Update 10:00 pm: Google has confirmed that this is a permanent feature.
Update 01/09/12 11:09 am: Google has confirmed that phone support is US- only and just English at this point if an agency is managing the listing, they should be able to get support.
Google+ Local had a rough 2012. But it appears that at the start of 2013 there has been at least one upgrade that is worth shouting about (here’s hoping its permanent).
Google is actually providing phone support when a business runs into verification issues.
Just to be sure that you read that correctly, I will repeat it:
Google is actually providing phone support when a business runs into verification issues. And not just phone support but support that is staffed (at least currently) by US based, English speaking personnel.
To initiate a call in go to the Google Places for Business I’m having a problem verifiying my listing(s) troubleshooter and select the option “I tried PIN verification for a single listing” and indicate that you asked for a postcard and have waited the requisite 15 days. At the bottom of the form you will a link to “Please either call us or complete the following form:”
When you select the call us option you are taken to a call back form. I tested it to see if it was actually working and within 10 seconds of filling it out Google rang me up, an automated attendant asked me to press one for support and Darrel answered. He said when I asked: “This line is primarily to provide support for verification issues”. I would suggest that this quote should be filed along with Neil Armstrong’s “One small step” quote if not for its eloquence at least for its significance.
After I picked my jaw up from the floor I thanked him and let him go on with his day. Needless to say I was shocked.