/ Technology

Google Maps Trap? What is Search Point UK?

Have you been contacted by Search Point UK demanding money for Google My Business debts and services? We’ve taken a look at what’s going on.

Back in 2015, a business owner told us he was asked to pay a fee to remain listed on Google Maps.

Since then, that Which? Conversation has received many comments reporting a company named Search Point UK:

“I run a photography business and about two years ago I got a call from Search Point UK – I believed they were calling from Google. I agreed to have them manage our Google My Business listing for a year and paid about £300.

When that contract was up, they began calling again to renew it – but by now I realised I could manage it myself for free. I told them I didn’t want to renew.

But they were insistent that I owed them another £300 for another year of management and began calling multiple times a day. They’ve even sent final demand notices and claim to have a voice recording of me agreeing to their services again – which never happened.

I don’t know how to get them to leave us alone”

This commenter is far from alone. We’ve had many people contact us about Search Point UK harassing them for debts for services they say they didn’t agree to and found many other bad reviews online.

Other small business owners have told us they were cold-called and offered a free trial where their business was listed on Google Maps. But as these were registered by Search Point UK, they weren’t in control of their own listing and this was used against them. They claim they had to contact Google themselves to get control back.

Who are Search Point UK?

According to Search Point UK’s website, they specialise in the set-up and management of Google my Business listings for a fee, but they don’t say what those fees are. They do not claim to be associated with Google.

We tried to contact them about the case above and other reviews of their company, but they ignored our requests. They say on their site the only way to stop their calls is for the person they originally spoke to to confirm details.

Third parties charging fees for services which can be provided for free is not illegal.

We asked Google about Search Point UK, it said:

“Businesses should be wary of companies offering to sign them up for a fee”

Helpfully, a community member found how to report these dodgy practices directly to Google:

You should then request a Termination of End Customer relationship and they legally have to allow you to disassociate your company from them within seven days. The company is then legally obliged to give you exclusive control of your listing.

More information can be found on a Google My Business Help page. If you’d like to report a nuisance call, you can also read our free guide.

Have you been contacted by Search Point UK? What did they say about your Google My Business page? Let us know your experiences.

Comments
Chris says:
14 June 2021

They called me earlier today withholding there telephone number even though my phone number is tps registered. Very instant that they speak to the owner which I refused as I’d heard about there practices before. They terminated the call after they didn’t get anywhere. Hopefully the last I hear from them.

Chris – TPS protection from nuisance phone calls only covers firms that are members of the TPS. Cold calling is prohibited by law but the perpetrators are untraceable, unfortunately.

Many calls are to random numbers which is why those whose names are ex-directory get their share of nuisance calls.

I had the unfortunate pleasure of working for this shambles of a company
I have to admit I’m embarrassed to have been there. I would recommend anyone who wants there listing back to create a gmail account and phone search point and ask for full ownership. You can find more info on this by googling google my business and videos on YouTube to help you navigate around and add extras to your listing.

What search point do is they called call you for a free trail then you’ll be called back a few days later with a google code once you give them the code they will now have ownership of your listing this is where it’s very dodgy. You will get a callback at the end of the trail with the results of how it went and you choose to go ahead and pay or not. If you choose not to continue then they still have your listing and you’ll be called back months later and offered it a lot cheaper and the excuse is they left it on there server by mistake. This is a total lie. They don’t do much for you or your business if your not tech savy get a friend or someone to do this for you. Save your money or use a better company just look at all there bad reviews from customers and ex staff

I hope my previous post has helped people claim back their listings.
I would strongly recommend you all leave them bad reviews on there gmb page trust pilot, yell etc
How this company can legally operate is beyond me, you’ll never get through to a manager as they will not take your calls they are sometimes in the building but regardless of the issue they are too scared to take a call and pay staff peanuts to take the abuse call after call and expect them to get your business