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Unfairly charged 1 Recommended Answer 19 Replies 5 Upvotes
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I set up an account on 4 October 2018. I did play around with setting up a campaign but it was never activated. The activity graph for all time shows that the account flatlines from day one until April 2020 when I am supposed to have set up a ’Smart Campaign Managed Adgroup’. 

I have no idea what this is and did not enter information into any change of ad.

Google is supposed to cancel accounts if they haven’t been active for 15 months.

I distinctly remember being informed that the account had, in fact, been deactivated, but I cannot pinpoint a specific date. I also did not realize that an account could be reactivated.

The ad I am supposed to have created is simply not one I would have done. Why I would suddenly go into an account I thought had been deactivated and place an ad I don't recognize is simply not credible.

It was only when a horrendous bill came in that I realized Google had been charging me. I complained, sent emails with screenshots, etc but all I get is the same reply over and over.

I wish to claim a refund on the basis that the account was supposed to have been automatically cancelled and I thought it was.
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Hello and thank you for your reply.

1. The account in question was created on October 4, 2018.
2. The only reason I opened the account was to (at some point) advertise on YouTube. I assumed the account would simply remain in place until I felt the urge to use it.
3. I did not realize that Google will cancel an account after 15 months of inactivity until I was informed the account had been deactivated.
4. I had nothing more to do with the account until I received a bill.
5. I accessed the account and found that there had been no activity at all, absolutely nothing; it flatlined from the creation date until April this year when I am supposed to have activated a campaign. There is nothing in the history that says I reactivated the account in or around April. It should have been canceled by Google in January 2020. I thought it had been.
6. Nobody else has access to the account except me.
7. Another account that I created when the account in question was deactivated (or so I thought) I did use to experiment with YouTube. This was canceled by Google almost immediately afterward on the 15 months no activity rule.
8.The ad itself: The ad reads like a publishing house reaching out to potential authors. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am an independent author and if I was to advertise on Google it would have been for a book and direct clicks to an Amazon sales page. One of the pitch lines was 'We are in the United States'. There is no we and I am in the UK.
9. I note also that 'a Google operative may create or help create an ad in collaboration'. This statement is in italics in the T&Cs.
10. I understand it is a self-service platform so I was surprised to be informed that I could not go back to the set-up page to examine it in detail. Other platforms (Facebook, Amazon) allow client access in order to change, alter, increase/decrease the budget, retarget, pause, or delete the ad. Before I canceled the account (as soon as I realized it was still active) I tried to get to the set-up page but could not.
11. I have had responses from support largely in line with yours but still have not received an explanation as to why this account was not canceled after 15-months when I thought it had been, despite several emails with screenshots and the arguments above.
12. The first time I set eyes on this ad was after the bill came in and I started checking. 

I would like to know how to have this issue escalated to a higher level.

Thank you for your patience.
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Thanks for the detailed response.  Do you mind posting a screenshot of your change history? Please make sure you select "All Time" in the date selector.   What you are describing just doesn't make sense.
 
The part about the Google operative is talking about collaboration, like with you on the phone.  No one from Google is going to go into the account and randomly create ads without you being aware, especially if it had been inactive for so long.
 
re: publishing house ad,  where did this ad go? Did it go to a website that is not yours?
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Here is a screenshot showing activity from October 4 2018.
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To clarify, I meant that Google Legal would potentially get involved if they could prove to your financial institution the charge was valid.  There is no guarantee this would happen, but you are opening yourself up to the liability per the TOS.  The Google Account system is pretty secure, anytime I'm connected to a new wifi, etc, I get an email and a text push asking if this is me, and sometimes even have to verify it's me with a prompt sent to my phone. 

 
I'm not aware of any campaigns being created from surveys.    You might try reaching back out to support asking for the IP information, and perhaps threatening to dispute the charges with your financial institution if they don't.  They may take this a signal that you have a legitimate concern compared to other users who just make baseless claims.  No guarantees there either.

You also might check the security section of your Google Account.  It shows devices used, last time they accessed the account, etc.  No IP information will be found here though.
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