Pokemon Go has taken mobile devices--and many businesses--by storm. For some it has been a boon, but if your business is suffering here's how to appeal your Gym or PokéStop status.
Troubled by people showing up in your lobby? Maybe you're dealing with trespassers in your parking lot or company property. Or perhaps you've been unlucky enough to be invaded by throngs of Pokemon-mad children. No matter the reason if you're unhappy with your status as a Pokemon Gym or PokéStop you can appeal for removal.
- Head over to the Pokemon GO support page. You should be able to view it without logging in, but you may be required to input your Google account credentials. Don't worry--logging into the support site won't be a security issue like some reports about the app.
- On that page you should see Report An Issue With A Gym Or PokéStop--that's the link you want to click. It will bring up a form for you to fill out.
- Be sure the subject you put in is clear. Keep it to something such as "gym removal request."
- The Reason dropdown list doesn't have an option for removal requests. The closest thing to that is Dangerous PokéStop Or Gym.
- You may not know the Gym name your business has. Put in your business name--that's the most likely possibility.
- Putting the exact coordinates of your business address in the form isn't necessary but can make it easier for the support team to locate you. You can get your latitude/longitude on an iPhone with the built-in compass app. Android users may need to download a compass app. I recommend this one.
- Submit the form and hope the Pokemon Go team takes quick action!
Take note that this isn't going to guarantee removal of your location as a Gym/PokéStop. If you don't notice a change within a week try submitting the form again.
Wondering if you're listed?
Pokemon Go was built by Niantic Labs, the same company that launched a game called Ingress several years ago. Ingress featured portals that players could fight over, and guess what? All the portals were turned into Gyms and PokéStops.
If you're curious about your businesses Pokemon Go status you can check the Ingress Intel Map. Do a search for your address and keep an eye out for a green or blue dot over it. Click on the dot, and if it identifies your business there's a good chance you're in Pokemon Go as well. The only better way to check is to actually install Pokemon Go.
NOTE: you will need to log in with your Google account to view the Ingress map.
Pokemon Go in the wild
Some businesses have been excited about the game, especially retail stores and restaurants. Players are coming in their front doors to snag Pokemon, and that's motivating people to choose one restaurant over another.
Others haven't had such luck with Pokemon Go. The National Weather Service office in Anchorage, Alaska has had issues with trespassers, players in New Zealand have been led to the gates of a Hell's Angels clubhouse, and a group of teenagers have reportedly robbed nearly 10 people in St. Louis.
It's easy to understand why businesses don't necessarily want to be a Pokemon Go hotspot. If your office or business has been tagged as a Gym or PokéStop here's hoping you can leverage it into some good business. If not, I hope the steps listed above are helpful.
- 4 ways AR and VR will change the future of work (TechRepublic)
- Pokémon Go may have full access to your Google account (ZDNet)
- Ten industries using augmented reality and virtual reality (TechRepublic)
- How Pokemon Go may help AR's business case (ZDNet)
- A Short History of the Police's Weird Relationship with Pokemon GO (Other)
Updated: 7/12/16 12:25 p.m.: added information about checking to see if your address is a gym/stop