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If you’ve ever had to deal with verifying your business through Google Places or Google+ Local, you know that the process is pretty painful. Phone calls won’t work with automated phone systems, postcards take forever to arrive or never arrive at all – it’s notoriously chaotic.
Just a few days ago, Google quietly released a new feature that should have business owners across the country doing the happy dance and throwing up fist pumps…
Google now offers phone support for businesses that are having problems with verification.
Yes, you read that correctly…
Even better – you’re not going to get stuck with an outsourced support member who barely speaks English. The phone support is staffed by actual US-based Google support employees.
So if you’ve had problems getting verified, here’s how you can reach the new phone support. You’ve got to use the
I’m having a problem verifying my listing(s) troubleshooter
in Google Places for Business.
Once you’re there, select the radio button for “I tried PIN verification for a single listing” and that your status is not “Needs Action.”
Then, select the option for “postcard” and let them know that you waited the required 15 days.
Once you’ve clicked these options, you’ll be given an option to fill out a form or “call us.” When you click the “call us” option, it asks you for your phone number, and Google will call you back immediately.
Obviously, I wanted to test it, so I typed in my digits and almost as soon as I hit submit, the phone rang. An automated voice told me that I was being connected to support, and in just a few short seconds, a friendly guy named Calvin picked up. I didn’t really have a verification issue, but he was very knowledgeable and was able to help me quickly diagnose the data problems we were having with one of our dealers.
IMPORTANT NOTE #1: This phone support is ONLY for verification problems. There are about a bazillion other problems with the Google+ Local system, and they won’t help you with any of those. He WAS able to figure out our issue, and he told me to put his name in my support request so that he could quickly take care of the problem once it was forwarded to him. So it looks like these are actual support staff members, not just phone operators reading a script.
IMPORTANT NOTE #2: This phone support in ONLY for Google+ Local (Google Places) verification issues, not Google+ Business. If you’re having problems merging your +Business page with your +Local page, or if you’re just trying to claim your +Business page, the phone support won’t do anything for you.
Even with those two drawbacks, this is a HUGE step for Google. For once, they actually care about the businesses that rely on their local listings, and they’re making an effort to help navigate their incredibly buggy platform.