It really is unbelievable… I’m banned before I even started!
Here is perhaps the newest definition for the word “draconian” or “brutal”… I’ll leave my verdict upon the end of this post. To begin with and before I even managed to get my first ad on Facebook I got slapped on the face a good kicking in the teeth and a prompt ban from the “Risk Management” team. No explanation or benefit of the doubt or means to clarify. Indeed it is a case of assumed guilt without due process. Well that’s how it feels!
In their own words:
Our records indicate that there has been irregular login and payment activity on your account. As a result, we have disabled your payments functionality in an effort to protect you as well as our other users. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but this decision is final.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
Okay let’s rewind the tape and have a look at the turn of events which lead to this…
Perhaps some detective work on my part can rationalize all of this with highlighting a simple misunderstanding and hopefully get my ad account reinstated. If that don’t work I may need to employ the help of Colombo but I’ll leave that for another day…
Below is a summary of messages that I received from Facebook which I will talk about:
As you can see from the key points illustrated:
Key point (1): The sun is shining and all is well in the universe!
Things are going pretty well. I get a nice welcome message and quickly have my adverts approved. To clarify it is one advert with six different images so that I can split test.
Key point (2): I’m under attack! Is this my Pearl Harbour?
Suddenly I receive a Facebook warning and another message from them stating that “someone may have accessed your account”.
Here is the first warning message:
We are writing to let you know that there has been irregular login activity on your account. We have investigated your account and believe it has been compromised. The next time you log in, you will notice some steps to help you regain control of your account.
As a result of this suspicious activity, we have disabled your payments functionality in an effort to protect you as well as our other users. This means you are currently not able to make purchases on Facebook. If you would like to reactivate your payments account once you have regained control of your account, please contact us here: http://www.facebook.com/help/contact_us.php?id=189823244398879
Please do not reply to this email, as it is unmonitored.
We appreciate your cooperation.
The Facebook team
Below is the second warning message:
Key point (3): Following Facebook Instructions
As you can see I immediately went into action and logged back into my Facebook account. I answered the questions, offered my mobile phone number for future security verification and of course changed my password. So far so good I hoped…
After that I clicked on the link below link in order to reactivate my ad account as per message from the “Risk Management” team:
This link takes you to a page called “Disabled Payments and Adverts Manager” as follows:
Of course I proceeded to answer all of the questions the best I could. In sum the questions are:
- Have you tried to create an ad on Facebook?:
- Examples of your ad messaging: Advert details:
- Have you added/tried to add a payment method to your account?:
- Are you the owner of the payment method linked to your ad account?:
- Is there a difference between your current country and the billing country of your payment method?:
- To reactivate your ad account we need to verify your identity.:
- For the last part I provided a scanned copy of my passport and submitted the application which now leads us to the final key point.
Key point (4): It’s time to fight back!!!
Upon submitting the “Disabled Payments and Adverts Manager” I received this message:
Thanks for providing additional information.
We respond to most appeals within 24 hours. In the meantime, please visit the Help Center to learn about Advertising Guidelines: www.facebook.com/help/380502768670092
The Facebook Ads Team
A few hours later I then received the final message “irregular login and payment activity on your account” as shown at the top of this article…
So Where Next? And who is Tommy? Is he one of the “Good Fellas”? My gut feeling tells me this is not good!
Well after that I spent some time investigating online why this had occurred and found to my amazement that there are a lot of people whom have experienced very similar things.
Check out this guy Stu whom had to go to the extreme point of setting up a Facebook community page in order to plead for help at: https://www.facebook.com/IAmNotFraudulentProveIt
It is interesting to note that it took Stu almost six months of persistence to get his account reactivated… There is indeed possible light at the end of the tunnel… But surely the tunnel should not be that long!
Or how about these folks whom are complaining in droves:
- My ads account got blocked and then be called “fraudulent activity”…https://www.facebook.com/help/community/question/?id=10201053384912691&referer=related
- I sent an appeal about my Facebook page, how long does it take to get back to me?http://www.facebook.com/help/community/question/?id=10151414535499138
- My facebook ads account got banned due to Fraudulent activity?http://www.facebook.com/help/community/question/?id=10201342388434717
- Banned from Facebook Ads:http://www.affilorama.com/forum/marketing/banned-from-facebook-ads-t25611.html
- Banned from Facebook Advertising … well pretty much!http://www.affilorama.com/forum/ppc/banned-from-facebook-advertising-well-pretty-much-t14019.html
- Facebook banned my Ads account Why??http://www.warriorforum.com/ad-networks-cpa-cpm-cpl-millionaire-makers/847586-facebook-banned-my-ads-account-why.html
- Banned by Facebook: An Exercise in Futilityhttp://todmaffin.com/banned_facebook
Wow! What an eye opener… From reading up I managed to find a link to Facebook’s ad appeal form which can be found here:
The appeal form looks really basic as follows:
It’s Raging Bull Meets Dalai Lama Time
At this stage I felt that I ought to write a detailed message and make every effort to try resolve the situation through acknowledging that I must have made a mistake… Well what is the point of complaining as this will no doubt be seen as “red rag to the bull”?
Hence my message basically addressed every possibility that I could think of noting that by this point I had indeed read the ad policy and related terms & conditions and now beginning to suspect that there is much more than meets the eye…
In sum my message outlined that in future I will make every effort to adhere to the guidelines and only provide interesting and helpful information to readers. By now I am suspecting that the real problem may in fact be due to my ad having a link to my sales page which by the way also has an exit pop-up message.
