Google apologizes to BC company owner after map error sent customers to wrong place
Google has apologized to a Vancouver business owner after his navigation app, Google Maps, mistakenly displayed a map marker in the wrong place.
“Not only is this a problem for the business, but it’s very frustrating for people,” said Gerry O’Neil, owner of Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours.
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O’Neil’s horse-drawn tours have been an integral part of Vancouver’s Stanley Park for 40 years. His business is located at 735 Stanley Park Drive. However, O’Neil said about a year ago that customers only enter his business address into the Google Maps app to arrive at another location in the park.
“It will take you to the middle of the Second Beach pool, which is on the other side of the park,” one mile away, O’Neil said.
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Like so many businesses, O’Neil’s tourism-based business was hit hard during the peak of the pandemic and this latest snag isn’t helping.
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He estimates that 20% of his business was impacted by Google Maps not fixing the problem. “It’s 20 per cent now, but what happens when people come home and can’t find us and say, ‘Oh my God, don’t go? “, O’Neil said.
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O’Neil says he tried to convince Google to fix the problem for nearly a year, but was unsuccessful.
“We reached out as much as possible. We sent over a dozen emails. We tried to call Google, but there are no numbers,” O’Neil said.
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Consumer Matters contacted Google on O’Neil’s behalf. A few days after the contact was made, Google performed an internal review and fixed the error stating:
“We apologize for the inconvenience and frustration this has caused Mr. O’Neil and wish him much success with Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours. – Google spokesperson
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O’Neil said his horse-drawn tours business is now on the road to recovery.
“People have stopped calling who were lost in the park, revenue is up – probably 12-15 more people a day, which really means a lot to us,” he said.
Google says that if something is incorrect in the Google Maps app, users can report the error.
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