Google offers some fantastic services to users of the internet, but they’re so big that we’re all small potatos to them, which is probably why they seem to avoid giving one-on-one customer service whenever possible.
So when Aaron Greenspan of Think Computer Corporation had trouble getting anyone at Google to explain why they cancelled his AdSense account, still owing him $721, he decided to take the GOOG to court—small claims court in Santa Clara County, California, which is also home to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View.
It turns out that not only didn’t Google explain to Greenspan why they cancelled his account, they didn’t bother to explain it to the paralegal they sent to defend against the suit either.
“What was the reason Google gave you for disabling your account?”
“Beyond, ‘posing a signficicant risk to advertisers,’ they didn’t give a reason.” I said. “I don’t know.”
Google’s Ms. Milani didn’t know either…She claimed that Google could terminate accounts for any or no reason, and that I had agreed to such terms by signing up for AdSense in the first place. She even said that I’d admitted to violating the terms of service when I sent in my appeal form, because I had mentioned that my new domain name was only a placeholder site.
In fact, clause 6 of the AdSense for Content Terms and Conditions does not allow Google to terminate accounts for “no” reason–only “any” reason. Much to my amusement, the judge interrupted her to make a point that sounded familiar.
“But you couldn’t terminate my account because of the color of my eyes, could you? I have brown eyes. You couldn’t terminate my account because of that.”
Greenspan won his $721, plus court costs.
“But it’s not fair!” Google’s paralegal protested. “What if everyone whose account was canceled sued Google?”
Maybe they’ll find out.
Read the whole story of how Greenspan took on the Google and won.
(Hat tip: Philipp Lenssen)