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You can't change the name on the checks? Ridiculous

This reminds me of a big board meeting

     
3:09 pm on Jun 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The changes at Google Adsense now require you to select Business or Personal account. If you choose Business account, you are required to select the name the check goes to. This name cannot be changed. Although I understand that there are many reasons they don't want to allow you to change it, there are even more reasons you need to be able to:

Typos, change DBA name, sell business entity, have multiple companies and switch the domain from one company to another, etc..

It reminds me of a big board meeting we had at a company I worked for. I was dealing with the customer and always had to fight the programmers who hated adding code that helped the end user actually use the app. They had a "feature" where you create folder names, but they didn't think that it was necessary to allow the end user to delete the folder or change the name.

Every single person in the meeting voted against me. In front of our entire executive board, CEO, CIO, CTO, Board of Directors, in order to back up my point and sole vote, I went up to the Director of Sale's computer, which doubled as our supercharged demo machine that makes all the sales for the company. I created a new folder with the "F" word as the name and said, OK, I guess deleting isn't an important feature.

Everyone's face dropped and they looked at each other. Finally the CTO broke the ice, stood up, shook my hand and said a delete feature will be in the final version.

3:27 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Consider this. Someone hacks your AdSense account. Doesn't change a thing except the payee name and address. How often does a publisher go in and check that the payee name and address are correct? Sure, it could be a pain if something needs to be changed, but it does protect the publisher.

It also protects those who have joint AdSense accounts due to business partnerships. If your payee is made out to Company ABC, how would you like your partner-gone-bad to go and change the company name to his personal name on the 10th of the month. And you might not discover it until you investigate why your $15,000 AdSense check hasn't arrived weeks later.

There was also a battle of the payees between two partners who kept changing the name to his own name, then complaining to Google about it.

In all, it is a smart move safety-wise, and changing the payee name is not something that is done very often.

3:37 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Keep in mind all the payments are going through a third party, keeping the 2 databases in sync must be a nightmare.
3:38 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Sure, it could be a pain if something needs to be changed

I don't mind if it's a pain. Faxing in something to document a death, inheritance, marriage or sale of a company to prove the transfer is legal is fine with me. I'd even be willing to pay a fee. There has to be some way to do these things in a protected way. But saying it can "never be changed" is what disturbs me.

Some of these problems could be solved by direct deposit. Is Google still considering offering this?

3:42 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Like I said, I understand why they did it (and I don't believe that the reasons you mentioned are the reasons). But there HAS to be a procedure in place to change the payee name. You can make it difficult, but it should not be impossible.

I don't accept the hacker argument at all. If a hacker is in your data, you are totally screwed. No way around it and that isn't Google's responsibility. Nor should Google get involved in helping you with a partner playing games on you. If you have a bad partner you can't trust to handle the payee name on an adsense account, you have deeper problems than Adsense can help you with. (Maybe an argument over adsense funds will help you learn about your partner.)

For concern of hackers, you do what other net companies do, you send out an email to the account holder to inform/confirm the change. (If the hacker has your email account hacked, you are, again, royally screwed.)

I think Google's concern has to do with what's good for Google, not so much with protecting the publisher. Their concern is probably more related to all the adsense fraud and fake accounts and difficulty with tracking. The IRS forms they have to fill out like 1099's change radically if you have checks made out to different companies in middle of the year.

Nonetheless, they need to make name changes possible and find another way to deal with the issues that made them choose this way of doing business. They aren't the first or last company to have this problem. I'm sure it's only a matter of time until the realize this was a bad choice.

3:47 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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When they say the payee can't be changed, I wouldn't take that too literally. Maybe it can't be changed online, but IMO it's unlikely Google couldn't change the name if they wanted and needed to.
4:00 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure if you sent them an individual email and outlined why the payee name needed to be changed they would oblige.
4:03 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Astounded, Google don't quite seem to live in the same world as the rest of us.I know of no other online service or financial institution in which one cannot change the payee name.

If security is the issue then it's quite simple to set up a confirmation process, we all do online banking it works ok there.

I suspect the issue is probably connected to the lack of technical ability G has in keeping the Payee names updated. Again a simple process of preventing ´Payee alterations say the week before payment confirmation, would be a way round it.

If G can't even get this part right how on earth will they ever be able to offer direct payments into Banks or other institutions like Paypal.

A company with big aspirations that just can't get the details right.

5:24 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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you can change the contact person, but you have to do it by email. I recently had this same situation where the adsense contact was leaving the company. They gave her the alternative to send the new name to them, or to delete the account and re-open the account. They just aren't allowing it to be done online.

SEOGrrl.

8:54 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I believe that too, but the way they are implementing it requires modification...
11:53 pm on June 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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i recently had this problem, i emailed them and they said you need to state how much you got payed the last time, and how many page impressions you got the first day, then they close the account, and if its more then 100 they send you the money but if its less, you wait untill the end of the year, i had to open a new account on a new email, everything went fine, just a little bit of a hassle.
1:09 am on June 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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maybe they could let people change it by request via email? too much to handle? you could screen the crazy situations that way, though, and still let people change it for legit reasons...

my two keywords,
kpaul

4:31 am on June 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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There was also a battle of the payees between two partners who kept changing the name to his own name, then complaining to Google about it.

When I read this I laughed out loud. This kind of story is really insightful to the amateurish Google enterprise. I can't believe a real company operates like this.

Can you imagine Citibank dealing with two partners who keep calling the bank and changing the name on their accounts? C'mon guys.... you're up for an IPO!

Geesh. It is no surprise how poorly the public relations are being handled by Google. Look at the forums. Lots of distrust, doubt, people quick to suspect foul play, and then you go and dump 3+ pages of very small print on every on of your "affiliates" with a "say OK or you can't access your account" screen?

Google employees should be ashamed to work there.

 

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