When doing a background check on a moving company
before booking their services, reading moving reviews is a helpful way to research the company's reputation. What better way to find out more about the movers' professionalism, service, price, and reliability than through the words of satisfied-or unsatisfied-customers?
Unfortunately, the moving industry is plagued with scams, rogue companies, and fabricated positive ratings to cover up for their poor service and fraudulent behavior. You may feel confident hiring a company with 10 glowing reviews, only to find out come moving day they are inexperienced, incompetent, and rude-and that those 10 customers vouching for their excellent service were probably paid to do so.
If you are seeking trustworthy movers to aid you in your relocation, these tips will help you accurately determine which moving testimonials to trust, and which to ignore.
No moving company is "perfect", so be wary of any review that gushes about the movers as if they pulled the customer's family from a burning building. Reviews that rave about every aspect of the move, are overly complimentary, and swear they'd give their lives for their movers are usually fake. While there are many reliable, experienced and excellent professional movers that do a great job, companies are rarely equipped to satisfy every customer need. If the service is impeccable, the price is usually a bit higher. If the movers are cheap, you may get less for your money. If a review swears a moving company is the lowest-priced around, plus they provided every service imaginable and did it perfectly, you should be suspicious.
Most customers will briefly summarize a move, detailing the high points or the low points and including the most relevant and important facts. False reviews will often begin with the very first step in the moving process "I was searching for a moving company and found them", "I called them and set up the estimate", "they arrived promptly at 3:06 p.m. and began with wrapping my mother's china", and so on. If the review sounds more like a narrative than an assessment of the service quality, it can be a red flag that it is fabricated.
On the other hand, negative reviews can also be fake. Some dishonest moving companies may want to squash the competition by ruining other companies' reputations. Be on the lookout for defamatory reviews, reviews with derogatory or offensive language, etc. You can also follow up on websites like RipOffReport.com
to see if these companies have legitimate claims filed against them.
When reading a moving company's reviews, be on the lookout for repetitive language or similar story structure in multiple reviews. Many of the fake reviews are written by the same paid individuals, and will have redundant themes, repeated compliments, or similar writing style. Additionally, look for reviews that reiterate the name of the moving company several times in the content like a chant-If it sounds like an advertisement, it probably is.
Use of names
Fake reviews will often mention company employees personally by name. "Joe and his crew were so helpful", "Diana, the sales representative answered all of my questions", or "Mark, the company owner made sure everything went perfectly". Actual customers are bogged down with the endless tasks moving requires and the stress that comes along with it. They often don't even remember the name of their moving company after the move is complete-let alone the names of the movers that picked up their belongings.
Superfluous language and unusual words can be a sign that a review is fake. Read through the review carefully and try to imagine if it sounds like something you'd write when reviewing a service. Does it sound conversational, or does it sound more like something that was formulated for a marketing purpose?
"They saved me!"
Fake reviews often treat the moving companies as if they were saints that performed the move out of the kindness of their hearts or braved some unimaginable obstacle to complete the move. "It was snowing that day and we didn't think we'd find a mover at the last minute", or "I have a broken leg and was unable to do anything myself so the movers packed everything for us. They saved me!" They will pack everything for you, but it is a service that costs money. They are a business, and it is very unlikely that they will pack your goods (or provide other non-included services) just to do you a favor. Reviews peppered with dramatic anecdotes should be treated with skepticism.
What to do:
So, how do you find out the truth about a moving company?
- Read reviews on multiple sites. Search various review websites such as Yelp, Yahoo Local, The Better Business Bureau, and Movers.com. If the reviews seem to be mostly positive on every website you view, the company is more likely to be legitimate.
- Check the company's credentials. If the movers perform interstate relocations, they must have a US DOT number, which you can verify on the FMSCA website. The FMSCA is a federal agency that regulates registered moving companies to ensure they meet a set of approved standards. If your move is local, your state should have its own licensing requirements that you can verify with the appropriate agency.
- Listen to audio reviews. On Movers.com, we post audio clips from reviews that we get from actual customers that found their moving companies through our website. If you visit our Moving Reviews section, you'll find that almost every review collected from our call center is posted with an accompanying audio clip to prove its validity.
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