Tuesday, September 28, 2010

AdSense Scam Forces Move

My research has provided me with numerous examples of people in the same spot as I am.  AdSense uses our intellectual collateral to promote their customers ads and then trumps up phony charges against us to avoid having to pay us for hosting their advertisements.  That is not cool with me so I am moving my blog.  Where you ask?  I am not sure yet.  I am looking into wordpress as an option, but was hoping for some suggestions from all of my readers.  I haven't had any yet, so if you use a format other than blogger and have been pleased with it, please let me know.  I will keep you posted.  I am also trying to figure out how to erase this blog so it is not on blogger anymore, but that seems as difficult than getting paid by AdSense.  What a scam google is running all around huh?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

AdSense Scam Widespread

Ah ha, I was right.  If you google AdSense this site comes up in the top ten.  Check it out for more on their unethical business practices.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

GoogleAdsense Business Practices Are Unethical

For all of you out there who have been screwed by GoogleAdsense, I am on a mission.  Below is the ONLY information I received in my correspondence with them.  The first e-mail arrived a day or two after I inquired into a check they were overdue in sending me.  I hit a threshold in July and they did not mail my check.  I hit a second one in August and they did not mail my check.  I inquired in September and on September 15th they sent this first e-mail.


After reviewing our records, we've determined that your AdSense account
poses a risk of generating invalid activity. Because we have a
responsibility to protect our AdWords advertisers from inflated costs due
to invalid activity, we've found it necessary to disable your AdSense
account. Your outstanding balance and Google's share of the revenue will
both be fully refunded back to the affected advertisers.

Please understand that we need to take such steps to maintain the
effectiveness of Google's advertising system, particularly the
advertiser-publisher relationship. We understand the inconvenience that
this may cause you, and we thank you in advance for your understanding and

If you have any questions or concerns about the actions we've taken, how
you can appeal this decision, or invalid activity in general, you can find
more information by visiting


The Google AdSense Team 

This is wrong on so many levels.  First of all, WHAT is it they think I did wrong?  Define invalid activity?  They give you no specifics just point you toward the generic agreement telling you what you can't do, not what they accuse you of doing.  Then there is this appeal form:

12_DisablingMonth: Sep
13_DisablingDay: 14
14_DisablingYear: 2010
15_AlreadyAppealed: no
16_OtherAccount: no
18_WebAudience: Moms and the General public
19_UserGeography: I assume the US
20_UserAccessMode: how would I know?
21_ScrapedContent: no
22_ContentSources: me own writings
23_NumAdmins: 1
24_UpdateFrequency: about twice a week
25_BoughtTraffic: no
26_UsePayTo: no
27_TrafficSources: I visit other sites and comment and also word of mouth
28_AdvertiserValue: Because it targets their market and people often click

on ads and rememebr seeing products they see on a regular basis
29_UserIncentive: I have a few friends that check me out regularly but  
other than that not that I know of
30_ViolatedTerms: No
31_InvalidActivity: I have no idea what invalid click activity you are  
talking about.  No specifics were given in the e-mail.  It also seems  
coincidental that I JUST sent an e-mail asking why I hadn't received my  
check from August then I got this e-mail in return.
32_SuspiciousData: I don't usually check them so I don't know how to tell.

I am fairly new at this blog thing.

If you can read it you'll see that they ask you to defend yourself without ever telling you what you are accused of.  How can anyone do that?

"No officer, I didn't shoot that man."

"We know that mam, we brought you in because you forgot to sign your taxes."

I mean really?  Can they do that?  Is anyone out there a lawyer who knows whether someone can use your services for two full months, place their ads and get them seen for two full months, have people patronize the advertising companies for two full months and then choose not to pay you without so much as a specific explanation?  There has to be a law against that.  There have to be a number of people to whom they have done this.  It has to be illegal.  It is certainly unethical.  It is stealing and I bet there will be a class action suit sooner or later.  If they don't give me an explanation soon, I bet it will be sooner. (Do you think they read any of this material?)

