17 July 2009

Google AdSense: Poor need not apply

... because they won't get paid.

From an email I received in May from Google Adsense:

In an effort to protect the accounts of Google AdSense publishers, we've starting using automated telephone number verification to ensure that your information is accurate and up-to-date. As a result, you should see a Required Action on your Payment History Page to 'Please verify your phone number' after you log in to your account. To initiate this process, click the 'Please verify your phone number' link and follow the instructions.

I haven't a phone.

My response at the time? Bye-bye AdSense.

Thought that was the end of it...

UPDATE 1 - May 12

AdSense is back! Had to go start the process of closing my AdSense account, which got Google's attention. For the reason for closing the account, I wrote: "Your policy excludes very low-income bloggers, including those living on the streets, the very people who could most use AdSense income. I haven't a phone."

Google is sending me a PIN by snail mail, so I can verify my account that way. Why the hell they didn't include that option in their original 'Please verify your phone number' message I've no idea, except to suppose they're as oblivious as most other people are - including the vet, local retailers, the manager at my doctor's office, all creators of online submission forms who make the telephone field mandatory...

As I told an online friend, who tried to help me with this, I get weary trying to educate people about this kind of thing. It's depressing to be reminded of one's own marginalization, which makes it that much harder to fight back against the assumptions which marginalize. There are times I just can't push myself to do it. But thanks to the gentle support of my friend, this time I pushed back and with good results.

UPDATE 2 - Bye-bye AdSense - Today, July 17.

Went through the process of PIN verification and STILL the phone verification notice has not come off my account. Which means PIN verification was a useless exercise.

So once again I began the cancellation process with the hope that SOMEONE at Google AdSense would HELP with this problem.

Well, good luck with that!

NOTHING but the same old stupid response. I am instructed either to complete the verification process - in other words the respondent didn't READ my reason for proceeding with cancellation - or to submit a form accepting that I won't get paid what I am owed.

Google AdSense owes me $14.58. But I won't get it because I haven't a phone and cannot verify having what I don't have.

So went ahead and submitted their stupid form to cancel without payment.

Am angry, frustrated, in tears, and incensed by societal assumptions which forever are placing barriers between those who have and those who don't.

... and I've just received another auto-reply to the effect that I can NEITHER cancel my account NOR get paid. I'm in an auto-reply nightmare and of course, because I haven't a phone, there's not a hope in hell of talking to a REAL LIVE PERSON.

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