My Google Favorite Place Decal Was Hijacked

Dec 11, 2009 • 1:31 pm | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

Update: Google reached out to me and asked me to try a new app to scan it, such as Barcode Scanner for Android of QuickMark for iPhone. I tried it and both QuickMark and Barcode Scanner return my business. So a poor quality QR scanner will return a bad listing. I guess technically, this is not a Google bug.

We are aware of Google Maps listings being hijacked, that is nothing new. But remember Google is sending out favorite places decals? Well, I got mine today and I decided to try it out.

Guess what? When you scan the QR bar code it takes you to a different business!

RustyBrick is my company and here is my Google Place:

Here is a video with proof:

Here is a link to the Citrus Grille which is what comes up after you scan my code.

Here is a video of me "unboxing" the decal today:

I am not sure how Google can fix this? Either:

(1) Send me a new decal with new bar code? (2) Update their database so they do not have to send me a new decal?

The thing is, I just hope I don't get calls from the Citrus Grille, that would be annoying!

Forum discussion at Google Maps Help.

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Ryan Hayward

12/11/2009 06:49 pm

Hi - I'm working on this project at Google? Want to reach out to me and we'll figure it out? Sometimes the scanner might misread the code slightly and take you to the wrong business. If it's actually wrong I'll make sure we get a new one out to you. Thanks!

Barry Schwartz

12/11/2009 07:02 pm

Ryan, well - I guess you do have my number. ;-) Anyway, sent you an email - thanks for the very quick response.

Michael Butler

12/11/2009 07:26 pm

This Google page about the Barcodes lists BeeTagg as the first Android app that "work best". So far BeeTagg has resulted in the wrong result each time (about 5 times now). Barcode Scanner got it right the first time.


12/12/2009 11:59 pm

QuickMark got the tag wrong for my business but MobileTag got it right.

Scott Ackerman

12/16/2009 03:29 pm

Both QuickMark and NeoReader read the card I got wrong and direct you to a Google home page in some other language (Spanish I believe). Both QR readers for my iPhone take you to the same page so the QR code itself I believe is incorrect.


01/06/2010 12:42 pm

try using scanbuy's "scanlife" barcode reader. i have found this to be superior to the others out there.


01/08/2010 08:39 pm

Use NeoReader. It's now also on Android.

BeeTagg Sux

01/08/2010 10:52 pm

QR Codes do not get 'misscanned' or 'hijacked' any more than UPC codes do. The problem here is BeeTagg. Did you notice what happened in the video? It first went to BeeTagg and then on to Google. BeeTagg sends all their traffic through their own servers first. I'm guessing that where the mixup occurs. As a test, take the URL that resolves from the code and type it in manually, it should work fine. Here I'll do it for you. The code from the video, right after it captures the barcode says. If you click that, it goes to RustyBrick. It's not hijacked, or misread. If anything, BeeTagg's the one that 'hijacked' your code.

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