A restaurant owner feared for her business's future this week after it was mistakenly listed as closed down on Google Maps – and the ad giant wouldn't correct the error.
Kaie Wellman says that her rotisserie chicken outlet Arrosto, in Portland, Oregon, US, was showing up as "permanently closed" on Google's mobile search results. The Chocolate Factory refused to change this declaration despite her numerous assurances that her store was alive and well.
"We kept on getting phone calls from people saying, 'Are you closed?' and we couldn't figure out why," Wellman told KATU.
After learning Google's mobile search results had her business marked as shut down, due to a user's suggestion, Wellman contacted Google support to get the label removed. She claims she was told by the inscrutable multibillion-dollar multinational that she, a small-business owner, couldn't change the status to the truth.
While Google has guidelines for marking businesses as permanently closed, the process for changing a mistaken listing is less clear.
Though Wellman said she offered to show Google photos of chickens roasting and people queued up as proof her shop was alive and well, she claims the Mountain View ads giant refused to update the listing, stating "this feature is working as intended and we [do] not foresee it being removed as this is a channel to provide updates regarding businesses that may not be actively managed."
Puzzlingly, Wellman says that rather than provide actual proof her restaurant was not closed, she should instead have more people go onto the Maps site and make their own reviews marking the location as open.
The Register contacted Google for comment on the matter, but at the time of writing has yet to hear back. Someone, however, seems to have got through to the Map results people at the Larry Page-led Chocolate Factory, as Arrosto's Maps listing now shows it as being open. Phew! But how Kafkaesque. ®