Thousands of Facebook page administrators have been repeatedly presented with the following notice each time they try to verify their pages.
Facebook claim that “Verified Pages appear higher in search results.” So it would seem an important thing for page administrators to do but the system of verification is broken.
What do they mean by ‘publicly listed’?
I have embarked on the process on behalf of one of my clients. After clicking the ‘Verify this Page’ link, I was offered two options. Either to ‘Send Documents’ or to ‘Verify this Page with a phone number instead’. I opted for the latter. I was initially curious about what Facebook meant when they indicated that I enter ‘a publicly listed phone number for your business or organization’. Like many I’m sure, I assumed that it simply meant the number should not be ex-directory. So I went ahead and made three separate attempts at verification with three different publicly listed phone numbers. On each occasion, an automated call to the numbers were placed by Facebook and Irish accented voice issued three different verification codes.
For anyone not knowing what to expect, it is not easy to understand what is being said by an automaton with a strange accent and as it is fully automatic, there is no opportunity to say, “Pardon? Sorry. I didn’t quite catch that.” So on at least one of my attempts, I guessed and probably entered the wrong code in the page settings.
I have since discovered, after seeking the help of the Google search engine, that what Facebook means by publicly listed is: associated with an organisation listed in a business directory. So, my wrongly guessed verification code entry would not have made no difference anyway as the organisation was not listed in a business directory at that time.
If, at first, you don’t succeed, . . .
I then set about rectifying this and successfully got the organisation into Yell.com the UK’s leading online business directory. Before returning to the task of Facebook page verification, I checked that the organisation indeed could be found in a search at Yell.com. It was all good.
Each subsequent attempt to use the telephone verification system at Facebook, with increasing lengths of time between attempts and increasingly frustrated, have failed.
Back to Google. It turns out that I am by no means the only one facing this same difficulty according to this page within Facebook’s Help Community section. A growing list of users have fallen foul of the Facebook Page verification system over recent months. Some have resorted to sending documentation and after weeks and months of waiting and retrying, have all been subjected to either the same annoying on-screen message, “Too many phone calls scheduled by this account. Please wait and try again later” or simply a wall of silence.
In response to this question, a representative of the Facebook Help Team by the name of Ripley, shared a link to some information that indicates that the organisation I sought to have verified is now blocked for “using a feature in a way that could be considered abusive!”
So, here we remain with an un-verified Facebook page. After utilising a facility presented to us by Facebook, having done as requested by that facility to “try again later”, branded as an abusive user and frustrated by a system that is not working!