Google Moves Local My Business Phone Support to India – Expect the Call Times to Be Longer


Google has moved My Business Phone support to India and, at least for now, expect your call times to take longer.

I noticed the changes to Google Local Support today. I haven’t called them in a while so it is not clear exactly when the changes were implemented.

1- It seems that a fair bit of the support for Google My Business  has been off-shored to India.

My experience on the call was less than ideal and it had nothing to do with the rep, who was ineffably polite, patient, well intentioned and well spoken.

The call took almost 1 hour. It was a fairly simple problem of merging an unverified and verified page but as is wont to happen with outsourcing there were several snafus not all of which were Deepa’s fault. In fact none of them really were. He was great.

There were some language issues as it was about a chiropractor and US personal names both of which required laborious, letter by letter spelling.

OK that happens but there were other issues that slowed the transaction down. For whatever reason it was difficult for him to find the listings. I had to spell out the URLs.

He didn’t seem empowered to make obvious changes. And had to wait a very long time for change to be approved upstream.

And the rules seem to be interpreted differently denying what should have been an obvious request but again only after a request to a supervisor and a delay.

Google may be able to fix the systemic issues and improve this process but then again maybe not. Plan on spending more time on the phone for now.

Update: At least for now, some calls are still going to the US call center. It isn’t clear how they are being divvied up or if all will go to India. See comments below.

2- Google now apparently offers a chat mode. Not my favorite way of getting problems solved but next time I will try it. Its got to be faster than the hour this call took me.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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40 thoughts on “Google Moves Local My Business Phone Support to India – Expect the Call Times to Be Longer”

  1. I’ve had calls in the last 5 weeks or so go to the India Call center – but the other day, it was someone in the US call centers who fixed the difficult issues – and this sounds horrible, but I had called first and got the india center, and knew they wouldn’t understand the issue, and gave up quickly to call back.

  2. @Colleen
    That is good to know. I am not sure how many calls go to India vs the US. I wonder if there is a magic word you can say to get one transferred.

    They do not yet seem to have the same level of training so it is not surprising that they didn’t understand the problem.

  3. Just tested calling 2 separate times (both within 5 minutes). Didn’t want to “experiment” more and abuse their resources or, even worse, to get my number on call black list of some kind.

    Got specialist from US the first time.
    Specialist from India the second time.

  4. As an Indian, I feel great that Google has outsource some of its customer support to India. But the differences in culture and language are obviously hampering a seamless interaction. I agree that this is also more of a training issue, executives must be trained effectively before being allowed to take calls.

    One solution could be that Initially only chat based support should be outsourced, which if successful should be followed by a voice based support.

  5. Have been dealing with Ann Arbor all week… Still as misinformed as ever.

    I’m actually excited about chat! It will make dealing with multiple URLs for enterprise clients easier as I can just copy paste!

  6. Interesting. I have been calling them a lot recently and have only gotten the US in the past week or so. I must be one of the lucky ones still going to US call centers. Maybe I’ll do a few tomorrow and see what I can find. Either way I’m not happy with this at face value. If the best customer experience is still provided I won’t have any issues, but time will tell.

  7. Mike,

    Have I told you lately that I love you? Just kidding, but thank you! I made 2 calls about the same issue, the first landed me a rep in the US and the second was a rep in India. The first call was a good experience but not much in the way of results, and the second I eventually terminated because I had so much trouble conveying what I was trying to get done. Still, nice to have the option of making contact and talking to a live person.

    Thanks again!

  8. We have been seeing this for a while in the UK now. All of our calls in the last month or so have been routed to an Indian call centre.

    We have generally seen resolution of the problems bar one that had to be referred to a specialist but the language issues can draw out the calls some.

    We have not seen any calls to UK or US based call centres though so I can only imagine this is the shape of things to come.


    1. @Marcus
      I am wondering if this precedes a wider European roll out. Originally support was only open during US business hours. I am wondering if they are rolling to more countries AND expanding hours.

