When Google Places Doesn’t Work, It Really Doesn’t Work

Universities, hospitals, governments… it is often very difficult for them to get control of their listings in Google Places. Some of this is due to the claiming process and some due to the underlying nature of the way that Google assembles listing data. Regardless, when it doesn’t work, it really doesn’t work and, as this frustrated poster points out, could one day very well lead to a disaster. I was just too tired to post an answer in the forums to their query. Perhaps  one of you kind souls could help Frustrated UM out?

Yes, I’ve tried “edit” and I’ve tried “report a problem”.  Those functions are not working.  Here is what’s happening:

Many pages for the University of Montana have the wrong phone number on them.  They all have the phone number for Family Housing listed.  Therefore, Family Housing is being overrun with calls for Financial Aid, Human Resources, Mansfield Library, Registration etc.  They are also getting calls from people looking for Campus Security!  This has the potential to become dangerous.  Students are actually calling the wrong number trying to get to the Campus Police but are reaching Family Housing. Here are the locations that are wrong:

University of Montana: Financial Aid
University of Montana: Human Resouces
University of Montana: Campus Security
University of Montana: Registrar
University of Montana: Native American studies
University of Montana: School of Law

I’m sure there are more.  All of these have the same phone number listed (406) 243-6030, which is for family housing.  I’ve tried using the edit button and the report a problem button.  I’ve followed the steps but all I get back is an email that says “Thank you for updating Gizzy Pool”.  and then later another email saying “We could not update Grizzy Pool, the information could not be verified”.

I did not try to update the Grizzy Pool page (and it should say Grizzly Pool by the way).  I can get no other response.  What should I do?

Again,  before anyone tells me to try the Edit or Report a problem route, I’ve been trying for nearly 2 months with no other response except the Grizzy Pool emails

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
When Google Places Doesn't Work, It Really Doesn't Work by

9 thoughts on “When Google Places Doesn’t Work, It Really Doesn’t Work”

  1. Geez, I’m especially concerned about the campus police part, Mike. Here we go again with the very real, potential life-and-death impacts of NAP. Fooling around doesn’t cut it. Emergency data of this kind should be given priority status, pronto. I can imagine that few families would feel safe or happy knowing about this hazardous situation in Google with UofM’s emergency data. None of the mistakes are acceptable, but this particular issue belongs in a category of its own, in terms of urgency.

    Google just decided it wouldn’t be showing real estate listings in future. I feel that Google should consider pulling all emergency info out of the index until they are capable of handling it with reasonable accuracy.

  2. Deletion and readdition of each place with the correct data may be the only option here. I saw an article a while back commenting on two similar, near-to-each-other businesses that had details mixed together, and no matter how much was changed, nothing would ever get corrected. They were advised to delete both places and resubmit with the correct info.

    I would at least try it on the less-important places first to see if it shows any sign of working.

  3. @Christopher
    As Google has pointed out though, if merged once and you delete, the same thing will happen again if enough has not changed. I deleted one listing in a merged pair and within 2 weeks it had merged back in.

    @Brian
    Yes I agree. If a couple using Google Maps goes down an unmaintained mountain rode and gets all kind of press…. think what will happen on the emergency call or drive up the results in a death.

  4. Hi,

    Another example of googles poor analysis, programming and testing.

    Throwing a heap of young kids at an application, however clever Mike, does not make up for experience and the resulting foresight.

    I expect a lawyer would have a field day with google over ‘due diligence’ some day.

    Cheers. Andrew.

  5. After losing half my hair to this problem I found a bit of a solution. Delete all, yes all listing 100%. Repost with photos that are on flickr or photobucket and use the links from the photosite to the places ad. Make 5 short videos with the correct info on the voice over, post on youtube and use the links to juice up your G places. Now the phone confirmations, this is where it gets tricky. The person who is setting up the G places needs to have another person turn off the phone systems and have a direct line into the room. The phones will be shut off for less than 3 minutes, do it at night or at closing. The next part is the reviews and citations, I’ll address that another day.

  6. You can also contact google customer service directly if you know how to (a person not report a bad link)get to them and with a situation like this they should be able to fix it relatively quickly.

  7. The funny thing is that this can be fixed by Google quite easily.
    Sometimes it really shows how Google and their customer service department/s really works and where their heart really is!

    Relevancy my b*tt!

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