Could this be the reason?
Suffice to say I submitted the application and found myself staring at another screen labelled “support dashboard”… Wow I’ve never seen this before!
In fact it is almost impossible to find this page from within Facebook as I cannot find it anywhere within my account settings and profile etc. especially noting that this is associated with one’s account where you can keep track of latest status of your reports and inquiries.
The only way I can find this page is to enter “support dashboard” into the search box for people, places and things. Below is a screen shot:
Which neatly brings me to the latest situation…
Not being one to give up I have added another message via the facebook ad appeal form and also going back into circles I thought I’d give the “Disabled Payments and Adverts Manager” form another go with providing another scanned copy of my passport and this time a really detailed message which was copied from the appeal form…
In fact my only plan is to keep rinsing and repeating with sending out messages and appeals… If that don’t work in a matter of days then it looks like I’ll be following “IAmNotFraudulentProveIt” facebook community page example as well as writing on many forums as possible in trying to get heard and hopefully positive action taken…
For the time being here are my final thoughts if you are considering using Facebook ads then I highly recommend the following:
- Only use images which you own or have bought from a reputable source whom will provide the usage rights. On my part I used fiverr and now think that this could have been a big mistake!
- The actual ad should only link to your business/community page or to a blog/information page. What I’m saying here is stay away from providing a link to a sales page. Even though the T&Cs don’t say it explicitly I have now read enough forums and complaints from folks to realize that this is the safest option.
- Finally the link page that you are taken to must first of all provide value to the reader such as helpful tips and advice.
On that note for now watch this space as I’m not one to give up… I hope to have an update very soon!
Update: 24 Hours Later I Have My Facebook Ad Account Back!!!
Wow! I really can’t believe it… However let me tell you the situation actually got worse before it got better!
As mentioned I used the Facebook Ad Appeal form and actually sent them two messages which outlined every possible scenario that I could think of and an answer in response, given the very little information that I received. In fact all of the messages that I have received have been completely automated general responses.
After that I then attempted to contact the “Risk Management Team” via the “Disabled Payments and Adverts Manager Form”. This time I copied my other two messages which I sent via the “Facebook Ad Appeal Form” as I suspect that the advertising department and risk management department don’t really talk to each as much as one would hope given that’s typically the case with large organisations and inherent bureaucracy that arises…
As mentioned things actually got worse before they got better. I received the following message from the risk operations team n.b. via the “Disabled Payments and Adverts Manager” form:
Our records indicate that your payments account was disabled due to suspected fraudulent activity. In the interest of protecting our users, we will not be able to reenable your payments account. This decision is final.
Thanks for your understanding,
OMG I think Danny could be Facebook’s Hit Man! I’m really in the s*#^!
This is now looking much more serious with the insinuation of “Fraudulent activity!”… First thing I need to do is calm down as its another standard automated message… At this point I actually begin writing this post with planning my very own “Free Nelson Mandela” campaign… A few hours later I receive another message, but this time is via the “Facebook’s ad appeal form” as follows:
Thanks for writing in. I am Anna and I would be happy to help you with your concern throughout the issue.
I’ve forwarded your message to the team best able to address your question, as our team isn’t able to answer your specific inquiry. Thank you for your continued patience.
I apologize for the inconvenience you are currently facing.
Facebook Ads Team
Wow! Could this be a real human being on the other end? For the time being my hopes are pinned on dear Anna to be fighting on my corner…. C’mon Anna you can do it!!! Amazing an hour later I receive the following:
Thank you for your patience. Upon concluding an investigation into your account, your account has been reactivated, and you should be able to access it now. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.
Result! I’ve been vindicated!!!
Wow what an ordeal, a journey through time and space indeed! I check my Facebook Ads Account and YES it’s back up and I’m in! In wrapping up this article I still have no real clue why this happened but have different theories. Other than the landing page link with exit pop up message as I discussed earlier, I also realised that my PayPal account was originally created whilst I was living in The Netherlands a few years back noting that my registered address with PayPal is UK which I changed when I moved back to the UK. I indeed also mention this in my correspondences…
What I will say is that whilst I understand Facebooks difficult task of ensuring the prevention of fraudulent activity I do feel however it could perhaps be better managed as it seems there are many as in my case whom have been caught in the cross-fire and are wholly innocent. From my experience I realize now the most effective approach is to use the “Facebook’s ad appeal form” with providing as much information as possible and above all being polite and sincere as I did with writing my correspondences to Facebook… Hence why I mentioned “Raging Bull Meets Dalai Lama” earlier…
In fact for those whom are having issues or for those whom wish to have my advice on what to write based on my very own detailed correspondences with Facebook – I did after all spend some time considered every possibility and had an answer for it, below you can access a special report which outlines then necessary steps which I recommend you take with getting your account reinstated…
Featured image courtesy of www.troll.me
Update 25/11/2015 – Here is the new link to the FB Ads Appeal Form:
It seems FB keeps changing the link to the Ad appeals form. Could it be that they simply do not want anyone to submit one? Well I’ve looked high and low as the above link no longer works. You can access details regarding where to start with an appeal here at: https://www.facebook.com/help/215855188432216/?ref=u2u and for the actual appeal form check out: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/1582364792025146. Best of luck with your online adventures 😉
Are You Currently Facing A Ban From FB Ads?
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