So I do my best to defend myself against my non-charges.  I tell them that to my knowledge I have done nothing wrong. I have a friend who checks my site regularly. (Who doesn't?) But I even checked with her and she told me she only clicks on ads relevant to her and has even "patronized" a site or two.  So if she is doing more than just looking, isn't that what advertising is about?

And so I fill out that stupid generic form which asks you to address specifics they never give you and submit it and THIS is their response:


Thank you for your appeal. We appreciate the additional information you've
provided, as well as your continued interest in the AdSense program.
However, after thoroughly re-reviewing your account data and taking your
feedback into consideration, our specialists have confirmed that we're
unable to reinstate your AdSense account.

As a reminder, if you have any questions or concerns about your account,
the actions we've taken, or invalid activity in general, you can find more
information by visiting


The Google AdSense Team

Really?  WHY NOT?  What did you investigate?  What did you find? Did you even read my response?  Why didn't you answer my questions? Address MY concerns? Doesn't the accused have a right to know what she is being accused of before being convicted? Did a person even look into this or is it a computer generated e-mail?

By the way, while I am jumping ship and taking my ark into more legitimate waters, does anyone else have a suggestion as to where I should go?  Thanks for all your help readers, I wouldn't be here without you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

No Cents out of AdSense

This one’s easy; today’s rant is about kicking GoogleAdSense off my ark. 

How annoying are they?  So according to my payment history, I hit my next hundred-dollar mark back in July and then again in August.  Since it is now September 15th and I haven’t received either check, which their information reads I should have received over a month ago, I sent them an e-mail (because God forbid they have a phone number where you can inquire about anything) asking them why I hadn’t received my payment.
No response.
No acknowledgement of my inquiry.
Until today when I get an automated e-mail telling me my AdSense account has been disabled.  What a coincidence; I go looking for my very late payment, and they terminate my account…hmmm? No response to my original inquiry.  No explanation.  No information at all.  So I spent a while surfing around trying to find a way to contact them and ask them WTF?  But there is no phone number, no live chat, and no direct e-mail.  No way to deal with disputes at all unless you count filling out a generic appeal form, which asks a bunch of questions I don’t have the answers to and gives you a short space in which to tell them about why you think they are wrong.  Well how the hell would I know? They never told me what the problem was so how can I dispute it?  If they had said I was clicking my own ads, I’d say no I wasn’t.  If they said I was altering the ads, I’d say no I wasn’t.  If they said I was auto-generating clicks, I’d say no I wasn’t.  But they said none of those things; they didn’t give a reason, so how can I refute their reasoning?  Besides, how does one prove a negative?  I could possibly prove that I did something (if I was more computer savvy than I am) but how can I prove I didn’t do something?
I’ve heard of this happening before.  I have read other complaints about the fact that Google doesn’t give you any way to interact with them directly.   Now I understand those complaints.  Perhaps it is time to find a different host.  We’ll see how quickly they resolve this issue.  They owed me over $200.  If they reinstate me soon and I get paid, I’ll stay.  If not, look for a post giving you my new address.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Free Lunch

So I am not even sure who gets booted off the ark this time, but rest assured I am going to find out! 

