Google Ads support is at an ‘all-time low’ – we asked Google why

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We contacted Google to address the concerns raised about Google representatives, and here is their plan to resolve the issue.
According to search marketers, Google Ads customer service has reached an all-time low that is considered unacceptable.

Issues range from erroneous account suspensions and pushy sales calls promoting automation to confusion surrounding Google’s own product offerings. Advertisers have expressed their frustration with the insufficient assistance provided by their representatives.

Regrettably, it appears that the situation is deteriorating.

A ‘brutal’ process

Mike Kelley, the Chief Marketing Officer at Sylvan Learning, boasts nearly two decades of experience in the field of marketing. He recently reached out to Search Engine Land due to his frustrating experience attempting to purchase YouTube reservation ads. Surprisingly, his Google representative claimed to be unfamiliar with such ads. Kelley expressed his exasperation, stating:

“For the past three months, I’ve been trying to secure these ads – it shouldn’t be this challenging, should it?”
“I’ve made over a dozen calls, and each time, they promise that someone will get back to me, but I never receive a call back. Emails go unanswered as well. The entire process has been extremely arduous.”

Kelley further lamented that none of the team members he encountered seemed to comprehend what Instant Reserve entailed, nor did they have a grasp of YouTube ads. He described this as a “historical low” for Google Ads customer service and even reached out to two agencies that invest $100,000 monthly with Google for assistance, to no avail. Kelley’s frustration led him to post a job on Upwork, offering a $500 reward to anyone who could grant access and set up Instant Reserve TV ads for their account. This endeavor remains an ongoing project.


Justin Lincoln, the Digital Advertising Manager at Closed Loop, shared a similar encounter.

In December, Google made an announcement that advertisers could temporarily opt out of the Search Network, requiring them to contact their respective representatives for assistance. However, when Lincoln reached out to his designated representative, they appeared unaware of this development and were unable to provide any guidance.

Perplexed by this response, Lincoln shared a link to an article from Search Engine Land with his Google representative to substantiate the existence of the temporary opt-out update. Despite the evidence, the representative maintained that such an update did not exist but promised to escalate the matter to their manager. Surprisingly, it later became evident that even senior staff members had not been informed about this update, despite its limited availability until the end of February.

It was only after a different representative intervened that confirmation was finally obtained: Google had indeed updated its rules to permit advertisers to opt out of the Search Network. However, this representative admitted that this vital information was not widely disseminated within the team, underscoring a communication gap within Google’s support structure. Lincoln commented:

“I was eventually able to connect with another Google representative who confirmed that my initial representative simply needed to look up the update in MOA – presumably where they store their internal procedures.”
“She also mentioned that the update had probably not been widely circulated yet, which likely explains why my primary representative hadn’t heard of it. I intend to contact my original representative soon to see if he can locate this information.”
“All in all, I find this a bit disappointing since it has been hindering our ability to test Performance Max for a client.”

‘We have no one to talk to’

Menachem Ani, the founder of JXT Group, has observed significant changes in Google’s support services over the past decade. While he acknowledges that Google agency representatives were once known for their helpfulness, he admitted that there has been a sharp decline in the quality of customer service since Google restructured its agency teams in April of the previous year.

The outcome of these changes? His agency no longer had a dedicated agency-level representative.

Instead, individual representatives were now being assigned to specific accounts, resulting in many accounts being left without any support. Ani asserted that the level of customer service had been severely affected by these changes, to the extent that accounts with assigned representatives were not necessarily in a better position than those without support. He elaborated:

“Representatives are no longer able to assist with some of the issues they could handle in the past. For instance, we had a client whose account got suspended, but our representatives couldn’t offer any assistance.”
“While I believe that Google’s intentions are well-meaning, the reality is that numerous accounts are incorrectly suspended without any means of recourse.”
“We’ve been tirelessly working to reinstate a client’s account for over four weeks. We are confident that the account is a legitimate business and the suspension is a mistake. Nevertheless, our appeal for reinstatement only garnered automated responses stating that the appeal was denied.”
“It’s not particularly helpful, and we have no one to engage with.”

‘Ludacris scare tactics’

Matt Janaway, the CEO of Marketing Labs, shared his ongoing challenges with his Google representative. When he recently inquired about a perplexing “$90 click” within a campaign, the representative was unable to provide any explanation. Additionally, they couldn’t shed light on a sudden decline in ROI affecting another campaign. Janaway expressed his frustration with the lack of assistance from Google.

However, the most prominent issue he has faced with his Google Ads representative revolves around persistent unwanted calls encouraging him to embrace more automated features. He explained:

“We receive daily calls from representatives assigned to our client accounts. It’s quite a convoluted process, and since we can’t possibly engage with all of them, they attempt to reach out directly to our clients!”
“This is a recurring issue, and the scare tactics they employ are rather absurd.”
“They also reach out to my personal mobile phone number, which is not associated with the account except for 2FA purposes – this may potentially violate GDPR regulations.”
“Furthermore, these calls often occur both before and after regular working hours.”

Is AI the solution?

Adding complexity to the situation, amidst what appears to be an unusually high volume of complaints regarding customer service, Google is preparing for a significant restructuring of its ad sales unit, which consists of 30,000 employees, leading to concerns of potential job reductions. This move follows Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s announcement last year about the company letting go of approximately 12,000 employees and contractors, constituting around 5% of the company’s total workforce.

These workforce reductions have led some marketers to speculate that Google might be quietly phasing out its support services. However, Ginny Marvin, a Google Ads liaison officer, dispelled these notions, clarifying that Google Ads acknowledges the ongoing negative feedback from advertisers and hinted at forthcoming improvements, with artificial intelligence (AI) playing a central role.

Furthermore, in a suggestive gesture towards the possibility of Google Ads support being powered by AI in the future, a Google spokesperson informed Search Engine Land:

“We are currently exploring the integration of AI as an additional component to enhance the customer experience.”
“We have also implemented significant enhancements to our Ads Help Center content, which aids customers in resolving issues more swiftly and reliably on their own.”

Google’s advice

Although it appears that Google intends to heavily leverage AI to address marketers’ concerns, the company has not confirmed a precise timeline for the implementation of these enhancements.

So, what options are available to marketers when they find themselves dissatisfied with the customer service provided by their Google representative? A Google spokesperson advised Search Engine Land:

“We continuously aim to provide the best possible experience for our customers when they interact with our sales and support teams.”
“However, if we fall short of expectations, we encourage customers to share their feedback through our Ads Help Center so that we can make necessary improvements.”

The issue of delayed responses (or, in some instances, no responses at all) from Google representatives continues to be a concern for search marketers. Google stated that while response times can vary based on volume and complexity, representatives should aim for a “swift” response. If this is not the case, it is recommended that you report your experience to Google.

Regarding more specific issues such as unfair account suspensions, the spokesperson emphasized that advertisers should appeal any decisions they perceive as unjust through the Help Center.

“There has been no alteration to this process,” the spokesperson affirmed. “Our customer support representatives are not involved in submitting these appeals on behalf of a customer or in reviewing and determining the outcome.”

Keeping Google in the loop

If you find yourself dissatisfied with the quality of customer service provided by your representative, Google recommends filing an official complaint when necessary through the Help Center. The spokesperson emphasized the importance of this feedback in “enhancing our sales and support processes, as we are dedicated to delivering a top-notch customer experience.”

However, Georgi Zayakov, the Team Lead SEA / Amazon at The Reach Group, expressed skepticism about whether this solution would be effective for all marketers. He described the persistent phone calls from Google representatives attempting to push automated solutions onto his clients as startling.

Allegedly, these representatives have been exceptionally “pushy,” to the extent that the phone calls have almost become intrusive. Nevertheless, Zayakov admitted that he is unlikely to submit a complaint:

“I recently provided some negative feedback in a survey, but considering that I make an effort to maintain a cordial relationship with their representatives, I am probably not inclined to proactively file a complaint.”
“This sentiment is shared by many PPC professionals. We are hesitant to put the representatives in jeopardy, even when our interactions with them have notably deteriorated.”
“I believe that we also fear that a specific representative might see our feedback, potentially harming our future collaborations.”
While Zayakov’s concerns are understandable, Google’s commitment to enhancing support through automation suggests that traditional representative roles may become less relevant sooner rather than later.

Original news from SearchEngineLand