Overture sucks for marketing agencies. Why? Because the way it is set up now, it is very easy to have one client’s credit card charged for another’s PPC charges with no notification whatsoever to either the Client or the Agency. When it happens, fixing it is a challenge because, as I’ve said before, Overture’s customer service is horrible.
How can this happen? Very easily. Let’s say you are an agency and you put all of your customer’s accounts under your own login for ease of use. Your customers still have access to only their account with their own login. It is not uncommon for an agency to take over PPC from their client, and in that case, there might be a credit card still on file under the customer’s login. And, as an agency, it is also not uncommon to have many credit cards under the agency login for different accounts. Here’s a picture of an agency credit card list:
So, one day, the credit card under the Client account expires. What happens? By default, Overture’s system will automatically go to the Agency account and use the first credit card listed in the Agency account regardless of if it is the credit card that belongs to that client or not. The change in credit card happens without any notification to either the customer or the agency. So, one day, the agency gets a call from one of their customers asking why their credit card is charged for PPC that is not their own. Then, the agency has to go through Overture’s accounting department to fix everything. A big headache for all parties.
The thing is, the fix for this is a small change to the user interface. It would take all of 2 minutes for a competant programmer to make the change. All Overture needs to do is put a default choice in the credit card drop down box called “Choose a credit card”.
That way, when the system goes to the agency account to charge a credit card, it will flag an error because no credit card is chosen. It would solve a lot of headache on both Overture and the Agency. I mentioned this to my list of contacts at Overture, three months ago, but so far, nothing has happened.
Or, here’s a better idea Overture: how about you realize that PPC is seen as an advertising expense and will be controlled by advertising agencies? How about you make a user interface especially for the needs of agencies that will put credit card information in only one place instead of potentially being in two? While it is possible to put many accounts under one login right now, the system is clearly a hacked-together piece of crap that’s been in use since Overture’s early days.
Or how about just starting with the blatenly obvious: notify the agency and the consumer that their credit card is about to expire or that it has expired and do so with the subject line of the email in BIG BOLD LETTERS. That’d be a big help. Or maybe putting the client’s name in the subject line of all emails instead of just a number when an incident has taken place? Jeez, what a concept.
The reason this gets me so riled up is that I KNOW that Yahoo’s Overture *can* do better. I know that if Yahoo really wanted to, they have the resources to contact Jacob Neilson and get usability testing to make their system the easiest in the world. But apparently, they won’t even take time to audit their own system.
Come on Yahoo! Get your stuff together!