This week the school sent home the annual collection of forms that they require we fill out: contingency plans in case of emergency, medical updates, a school newsletter.  In this packet was a form that has caused me much distress, an application for financial assistance with the hot lunch program.  Originally, it was a source of angst because I am not sure whether I should submit it on behalf of my child.  From previous posts you probably know that my husband and I have both been unemployed for over a year.  But we have also budgeted and saved and made good enough investments throughout the 20 years we have been working so that, although we are feeling the strain of our unemployment, we are not in danger of losing our house, or underfeeding our children.  We have had to cut back and make some choices, but no terribly hard choices…yet. 
Cobra is up this month and we need to come up with over $1600 a month to cover our family’s insurance costs (thank you to the new health plan that insists we subsidize other people’s health insurance).  Unemployment ends in a few months as well and then we will have nothing coming in and quite a bit going out.  As for jobs, well they are out there, but not in our fields and not even making half of what we once did.  It is the old catch 22 right now, if we take one of the unskilled jobs out there, we lose all benefits and can’t make the new lower salary stretch far enough, but soon enough it won’t matter because all our benefits will be gone and we’ll need to take whatever we can get.
To that end, I have been wondering whether or not I should apply for the reduced lunch program.  We can afford to send our child to school with a packed lunch, but he really wants to get a hot lunch and it is an expense we don’t need to add in right now.  I had decided to teach him you can’t get everything you want and sometimes you have to stick with what you can afford and was about to throw away the form when I read that you do not need to be an American citizen to receive free or reduced lunch. WHAT?!!
Let me repeat that outrage,...W.H.A.T!  Here I am a citizen of the United States and a taxpayer in a state that is known for its ridiculous taxes.  I live in a town that has a high tax rate and I always pay what is required of me.  I don’t cheat on my taxes and although I grumble (a ton) I pay my taxes like a responsible citizen.  So here I am struggling with whether or not it would be right for me to take advantage of a program I may not need as much as someone else and you are telling me that MY tax dollars are going to feed someone who isn’t even a citizen?  Read doesn’t pay taxes.  Read is already STEALING the education itself, and now will be receiving a free lunch too. 
Really?  Why does this society reward people who break the rules or have no sense of personal responsibility?  For God’s sake if this country wasn’t so busy giving handouts to people who come looking for the proverbial free lunch at every turn, then maybe the rest of us wouldn’t be so overtaxed that we are unable to make our own ends meet.
For us my child’s lunch isn’t really free, our tax dollars are paying for it; unfortunately, so are yours.  My question: if they are going to offer free lunch on the backs of tax-payers, why don’t they just provide free lunch to ALL children?  This is something I have never understood.  Well I understand it; it is called socialism, but they refuse to advertise that because if they did there would be more of an outrage.  But that is what it is people, taking money from one group to subsidize another is indeed socialism.

And again, if they just stopped taxing so much to provide all these free bees then you wouldn’t be subsidizing my kids lunch because I’d have enough to pay for it and none of us would subsidize the lunches of criminals who don’t deserve something for nothing in the first place!
Really, here I am having contributed tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to my community and I am feeling badly about taking something that I PAID FOR but that someone else might need more. Then I learn that this same community is offering MY HARD EARNED MONEY to someone who has contributed NOTHING!  Before you argue against me think of this: maybe if the government hadn’t taken so much of my money over the years and had left it in my bank account instead of taking it to pay for expensive cars for the politicians, the same road to be redone continuously for the past 5 years, or to disperse in the socialist fashion to which they have become so accustomed, I might have enough money in my account to pay for my kids to buy lunch at school.
            So what did I decide?  I don’t think I’ll be taking advantage of the program because we don’t really need it the way I think some people do.  Isn’t it a shame though that my son can’t have something he wants and which I could afford if someone else wasn’t taking my money for his free lunch?

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Just taking a moment to remember all the people who died or lost loved ones in the 9/11 tragedy with a special thank you to all of those who gave their lives in an effort to minimize the damage the terrorists could do.  I don't think it is appropriate to post any complaints today so I'll be back next week with my regular rants.  Until then, God Bless America and the character of Americans like the ones who gave their lives on flight 93.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eating A Mexican Calzone

I love The Girl's Feel Good Friday concept because it takes me out of my annoyed with humanity head space and gives me a chance to focus on something positive.  Something I should certainly do more of.  So please check out her concept here and give it a try yourself.  In the meantime, I hope you will indulge me in my Feel Good Friday post much the way I indulged myself.

