How I managed to uncover Google’s ineptitude!

Google Pay

Case ID [4–0668000030621] & [8–4030000031153]

Alphabet (Google) Share price over past 5 years

I have been so disappointed with the amount of spam I receive via Google’s servers without them intercepting them.

In December 2016, I opened a G-Suite Google account, which has recently been renamed as Google Workspace [2020]. I wanted to do this in order to have it speak to a CRM account I had at the time and also for it to speak to an online calendar booking app. A lot of apps these days give preference to Google when adopting integrations. I only wanted one email address, my business one and one calendar a simple solution, but still it would cost me a handsome price of £3.30 per month (£39.60 per year). 3 years later in May 2019 it increased to £4.14 per month (£49.60 per year) and then in October 2020 to £4.60 ( £55.20 per year).

This is a 40% increase in 4 years of using the service. Not only is this abusive, it’s also scandalous and unacceptable considering we’re going through a pandemic and quite frankly business is tough.

My domain, which is with Hover.com has provided me with a small mailbox for just $20 or £11.00 per year, a saving of £44.20 or 80%!

The move away from Google Workspace has made no difference to my workflows, other apps I was using I no longer use and the apps I am now using work in different ways, allowing me to be far less reliant on Google.

I’m a Mac and iOS user as well and this means it doesn’t always connect to external services, but I’m pleased to say that Acuity, my online calendar connects to iCloud, so happy days.

But, once you are locked into Google it is very very difficult to disconnect. I still have one personal gmail with them, which means it allows me to use their services in a few small instances, like drive, docs, photos, YouTube etc.

There was one service I wasn’t so conscious of and couldn’t remember ever using and that was Google Pay.

So I decided to remove my business email from this Google pay account, seeing as I closed my Google Workspace. When I navigated to this Google pay account I noticed that actually I had two profiles, one as my company Staying Alive UK Ltd and one as me personally with my personal gmail account. But I noticed something else too, there were two other accounts / people linked to my Google pay account, my ex brother-in-law and someone I shared a project with back in 2009 and all I can think of is that I must have managed to link their Google pay accounts to mine somehow. I am completely clueless why I did this and why it was even possible. I’m pretty sure that’s not something you can do these days and I had no idea how to remove them either.

I did try to remove these two accounts and all I was receiving was error messages, see example error message below.

When I contacted Google Pay support and reported this mess, they just gave me links to instructions on how to remove my payment profiles completely to fix the issue. I queried this, as I wanted to remove these other profiles but they kept repeating the same messages. I have included screenshots of all their emails at the end of this article.

Okay so I followed their instructions as I’m not using Google pay anyway and removed my company and personal profiles. This, however, didn’t remove the other guest profiles and the same error message kept appearing when I attempted to discover how to remove them both. See below.

So I contacted Google again and they still insisted with instruction on how to remove these two profiles, which were invalid, so I responded accordingly. This is when they told me that the case was being escalated to their specialist team and for several days they kept telling me it was taking longer to resolve and to bear with them.

After a few days they got back to me and basically told me to go back to settings in order to remove the two profiles, which of course I had already tried and knew it wouldn’t work, never mind I tried again and sent further screenshots of that. After further complaints from me, they then came back to me and told me that I had to open the case with their merchant account team. As far as I know I don’t have a merchant account with Google, I don’t sell using Google pay, a bit bemused and disappointed of course, so I pinged an email back to them and waited for them to respond, I’m definitely not starting with another team inside Google from scratch, that’s their issue to be frank. I’m not in any hurry in any case.

So then this was the response they’ve sent me in answer to me refusing to contact the merchant team:

While reviewing the details, we found that both the payments profiles are associated with a Merchant account. Therefore, the way forward would be to contact the Google Merchant account team directly. They will be able to help you with all the necessary information to delete these profiles.

Here’s where to get help:

Help Center of Google Merchant team. Here’s how you can contact Google Merchant Center team directly.

I obviously responded again and refused to entertain these instructions asking for the case to be escalated, to which Adam responded saying that he was going to ask further advice from his specialist team and needed 24–48 hours for a response from them.

So much for refusing to have to open another case, they’ve turned me down and said there’s no other option. So I have indeed had to open another case with the Merchant team in Google, I haven’t heard back as yet apart form their auto responder.

Update Thursday April 15, 2021

As I kind of expected and anticipated the Google merchant team says I have to deal with the Google pay team. This story is going to be epic!

I then emailed Google pay with their response and they responded very fast suggesting that I go to the Google help centre and go to the forums as people are very knowledgeable there. Can you believe it?

Update Friday April 16, 2021

After back and forth emails with Google Pay last night, who categorically refuse the ability to resolve the issue, I had the Merchant team call me back. I had a long conversation with Aariz, who researched the two rogue profile ID’s on my Google pay account and told me that neither of them were Merchant ID’s and therefore not something they could investigate, fix or resolve. They confirmed it on email to me and I have forwarded this to Google pay and waiting for them to let me know that in fact nobody can fix it!

And then later in the evening I received a surprise email from the ads-support (Merchant) team that in fact the issue should now be raised with the Merchant ‘Google Wallet’ team. You’ve got to be kidding me, they are telling me that yet again I have to raise another ticket with another team!

NO! I’ve sent a response to both the Merchant and Pay teams to say, this is the end for me, I’m not going to do that and in fact I did check briefly and I can’t complete the form anyway, as it doesn’t allow you to raise a ticket as a consumer, you have to actually be a Merchant with them and I am not! Why aren’t they getting it and more to the point why are they not transferring the case themselves internally!

