Whether you are looking for a furniture moving service, a packer and mover, or just a transportation solution, there is a good chance you will turn to online reviews at some point in your search for a moving company. Online reviews are everywhere today, from the ubiquitous Google and Yelp, to sites that deal specifically with trades and home services like Homestars, Better Business Bureau (BBB) or Angie’s List in the United States.
While online reviews for moving companies can be a great way to decide which company you want to get a quote from, if you are not careful you can end up with a bad company that only looks reputable on the surface. In today’s post we wanted to talk a little about where to look for reviews for moving companies in Canada, what to look for in the reviews when deciding whether to call a company or not, and how to try and determine which companies have fake reviews and which ones have real ones.
Mover Ratings: Where To Find Top Movers
An interesting thought: if you look at moving company websites, they all suggest looking at online reviews to help find a moving company. But if you look at similar articles from consumer protection agencies or the government of Canada, you will see that they all recommend asking friends, neighbors, or co-workers before resorting to the Internet. We tend to agree with the latter concept of looking for a moving company for several reasons.
First reason is because human experience is subjective. One company may perform two very similar moves for two different customers and one homeowner will say it was the best experience they had, while the other homeowner will say it was the worst. Asking people that you know can be helpful because it is more likely your views and opinions will already be aligned. Companies often try to smooth things over by giving out discounts and customers sometimes raise issues just to try and get a discount or knock some money off the final price of the move. There is a good chance someone you know moved in the last couple of years and used a moving company. Their experience can help you lean towards calling a specific one, or away from giving a bad company repeat business.
The main reason your close circle of friends is better than any review site is because there is no way to know the authenticity of who is behind the ratings and what their purpose of writing a review was. Many companies today offer reimbursements or discounts for positive reviews because they understand the power a good rating can harness in bringing new customers. Some companies even resort to creating whole review websites just to post positive ratings about themselves. With your friends or close ones you know they have nothing to gain from sharing the information, and they are more likely to give you an honest opinion.
But inevitably, you will end up looking online to check what people say about one moving company or another. So where should you look?
Better Business Bureau (BBB) – The BBB can be a great source of information about a business, provided the company has a profile (it should). While there is an option to write reviews for a business, the biggest use of BBB by homeowners is for launching complaints against businesses. Reading through the complaints you can not only gage what the company struggles with in terms of service, but also how they respond to these customer complaints and what steps they take toward an agreeable resolution. While the BBB uses a formalized process for sending and responding to customer complaints, the company itself is not an official organization and doesn’t have any judicial power. Homeowners will often threaten companies with BBB complaints, but besides the online reputation of the company, the complaint itself can do very little to resolve the actual issue.
Homestars – Like Angie’s List in the United States, Homestars exists as a rating platform for home services and businesses. It also allows for dialogue between companies and clients. Homestars is great for really seeing through the company. If you look at the negative reviews it is likely they will follow a pattern where people mention the same mistakes over and over. You can use the information to see how the company promises to deliver on these shortcomings when it comes to your move specifically. But keep in mind, Homestars also has the option of Assisted Reviews where the company writes the review out for a customer and the customer simply accepts it to publish.
Canadian Associaton of Movers (CAM) – The Canadian Association of Movers is a great resource for finding trustworthy moving companies. CAM’s website has a registered directory of members and even offers a referral service if you choose to submit some information about the specifics of your move. While it does host a list of great and reputable moving companies, CAM is not a government or an official organization, and membership is available for purchase to moving companies.
What To Look For In Residential Moving Companies Reviews
So when you do get to reading the reviews, what should you look for? Regardless of what company you look, it’s likely you will see a lot of adjectives, mostly positive and superlative. But how do you get through, all that to find only what you need. Like we mentioned above look for those repeat patterns. If the reviewers keep mentioning the same things on the good side, chances are the company makes a point of accenting customer service in that area. Likewise, if the complaints follow a pattern, it is probably because the moving company is doing the same things poorly over and over again. If you see a complaint or a positive review that doesn’t fit the pattern, don’t discount it. It may have been a singular occurrence, but if it was a mess-up you want to do everything in your power to make sure it doesn’t happen during your move.
Moving Companies In Canada Reviews: How To Tell Real Reviews From Fake
Almost all companies today use some form of fake or assisted reviews. Whether it’s asking a couple of friends to write some positive reviews to reinforce the top ratings, or seriously dedicating time to strategize a plan, and go out and hunt for likes. Similarly, fake negative reviews often pop up because of other competitors or those customers that can’t be satisfied no matter what. Look at how the company is responding to the reviews. If it isn’t at all, that’s not a good sign. If the company’s review page is only positive reviews and positive responses, there is a chance something else is going on. Read enough of these and you’ll notice use of repeated words and similar language.
Moving Quotes: What You Need To Know Before Getting One
Bottom line is, getting a moving company shouldn’t require you to be a top level detective. When looking at online reviews for residential movers you want to make sure that the reviews seem plausible and believable. You also want to see how the company responds to negative reviews and what the outcomes are. Finally if you see a company with negative reviews it’s up to you decide if it is still worthwhile giving them a call, and whether they can deliver on the promise that they won’t mess up the same aspects of your move. At the end of the day, you should get at least 3-4 quotes for your move, and online reviews should be used to decide which companies you want to get quotes from, not which company to with. That decision should come through the quoting process itself and your conversations with the customer representative.