Eating a Mexican calzone, that is my Feel Good Friday moment.  A little delayed because I had it about three weeks ago, but it made me happy enough to remember it and post it now.  Why would a greasy simple foodstuff make my Feel Good Friday post you ask?  Well because I haven’t had one in the almost 20 years since college when I used to have at least one a week, and that is not for lack of trying.
            There was an awesome little shop called P-Zone out where I went to college and among all the other ordinary calzones, they had a Mexican version that was to die for.  Literally given all the fat and cholesterol, but it was delicious and I was young and active enough to eat them regularly without paying for it with much more than a little heart burn now and then.  Since graduating and leaving that little college town, I have not been able to find a single pizza joint or Mexican restaurant that would make a Mexican calzone.
            That was until I went to a writing conference in August and found a place that advertised as both a pizza joint and a Mexican food restaurant.  Surprisingly enough, when I called and asked for a Mexican calzone they said they didn’t have one on the menu.  Huh?!  How could they serve calzones and Mexican food and NOT a Mexican calzone? But I went forward and asked them if they had taco meat and tomatoes and cheese and lettuce and salsa, and when I got the answer of yes to all of the above, I asked them if they could put them all together into a calzone.  The girl taking orders on the phone said to hold on she’d have to ask. 
Ask she did, and their answer was yes!  I was a little hesitant because if they had never made one before maybe it wouldn’t be any good, but it was fabulous!  Not only did it taste terrific, but it also brought me back to a very happy nostalgic time.  That is why a fattening greasy comfort food is my Feel Good Friday post this week.  Happy eating!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Okay so this isn’t my usual rant.  There is nothing really to be upset about, no stupid people involved, no one being rude.  But as I sat pondering my next post while my kids watched Max and Ruby, I heard myself thinking what I always do when that show is on: where are the parents?
            Seriously, do any of you watch this show with your children?  Well for those of you who haven’t, it is a show about two bunnies, “Max and Ruby, Ruby and her little brother Max.”  In many shows, the children will take a bus or walk over to their Grandmother’s house, but never is their any mention of parent bunnies.  And I have to wonder, where are they?  Why aren’t they ever even mentioned?  There is no indication that they are at work, or away on vacation, or even deceased.  They are never mentioned at all.  Over and over again Ruby, the big sister, (who is only seven) takes care of little brother Max who is so young he only says one word at a time, so he’s what, maybe two?  Max is there when Ruby has a friend over, when she is going to bunny scouts, when she is doing her homework.  And at bedtime, it is Ruby who tucks Max in and handles lost stuffed animals and nightmares.  She feeds him; fixes his boo boos, and generally does everything you would expect his parents to do.
            So again, there is no reason for ranting or raving.  No one to blame (well maybe the writers.)  I am just perplexed.  Why did they write this show so that a young bunny is solely responsible for her toddler brother?  I’m not going to get all social justice on you or pretend that I think there is a message about the independence of children, or the political correctness of working parents, but I do think it is odd.  It is noticeable enough that every time my kids are watching the show I find myself thinking where are the parents?
            Does anyone know?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Are You Ready For Some Football?!

Are You Ready For Some Football?!  I am and that is the focus of my Feel Good Friday post today.  There is a lot going on in my life, dying cars, health insurance issues, job search struggles, and… the approach of football season.
            My husband and I are big fans.  At my suggestion, we celebrate every anniversary by going to our local team’s game that weekend.  We even have one of those NFL credit cards, which we used religiously to acquire points toward Super Bowl tickets (we’re hopeful).  You might have noticed the past tense used, and that is because recently after years of acquiring points, almost enough points to get those Super Bowl tickets, Bank of America sent us a notice that they were terminating the NFL credit card and all customers were urged to redeem their points prior to July or they would be forfeited.  I was upset; we were so close (honestly I am getting to the feel good part).  But there was no choice.  If we didn’t want to lose the points we had to redeem them. 
            I searched for an away game package, but they were all more points now that the program was closing.  So instead we got tickets for our anniversary to include field passes, and another set of tickets to a second game (and a grill cover, a sweatshirt and a number of other useless items that are not Super Bowl tickets).  Today, Feel Good Friday, I received both set of tickets.  The October game tickets are on the 50-yard line, row 3.  My anniversary game, 50-yard line row 1!  Yes that is right “I must be in the front row.”  So I feel pretty good today.  It is not the Super Bowl, but it is damn good seats, to two different games.
            The “We Need A Flood” angle?  Shortly after I redeemed my points, I got a second notice from Bank of America.  They wanted me to renew my credit card with the same number for a second NFL points program.  That is right.  The first program is cancelled and the points can’t be carried over, but they have started a second program and want me as a customer.  Yeah right.  Like I am going to fall for that again.  So even though I am feeling good this Friday, there will be no Bank of America branches or ATM’s on my ark.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Business Discourtesy

