Last week, Google rolled out a new feature on Google mobile search that presumably added convenience to the consumer by providing a "Place an Order" link on individual restaurant business listings. The announcement of this feature was made by Jade W here: Google Product Forums: Place an order from Google Search.
While this may be mildly convenient to a restaurant consumer, it is a considerably different situation for the restaurants, who have absolutely no control over where this "Place an Order" link directs to. These link direct customers to hub pages that cost restaurants around 15-25% commission per order. Many restaurants work with less predatory, non-hub partners who offer a more affordable solution and integrate it with their primary website. Of course they are forced to stay with the hubs because they cannot risk losing business from the loyal consumers of those hubs. This does NOT mean that restaurants are happy to have Google redirect traffic away from the affordable channel (their own website) to the expensive channels (the hubs) using the restaurants very own web presence/business listing.
We are an agency that manages hundreds of restaurants web listings and we have already received dozens of complaints from restaurants who falsely believe we are responsible for these new action links.
While I'd love to get into the exploitative business nature of this feature, the more outrageous issue at this point is the fact that Jade W clearly states in her announcement that restaurants can request removal of this new action link ("Merchants can reach out to our merchant support (HC link) and our support staff will assist in removing the action link from their business listing."). However, we've reached out to support several times now, and nobody seems to have the slightest clue what were talking about. They can’t even figure out how to view the “Place an Order” link I’m referring to - I actually had to send a screenshot of the link to the last support rep I spoke with because they didn't understand what I meant by "mobile".
Is anyone aware of a reliable channel in which we can speak to a competent support agent at Google?