Wednesday, October 10, 2012

(empo-utoobd) The Minnesota Lynx is suffering from poor Google customer service

I have previously written posts about the fact that my YouTube account was "permanently disabled" several years ago - and Google doesn't have any way to talk to them about it.

Other than writing about it several times, I haven't really made a huge deal of this, however. Naysayers would argue that I don't have a case - Google is a free service, I am not a Google customer (Google's customers are their advertisers, not their users), and Google can do whatever they want with their services. And frankly, the naysayers are right.

But what about the people who work with Google to use one of Google's properties - and then lose it?

Mari Thomas shared something that was originally shared by Greg Finn. Finn and Thomas shared a story from Marketing Land about the Minnesota Lynx. Now I'll confess that the name "Minnesota Lynx" doesn't ring a bell to me, but the Lynx are a basketball team in the WNBA. And not just any basketball team - they're last year's champions.

The Lynx decided, like many other cool kids, that it might be a good idea to have a Google+ presence. The team worked with local Google marketing people in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and established a Google+ page. That page took off, and eventually had 30,000 subscribers.

There was only one little problem:

It turns out that even though the Minnesota Lynx had multiple page managers, the Google+ user that set up the account left the organization. The email of the user was out of the Lynx’s system (Google+ was not available for Google Apps until 4 months post-launch,) giving the Lynx no options for bringing the account back.

The page disappeared, and when the team went to Google to see what could be done to restore the page, the Lynx were told that they would have to "start over."

Bob Stanke of the Lynx is not pleased:

Hey +Google+ and +Google... All summer long we put a ton of time and resources into building our Minnesota Lynx page with great content and a strong fan base. Then you helped our Minnesota Lynx Google+ page become verified and we were experiencing great growth. Because of our excitement, we even went in and re-evaluated our strategy around Google+. We adopted early and what did we get in return??? Our page is now completely gone! And the advice is to "start over"? All that time we spent with your awesome local marketing team here in Minneapolis is now a complete waste. Unacceptable on every level. You are one of the top technology companies in the world and you can't restore our page? Even as reigning WNBA champions, we might not matter to you, but this action does make us strongly consider moving our entire organization's social marketing efforts to other places and completely cut all ad spending we were going to do with Google.

And before you dismiss Stanke's complaints, bear in mind that he doesn't only work for the Minnesota Lynx. He also works for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

I suspect that the next time a Google salesperson calls on David Stern, the meeting will get VERY unpleasant.

And frankly, even if Stanke is able to raise enough of a stink to get Google to get the Lynx page restored, that really doesn't prove anything. Most people are not able to raise a big enough stink, and many of these cases will end up in the wronged users abandoning Google.

P.S. The Minnesota Lynx Facebook page is at!/minnesotalynx?fref=ts.
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