Google rang me!


The world of information is shrinking. Here’s a heart warming story about a very large organisation and an individual who pays a funny game called petanque.

In our efforts to broaden our appeal and get ourself on the map (the only map that matters – Google maps) – we dropped a pin at our ground in a park in Huddersfield and asked Google for a business listing. They were happy to list us. All we had to do was fit into their strict model. We had to choose what business we were involved in. Petanque club wasn’t a valid answer, we had to select sports complex which sounds very grand for a 30m by 12m pitch composed mostly of gravel but no matter.

Next step was to verify the location and the business. This is where it went wrong again. There were 2 options verify by phone or verify by postcard. Strangely phone verification wasn’t available so we had to opt for postcard. Trouble is, our patch of gravel doesn’t have a regular post delivery. It doesn’t have a building let alone a door or a letterbox. So Google couldn’t contact us by mail. They had driven past us and photographed the hedge alongside our pitch but maybe they were on automatic pilot at the time.

A quick trawl through the support pages provided a solution. Give another address for the postcard – any address will do a long as you receive post at it. Once you have received the postcard, verified that the club is at an address where it isn’t then change the address to what you really want. Strange that a multi zillion dollar international company would allow this simple ruse but that’s what their customer support recommended so I did it. Google said it would have to check my change of address before re-verifying it.

Today Google rang me.

I knew it was them as my phone said +1(650) 253-2000 and helpfully suggested the call was coming from Mountain View, CA, United States. Someone over there asked if I was Huddersfield Petanque Club and did I live at  xxxx Road to which I replied yes and no. They asked me to explain and I told them the story.

They asked 2 tough security questions. What’s Greenhead Park? Is it a neighborhood or an estate? (It’s a park). They repeated the question not understanding my reply so I added it’s a green space in the middle of a town. That did the trick. Next question was what is Marsh Gates.  Is it a Neighborhood or an estate? (it’s a set of gates at the entrance to the park). They understood this.

So they verified the club and we should now be on Google Maps. Next step is changing our picture from a street view image of my front door to a picture of our playing area.

If you want to see our website try

Happy Christmas and a peaceful new year to all our readers.

Make 2017 the year you get prepared for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). See our full day workshops and new  GDPR Practitioner Certificate.



About actnowtraining

Act Now Training Ltd specialise in information law. We have been providing training and consultancy services globally for over 16 years. We have an extensive GDPR and FOI course programme from live and recorded webinars, accredited foundation through to higher level certificate courses delivered throughout the country or at your premises.
This entry was posted in Data Protection. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s