More threads by Alan Myers

Oct 19, 2016
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This is an out of the ordinary situation, and I can't seem to get local-help to consider the special factors. They repeatedly ask for information, we comply, then ultimately we get this request which we've explained multiple times, is not possible in this case:

What you can do:
If your business storefront is outside (faces onto the street):
1) Attach 2 unedited photos of your business storefront from across the street.
2) Attach 1 unedited photo of your business storefront from in front of your store.
3) If Google Streetview is available on your street, please include a link (URL) showing streetview's view of where your business is on your street. If we haven't updated streetview recently and your business is not yet visible in streetview, that's fine: we're still interested in streetview's view of your neighborhood.

If your business storefront is indoors (such as in a shopping mall or other venue):
1) Attach 2 unedited photos of your business storefront from in front of your store.
2) Tell us the name, and ideally the URL, of the venue in which your business resides.

If any of the above formats aren't possible for your business, provide the best photographic proof possible of the business's surroundings and how a customer can find it.
If you are unable to provide these photos, you can attempt to verify your business by requesting another postcard delivery. For more information, please watch our video or refer to our Help Center instructions for verifying your business.

I have a client who operates a "Flightseeing" business in Alaska. It's a legitimate business, in compliance with FAA rules etc. There would be no problem getting verification in this case if the town had USPS delivery. The listing has checked "[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.870588)]I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location" as requested by local-help. [/COLOR]There is no USPS delivery in that town, only PO Box addresses. As a result, the business uses a PO Box address for business mail.

The flight tours originate from a dock on a lake (leased to the company from the local government which can be documented) in a remote location near the town. That location has poor to non-existent cell phone connection. That eliminates the option for a video connection at that site which was also suggested as a possible verification method.

We requested verification and were told that first, the mail verification had to "faiil" before any additional steps could be taken. Once that failed, we requested some other means of verification.

We were offered a Google video link option which was not possible (for reasons explained above). We've complied with requests to create an email address for the client so they can be directly contacted, we've submitted a video taken by a customer featuring the dock and lake where the float plane tour begins.

We've complied with requests to send in utility bills in the company name, Government documents, and anything else we've been asked to do, only to again ultimately be offered the above email that asks for photos of the storefront etc, which doesn't exist.

It's very frustrating to comply with all requests, only to ultimately be offered the message above about the storefront images. Is there any way to verify this legitimate business so it can appear in as an option in the area?
Hi Alan,

Not sure why they are asking for pics of business since you indicate on the listing you are not a storefront.

Have you considered using his home address? Seems to me that's where he conducts his business.
The dock is like where he delivers the service. But home - he takes calls there, gets mail there, pays bills there etc. (Like plumbers and other service businesses.)

That should bypass many of the obstacles too, especially if he can get mail there.
Hi Linda,

Thanks for your reply. There are two problems with using his home address. One major one is that there is no postal delivery to that address, only to PO Boxes in that community. The other is that he does not conduct business with clients at that address.

If there were postal delivery in that community, we wouldn't have a problem. Deliver the verification to that address, check "I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location" and it would work.

Are there any other suggestions?
Both issues can be worked around if you use home address.

Plumbers. carpet cleaners etc. use their home address even though they never see clients there. If address is hidden you don't need to see clients there. That's why that feature exists and it's totally kosher.

It's only necessary to see clients at the location if it's a storefront or staffed location. That won't work for client because they don't have someone standing at dock all day waiting in case there is a walk up client.

Many rural areas don't get mail and have to use PO boxes. You can still verify, just need to call support to explain there is no mail delivery. You'll need to prove the business is legit and you are authorized so they will put you through some paces.
Okay, I'll try that one more time. The last two times, they "put us through some paces" then asked for a picture of the storefront (again).
Using home address should take away the need to ask for picture of the storefront.

Above you said "I can't seem to get local-help" which almost makes me think you are getting support via email. Phone is better so you can explain.
I sent an email and asked for a phone call. The Google rep informed me that a phone call was not going to happen: "Your listing could not be verified to appear on Google Search and Maps because we could not confirm that it’s located at the business address listed on the account. Enforcing these guidelines helps maintain high quality information on Google and improves how customers interact with businesses online."

I've sent another post card (which won't arrive as there's no mail delivery and it's not sent to the PO Box). Then I'll try again with local-help.
This finally had a successful resolution. After being denied a phone call to try to explain the situation with local-help, I requested another postcard verification to restart the process.

Someone at the local post office delivered the verification card to the PO Box, even though the postcard had a street address. I got the verification code and all is now as it should be.

Thanks for all of your help.

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