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.