I was fooled twice this week into calling scam travel agencies instead of airlines thanks to misleading Google search results. It is time for Google to crack down on unsavory thieves who prey upon unsuspecting consumers.
Google Must Crack Down On Scam Travel Agencies
I do have most airline reservation numbers stored in Skype, but if I need a telephone number quickly I turn to Google…don’t we all?
I need to call Lufthansa so I googled “Lufthansa Reservations USA” and the following came up:
So I called the number.
An agent with an Indian accent picked up and said, “Lufthansa reservations. How may I help you?”
I knew something was off immediately for two reasons. First, Lufthansa does not have an Indian call center. Second, when you call Lufthansa you are greeted by music followed by a menu of automated choices before you are connected to an agent.
I asked the agent, “Is this Lufthansa?”
“Yes sir. How can I help you?”
And I proceeded to say some not nice things before hanging up.
A few days later I needed to call British Airways and googled “British Airways Reservations.” The following came up:
Without even thinking, I dialed the number. Another Indian call center. Now British Airways does outsource some reservation calls to India. But again, it struck me immediately that I was not met with the familiar Flower Duet jingle.
So I gave the agent a piece of my mind…
But really, the bigger problem is Google. Companies should not be able to game SEO for preferential search results when their object is to trick and mislead consumers.
If I was misled (and book flights for a living), think about how many infrequent travelers are swindled by doing the same thing. In fact, I’ve even written about it before.
> Read More: Scam “British Airways” Agent Defrauds My Client
It is time for Google to exercise more quality control and block these scam artists from defrauding innocent travelers. I call upon Google to tackle this issue immediately; it is a Google SEO issue, not an advertiser one. Google, it is all in your hands…