  9. It’s been about a month since I’ve had to call but it has been random if I get a US or India call rep. I had an ongoing issue trying to get resolved by india that carried on for a couple weeks with no success. When I had called about another issue with a different client I got a US rep and ask for assistance on the issue with the india rep and they were able to resolve it within minutes. So frustrating.

    I hope there can be enough complaints where they could rethink this.

  10. In terms of priorities I’ll tell you one thing: I take periodic calls from Adwords “reps”. They want to “improve” our adwords results. (“improve” can be interpreted to mean get more adwords clicks!!!–> spend more money).

    The calls are always from the US. Very articulate people. Very nice. Very easy to converse with. Took one yesterday. The guy was in Ann Arbour. He had a free google breakfast and a free google lunch. While on the call for an hour he got a free google swag gift.

    Google obviously prioritizes its personnel where its financial interests lie. —Just sayin. 🙂

  11. In Canada, I periodically have had the Support calls handled via Indian reps… almost always a Fail. I do hope they keep the majority of calls to the US Support Team – they are awesome!

  12. Not to sound like a broken record, but I have had calls with India as long as 8 weeks ago.

    Based on the 3-4 interactions I have had with them there is a VERY big knowledge gap. Had one guy on the phone with me for 45 minutes trying to fix an issue then the call dropped. Never got a call back, issue persisted. Called back again, 15 minutes later, got a US based rep, she fixed the issue in less then 10 minutes.

  13. @Alex
    Certainly more training is in order and empowering these folks so that they can solve the issue right away rather than waiting for supervisory approval.

    Although the language issues will still likely make the calls longer. I estimate that of the 55 minutes I spent on the call, 5-10 minutes were language delays, 30 were delays caused by the need for approvals etc.

  14. I, too, have been experiencing calls for the past month or so with people I had trouble communicating with and people who had to put me on hold to go find out the answer to every question I asked.
    They seem poorly trained and handicapped by what they are willing and able to do or tell me how to do. Definitely a giant step backwards from what I had been experiencing.

  15. @Mary
    Yes timing seems to be about 4 to 8 weeks ago that it started. It would seem that in some countries (like UK) it’s 100% of the calls. In the US it is not clear if the calls to India are overflow or shifting over.

  16. I’ve also noticed that sometimes when I call, I get someone out of Michigan (who usually tells me about how reviews and business photos on the listing are important)… and other times, I get the India call center. The people in India are nice, but the language barrier can be an issue at times.

  17. This explains a lot. I have always had great phone service (one exception). In fact it has sometimes blown my mind when a skilled and knowledgeable Googler pulls a rabbit out of his hat in real time.

    Recently however I had a call where the tech with Indian accent couldn’t answer any question beyond “What is your name” without putting me on hold while they ran for an answer. And for the most fundamental of things. I didn’t connect the accent to a Indian call center till now.

    And all I can say is “Uh-Oh!”. My experience with Indian call center personnel is that they are very hesitant to take any initiative or any action without express approval from the “man behind the curtain”, which of course drags out the time required to resolve any issue.

  18. I called few times and i got US personal. It may be depends on may be timing and overflow.

    I agree with you Marry with you on “poorly trained “. Google should have made this move after making sure their rep ‘s are trained properly.

  19. Google Local Business support may have been moved to India but they ar still not very serious about ‘Local’ in India. Phone verification is a hit & miss at times & their map data still has a long way to go. Current data providers are the Yellow Pages which ar quite old & slow. Pin code level targeting is still not available & many businesses are still figuring out online presence.

    Hoping that with some more focus, better & faster internet connectivity Google will focus more on Local. Currently they are making tons of money due to the Ecommerce boom in India.

  20. do the reps from India call from “spoofed” numbers ?
    someone called me with an east indian accent saying they were from google but the number +1 080 711 0144
    is spoofed ????

