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Our listing is being held Hostage

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

My family owns and runs a store here in Nephi, Utah, ( 4-D Plumbing & Builder's Supply) and somehow a while ago someone not affiliated with the business got control of our Google Maps Listing. They changed it to "permanently closed" and now they want to charge us several hundred dollars to "verify" our listing and get it set as open again. We can only see the first couple letters of the email address of whoever they are, but it's not anybody that works here. 

 
I went through the work of setting us up a totally new listing,  and it's now verified.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/4-D+Plumbing+%26+Builders+Supply/@39.7089389,-111.8385852,17z/data...
 
I know there's a process to request ownership of it, but it was denied by the people who are holding our listing hostage.  I made several attempts to get control of the old one, but they won't give us access unless we pay them. First they asked for $199, but after I went through the process to request ownership, they want $399.  The new listing was verified by mail, showing that we are, in fact, the ones here, that we're open, and that we are the legitimate business listed. The advertiser that has control of the old listing claims to be with Google, and they've called us repeatedly with pre-recorded calls that tell us a phone number to call back.  The number they've given us is definitely not a publicly-listed Google number. 
 
If I can't get the old one taken down or get control of it, can I somehow get it un-verified and un-published? I know it's just a scam to get us to pay them money, and I can't guarantee they won't just lock us out again later and demand more money even if we went along with their scheme. 

Our listing is being held Hostage

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭

Jess, there are a few options that come to mind when it comes to your business.

 

1) Forget about the first listing, I looked over the one that was "hijacked" and I didn't see much value in it.  (primarily because it didn't even have one review).

 

2) With your idea of getting it unverified and unpublished, I would suggest calling Google My Business and explaining the situation.

 

3) I would even suggest consulting a professional that deals with Google My Business.

 

Hope that helps.