Be Careful Using the Free $100 Google AdWords

Be Careful

So, this blog is more or less a warning to those who sign up for those free $100 in Google Ads. Be very careful how you set up your account because I had no idea that Google automatically sets up automatic payments without putting that upfront for you to see what they are doing. I got an e-mail today saying that my old credit card was declined and that I owe them nearly $50.

Wow, I was a little shocked but I thought it was just some confusion so I called the customer service representative. (Note that I could not actually find an e-mail form to send them an online message. They want you to call customer service.) My phone call with the service representative turn out to be quite unsuccessful as they put all blame on me. I remember setting up the account as a prepay, but they denied that all together. (I had made $5-10 pre-payments before.) Take note I was very friendly with this rep, but they ended up demanding the money from me at which I refused to pay them. I did ask to turn in one of those special requests and they refused that as well.

So, today I went ahead and closed down all of my campaigns that I have with them and I will be no longer doing business with Google Adwords. This is a lesson all in itself that you need to read the fine print before signing up for accounts like this and just because you think you set it up a certain way doesn't mean the company with not pull a fast trick on you.

I feel somewhat responsible to pay for these ads, but because I had no idea this was even set up then I am refusing to pay them and closing down my Google Adwords account.

I am used to being treated nicely when working with accounts problems and such. Most of the time they want your business enough to help and assist you, but Google I am afraid is completely out of control at this point and I feel they are in the wrong on this or at least partially for not making things clear.

So, life is good! Lesson of the day: Pay attention to where and how you set up online accounts, especially when they have your bank information.

-Peter Freeman

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Comments 10 comments

Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

I am a bit confused. Exactly what happened? Google adwors is a pay per click advertisement. You pay when someone clicks your ads. Did you misunderstand the way it works, or is the problem with the credit card?


petertheknight profile image

petertheknight 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA Author

I gave them $5-10 of prepay. I set the account up that way (prepay), but I think once I accepted the free $100 they changed my manual to automatic payments without my consent. I should have been watching this account more carefully because I had no idea what was happening. Everything is so sneaky...thank goodness it was an old credit card or I would be out around $50.


Mike 5 years ago

I had a similar experience with Google. I am pretty sure that they get a lot like this because automatic payments (you continue to advertise when your freebie has run out) is set as the default.

No wonder Google make a fortune!


Danny 5 years ago

You're not alone. Google must catch lots of people out with this technique for signing people up.


petertheknight profile image

petertheknight 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA Author

Yes and it is sad that they do not at least explain to me what is going on and work with me. But they have their way of doing business which is not always straight forward and I just can't handle or afford to work with companies like that.

You know what else is funny? I opened this blog to add a comment and there is a HUGE ad to the right that says, "Start with $74 of free advertising on us." LOL!!!


Cleaners in Leeds 5 years ago

We're a relatively newly formed domestic cleaning and office cleaning business in the UK and we've just come to the end of our free advertising with Google. Unlike the rest of the posters on here they didn't continue to charge us. Instead they sent us an email to say that the account had been suspended due to lack of funds and gave me a link to allow me to go and top-up my account.

Did you set your account up correctly in the first instance? I am sure that a company the size of Google won't want to tarnish the reputation they have from their loyal user-base.


petertheknight profile image

petertheknight 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA Author

I thought I had the account set up correctly. I've used and paid for adwords in the past and had no problems until I tried this free advertising offer. I guess they changed the settings on my account without my knowledge. Like I said...perhaps I am at the blame here, but I had a really old credit card on this account that they tried to charge.


Luis 4 years ago

So you just need to set the account as manual payment right?

Sorry this is new for me thanks


Beth 4 years ago

I'd like to see something about how this all went wrong, not just that it's confusing. Is there a way to prevent this? Like, redeem the code and then make sure the system is set to pre-pay and not auto-pay?


Karim 3 years ago

same thing happened with me, I hate them, it's kind of like a scam cuz it exploits human vulnerability

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