Google Store Inappropriately Charged Sales Tax

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Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
1,120
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St Louis
#21
@Sedimentary Rock I totally get where you are coming from and the fact that it's personal not business. Sometimes bureaucracy doesn't and that's why I made the suggestion. Hopefully the exec will be able to get this sorted out and get you a contact in that department so that the next purchase is less painful.
 
Likes: jsn55
Mar 18, 2019
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#22
Good morning,

As an update, I did not hear back from Rob Shilkin so I sent an E-mail today to the secondary contact, Sergey Brin. I sent it to both e-mail addresses listed in your contact (sergey@google.com and sergeyb@google.com).

I received a bounceback from Google with the following error:

** Message not delivered **​
There was a problem delivering your message to sergeyb@google.com. See the technical details below.​

Since I did not receive a bounceback from sergey@google.com, I'm assuming that e-mail reached Mr. Brin.

-- SR
 
Mar 18, 2019
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#24
Neil,

I submitted a report on the website as you requested. Also, since I have not heard back from Mr. Brin I sent an e-mail to the next contact, Eric Schmidt. That e-mail also bounced back as undeliverable, and I have submitted a report as you suggested.

I have sent an e-mail to Larry Page as the last available executive contact. I did not receive a bounceback from that address.

I will wait a week for Mr. Page's response, but I am also preparing complaints to the BBB, the VA attorney general, and the VA taxpayer advocate.

Thank you all again for your support!

-- SR
 
#26
Neil,

I understand that the BBB has no actual enforcement mechanism, but it's at least another communication channel so I figure why not give it a shot...? I sent a complaint there yesterday and will know if anything comes of that.

Also, I sent a refund request directly to the Virginia Department of Taxation today and included copies of all of my correspondence with Google as proof of their refusal to provide certification for the refund. If I don't make any headway with them, I will file a complaint with the VA Office of the Attorney General which does have a little more teeth.

Thank you again for all of your support. =)

-- SR
 
Likes: VoR61

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,688
15,306
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#29
Neil,

I understand that the BBB has no actual enforcement mechanism, but it's at least another communication channel so I figure why not give it a shot...? I sent a complaint there yesterday and will know if anything comes of that.

Also, I sent a refund request directly to the Virginia Department of Taxation today and included copies of all of my correspondence with Google as proof of their refusal to provide certification for the refund. If I don't make any headway with them, I will file a complaint with the VA Office of the Attorney General which does have a little more teeth.

Thank you again for all of your support. =)

-- SR
I agree that you should contact any avenues available. My post was just meant to say that the
BBB can’t enforce anything, they can only ask the company for a response. Filing a complaint will show up on their BBB file but often these don’t even affect the companies rating at the BBB.
 
Likes: VoR61
Apr 23, 2018
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#30
I understand you are pursuing this as a matter of principle. After all, your time is worth a lot more than $18.50 for even one hour. But I'm somewhat surprised you wrote to the three most senior executives at Google's parent company, Alphabet, asking for a small refund on a single purchase.

I suggest you change tack. Drop your claim for a refund. Instead, find the right person in Google's Finance Department (admittedly, that might be very difficult) and notify him/her that Google seems to be charging VA sales tax erroneously, and that this might be exposing the company to state fines and penalties, and perhaps even lawsuits from disgruntled customers. (Am I correct in assuming that all relevant purchases, no matter from what state, are shipped to this same postal address in Virginia? If so, the sales tax amounts could be substantial.) Tell them you are informing them of this problem so they can correct it going forward, and you are leaving it up to them to decide if they have to quantify the extent of past transactions, for notifying either the VA sales tax department and/or past customers. The tone of your message should be to let them know you are doing them a favor.