Google Rolls out New Invoice System, and Immediately Bills Wrong People!

So, I have a client, all nice and tidy in my AdWords Pro Account. This client has a very large spend (500K+) and frankly, my credit cards simply don't have the space on them. So I set up invoicing with Google.

Google, to their credit, work quickly and are very helpful. Even so, there are delays involved simply due to processing times, etc. During this period, which is rather nerve-racking, I actually have to take out a second mortgage on my home in order to pay Google. The second mortgage also takes time to put into place, so in the meantime, I'm frantically paying Google by rotating through every credit card I have, and I even borrow a card from my brother in law.

Eventually, everything gets straightened out, invoicing kicks in, my client pays their bills, the credit cards are paid off, and my company is now stronger for the experience. All told, although it almost gave me a nervous breakdown, it was an overall positive thing.

(The reason I couldn't bill the client up front and pre-pay is another story, related to contracts and government regulations. Suffice to say that if it had been an option, I would have used it, but it wasn't).

But for now, everything is going fine. Once per month, I'm sent a snail-mail version of the invoice, but since I'm in Canada and the invoice is coming from the US, it arrives later than I'd like. Instead, I log into AdWords, download a PDF of my invoice and pay it. No problem.

Now For The Problem

At this point, life is good, I get paid, Google gets paid and everyone is happy. Until yesterday.

Yesterday, Google sends an email version of the invoice. Sounds good, right? Much faster than snail mail.


  1. The invoice was sent to my client's email address, not mine. Big mistake number one. I'm surprised it even got through their spam filters, much less got forwarded to me. They certainly had no idea what to do with it.
  2. The invoice was billed to my brother in law. You know, the guy who loaned me his credit card once on this account. He's certainly not going to pay it, and my client had no idea who this guy was.
  3. The invoice was sent yesterday - not at the time when the invoices should have been sent. By this point, I had not only received the proper invoice (when I download them, they are billed properly to my company, not to my brother in law), but I had paid it already. Why the invoice was sent AFTER THE DUE DATE and after being paid is totally beyond me.
  4. Finally, it was sent on behalf of Google Collections Canada. Now, we don't work with Google Canada due to some very bad service we had received last year. When I contacted the person listed in the email, she said that her name had been added automatically and she had not directly sent the email. So the email was sent FROM the wrong person (and wrong country)!

So, Google invoiced the proper amount, but did so:

  • To the wrong email address
  • To the wrong billing contact
  • At the wrong time
  • After it had been paid
  • From the wrong country and collections department

Not exactly a stellar start to the new system. If you are an AdWords customer, be very, very careful about this new system, and I strongly recommend you check everything. Twice.

Just like Google should have.


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