Google Admob messed up HUGE with massive error in refunds
Someone, likely several someone's lost their jobs over this for sure. Google/Admob refunded all of my transaction as well - across 4 different credit cards, bank accounts and paypal account to the tune of just over $117,000.00!!! dating back to my first payment to them in Feb 2012. I spoke with several other advertisers I know as well, one who used paypal to do just one transaction of a few hundred dollars, and another larger one who was refunded a little over $16K. Massive massive screw up!
Originally Posted by Magnesus
Unfortunately for me this triggered all kinds of problems, especially once it was "fixed" with payments going out on payroll and wire transfers for other payments with my accounts set to auto-sweep from savings accounts to checking, which did not occur because of the large positive balance, when then late last night ended up not being a positive balance when they took it back.
I say took, because it's intriguing how they "reversed" the transactions. They did not cancel or reverse the original credits (at least in my case with Google Wallet was used to process all the charges) which one can see happen all the time on credit card statements with errors of a duplicate charge, or a clerk mistypes number or decimal point. Usually before they clear, the charge is corrects, reversed, edited or canceled. I have merchant account and am familiar how that process is supposed to work. In this case, that is not what Google did - they actually made new charges for all the amounts credited (over 90 separate transactions total) after the original credit had CLEARED and posted. I was curious how that was possible so I called Visa, and Paypal Mastercard both and was both surprised, and NOT so surprised to learn that even at the customer service level they were aware that Google had contacted the payment cleaning houses and took it all back. Obviously I expected that they fixed their mistake - when I found the issue for a split second I thought it would be a very merry Christmas, obviously something this large would be corrected, but was surprised at how they fixed it. After talking to Visa and Mastercard, my banks and Paypal I asked them to explain how, since these were not reversals, how someone could make new charges totaling $50K, $30K, $6,000 etc to cards that had nowhere near that level of daily charge limits and to explain how/why they were done this way and not as a reversal. They could not, or would not and the only option for me to get them to look into it would be to dispute the new charges so an investigation could be started and look into it. Obviously I'm not going to do that as it would be a futile excessive and a waste of time since the credits were obviously in error, and odd process or not, the new charges balanced it out.
One of the other people I know that used Paypal directly - not using the Paypal debt/credit card to fund Admob, but actually sending a "cash" payment via email transfer was refunded $500, then again, not a reversal but an actual new "payment sent" draw out of the Paypal balance send back to Admob - again, should not be possible to do it that way as far as I know. Seems to me that violates all kinds of account policies on how money transfers and charges/reversals are supposed to work.
Scary to see how the admob system bug or human error could somehow click "refund everyone everything for all for all time" instead of "refund un-used balance". If this happened across the board to everyone who used prepaid traffic accounts this mistake could have been in the millions, 10's of millions or much much more. It's also scary to see the real power behind companies like Google and Apple (anyone remember the incident where an engineer lost a 2nd gen prototype iPhone at a bar, and Apple sent their "security" team to "retrieve" it back from the person who found it?) how fast they can go into financial institutions and get them to do things in ways that should not be possible to fix in they way that they did it. Crazy....
Other than an accounting mess I have to clean up now and a waste of several hours trying to contact Admob yesterday (to no avail), my banks, Google Wallet, paypal etc to find out what the heck was going on, it was interesting to see the backdoor machinations of the whole process.
Another interesting point - Nothing in Google news about this. I wonder why :cool: