Search marketers claim that Google Ads customer service has reached an intolerable all-time low.

Advertisers have informed Search Engine Land that they are frustrated with their agents’ lack of assistance, citing issues ranging from inaccurate account suspensions to awkward sales calls that “aggressively” push automation to misunderstandings about the platform’s own goods.

And it appears that the issue is simply becoming worse.

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A “cruel” procedure
With nearly two decades of experience, Mike Kelley is the Chief Marketing Officer at Sylvan Learning. After attempting to buy YouTube reservation advertisements, he contacted Search Engine Land, but his Google representative informed him that they were unheard of. He clarified:

“It can’t be this difficult—I’ve been trying to buy these ads for three months,”

“I’ve made more than a dozen calls, and each time they say someone will get back to me, but they never do. They also don’t reply to emails. The procedure has been harsh throughout.

According to Kelley, there appears to be a lack of comprehension among the team members regarding Instant Reserve and YouTube advertisements, characterizing the situation as “a record low for Google Ads customer support.”

“I actually leveraged the resources and contacts of two entities who actually pay $100,000 a month to Google for assistance. However, even they have not responded to this inquiry.

“I recently put up a $500 reward task on Upwork for anyone who can help us gain access and set up Instant Reserve TV commercials for our account. The project is still under progress.

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Closed Loop’s manager of digital advertising, Justin Lincoln, shared a comparable story.

In December of last year, Google revealed that sponsors could choose to temporarily withdraw from the Search Network. This would require them to speak with their representative. However, the representative Lincoln spoke with was unaware of this and unable to assist.

Perplexed by the reply, Lincoln forwarded a link to the Search Engine Land post to his Google representative, demonstrating that there had been a temporary upgrade that enabled advertisers to choose not to participate in the Search Network.

The representative insisted that this wasn’t the case in spite of the evidence, but they promised to escalate the matter to their manager. Though the offer was only valid until the end of February, it would eventually come to light that even senior staff members had not been made aware of the modification.

The confirmation came to light when another person stepped in: Google has changed its policies to allow advertisers to choose not to participate in the Search Network. The representative did acknowledge that there was a communication breakdown in Google’s support system because not everyone on the team was aware of this important information. Lincoln informed us:

I had a conversation with another Google representative. They verified that all my other representative needed to do was check the change in MOA, which is, I suppose, where their processes are kept.

She said that it was likely because the update hadn’t been distributed extensively yet that my main representative hadn’t heard about it.
I’ll be getting in touch with my original representative soon to ask him to try and locate it.
“In general, I’m a little let down because this is delaying our ability to test Performance Max for a client.”

“We don’t have anybody to talk to.”
The founder of JXT Group, Menachem Ani, stated that throughout the previous ten years, Google support has seen significant changes. He acknowledged that Google agency representatives were originally “very helpful,” but he also acknowledged that after Google reorganized agency teams in April of last year, there was a sharp drop in the caliber of customer care.

What came about as a result of those modifications? He did not have an agency-level representative on staff.

Rather, individual representatives began being allocated to particular accounts, leaving many of them without assistance. Because of how much the reforms have affected customer service, Ani has asserted that accounts with representatives aren’t always in a better situation than those without. He clarified:

“Some of the things that representatives used to be able to assist with are no longer within their purview. For instance, one of our clients’ accounts was suspended, but our representatives are unable to assist.

“Although I think Google has good intentions, many accounts get mistakenly suspended with no way to get them back.”
“For more than four weeks, we have been trying to get a client account restored. We challenged the suspension because we knew it was an error and the account belonged to a legitimate company. However, we were informed by automatic answers that the appeal had been turned down.
“We don’t have anyone to talk to, and it’s not very helpful at all.”

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“Stupid scare tactics”
Matt Janaway, CEO of Marketing Labs, disclosed to Search Engine that he has had multiple persistent problems with his Google representative.

The representative was unable to respond when he recently sought for clarification regarding a “random $90 click” on a campaign. They were also unable to explain a sharp decline in ROI that had affected a different campaign. Janaway described how frustrating it was that Google couldn’t help.

But the main problem his Google Ads representative has been having is the incessant unsolicited calls telling him to implement additional automated features. He clarified:

Every day, representatives assigned to our customer accounts phone us. It’s quite complicated, and when we don’t interact with them all—which is impossible—they attempt to interact with our clients directly.

“This occurs frequently. Furthermore, their fear tactics are absurd.

“They must be violating GDPR because they also call my personal mobile number, which isn’t connected to the account at all and is only used for 2FA.”

“These calls frequently take place both before and after business hours.”
Is artificial intelligence the answer?

Further complicating matters, Google is preparing a significant restructuring of its 30,000-person ad sales arm, raising concerns about additional job cutbacks in the midst of what seems to be an unusual spike in customer service complaints. This comes after Google CEO Sundar Pichai declared that the business will be firing 12,000 workers and contractors in the previous year, or around 5% of the entire staff.

Some advertisers have been persuaded by the reductions that Google intends to gradually discontinue support. However, Ginny Marvin, the Google Ads liaison officer, refuted this, stating that Google Ads is aware of the persistently negative feedback from advertisers and that changes are in the works, with AI leading the way.

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Another hint that Google Ads support would eventually be an AI-powered function was provided by a Google representative to Search Engine Land:

“We are experimenting with AI in this area as an extra component to improve the customer experience.”

“We have also significantly enhanced the content of our Ads Help Center, enabling customers to self-resolve issues more quickly and consistently.”

Google’s recommendations
Although it appears that Google will mostly rely on AI to allay marketers’ worries, the business has not said when exactly these enhancements would be implemented.

What then can marketers do if they are dissatisfied with the customer support that their Google representative has provided? A Google representative stated:

“We do work hard to give our customers the best possible experience when they interact with our support and sales teams.”

However, in order for us to improve, we welcome input from consumers via our Ads Help Center if we fall short.

Search marketers continue to be concerned about Google representatives’ slow or nonexistent responses.

According to Google, your representative should reply to you “quickly,” though actual response times may differ depending on volume and complexity. If you discover that this is not the case, let Google know about your encounter.

With regard to more focused matters, such as unjust account bans, the representative emphasized that advertisers should use the Help Center to challenge any rulings they feel are unjust.

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The representative went on, “This process has not changed.” “Neither the reviewing nor the decision-making process for these appeals is done by our customer support representatives on behalf of customers.”

If you are dissatisfied with the quality of customer care your representative is providing, Google suggested using the Help Center to file an official complaint if needed. In order to “improve our sales and support processes, as we strive to provide a top-tier customer experience,” the representative clarified that the input is required.

Georgi Zayakov, Team Lead SEA / Amazon at The Reach Group, cautioned that not all marketers would find success with this approach. He claimed that it has been alarming to receive calls nonstop from Google representatives attempting to push automated solutions on his clients.

It is said that the representatives have been so “aggressive” that calls have nearly become offensive. He acknowledged that he is unlikely to make a complaint in spite of this:

“I tried to be as nice as possible to their representatives, so even though I recently submitted some negative responses in a survey, I probably won’t write a formal complaint.”

And for the majority of PPC experts, this is accurate. Even though our interactions with the reps have significantly deteriorated, we don’t want to cause them any trouble.

“I believe that we are also worried that our feedback may be seen by a specific representative, which could harm future collaboration.”

Zayakov’s worries are valid, but given Google’s dedication to enhancing support through automation, it’s possible that they will become outdated sooner rather than later.