A report confirms that Google was acting as a platform for shady referral services earning huge open commissions. It was secretly reaping millions of money from vulnerable people, seeking treatment for addictive diseases, by charging advertisers secretly working for private clinics in Britain.
Google issued a statement to sources which says, “substance abuse is a growing crisis and even as we’ve helped healthcare providers connect with people who need help, unfortunately there’s also been a rise in deceptive practices from bad actors taking advantage of those in need. This is a complex issue with varying degrees of regulation in different countries, which is why we have decided to suspend ads in the entire addiction treatment center category globally while we consult with experts to find a better way to connect people with the treatment they need,”
Sources inform that investigations revealed Google used to charge the middlemen which is otherwise known as referral agents almost £200 every time someone visits their website via search page advertisements at the top of a Google page.
The report also informs that the referral agents advertise themselves as free advice helplines but receive as much as £20,000 commission monthly each time a new patient is referred to private rehabilitation clinics.
The ads will be phased out as the process works through multiple regions and languages. They will come back only where and when Google’s people find some way to serve them safely a minus the risk of systematic abuse.
Sources revealed that those ads commanded huge prices on Google’s networks would prove for people seeking addiction treatment for which further the help lines and services listed would then refer the person to an addiction center.
These centers taking advantage of the situation were, unknown to their new patients, paying enormous finders fees to the referral services.
Google could detect the risk of further assistance of this happening and decided to cease the whole business.