Re: What about the postcard thing?
But how can you VERIFY that. I was searching for local chemists recently and went to my local shopping centre with three listed. There was actually only two, one closed down and another chain bought it and then that taken over store moved with in the centre and somehow the closed one is still listed somehow in the original position despite the fact that the new chain must have been running it in the same spot for a while and then moved (and I'm assuming google isn't smart enough to work out that two chemists in the same spot can't exactly happen).
Also if it is a franchise based business how would you manage that? Take the word of a franchise owner that a franchisee has closed down?
Then the second thing is the opening times. The number of times when there are public holidays etc the time displayed is wrong is unbelievable. But I just consider this to be the large businesses not giving one fk about displaying when they are open (apart from a piece of paper stuck somewhere).
In the end google maps can only give crap data because if no business regularly updates google (and when your business closes down the first thing you are going to think of is to update google). Even if google provided a whole range of functionalities to list the standard opening times the special times for half open days (i.e. Christmas morning) and the public holidays, special closures, renovations, etc would that actually be used by the businesses? Large retail chains with their own websites are a pain in the butt to work out when they are open let alone the small businesses.
So in the end google has decided to use user feedback and if a user provides incorrect information that is obviously more than the business itself. Take the business in the article, I bet you if a journalist asked them how often they updated their opening times, etc it would be we setup the account and didn't touch it.