August is my busiest time of year for enquiries from new students before the school year starts in September. So imagine my horror when someone tried to tamper with my Google business listing and the whole listing got suspended. Here is where the tale starts….
I do not have a phone number listed on Google as it’s impossible to answer the phone when teaching and most people that would call are just asking for vacancies and fees, all of which are listed on our web site. The school auto-reply provides all the frequently asked questions and as we do not have an administrator, email is the most efficient way for people to contact us.
So one morning I log on to my Gmail and am informed that someone has added a phone number to my Google listing for the SE22 Piano School in East Dulwich. It is a mobile number so I look it up and lo and behold it belongs to a piano tuner that I used to recommend to all of my students. This does seem rather odd but maybe not surprising that he’s been enterprising enough to see that I don’t have a phone number listed and has decided to funnel all the piano teaching enquiries his way to upsell them piano tuning. Seems a bit unlikely but you never know. Anyway I try to remove the number and replace it with 000 000 0000 but of course this causes Google to melt down and suspend my whole business listing. I then have to submit a request for this suspension to be reviewed which takes up a lot of time as I have to provide screengrabs of evidence etc etc. I fire off an email to the piano tuner whose assistant denies all knowledge of it and says she’ll look into it, but of course I hear nothing back. I’ll say nothing more other than it all seems rather fishy on their part.
Six weeks pass and I’m completely invisible on the search page for ‘piano lessons east dulwich’ and other common searches. After some back and forth with Google I get my listing back up and running. I am sure plenty of piano enquiries have been lost by not having an active listing and all my Google ads suspended for a ridiculously long amount of time.
And we have a mobile phone number listed reluctantly on Google. I’ve already had late night phone calls asking for advice from random strangers on purchasing a piano (give me strength!). It’s now set to go straight to voicemail and I have a pre-recorded message directing people to the information regarding piano lessons.
So this all leads me to be in the market for a new piano tuner. If you know someone you would recommend do get in touch. The pianos at our school in East Dulwich definitely need a tune!