The New York Times has reportedly recently that businesses listed on Google Places can easily be erroneously listed as “reportedly closed” or “permanently closed” without the knowledge of the owner of the business. This can be done by just a few customers who may reach a business and find it closed. They don’t bother to note that they are making their report to Google at 8:00 p.m. and the sign on the front shows that the business closes at 7:00 p.m. This can also be done by an unsatisfied customer, or even worse by a competitor.

This problem is particularly difficult for retail businesses who count on walk in traffic, such as a restaurant, coffee shop or hotel. Customers will often locate these businesses via a Google search and if the customer thinks the business is closed, they’ll move right on to the next business.

Owners whose businesses are listed in Google Places should be alert. They should check Google Places at least a couple of times per day and click on “not true” if they see that their business has been listed as closed improperly. If the problem persists, business owners should contact Google directly. Google has indicated that they are aware of the problem and they are working on ways to reduce the errors.

If you have questions regarding Massachusetts business law or would like to learn more about how our firm may help advance your business, please contact us directly to speak with one of our business attorneys.