  21. Since I am still trying to get set up on Google My business I prefer not to supply the business web site and email address.
    I have been trying for 1.5 months to get on Google my business. Each time I call to ask what the hold up is, they say, I have to wait another 14 days. The person I talk to is always very nice, BUT, nothing is ever done. The last time I talked to them I told them I believe the url they created is incorrect because it doesn’t show all of the name. The guy told me that the note on the account says its a url problem. also, each time I talk to someone they say, the issue should be taken care of before the 14 days. I am really at a loss. Since it’s a free service I can’t really gripe about it. Suggestions?

  22. I am based in Dublin, Ireland and I had 5 missed calls on my mobile with an India prefix so of course I didn’t answer. How was I supposed to know it was Google as they didn’t leave any messages. Then I got an email which was insulting to say the least and rather ‘why didn’t you take my call’ we want to take over your google adwords account and ‘make it better’ (ie spend more money) I was not impressed when I finally did take the call I couldn’t understand what the rep was trying to say and just gave up. Sorry but Google is in Dublin and they have always dealt with my business so why move it to India when I am 10 minutes up the road. Not impressed Google…..

  23. I am from malaysia, i wouldnt even understand google customer service agent is trying to say. I am surprised that google let their customer service suffers deterioration

  24. Google is ridiculous. They have so much $ and they’re being cheap by now offshoring all the AdWords support to India. They have horrible training and have no idea how to help!

  25. Yes I am sure as I made them verify by telling me what Adwords campaigns I was running once I got on the call – I just got another 6 missed calls from the same number over a 4 day period – then it was followed up by an email again. Really really sick of it now to be honest – call number is +91

  26. Spend the last 5 days dealing with Google call center and chat the worst experience I have ever had very clear poor training
    unable to action anything I have been lied to not once but twice to he honest would have got better service from an answering machine

  27. Only reason I pulled my ads and money from good ad , aka my business service was the call center

    when I ask / request / whatever the operator to direct me to US call center I was dined
    I was so angry I called back again and ask the same lady operator that I wish not to connect to indian call center, and she told I am being racist and he hang off on me, when I call again samething.
    I understand that google is global business but when they operates in US , can’t they just provide the job to US ?

  28. Had a spammer leave a horrible
    review on our business page we contacted google to have it removed and was put through to an Indian call centre , straight away I new the service would be appalling as a lot of UK telephone companies have moved away from this old tried and failed approach of using indian call centres due to the poor and unhelpful level of services they are renowned for. My enquiry was not resolved after 2 hours on the phone. I can’t believe Google have so much money and this is the level of service that offer.

  29. Called to get assistance for mother’s gmail account was told we would have to pay $100 to have someone working in India who has full access to all Gmail accounts to assist. Called again tonight the fee was $200 and these people could not wait to get the money and they want full access to your computer so they can breach it. This is illegal and egregious activity for which we will now report to US attorney general. Gmail is a free service and if an 85 year old woman is in the hospital with a broken hip and wants her gmail reset an outsourced company for Google run by Larry Page should not be charging money for a service that is free! Google is misleading the public and basically telling Anyone who wishes to call India and pay $100 for a google user ID and password including hackers that they can obtain anyone’s information which is against the law! This egregious breach of our constitutional rights as citizens is something Larry Page and Google will need to answer! The FBI and DOJ and US Attorney General will be notified of this unethical behavior. No wonder people are being are Experiencing horrific customer service and being ripped off in the process not to mention their personal information is at risk. This is illegal Google and you could be subject to many lawsuits. My advice stop using google don’t buy any google products anymore.

  30. Ever since they moved their call centers to India, it’s been absolutely dreadful. For AdWords support, they apparently never even took the fundamentals test or customer service training. Nor will they understand how US businesses operate let alone how people “buy” in the US. I’ve been having adwords bugs for months and they just put me on hold each time saying its fixed….but it never is.
    You would figure for such a huge$$$ company they could keep it local.

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