Monday, September 16, 2013

The Rest of the Story . . . about internet & used car lots & stuff

Why Internet Businesses Remind Me
of Used Car Lots
A couples months ago (7/15) almost to this date I posted a harsh little piece about my very poor experience with Google and the Google ads program. The details of the original post can be read by clicking on the caption of the photo to the left.

After the blog ran, Google refunded the charges against my add account and I suppose Google deserves an apology from me for not setting things straight right away. But I'm doing it now because it's the right thing to do.

In my defense she'd been a bit "ho-hum, maybe we'll give back your money," or so I took it. I'll never know for sure. But what I do know is that I  heard back from them only after I'd blogged about my experience.  In fact, the day after I'd slapped up the outraged post, I received a call from the woman I'd spoken to right after my runaways ad account came to my attention.  And, she, too, did the right thing.  It's all good now. Because, yes, I did get a refund.

Was that blog the reason I got my money back? I think so. At least partly. The truth is I'm not ready to advertise on Google yet and not sure I ever will be. It makes me very uncomfortable because their payment system is too much like handing them a blank check. Actually, it IS giving them a blank check. People who are used to big advertising budgets probably know how to constrain or at least be aware of how much it's costing each day, but I'm still barely fluent in Google Analytics and my small eBook corner of isn't big time.  So I learned my lesson and it ended up not costing me.

So, as they say, all is well that ends well, but still, I don't want to end today's blog with this unsaid:  In my heart, I'm  convinced that my pointed blog got me the refund. I'd like to also be convinced that Google's will take a little more care in educating new advertisers with small budgets of how quickly charges mount up. But I don't think Google is by any means the worst of these online companies. All of them, from giant telemarketers to small websites pull you in with generous offers that end up being filled with hidden fees that somehow were never mentioned or were hidden in the small print.

If and when you get bitten by these shady marketing practices I urge you to NOT suck it up, but send out tweets, post on Facebook, and maybe even write an angry blog.  This is their world and it's not like they can ignore us very long. Although they'll try. I know, because even as I say they can't ignore us, I can't ignore the fact that Facebook has never told me how they got the credit card number I never gave them and why they charged for an ad I never ordered.  Fortunately the card they had on file was expired, so as far as I know they still claim I owe them money.

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