How to get Google Status Update ROBOCALLS from 3rd party marketers HIRED BY GOOGLE to stop calling?!?!

phone-449836_1280This Google MyBusiness forum post, pointed out by Joy Hawkins, shows the far reaching impact that local search robo callers have in poisoning the industry.

It is amazing to me 1) that we allow our regulatory environment be so lax that these scams continue (ah isn’t laissez faire capitalism grand?) and 2) that Google has not made an obvious, highly visible effort to slap these folks down.

How to get Google Status Update ROBOCALLS from 3rd party marketers HIRED BY GOOGLE to stop calling?!?!

Jennifer SligarLevel 1
Apr 30

We get 5 robo-calls per week (sometimes up to 3 calls per day) with a “Google Status Update” recording saying that our Google Business Listing needs to be updated. We have nothing and want nothing to do with Google and yet when you press 2 at the end of the call to be deleted from the list, nothing changes. THE CALLS CONTINUE. When you press 1 you are generally not connected to a live person (to tell them to stop calling in person).

Today, however, I was.

“Paul” told me that he would take me off the list from “his” office but that Google hires DOZENS of marketing companies to make THE EXACT SAME ROBOCALL, using the EXACT SAME AUTO DIALERS and that our office would continue to be hounded by these calls forever or until we have exhausted some unknown number of firms to get off of their lists as well.




!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!STOP CALLING US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DO YOU HEAR????????????????????
IS THIS LOUD ENOUGH????????????????????????????????
STOP FUCKING CALLING US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is an amazing post. Even after Joy explained the realities this person was convinced that Google was hiring these contractors to harass her. She is reacting to the huge burden that the robocallers have placed on her. That cost is very real even if she doesn’t really understand how this all works.

These local search scheisters have managed, using cheap and ubiquitous technology, to externalize the many costs of this effort and put the onus on the small business. All with the hope (and likely outcome given how common this is) that some % of SMBs  will be sucked in.

I suppose that in the rare case one of these companies was in fact an AdWords reseller, Google could slap their hand. Ultimately though a concerted effort by Google to help prosecute these scammers very publicly AND use some of their lobbying money* to put in place reasonable laws and enforcement is needed.

*Last year, Google spent $16,830,000 in the Washington lobbying efforts, second only to Comcast for single companies.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
How to get Google Status Update ROBOCALLS from 3rd party marketers HIRED BY GOOGLE to stop calling?!?! by

25 thoughts on “How to get Google Status Update ROBOCALLS from 3rd party marketers HIRED BY GOOGLE to stop calling?!?!”

  1. Well, now that the Internet is considered as a public utility under Title 2, the FCC and all politicians on the Energy and Commerce Committee are just now becoming ripe for the pickings by persuasive lobbyists. Regulations are as pretty much anything but guaranteed at this point.

    1. The problem with most regulations though is that they are written to serve the biggest companies. It is not clear to me that they will be written to serve the SMB.

  2. Wholeheartedly agree with your post Mike. Google needs to do something!

    And that post is by far not the most enraged SMB to have complained about this problem. We get complaints almost every day now or multiples.

    In addition to the inconvenience of the calls, how many SMBs get ripped off by lies when they are told their listing will be deleted if they don’t pay up?

    Google really needs to take a stand!

  3. Mike: Every week we get phone and email solicitations about our different websites. Every week; at least several. Some are about local services, some are about general web services. It does take up a good bit of time.

    Long ago I used to cold call. Tough business. Lot of turn downs. Sometimes I recall that period and am more gentle. Sometimes I turn these folks down more abruptly, if not crudely. They take up time.

    I almost took one call a week or 2 ago. The call had more “warm info”. It was more clever. But I didn’t.

    As a sales guy, I had more success with “warm calls”. it gave sales people a better “in”. Hey cold callers….give some helpful information. It works better.

    Now will google do anything??? Will they try and stop this?? Will they take some of that greasy money they lay into politicians to actually try and stop harassing small businesses???

    I doubt it.

    Back before the Local Forum had a salaried moderator, and TC’s….the local forum was full of small businesses that were screaming BLOODY MURDER.

    You recall it. You were there. Businesses were crying and screaming for help. Didn’t at least two people threaten violence???

    What did Google do????

    1. They never responded to the screamers.
    2. They Buried all the posts and comments in the old forum wherein people screamed and begged for help….and Google didn’t respond.

    Ironic isn’t it???? The company that said it wanted to put everything on the web, hid the stuff that showed how unresponsive they were!!!!!

    Then they improved the forums and responsiveness. Nice move on the last part.

    So maybe with enough pressure they’ll do “something”….but I doubt they’ll change spending money on greasing politicians hands!!!!!

