My beef with Google Adwords


I’m getting increasingly frustrated and angry at Google Adwords. Fine so it’s the only service of its kind worth using. People can get wonderful returns running Adwords Ads… BUT: (and this is a big but!) Their billing system is SHIT! I simply cannot put it into milder terms. When you sign up, and pay them X amount of money, use your account, keep a careful eye on your spending, one would expect that you will be able to actually USE UP the cash you put in. Logical thinking, right? Not so for Adwords. Below an outline of what I’m currently dealing with:

Mid September I signed up with Adwords. Put in £75 (OK I admit, it was a gift voucher I received, so I didn’t actually pay anything). Firstly Adwords tells you that a £5 admin fee will be deducted from your balance. Fine… Then you run some ads, get some clicks, set your budget perhaps at £2 per day. Towards the end of the month the ad charges of the whole month are taken from your balance. Fair enough. So basically at any given point, your account balance is NOT shown Realtime. For a company as big as Google, you would think that they would get the calculations right for determining how much money you still have to spend. Well I thought wrong….

I had £75, they took £5 admin fee, I spent around £21 on advertising during the months of September and October. And behold: There should be £49 left in my account… However, Google has suspended my ads claiming that I’m broke. Brilliant!

Dear Madam/Sir,

My ad campaign is suspended because supposedly my funds are exhausted. However, at the beginning of November I still have 49.80 left in my account, with no ads running, therefore no charges incurred in the meanwhile. I would like to spend this money before I add more to my account.

Thank you,


Google’s Response:

Hello Hedonist666,

Thank you for your email. I understand that you are concerned that though
you have £49.80 left in your account your ads have been suspended for
funds being exhausted.

I apologise for the inconvenience caused.

I reviewed your account and noticed that your balance is 0.00. For the
most updated balance please check out the yellow space above the billing
summary table. It says “Funds remaining in your account”. This shows the
correct balance.

The “Balance remaining as of today” section gets updated only once in 24
hrs and is not accurate. I have attached a screenshot of your billing
summary page for better understanding.

I hope I was able to clarify your concern. Please feel free to send a
direct reply to this email in case of further assistance.

If you have additional questions, please visit AdWords Support at, where you will find answers to many
frequently asked questions.

We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising


*Name removed for privacy reasons*
The Google AdWords UK and Ireland team

Brilliant! So the balance shown isn’t the balance you actually have. And the balance Google claims I actually have is nil. My reply:

Dear *name removed*,

I realize that it SAYS 0.00, which is False.

I have no charges for any ads unsettled because the last ads I ran were in October, and October’s charges have been deducted from my account already. Now at the moment, neither can I run any ads or do anything else to spend the remaining balance of my account.

Please check closely, you will be able to see that in the time I had my account I HAVE NOT SPENT a total of £75 (which was the starting balance of my account) and therefore my remaining balance CANNOT be 0.00. It would be interesting to find out how this figure is calculated to begin with. The logical way would be starting balance minus charges incurred for services used. Since I have not used £75 worth of services, the figure of 0.00 cannot be the outcome of any logical calculation. Even if we assume that nothing has been paid at all from the charges I incurred for running ads: The total of my campaign for ALL TIME is £20.21. This means I should have :
£75 – £5 (admin fee) – £20.21 (ad campaign total) = £49.79. Which is exactly what my Balance page says.

I would like someone to look into this closely because as it stands right now it means Adwords is just a moneypit that I have to keep topping up without actually spending what’s in it. This is not cost effective for me or anyone wanting to use this service.

I insist that I get my money’s worth and am able to spend the balance that remains in my account.

Kind regards,


I am hoping for a quick resolution, although this has been dragging on for a few days already. I’m practically fuming.. I cannot stand it when a supposedly tech-savvy company makes stuff that doesn’t work, and then refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem! Assuming I actually do top up my account, so Google’s system is happy that I have money again, will this go on endlessly and they keep telling me I’m broke when they actually have almost £50 of mine gathering interest in their bank account??

Anyway, rant over, is there anyone else facing this or a similar problem?



  1. odzer Said:

    @ Hedonist : Do not even get me started about Google. Their other program adsense is even a bigger money pit. Wait till it gets to $ 100 and then wait for them to send a cheque which I believe they only do once in a month. Oh and in the meantime they are making interest from the money they owe you. I read somewhere once that this figure runs in to millions. What is needed is a class action suit by a couple of angry americans 🙂

  2. Marcus Said:

    I hate google, very nice read, thanks!.

  3. hedonist666 Said:

    @Odzer.. yes Adsense… they still have around $2 of mine lying around somewhere.. in an account I forgot the password of.. or the username for that matter..

    And I haven’t yet told you but there will be a second instalment to this Adwords saga. I have received a reply (although very swift and courteous) explaining why I’m facing this problem. As you may have guessed, I don’t like their explanation one bit!

    @Marcus: Actually I used to like them, that is before I started using Google Base which annoyed the hell out of me! And it goes downhill from there…

  4. Just life… Said:

    […] My beef with Google Adwords […]

  5. […] Read it now: My beef with Google Adwords […]

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