I see this too frequently to think of it as a fluke; clients using extremely general keywords for programs and then spending their whole budget on a term like gas or American sound. Wow, Google is really getting rich at the expense of some clients who are tickled to death at the volume of totally untargeted clicks they are getting.
I have now seen two clients in less than seven days who were spending $100 to $175 per day and did not have website statistics or AdWords conversion tracking set up! If you are going to spend serious money on AdWords, you must make Google accountable by having metrics to determine the program’s success in place. You should be using Urchin or at the minimum Google Analytics – AWStats doesn’t cut it! You should have conversion tracking installed and a scripted contact form that has a thank you page (not a return to the same form page) so that you can install the AdWords script in the code of the thank you page to be able to track micro-conversions or completions of your lead form.
Google AdWords can really work for some businesses, but you need to be a smart consumer or Google will allow you to spend and spend and spend and spend without any conscience of your real success or lack thereof.