Let me say upfront that I am a Google AdWords customer and I am generally very pleased with their service. I have used Google’s pay per click advertising for a few years and spend a few thousand dollars per month with Google.

I tried Yahoo’s pay per click program, was very displeased and canceled my account after 90 days.

In spite of my general satisfaction with Google AdWords Advertising, I have had numerous billing problems. There have been double charges placed against my account. Sometimes their system fails to bill at the threshold point and charges skyrocket. On one occasion their system failed to process a payment, said I failed to pay and suspended my account.

These problems are very frustrating. What is really frustrating is that Google, in spite of collecting thousands of dollars per month from me, won’t accept a phone call to resolve a billing problem caused by their system.

Google will force me through a “help” page crammed with information I do not need. Then, if I read all the help stuff, I will arrive at a form that will allow me to submit a help request. That won’t generate a callback either. I’ll get a robotic email with copy/paste answers from the help screens.

This is absolutely insane. Google makes BILLIONS of dollars on a fully automated system. Imagine being able to leave your computer on and have “it” generate a fabulous income for you. Would you answer the phone if it meant helping paying customers? I sure would.

Google does offer phone support but only to new customers who are trying to set up accounts.

Apparently, if you are already paying Google, they don’t want to hear from you.

Put yourself in this situation. Google processed charges to my credit card at around 9:00 a.m.  My account still showed the full balanced as owed at 3:00 p.m. Normally, the credits apply instantaneously.

Because their system failed again, the account was run well beyond Google’s limit. That put my account way over limit and charges processed against my credit card but not applied to my Google account. Do you see the potential train wreck ahead?

Most of the advertising I run is for clients. What if Google suspends my account? What if Google takes money but doesn’t credit my account? And I have no one to call? Does this make sense?

Google is doing very well. But Google really stands alone in their field. Because Google is the consumers choice for search, that makes Google the advertisers choice. But the public is fickle. If something better comes along, and eventually it will, how loyal will advertisers be to Google?

I guess that’s really the point. Since right now Google is the best, they don’t have to provide a phone number. And if they slip? I leave anyway. The rationale seems to be that they might as well make as much as possible now, today.

Is that a wise long term strategy?

I don’t think so.

I equate this to dentists who offer free cleanings to “new patients” only. Forget the patient who has been with you for 25 years.

A company that gives an inducement to new customers should always match it with a reward for existing customers.

Today, answering the phone could be the most important ‘process’ at your business.

Chris Reich of TeachU believes businesses should be available to assist customers. Don’t you agree?