorized representatives

"Always respond to management access requests promptly, and always transfer listing ownership to the business owner immediately upon request. Authorized representatives must, whenever possible, encourage the business owner to create an account, own the listing, and add authorized representatives as managers. Learn more about transferring ownership.

Failure to adhere to these policies may result in a suspension for the listing and/or account."

I would sure like to see companies like this that hijack listings get account suspensions (after the listing is transferred to the rightful owner.)

I'll escalate this and see if someone else can transfer your listing to you.



Re: Former internet marketing company refuses to turn over GMB listing now that we stopped using the

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

Linda, you're amazing!

Not sure if you remember my name or my issue, I posted about this on your forums about a month ago for this same matter :) (I've basically just been giving time for everything to happen before I escalated further) here was the link: www.localsearchforum.com/google-local/41628-3rd-party-search-engine-optimization-company-holding-cli...

Let me know if any additional information is needed on my end. Again, thank you so much.

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Elliot L
June 2016

Re: Former internet marketing company refuses to turn over GMB listing now that we stopped using the

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Sorry Elliot. Too many posts, too little time and zero memory any more.
But now that I see the post at that link I do remember.

I'll let you know if Google responds and needs any more info, plus will add that thread to my escalation.

Re: Former internet marketing company refuses to turn over GMB listing now that we stopped using the

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Awesome! Really can't thank you enough and I certainly didn't expect you to remember me haha, I just wanted to refer to it for the sake of documentation.

Re: Former internet marketing company refuses to turn over GMB listing now that we stopped using the

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
Hey Elliot,

Do you by chance have a case# for your interaction with support, where they told you to create a new listing? Google wants to look into this more and it would be helpful for them to have..

Re: Former internet marketing company refuses to turn over GMB listing now that we stopped using the

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Unfortunately no, I even asked for one but the rep said they didn't create one for these types of request. There doesn't appear to be one in the email string either.

Re: Former internet marketing company refuses to turn over GMB listing now that we stopped using the

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor
OK thanks for checking. I'll let them know.

Re: Former internet marketing company refuses to turn over GMB listing now that we stopped using the

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you Linda. I just realized looking back on it that a case # was in the subject line. It's [5-0394000011694]

I had someone from Google call me earlier this afternoon to circle up with me and they said they would be escalating it to their supervisor. Hopefully I hear back some positive news soon.

Re: Former internet marketing company refuses to turn over GMB listing now that we stopped using the

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor
Oh good to hear Elliot. Sounds like you are getting somewhere now. :-)

Let us know once you get it resolved or if you still need help.