Unless they deal with it, I’m not going to be raising another case with anyone else. I did tag Pip White on Twitter and sent her an invitation to connect on LinkedIn, the Managing Director of Google UK & Ireland since September 2020, previously with Salesforce and HP, so I’m hoping she will have a bit of a customer service mindset, but I’m not counting on it.

Update Sunday April 18, 2021

Can you believe it? Yes I can!
They sent me a feedback survey email on my opinion on the service I received. I did complete it, obviously not a good response and they came back telling me that they didn’t understand my response, so I spelled it out for Miguel!

  1. 2 profiles attached to my own Google pay profile I couldn’t remove so I reached out to Google Pay
  2. They advised me to close my own profiles so I did but it didn’t remove the other profiles. They told me to do the same thing many times.
  3. They then raised it with specialists who said I had to contact the Merchant team!
  4. After me refusing saying it’s not up to me to do this I eventually did contact them.
  5. They checked the 2 profiles and said they didn’t show up with them.
  6. Then they came back to say they discovered that the 2 profiles were part of Google Wallet Merchant and I have to contact them!!

I have reached the end of the road with Google support you are pretty useless and I am appalled at the service I have received.

Update Monday April 19, 2021

I heard back from the press contact at Google and they advise me to contact Google Pay support, can you believe it?

Then Miguel from Google pay tells me to get in touch with Google Merchant Center, basically expecting me to do their work yet again. It’s the same template response. They are joking with me, surely they are?

Okay so I had a quick look at the contact form and there are a few issues with it. Have a look at the question, what type of support do you need? How should I know?

One of the questions on the Google Wallet Merchant support link

Okay so I picked one, to get me moving forward and then I’m asked for my Issuer ID and Merchant name, neither of which I have, because I’m not a Merchant!

2nd part of the support request form, asking for Issuer ID and Merchant name!

Update Thursday April 22, 2021

I’ve patiently been waiting for Google Wallet Merchant to respond to my 3rd department support ticket and they did come back to me to let me know that, NO, they are not the correct department, but that they’ve taken it upon themselves to transfer it to the correct department, in their view. It might still not be correct, but hey let’s wait and find out. In their view it looks like it should be resolved by the ‘Payments Profile’ team. How many frigging departments are needed to change one Google pay profile? The answer is four!

I’m not hopeful, they told me to look out for an email from them, not holding my breath, but then again you never know!

Well, their logo has four colours, so maybe the fourth department will be the one to solve it?

Update Friday April 23, 2021

Well the issue has gone full circle, I received an email from Google-Pay Support saying they are looking into the matter. Quite bizarre indeed!

To be continued…

Below are the screenshots of all the emails I received from Google, I will keep adding to these as this case progresses, as I suspect it will take a while yet to resolve.

Email number 1 asking for my Google pay profile ID:
Email number 2 with instructions how to fix the issue.
Email number 3 confirming closing my company payments profile ID-1
Email number 4 confirming closing my company payments profile ID-2
Email number 5 in response to screenshots I sent where I was not able to remove the foreign payment profiles and the instructions are still the same.
Email number 6 — a holding email.
Email number 7 — another holding email.
Email number 8 — basically same instructions as before!
Email number 9 — holding email number 3.
Email number 10 — advising me to look elsewhere for assistance!
Email number 11 — in response to my protest!
Email number 12 — in response to my 2nd protest and the fact that I do NOT have a merchant ID!
Email number 13 — in response to my 2nd protest and after a ‘specialist’ team had been consulted!
Email number 14 — in response to my query stating that I do not have a merchant ID number
Email number 15 — auto responder after submitting a ticket of sorts, with a made up incorrect Merchant ID in order for the form to submit, attaching all the screenshots of all the emails I received from Google Pay support.
Email number 16 — response from the merchant team, which is actually the ads-support team, well that’s the contact link Google pay provided to me.
Email number 17 — response from Google pay after I sent them the above email from the merchant team!
Email number 18 — response after me challenging this new person on the scene who’s being a bit gobby to say the least!
Email number 19 — challenging why I received a response from ads-support@google.com which only occurred as a result of me sending a support request via the link she provided me!
Email number 20 — the first time someone’s being a little bit human in their response, although still not taking responsibility for it.
Email number 21 — after my call with the Merchant team, note it’s now coming from shopping-ads-support@google.com and she 100% confirmed she was also the Merchant team.
Email number 22 — Google Merchant team after initially telling me that it was nothing to do with them, discovering it upon research that actually it’s the Wallet Merchant team that ‘I’ need to be getting in touch with!
Email number 23 — Yeah, Julieta has definitely given up on it, well, so have I as it happens! 🤬
Email number 24 —18.04.21 — They’ve given up SO much they decided to send me an end of support feedback survey — this isn’t for real is it!
Email number 25–18.04.21 — Oh they didn't understand my response to the feedback survey, what a shame, let me spell it out!
Email number 26–19.04.21 — In response to an email I sent to the press contact at Google, basically telling me to go back to the beginning!
Email number 27–19.04.21 — And here we go again folks, down the yellow brick road…
Email number 28–21.04.21 — Finally someone who is willing to transfer the case to another department to deal with, something that hasn’t happened with two other departments
Email number 29–22.04.2021 — Well, let’s see what happens!

Whiteboard Animations Producer, Storyteller and Podcast Host at Staying Alive UK Storytelling Productions | www.stayingaliveuk.com

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