Feeds

Google sprays customers with cash in AdWords cockup

£100 voucher morphs into gigantic £75,000 bonanza

Security for virtualized datacentres

Google mistakenly credited huge sums of money into an unknown number of UK customers' AdWords accounts, after some were handed a £100 voucher from Mountain View to redeem on the service.

AdWords user Pete Williams told The Register that Google wrongly plonked £75,000 into his account after he redeemed the voucher.

"I got one of these and let Google know via their @AdWords twitter account – no response yet. Obviously I've not spent a penny of it, but it appears other people have!" he said.

To add to the balls-up, Google, having heard from various AdWords customers about the gaffe, then credited various accounts with another £75,000.

Williams said the company eventually spotted the sizable accounting error and "finally" charged him £150,000 to reset the balance to zero.

Despite all the weird bumps and dips of cash showing up in his account, Williams told us he "still [had] no word from Google on what's going on."

Indeed, El Reg has asked the Google UK team to explain the blunder. It's yet to return comment at time of writing, however.

Meanwhile, others who were also wrongly credited with great wads of cash in their AdWords accounts after redeeming the £100 voucher, have been questioning what went wrong on this thread.

A US-based Google employee eventually provided some insight into why the money was credited into their accounts.

"Those of us who post in this forum are not connected in any way with the folks that handle AdWords promotions," noted the unnamed Google wonk in the early hours of this morning.

"Moreover, the Google employees who post here have typically supported US-based advertisers and we will have not Google contacts in other parts of the world who work with advertisers using currencies other than the US dollar. For these reasons, I am not able to speak to what you are experiencing."

Later, however, the Google staffer offered this more helpful update:

"I am happy to say that I was able to reach the proper team, and was pleased to learn that they were already fully aware of the issue – and working to communicate directly with those folks who had an incorrect amount applied to their account.

"I do certainly apologise on behalf of the team for any bad moments that this has caused you."

But some found that Google had credited their account with £75,000 and then removed £150,000, leaving some customers in the red.

Others are getting a small £50 compensation from Google, after the company made a clear hash of its £100 voucher promotion.

"We recently emailed you a credit for £100 of free Google AdWords advertising. Unfortunately, due to a technical issue you will not be able to redeem this credit. Instead, please find below a new AdWords credit giving you a credit of £150. The extra £50 is by way of apology for our error," reads an email sent out to some customers. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.