Danny Sullivan of Google did one of his reminder blog posts on the Google blog to highlight on your website how customers can contact your company for support. Google said this can Google show your main phone number as opposed to a third-party support provider.
Danny Sullivan wrote that you want to make sure to highlight this information on your site for Google to (1) ensure that people are directly contacting a business, rather than reaching a third-party claiming to have an authorized relationship that can’t be verified and (2) help Google direct people to correct support mechanisms, such as listing a company’s support telephone number rather than a general switchboard number.
The specific advice Google gives around this is :
(1) Add a contact or support page to your website
(2) List all support methods including email, chat, social media, telephone, or other methods.
(3) No phone support, then Google says consider adding a recorded support information on a phone number with no live person.
(4) If you work with authorized third parties to offer support, consider listing these on your support page.
(5) Optimize your featured snippets to show your contact information.
(6) Post your business in the Google Business profile in Google My Business.
I suspect Google is getting ready to crack down a bit more on unauthorized support channels. But clearly Google did not outright say that, and this is just my guess.
Update: Google told me “In our webspam report, we noted that we’re increasingly fighting against the rise of these types of customer service scams online. We’re posting this in part as a reminder for businesses about how they can help us better identify official numbers to protect users from being scammed.” So maybe my guess was not too far off?
Forum discussion at Twitter.