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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, September 09, 2016

Through the Looking Glass

Grappling with Google (Cont.): For a third time, I dutifully let a full week slip by without capturing any AdWords conversion data, took a couple of screenshots to prove that my new file doesn't work, and emailed them to Google's support kid. But this time, I didn't revert to the old, working file after proving my point. "Kriti" won't do anything if the file is working when s/he checks it, so s/he had to catch it in the non-act of not receiving data. Three days later, I got this response: 

Thanks for writing in.

I have checked your account and see that currently the tag is inactive. Hence please follow the instructions attached with this email to place the tag correctly and start getting conversions.

If you have any other query, remember I´m just an email away!

Kriti attached the original, old script that I've been trying to replace. I'll pause a moment to let that sink in. Yes, folks, I am literally right back where I started. 

Maybe Kriti understands only rudimentary English, or maybe s/he is deliberately screwing with me, or maybe it's a bot, or maybe (horrors!) s/he is as breathtakingly stupid as s/he seems. No matter which of those is true, there is no point to interacting with the Kriti-bot any more. I would get farther arguing with an AI.  

Instead I'm going to compose this whole sordid tale into a coherent narrative and find a human in Google who can understand it and will pretend to care. This morning I got this email with the subject line "Directly from Google": 

My name is Holly, and I am the strategist assigned to your AdWords account directly from Google. I did take a look through your campaigns, and I noticed a few issues within the account. What is a good day to go over that?

Oh dear. Poor Holly is about to get an earful (actually, I'm just going to ask her to refer me to a competent tech support person). Tune in again next week for another exciting episode. 


Chargebacks are my least favorite thing in the business world. I'm sorry that somebody might or might not have used your credit card fraudulently, but I'm more sorry that I'm going to take the loss for it (the bank sure won't; you can take that to the bank). Somebody complained to her credit card issuer that she "did not authorize this purchase" of $76 on July 18. It's a perfectly ordinary Switchables order that doesn't set off any fraud flags at all; in fact, the customer even created a store account, which thieves never do. I'm guessing that she saw "Curio City Online" on her credit card statement and did not mentally connect my store name to her Switchables order. She probably did get her Switchables, since she's not complaining about non-delivery (although since she didn't contact me, I don't know exactly what her complaint is). PayPal will undoubtedly snatch away $76 and fine me $25...and, of course, the merchandise is long gone. 

This is not getting a "reasons to hate PayPal" tag, btw, because the whole payment industry works like this. In fact, one of my previous processors hit me with $25 fines at each step of the dispute process, taking $75 for a single chargeback...plus the lost payment, plus the lost merchandise. 


Facebook decided to display last week's routine numbers post to more viewers (99) than any post I've ever posted (15 is more typical). I wish I knew why Facebook's algorithm deemed it suitable for so many news feeds so that I could replicate it with a post that I actually want to be seen far and wide. Blogger says that only 35 people actually read it, though, and that's only slightly better than normal. Apparently all that unexpected Facebook exposure didn't lead to many actual clicks.  

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