Does Google Deserve A "D" On Their Better Business Bureau Rating?

Feb 20, 2009 • 8:30 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine
 

Google's Poor BBB RatingIf you visit Google's reliability report at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) web site, you will notice they have a rating of a "D." The D rating is when the BBB says:

We have enough concerns about this company (for example, their offer, customer complaints, advertising, etc.) that we recommend caution in doing business with it.

How can the BBB caution people conducting business with the largest and most loved search ad company?

In the past 36 months there have been a total of 424 complaints. To me, that is a pretty low number based on the number of advertisers and Google users they have.

In July, I reported at Search Engine Land that the BBB listed Google as unsatisfactory. In any event, does Google deserve a D or unsatisfactory rating?

A Google AdWords Help thread has responses from advertisers. I personally like BizWriter's response:

I agree with you about the scammers, affiliates etc. but -BBB D rating or not- the real issue is that AdWords support is mostly an euphemism even for honest advertisers. Misleading messages in AdWords interface, no phone support, loops and dead-ends when someone tries to contact support. Is that the customer support one would expect from a multi-billion -"do no evil"- company? Google is getting sclerotic and you need to be nimble in business. Just my 2 cents.

JezC, a top Google help member said:

I'm astonished, after all the stuff you've replied to, that you give this any credibility. There's *two* issues (CC denials, and account review speed) that are showing up as a pattern here, and *one* significant cause of increased activity - more newbie affiliates than I can recall seeing in around five years of activity on this forum.

So what do you think? Does Google deserve this rating?

Forum discussion at Google AdWords Help.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: February 19, 2009
 

Comments:

V

02/20/2009 04:31 pm

I looked into BBB's rating system. Google isn't the only one getting bad grades. This is part of their new rating system that's messing everything up. The L.A. Times and the Hartford Courant have both had articles on it. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-lazarus21-2009jan21,0,2387972.column http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-watchdog-0201,0,5794724.column

BizWriter

02/21/2009 08:19 am

"In the past 36 months there have been a total of 424 complaints. To me, that is a pretty low number based on the number of advertisers and Google users they have." I agree. Then again, it is one thing how many complaints are reported to the BBB, and it is another thing entirely how many complaints just go unreported. I really suspect that if everyone was going to file a complaint with the BBB the number would be significant. Also, I would like to clarify a bit my post at the AdWords Help Forum that you quote above. As I wrote in another post there (http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/AdWords/thread?tid=0ab48bb1377339e6&hl=en): "Then again, the real issue is: "As far as your statement "AdWords related questions must be sent to folks who are trained in AdWords." goes, it has been done already without any success, because those people sitting at the other side never respond." I think experiences of that sort are the cause for Google's D rating by the Better Business Bureau. In any case, I may not have AdWords support problems because I work for an AdWords Qualified Company and we have dedicated AdWords reps helping us out, but many, many other advertisers do. And this is bad business that will backfire at Google sooner or later, one way or another. Just my 2 cents." In other words, as far as I am concerned I have no problems with AdWords support because I work at an AdWords Qualified Company and we have dedicated reps helping us out. However, I can really empathize with those advertisers who have, and I believe that Google has to invest more in its support department; that would be a win-win situation. PS. Hey, those were 4 cents afterall! :-)

Sandy

02/21/2009 04:04 pm

Would it matter to you if YOU had one of those 424 complaints? What you are saying is as long as you don't have a complaint that you can't resolve and have to go to an outside agency to get help, it's okay if companies have complaints, right? Hope you have LOTS of issues in your future and you don't ever need help because they shouldn't help you.

Bizriter

02/21/2009 04:47 pm

"Would it matter to you if YOU had one of those 424 complaints?" Of course. If you read carefully my comment you will see that though I have no problems with AdWords Support I still believe that AdWords Support should be bettered for those advertisers who do. I never said that you should go to an outside agency. What I said was: "I agree with you about the scammers, affiliates etc. but -BBB D rating or not- the real issue is that AdWords support is mostly an euphemism even for honest advertisers. Misleading messages in AdWords interface, no phone support, loops and dead-ends when someone tries to contact support. Is that the customer support one would expect from a multi-billion -"do no evil"- company? Google is getting sclerotic and you need to be nimble in business." "and I believe that Google has to invest more in its support department; that would be a win-win situation" In fact, if you better think about it, an AdWords Support that is not efficient and effective would be a plus for an agency which does get support so why would I bother raising the issue of bad AdWords Support in the first place? I'm sorry that you misunderstood me. Hope the above clarifies even more my opinion.

mike

02/21/2009 04:50 pm

The real question is does Yahoo! deserve an A simply because they've paid to join the BBB? Note: Yahoo! has three times as many complaints as google. It seems to be more than just the new grading system, it appears to be pay for good grades. Too bad the BBB doesn't let you complain about themselves, now that would be interesting

Claire Jarrett

02/22/2009 05:44 pm

Interesting. Personally I feel Google would have a lot more complaints if people could actually figure out to get in touch TO complain. They really don't make getting hold of a customer services representative easy!

Sara

10/11/2010 01:25 am

As a consultant for small businesses, the issue of Google not responding to complaints has huge implications. Several businesses I've been asked to do work for have had incorrect Map listings that were impossible to correct, even after months of following every published instruction. These businesses were losing money through no fault of their own and felt they had no one to turn to as their emails were ignored.

Ray C

10/13/2010 11:41 pm

It's simple. The cost of supporting AdWords customers properly is much higher than the revenue most of them bring in. So a significant number get disgruntled? There's more where they came from. It's not like there are real alternatives.

Pissedoff

01/29/2012 05:39 pm

Google most certainly deserves a poor rating.  They ripped off my money through their Wallet application and I can't even get a response from them to get my money back.  This is completely their error and they could care less.

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