Google Places’ support forums are flooded with comments from upset business owners who are unable to respond to negative reviews being posted on their local Places page.
Not a new problem.
It seems the Respond as Owner issue started popping up in early fall of 2010 and is still causing problems for businesses today.
Their individual situations may vary slightly; some can’t publish their review responses, others can’t respond at all because the ‘respond as owner’ link is missing.
Google’s acknowledges there is an issue for some accounts, but apparently they’re unable to pin down the exact cause. For now, Google’s responses and recommendations are as follows:
- Make sure your listing is verified in Google Places. (your places dashboard should show that all accounts are ‘active’)
- Make sure you are logged into the Google account that originally claimed the listing you are trying to post the response for.
- Make sure the review you’re trying to respond to includes text ( i.e. you can’t respond to reviews where someone only clicked the stars without commenting)
- Try using a different browser – If you’re using IE, try Chrome and Firefox.
- If you have multiple business locations verified under your Places account , check to see if you can respond to reviews on any of those. If you can, it’s likely that those accounts are now controlling your other listings as well.
One of my clients was having this problem last week and none of these solutions seemed to help, so I also posted on the forums. Yesterday I checked their Places listing again to see if anything had changed; it hadn’t. Today I checked again and all is back to normal – now it could be simple coincidence, but this is what I did:
Logged into the account that was missing the ‘Respond as Owner’ option. Clicked ‘edit’ to modify the account info – changed a word or two in the description area then saved and left. (I should note that on the main dashboard screen, I tried to edit the account and it wouldn’t let me – but if I clicked to view the listing instead of edit, then I could click edit and modify. hopefully that’s not too confusing…)
Next day, the problem is fixed and the option has returned. Perhaps modifying the listing with the issue forces the system to recognize you as the account owner?
Have you run across this problem as well? Did this solution work for you? I’d love to know.