Policy Change: Service Area Owner Conflict Workaround
I work for a small-scale agency and have been lucky enough to have about 17 of our client's listings get stuck in purgatory on account of that known technical issue where requesting ownership through the dashboard is impossible. I was really happy to hear that a workaround was offered in the form of a manual ownership transfer request, and went ahead and spent a day on the phone with support to get all the requests put in.
I'm going to preface this next part with one thing: it's not a surprise to anyone that business owners are busy. The old process used to be a 7-day waiting period while GMB support reached out by email followed by an allotment of 4 phone calls to the phone number on the existing verified listing to have it unverified if there was no email response. I'm always thorough and made sure to schedule the calls from support with our clients to make sure we got the duplicates released so we could finally help to get primary ownership of the listings to their rightful owners. Unfortunately, some of our clients weren't able to answer the call from GMB support. Shouldn't be a big deal, we can try a couple more times. Well... no we can't.
I found out yesterday that despite a known issue caused by GMB's own bug that has been ongoing for months, they have made a policy change to how the manual ownership transfer process is carried out. Instead of 4 phone calls, support is now only allowed to call the business line one time. If the business owner misses the call you have to contact support again and start the whole process over again.
I wish I could make sure every client is available to take Google's call on the first shot. I wish I could control the weather, I wish everyone was punctual and that everything planned would go off without a hitch. I wish for a lot of things, and to expect a business owner to be available for a single call (with no way to try again without another 7-day wait) is nothing short of unrealistic.
I've got questions here.
1. Has anyone else run into this issue when trying to resolve a manual ownership transfer? I can't be the first one to notice this policy change.
2. Why just why, would GMB make this change when there is a known issue that requires people to use this workaround. Why would anyone choose to make this issue more difficult to solve when there are people who have no other options?