Google Maps Can't Handle Two Plus Businesses With Same Phone Number

Jan 22, 2010 • 8:32 am | comments (0) by | Filed Under Other Google Topics

Remember, a few months ago, I wrote how some Google Maps reviews were being posted on competitors Google Local Business listings? In summary, a Doctor was complaining that his competitors were obtaining his reviews, even though his business has a different name.

What I did not see then was that his competitor(s) have the same phone number as he does. Yes, there are many doctors share an office and the office staff with their competitors to cut costs. I honestly see this all the time in New York, where I live. You call a Doctors office and the same person who answers the phone for your doctor, would answer the phone for another doctor.

So these doctors are at the same location, offer the same medical expertise, compete with each other and even share a phone number. I honestly did not know the doctors don't have their own numbers. But I guess in some cases (possibly many cases) this is the fact, competing doctors share a phone number.

Because of this issue, Google is placing the reviews from one doctor to an other. Google's Joel explained:

It's a difficult problem to solve. I'm not saying we're doing the right thing in every case, but I am trying to give you guidance on how to satisfactorily resolve the issue on your end. If this is a distinct competitor, it seems to make sense to have a separate phone line. Even if the front office is shared.

In response to that, the doctor replied:

I appreciate your help up to this point, but I hardly think suggesting your paying advertisers change their business practices to accommodate your company's inability to fix a problem is appropriate. I hope this is not a signal that Google is changing into just another corporate giant, stepping on the heads of small businesses.

Sorry to be harsh, but these reviews were entered under my name in your system and then changed to a different name. I find it hard to believe that this is unfixable.

From a technology point of view, I see the issue but from a users point of view, this is serious.

Forum discussion at Google Maps Help.

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