    What do you think or suggest? You were there when they ignored every scream and cry and pitiful call for assistance.

    Do you think they will step up to the plate???

  4. Obviously, these calls are problems. I get them all the time. You can only block so many numbers. Whenever my caller ID says, “Orange County, CA,” I let it go right to voicemail.

    This could be a great opportunity for somebody who can capitalize on a program or app that can use an algorithm to determine the probability of whether or not a call coming in is indeed spam… and then it could simply drop that incoming call altogether…

  5. To Scott Hendison
    Clearly there is misrepresentation and deceit in these calls, claiming to be Google and then selling something to somebody with that as a basis. If Yelp can sue a reviewer then Google can find and sue con men… or help the FTC or some State Attorney General do so. The publicity would at least slow them down. In terms of companies that also are Adwords certified they could lose that certification.

    To Dave
    Will they? Do anything? I doubt it. But I am ever optimistic that Larry is ready my blog and getting ready to respond forcefully.

  6. Rather than relying on Google to take action, I think we’ll have better luck wiping these scofflaws out by taking legal action. I receive calls from jokers like these on my DNC registered residential landline all the time & have taken more than a dozen to court under a law called the TCPA. For small business owners, filing complaints with your state’s Attorney General (for fraudulent representation & violations of the federal anti-spoofing law) would probably be most effective.

    The hardest part is unravelling who the companies really are! And if you have a spare credit card that you’re willing to fight charges on… Well. They’re just asking for a chance to snick their neck out & get identified.

    1. @George
      I think it requires action on all three fronts.
      1- Google to publicize a high profile case
      2- Small business owners minimally reporting them to their State AG
      3- The government putting in place clear, enforceable rules that can stop this foolishness.

  7. Google is such a hypocrite. They just love cracking down on “spammy” marketers when they’re doing the exact same thing themselves. This needs to stop!

  8. Google should be concerned… even after clearly explaining what’s going on here, this comment appears 😉

    Sundra (1 comments)
    MAY 11, 2015 AT 1:29 AM
    Google is such a hypocrite. They just love cracking down on “spammy” marketers when they’re doing the exact same thing themselves. This needs to stop!

  9. @Mike —> YES, YES, YES… PLEASE:
    “In terms of companies that also are Adwords certified they could lose that certification.”
    e.g. Reach Local etc.

  10. Ugh… We just got our first call at work from one of these… fraudsters. Ironic being a website development & SEO company ourselves…

    I sighed, hung up on the transferred call, and forwarded this article.

    1. Beware..I get at least two calls a day a my small business. There is just myself and a part timer there. Disruptive, time consuming bullshiit. Good luck. I hope they don’t bother you any more.

  11. Hey Mike,

    Speaking of robo calls, I just signed up for a service called Nomorobo last night. Has anyone used them before?

    This morning I received a robo call and it only rang once or twice, then stopped. I wonder if it was because of Nomorobo.


  12. I’ve talked to 5 of these call centre numbers asking them to stop calling me and blocked 50 about different numbers. Last one I talked to, told me to “press 5 on my phone you fu cking idiot and then hung up on me as I was asking to be removed from their list”. Talk about rude. I still get called 10 times a week and sometimes 2 2 min apart or 3 times a day. I wasn’t a big user of adwords and only spent $50 bucks in total to try it out. Wasn’t benefitting me at all using it. It really is a huge negative advertising campaign on there part, pissing off so many old customers. When I get asked about my experience all I can think of is the hounding I’ve been receiving for the last 3 years.

  13. Amen.

    The latest is calls offering to stop the Google calls for money.

    For money!!!!!

    To stop calls I didn’t ask for or want to start with.

  14. You know the funny thing…. The Federal government offices do not get these phone calls at all. HMMM Here is what I do: If I get a real person I tell them that they called an active crime scene. I would like to know their relationship with the victim and how I can get in touch with them. I do not represent myself as law enforcement. That is against the law! We are headed backwards with the technology at hand. We are going alpha numeric pagers so that we will accurately screen all of our incoming phone calls. God damn you google! Assholes!

  15. Being as I can’t get them to stop calling (at least 3 to 4 times a week) i will, when time avails, be playing and burning up their precious time with : (1) “are you talking to me? “(2) after a lenghty sales pitch “can you repeat the question please?” (3) and finally “hold while I transfer your call.” At least I will get some enjoyment out of it instead of feeling like someone stole my time and annoyed me.

  16. These calls are so annoying – the internet and constant up selling and scamming have rendered phones and the internet almost useless.
    I am going back to a disconnected computer.

  17. This is a robot call….no actual person to talk to. I get 3-4 calls a day! Sooooooooo tired of this. I have blocked over 20 numbers and it keeps calling.

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