Continuing beef with Google Adwords…. the saga continues

For anybody who missed my first post about my current issue with Google Adwords;

Read it now: My beef with Google Adwords

Summary of the problem: I started off with a voucher entitling me to £75 of Adwords balance. £5 of this was to be taken as an activation fee for the service to start. The rest was promised to me (by Google Adwords’ email which offered me the voucher) could be used up by running ads to test their service. Valid for new customers only. So After using around £20 of that balance, Google suspended my account claiming I did not have sufficient funds. I contacted their Support.. They first claimed that I had no money in my account and the balance I’m seeing (£49.80) is just an estimate which is updated every 24 hours and actually I had no balance at all. When I pointed out to them that my ad campaign in total cost only £21 and the activation fee was £5, therefore I should be left with approx. £49, I received the following reply:

Hello Hedonist666,

Thank you for your email. I understand that you do not not agree that your
funds have exhausted.

I apologise for the inconvenience caused.

I reviewed your account and noticed that your funds are showing as
exhausted because you have not made an initial payment towards activation
fee. Even though you are using a promotional coupon of GBP 75, you still
need to make an initial activation fee payment (GBP 5). Usually unless
this payment is made we do not let the ads to run in that account, however
due to technical issue your ads ran. This issue has now been fixed and so
unless you make an initial payment of GBP 5 towards activation fee, your
ads will not run and your account will show an alert saying ‘prepay funds
exhausted’.

You can easily make a prepayment by following the steps below.

1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.co.uk/
2. Select the ‘My Account’ tab.
3. Click ‘Make Payments’.
4. Enter the amount that you’d like to pay in the ‘Payment amount’ field.
Before doing so, please find the activation fee applicable to your country
and currency at https://adwords.google.co.uk/select/AfpoFinder. Your
prepayment amount must be at least twice your activation fee. In addition,
we strongly recommend choosing an amount that covers the cost of your
advertising for a week, so that your ads run consistently.
5. Once you have entered the amount, click ‘Go’ and then ‘OK’.

Now that you have successfully made your payment, your ads will start
running almost immediately and you can spend the remaining balance in your
account. You can see your payment record on your Billing Summary page
within 24 hours of the transaction.

I hope I have now clarified your concern.

If you have additional questions, please visit AdWords Support at
https://adwords.google.co.uk/support, where you will find answers to many
frequently asked questions.

We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising
available.

Sincerely,

*Name Removed*
The Google AdWords UK and Ireland team

Well that is very odd indeed! After receiving an email which tells me I get £75 to spend on ads, all of a sudden it turns out either the email with the voucher code, or what this Customer Support person is telling me; one of them is wrong…..

My response:

Hello *Name removed*,

Although this is an explanation for what happened to my account, I would argue that it is false. And if it is not, then the initial email in which the voucher for £75 was offered to me was misleading. NOWHERE in the email does it state that I need to pay the activation fee (£5) separately. Instead it clearly states that the fee will be taken from the £75 that the voucher covers and that I can try it out and use the full £75 minus the activation fee for running ads.

Let me quote to you the terms and conditions in the email:
” Terms & Conditions: Use of AdWords and redemption of the promotional credit is subject to ad approval, valid registration and acceptance of the Google AdWords Terms and Conditions. The promotional credit will be automatically credited to your AdWords account once you have entered your unique code and billing preferences. If you choose pre-pay billing the account activation fee (currently £5) will be deducted from your promotional credit. You will be charged for any advertising charges that exceed the promotional credit, and you are solely responsible for the payment of any taxes incurred. If you do not wish to incur additional charges beyond the promotional credit then you should monitor your account and pause or delete your campaigns before or once this amount has been reached. From the date when you pause or delete all of your campaigns, your account will not accrue additional clicks or charges. The promotional credit is non-transferable and may not be sold or bartered. If you indicate that your AdWords account should be subject to a different currency to the one in which your promotional credit has been awarded, then the actual amount of the promotional credit may be subject to foreign currency fluctuations. Offer may be changed or revoked at any time for any reason by Google Ireland Limited and/or any affiliated company offering the AdWords service in your country. One promotional credit per customer. Offer expires and promotional credit will only be granted to accounts created on or before 31st October 2008. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Google and AdWords are trademarks of Google Inc. and are registered in the US and other countries. Google Ireland Limited, Gordon House, Barrow Street, Dublin 4, Ireland.”

Which one is correct then, what you’re telling me that I need to pay £5 separately in order to use up the voucher credit, or what was written in the email which offered me the voucher code to begin with?

If you like I can forward the entire email to you so you can see for yourself that it says absolutely nothing about having to pay £5 in addition to what the voucher gave me. There must be some misunderstanding between various departments in your organisation regarding this issue.

Kind regards,

Hedonist666

Google’s response:

Hello Hedonist666,

Thank you for your email. I have forwarded this issue to our payments
team. They are currently investigating the situation and we will contact
you as soon as we have found a solution. We thank you for your patience
and apologise for any inconvenience.

If you have additional questions, please visit AdWords Support at
https://adwords.google.co.uk/support, where you will find answers to many
frequently asked questions.

We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising
available.

Sincerely,

*Name removed*
The Google AdWords UK and Ireland team

Bloody hell, I hope something comes out of this soon… And although I realise the person I’m dealing with is just an employee doing their job, and I’m probably being quite annoying; I can’t help it, I’m damn pissed off about it all! Either don’t give me stuff for free, or clearly state when there’s a catch to it…

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2 Comments »

  1. tomorrin Said:

    If they say “pay £5, get £75”, or whatever, would you take it?

  2. hedonist666 Said:

    Yes I would have. It’s a matter of principle. If they had told me I would have been fine with it. The fact they mislead their (prospective) customers is what gets to me.


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