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Submission + - Google Wallet Strong-Arming customers? (

SkyLeach writes: "Google wallet, the payment utility behind all android and Google account purchases, is in the business of strong-arming customers for their merchants.

For more than a year, ever since getting my first Android phone, I have been working to get my Google wallet account unlocked. Unfortunately it seems that the only way Google will unlock my account is if I reverse my claims against one of their merchants and I don't even know which one.

In September of 2010 I was surprised to find my checking account missing $500. I was quite surprised to discover that the charge had come from Google. At this time I had no type of Google services. I didn't own an Android phone and I had never purchased any services from Google or from any of their affiliates.

As any credit card or debit card user would have done, I went to my financial institution and had the charges reversed. I then proceeded to have a new card issued since it was clear that my credit card must have been stolen and used without my consent.

Almost a year later I purchased my very first Android smart phone, an HTC Evo 3D with Sprint. After a few weeks of use my wife wanted to purchase an app. I, of course, proceeded to set up my payment method in the Google app store (this was before it was called Google Play). Much to my surprise I found that all of my transactions were refused. I contacted Google payment services (not yet called Google Wallet) and, after being asked to prove my identity, was greeted for the first time with my first copy of their policy concerning charge reversals.

To my great astonishment and anger, Google has a policy that if at any time any person with a Google account reverses a charge for any reason that person's account, linked to their email address, is locked down forever. You cannot get a new account. You cannot choose a new payment method, you cannot do anything at all. In spite of the fact that my Google email has been my primary email since 1998 (more than 14 years) and is linked to hundreds, perhaps even thousands of online accounts and is practically essential to my online identity I am barred forever from using it for any kind of financial transaction... including redeeming gift cards.

Now understand that if there had been some kind of abuse or fraud I may be able to understand this, but that is not the case. Google will not reveal the name of the merchant who attempted to charge me $500. In spite of a few dozen attempts to get information, they refuse to take any action whatever to resolve the situation. I am only given an email to discuss the matter, no phone number. I have not been given any kind of information on the transaction or any way to resolve the situation other than to go back and pay the original charge.

This is blatant abuse of power. They are holding my entire account hostage in an attempt to force me to agree to charges about which I am denied any knowledge.

They provide no customer service other than email, and all responses are little better than form letters. It is blatantly obvious that whoever reads these emails barely skims them before simply cutting and pasting a pre-written response.

In the end, it seems that Google's policy is that the customer is always wrong and that the merchant is always right."

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Google Wallet Strong-Arming customers?

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