I just posted this trying to explain to a user in the Google Places forum that his competitor did NOT hijack his listing - Google MERGED them together.

Typically when business owners think it's a hijack it's not. Google often gets confused and merges 2 businesses if they have similar names and/or addresses. In this case even the site names are fairly similar. That's what's happening here, Google merged them - the other company didn't do anything wrong.

Freedbaby, think of it this way. In your mind, hold up a red piece of glass with writing on it.
That's your listing.

Now imagine a green piece of glass with different writing on it. That's your competitor's listing.

Now imagine laying theirs over yours and hold both up to the light. Now you are looking through an ugly brown piece of glass that's a merge of the 2 colors and you can't read everything from your pane because some of the words are covered up by the other one.

So both listings are combined. Some of the info is yours, some is theirs, all smooshed together and the info may even change back and forth sometimes.
Discussion here: productforums.google.com/d/topic/business/u2NisPvvXvI/discussion

Feel free to use my little analogy with your clients or point them to this thread.

Any other thoughts or questions about merged listings?