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Thread: Client wants to sue Google for AdWords fraud

  1. #1
    Chris Ratchford's Avatar
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    Client wants to sue Google for AdWords fraud

    Technically he's not a client. But I have a dentist who's gone ballistic and wants to take Google to small claims court in California because he was charged $4000 last month for AdWords clicks. He and his staff searched a number of times for keywords and his site never showed up in AdWords.

    He's admitted that he has very little understanding about SEO/SEM and Google. I've told him that either the company he hired wasn't Google, but maybe an offshore agency. If that's the case, then he's SOL.

    I said if it's Google, he agreed to the TOS for AdWords and he's not gonna win. I told him to chalk this up as an expensive lesson- which he refuses to learn.

    Now he wants me to provide my analysis confirming that he was defrauded by Google for click fraud. I told him that he's going to spend more money and will lose. I don't feel comfortable taking this guy's money for my time.

    Our most recent call even started to sound like something from Punked or Crank Yankers. I was waiting for a punchline.

    Has anyone ever had a client try to sue Google????
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    Chris Ratchford
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    Scott Rawlins's Avatar
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    Re: Client wants to sue Google for AdWords fraud

    Wow Chris! That's a new one for me. I have never had that happen to any of my clients, but would definitely be interested in how it turns out. Good luck.
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    Chris Ratchford's Avatar
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    Re: Client wants to sue Google for AdWords fraud

    The client just gave me their login credentials.

    Good lord... the Google rep set the ads location to the entire USA... for a dentist!

    $100 a day budget. Broad match searches like "orthodontist", "cosmetic dentist"...

    That's BS that a Google rep would setup a campaign for a local business like this.
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    Scott Rawlins's Avatar
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    Re: Client wants to sue Google for AdWords fraud

    Wow, that is astonishing. If this was set by Google, then maybe he does have "a leg to stand on". Keep us posted.
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    Phil Rozek's Avatar
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    Re: Client wants to sue Google for AdWords fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawly View Post
    Wow, that is astonishing. If this was set by Google, then maybe he does have "a leg to stand on". Keep us posted.
    That makes me wonder two things:

    1. Whether it was a Google rep, or a third-party AdWords reseller. The dentist may not know the difference.

    2. Maybe the dentist didn't know about geographical targeting, and didn't specify where he wanted his ads to show up (and not to show up).
    Last edited by Phil Rozek; 05-05-2014 at 02:46 PM.
    painperdu likes this.

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    Chris Ratchford's Avatar
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    Re: Client wants to sue Google for AdWords fraud

    Thanks Phil for your input!

    I thought the same thing. I told him last week that he was up S creek either way. If it's a 3rd party, they may be shady.

    But I logged into the doctor's AdWords account and looked at the Account/Change History and the user has a @google.com account.

    I can't believe that a Google rep would think it's OK to target the entire country for a dentist. Either she accidentally/mistakenly made the error; or she maliciously opened it up to the entire USA so the doctor would get a lot of clicks.
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    Phil Rozek's Avatar
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    Re: Client wants to sue Google for AdWords fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ratchford View Post
    Thanks Phil for your input!

    But I logged into the doctor's AdWords account and looked at the Account/Change History and the user has a @google.com account.

    I can't believe that a Google rep would think it's OK to target the entire country for a dentist. Either she accidentally/mistakenly made the error; or she maliciously opened it up to the entire USA so the doctor would get a lot of clicks.
    Good God. That sucks. I do believe your guy has a leg to stand on. Especially if he was bidding on non-geo-specific keywords like "dentist"; even if they're exact-match, $4K would last him about 15 minutes if his ads are showing coast to coast.

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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Client wants to sue Google for AdWords fraud

    I'm 90% certain I've seen 3rd party Adwords reps that were like trusted partners or outsourced or something that did not work for Google but had Google email addresses.

    There was some kind of scandal about it a couple years ago but I don't remember the details.

    That isn't to say it wasn't a Googler. Could have been a newbie or incompetent. I would hate to think it was intentional BUT if it was a 3rd party they would have financial incentive to be incompetent and set national. But they also have to be pretty stupid to think that once that much of a click bill built up, there would not be complaints.
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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Client wants to sue Google for AdWords fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet View Post
    I'm 90% certain I've seen 3rd party Adwords reps that were like trusted partners or outsourced or something that did not work for Google but had Google email addresses.

    There was some kind of scandal about it a couple years ago but I don't remember the details.
    Found it, or one of them, I think there was another too. Third-Party Google Reps: A Cautionary Tale


    Found this too which might help if you need it: Complaint about a Third Party (an Agency, a Google Partner or any other Third Party that sells Adwords) Violation - AdWords Help
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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

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    Chris Ratchford's Avatar
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    Re: Client wants to sue Google for AdWords fraud

    Thanks Linda!!!
    Chris Ratchford
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