For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

You want to complain? Just try finding where you can do so ...

A somewhat harassed reader wrote to this weblog last week with the following message:
"Dear Kats - I have been scrabbling around Google's AdWords site for the last 30mins or so, trying to locate their "new" AdWords trade mark complaint form (which, as far as I am aware, should have been released by now). As far as I can see, the form you have to complete to report a trade mark complaint is -- somewhat ironically given the nature of their business -- virtually impossible to locate, at least to somebody with my level of techy know-how. By way of example, a "Google" search for "adwords trade mark complaint procedure" produces a set of results which link to an article on Google's AdWords site that explains how to file an "AdSense for Domains trademark complaint" (ie not a "run-of-the-mill" trade mark complaint) followed by a list of unhelpful or out-of-date stories/links, most of which are to third party sites. A similar search using the "Search Help" box within Google's AdWords site produces a similarly unhelpful set of results. I would be interested to know whether I am the only one of your readers who's struggling to find the form"
Before the Kat had the chance to post this, harassed reader wrote again:
"I am pleased to say that my technology literate trainee managed to find the link to the complaint form hidden towards the bottom of the "What is Google's AdWords and AdSense trademark policy?" page on the AdWords site here. Even so, this took a considerable degree of searching and no small amount of lateral thinking, and it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Google have done their best to make it as hard as possible for people to lodge a complaint. With this in mind, I thought it might be worth running a control experiment by using Bing's search engine to find the AdWords Trademark Complaint form rather than Google. Interestingly, it turns out that it takes a luddite like me just two clicks to link through to the form via Bing compared to at least six clicks (and fair degree of experimentation) using Google. Is this a sign that Bing's algorithms are now superior to Google's or an indication of Google's reticence to police its own market place…? Either way, it may help other readers avoid a similarly frustrating experience to suggest that they use Bing or follow this link directly to the complaint form."
Well, readers, you know what to do by now!
Complaints department here

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You think that's hard try finding the equivalent Yahoo service trade mark complaints procedure

Anonymous said...

What's Yahoo's/Microsoft's policy anyway?

John R. Sedivy said...

This seems to be the norm rather than the exception with the emerging/dominating Internet businesses out there. It's very difficult to file a complaint or to speak with a person who is knowledgeable about the item to be resolved, not necessarily from just an IP standpoint, but in general. Personally I believe that the businesses just hope that the complaining individual will just give up after a certain amount of searching for a form or trying to reach a knowledgeable company rep.

I think there is an opportunity for emerging Internet businesses to add the authentic, human-touch to their business by upping the level of customer service. From reading your article it appears that Bing is taking this approach to further differentiate themselves from Google. It will be interesting to see if others follow suit.

Subscribe to the IPKat's posts by email here

Just pop your email address into the box and click 'Subscribe':