Incorrect phone number listing on Google driving us mad. Help!
April 30, 2015 7:43 AM   Subscribe

Google Plus has an unmanaged page for a local business that incorrectly lists my parents' phone number instead of the correct one. How do we fix this?

A couple of years ago, my folks started getting phone calls for a place I'll call ABC Automotive Shop. Mom and Dad's phone number is 555-2002 and ABC's phone number is 555-2022. Turns out the Yellow Pages had incorrectly listed my folks' number under ABC's listing. Dad let the owner of ABC know and Yellow Pages were contacted and this was corrected in the next year's phone listing and eventually the calls tapered off a bit.

Recently it started up again. When I Google "ABC Automotive" the first listing is the Google Plus listing, which shows my parents' phone number yet again. So now they're getting tons of calls every day for ABC Automotive. We tried calling the owner of ABC again to explain the situation and see if he could do something to fix it (like claim ownership of the Google Plus page), but he was an older gentleman who didn't really seem to understand what we were telling him at all, so that went nowhere.

Any suggestions on how to fix this? It seems impossible to be able to actually phone Google to address this. Please don't suggest they change their phone number. Thanks!
posted by futureisunwritten to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Do you have a little Feedback link under the search result? When I search for local businesses, this sends me to a page where I can mark the phone number as incorrect etc.
posted by themel at 7:46 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You have to do it via Google Maps. See this page: "Report a problem with someone else’s business: If you see something wrong with a business you don’t own or manage, you can report it using Google Maps." Follow this link here and report it as an incorrect number. Should be fixed in a few days; you can have google email you when it's fixed. That link actually says
If personal information appears on a business or place's search result in Maps, Google+, or Google Search, you can report the issue through Google Maps.

Open Google Maps and make sure you're signed in.
Search for the business.
Click Suggest an edit in the card below the search box.
Follow the instructions to report your issue.
Click Submit.
posted by resurrexit at 7:49 AM on April 30, 2015

Response by poster: themel, there sure was! Just sent the info about the corrected number and since I was logged in to Google, I instantly got an e-mail saying it was being reviewed and I would receive an update when the changes were made to the map. I'll update when/if that happens. Thanks to resurrexit for a viable answer as well!
posted by futureisunwritten at 7:54 AM on April 30, 2015

In the meantime, while Google Maps is reviewing the info, you may be able to add a comment or review to that listing with the correct number, as an unofficial temporary fix.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:02 AM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]

Just so you know, one of our departments had something quite similar (I work at a university), and it took Google months to fix it. But they did fix it!
posted by singmespanishtechno at 11:51 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Here's the problem, though...

A few years ago, the business my wife works for ran into a similar issue...Someone had started a Google Maps/Places page for their business, and it had an incorrect phone number. They repeatedly contacted Google's customer service and explained the issue, and, repeatedly, they were told Google would look into it. And, repeatedly, they were told there was nothing Google could do, because whoever created the listing legitimately owned it. End of story.

All they could do is create their own Maps/Places page with the correct information and hope their page got more eyes than the phony page. Apparently, Google has some odd mechanic at work where competing pages for the same listing will slowly become blended over time, with whichever page that gets the most hits eventually winning the fight.

I'll be shocked if you ever get anything back from Google beyond an auto-reply saying they looked into it and aren't doing a thing.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:41 PM on April 30, 2015

Google is notoriously unresponsive to requests like the ones you marked "best answers". The fact that you get an automated "we'll look into it" response doesn't mean much, unfortunately (speaking from recent personal and clients' experience). In the likely event that you don't get the resolution you are looking for, try:

1. Posting on Google Business help forums - higher chances that your request will be reviewed by a live person.

2. Having the auto shop get a call from Google support using this page - if they can get someone to call them it'll be fixed right away.
posted by rada at 7:01 AM on May 1, 2015

Response by poster: Update: I got an e-mail from Google this morning and the number has been corrected. Not a single call for them all day. Glorious. Thanks all!
posted by futureisunwritten at 5:18 PM on May 5, 2015

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