New Google user happiness survey offered amidst growing smb complaints

Google User Happiness Survey

In response to the many changes that Google has made of late in Maps, Google is once again surveying some Map users (Survey URL) with questions as to speed of the service, quality of data and customer service level satisfaction. If the survey is unavailable at the link above you can view this PDF of the survey.


When Google upgraded Maps with the blueline upgrade in late July, they temporarily lost the abililty to allow easy rerouting of their directions. That loss led to an avalanche of small business complaints from companies that were using Google for daily routing of their vehicles. The most recent change to using TeleAtlas has led to a new series of complaints from SMB’s using Google’s routing noting that whole locations (not just the functionality) have been lost.

Has anyone seen Union County NC? That’s the question a small business owner outside of Charlotte, NC is asking of Google after their recent change to using TeleAtlas mapping data.

In this posting to Google Groups, this small business person, using Google Map’s routing, is complaining that the data necessary for his daily routing task is either missing or unusable due to its age. I wonder how he would answer the survey?:

TOPIC: Totally lost – Tele Atlas disaster

== 1 of 4 ==
Date: Mon, Sep 22 2008 7:54 am
From: “”

I’ve used google maps for almost four years to provide routing instructions for the drivers at my small business. It was always wonderful. Now, with this change in data providers, the maps for my local area are so outdated that they are unusable. I’m talking data that is in some cases 50 YEARS out of date. Roads that no longer exist or have been extensively re-routed, place names appearing that I had to ask my grandmother about, etc. Of course, the satellite overlay and the road map overlay are now utterly dissimilar.

I’ve tried reporting this to Tele Atlas but their error reporting system is designed to report ONE place incorrectly labeled or ONE street wrong. There is no way to report to them that a map for entire county (some 10 zip codes) has data from the 1940’s all over it. I have tried multiple times.

This is for Union County, NC (zips including but not limited to 28110 28112 28111 28174 28103 28104 28105. This is the eastern ‘burbs of Charlotte, NC, the 19th largest city in the freaking country. It isn’t like this was some backwoods locale.

Navteq was dead-on accurate. Tele Atlas is completely unusable. I’m going to have to migrate my entire system to as a result. They still use Navteq.

== 2 of 4 ==
Date: Mon, Sep 22 2008 12:48 pm
From: Maps Guide Adam

Thanks for letting us know about this issue. We’ve reported it to the data provider. As we mentioned in the following post you can report data errors directly to Tele Atlas using the link provided here:

Thread to report TeleAtlas problems

Thanks for your feedback.

Maps Guide Adam

The take away is the many small businesses have grown to rely on Maps and are not afraid to let Google know of their dismay. I guess that one could say that “hell hath no fury like a small business person scorned”.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
New Google user happiness survey offered amidst growing smb complaints by

13 thoughts on “New Google user happiness survey offered amidst growing smb complaints”

  1. Hi Laptop

    Thanks for stopping by. Your members are not the only one. It will be interesting to see how long it is for TeleAtlas to get this squared away for Google. Certainly, the pressure is on both them and Google to do so given how high of a profile Google Map’s plays.

    I would love to hear from someone who tracks a specific TeleAtlas/Google Map failing to see how long it does take. If it is the standard 6 months Google’s rep will suffer a great deal in that timeframe.

    It was general wisdom in the industry that Navteq had better data in the US and TeleAtlas had better data in Europe. If that is the case, one has to think that in this transition Google negotiated for TeleAtlas to provide a speedier response than 6 months to the bad data.


  2. @Miriam

    What about doing our own survey? I have been thinking about doing that for a while. Perhaps you could help me construct the questions?

    All comers welcome!


  3. Who should we target with the survey? Search folks? Try to compare them with “civilians”? How would we get folks not in the industry?

    Should we attempt to measure perceived quality?


  4. How to get civilians?

    That’s tough. Honestly, Mike, of all the civilians I speak to, I’d say that 1 in 10 has any idea what the LBC is. I’m always so thrilled when a potential client starts talking about Maps.

    What could we do? If there was some way to contact Yelp users or some group like that, you’d have a chance of getting non-SE folks, but still have a good chance that they would know what the survey was about.

    I just had a funny idea…post it in Google’s Maps help group. I’m imagining the replies would be rather disgruntled.

    Let’s see…Craigslist? But would that generate any response? I have my doubts. Hmm…

  5. Yes getting a good cross section of non seo folks to respond would be key. We could email our clients, I suppose. But then how many of them would have used Google Maps but even that might be of interest.

    I had thought of the Google Groups as it is a good section of relatively motivted users.


  6. where can i go to complain to googlemaps they have my addresswrong an on the complaint link wont take methere its almost as if they disabled it like they really dont care thanks!

  7. Google’s switch to Tele Atlas has required that every time I supply my address to say … “Do not use Google Maps to find our house. It will send you to a location one mile away. Use Mapquest instead.” I submitted my address and GPS coordinates to Tele Atlas in November. After four months of no response, I submitted the locations of the other 40 homes in our new subdivision. After three additional months, still no change from Tele Atlas. Frustrating because there is no one to contact or talk to at either Google or Tele Atlas.

    1. @Ty

      TeleAtlas has been frustrating at best. It isn’t clear why it should take so long or why there is so little movement.

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