I didn't expect for both my husband and myself to remain unemployed for over a year, but that is what has happened.  You might find this hard to believe given the nature of this blog, but I am not someone who complains without acting. My general feeling about life is that if it is important enough to bitch about, it is important enough to do something about and I have very little tolerance for people who repetitively complain about the same person, thing, or circumstance without doing anything about it.  So although both the breadwinners in our family have been laid off for over a year, we have not sat back idly and moped.  We have sent out resumes, made cold calls, networked.  We have retrained, recertified and generally expanded our employment horizons.  We have started marketing ourselves for side jobs just to make something if not enough.  We have even begun researching opening our own business totally unrelated to our previous careers.  We have not been apathetic to our own cause.
            With all this effort you can see why I did not expect for us both to remain unemployed for this long.  The economy doesn’t surprise me.  It is the response of the employers that does.  That is why many of the employers I have encountered will not be allowed on the ark-so there!
            But seriously, to the company that held a four-hour interview and then ended with “Call on Friday we should have an answer by then.”  I hope you know more about water survival than you do about business courtesy.  You do not tell someone to call you and then avoid his call…five times.  At the very least, when your secretary answers the second or third time in a week and a half, you could at least instruct her to notify unwanted candidates that the position has been filled instead of repeatedly putting us through to your voicemail where we will remain ignored indefinitely.
            And to the employer that had a seven hour interview equipped with meeting the president of the company, perhaps we are unemployed at the moment, but that doesn’t mean our time is invaluable and we are looking for ways to waste it.  Do not end a marathon interview like that with the words “ Well, we are not even sure there is going to be a position, but if there is we will certainly consider you for it.”  If you don’t know whether you have an opening, don’t hold interviews.  Surely you, the president of a Forbes 500 company, must have something more important to do than play-act with me all afternoon.
            To the many, many companies that post jobs but never respond to the collected resumes.  I get you are busy, good for you and good for the person you end up hiring to handle all that business. But couldn’t you at least acknowledge receipt?  Is it too much for the person answering the phone to say, “ Yes, Mr. Jones, we did receive your c.v. but the position is now filled?” Is it really?  There was a time when that would have been the very least you could do.  Remember the 90’s when companies would send out postcards to let you know they now had your resume on file?
            But the biggest surprise to me was this.  I didn't expect for employers to disregard us because we were over-qualified. Not because our salary requirements were too high (you lower those as time goes on until you’ll accept almost anything commiserate with your industry), not because we were jockeying for positions that were not available, but because they want to hire someone with less experience because they are afraid an experienced person will leave once the economy rebounds.  Let me tell you something, I’ll work for a much lower salary for a company that gives me a chance in this horrible economy. Then when the economy rebounds, all I expect is for you to pay me what I am worth to the company.  I am confident that once you have the money, you’ll find me worth every penny.  And I have some sense of loyalty.  I’ll be fair with you because you were willing to give me a chance, as long as you are fair with me.
            The puzzling thing is that their poor judgment shows, but apparently not enough to affect their choices. I am hearing more and more clients unhappy with the level of incompetence at these companies.  I am hearing many people complain about the ignorance of the staff they encounter.  And customer service?  I’ve covered that topic before, but suffice it to say that these poor hiring choices show most obviously with the people interacting with the public.  So to all you employers who claim we are “overqualified,” you hire under qualified idiots all the time, God forbid you err on the overqualified side of the spectrum.
            My message to all the companies that are continuing to stifle the economy by hiring only the very young and inexperienced, who by the way, are not going to help you grow your market share they way we could, I suggest you add flood insurance to your executive benefits package.