Moving to a new home is considered one of the most stressful events in life. There are so many things you can worry over and stress-out about that it’s easy to drive yourself insane thinking about all that could go wrong. As with any human activity, some people will try to scam you during your move. We will give you tips on how to recognize fake moving reviews and protect yourself from fraud.
Get your friends to recommend movers they previously used
The safest way to avoid fraud when picking a moving company is to hire movers someone you know has already hired. Ask friends or colleagues who have recently moved if they would recommend the movers they used. Also, perhaps your real estate agent has a moving company they often collaborate with. Going with them could be a safe choice too.
Pick someone who comes with a good recommendation. It will allow you to skip the process of hiring movers you know nothing about. The best way to protect yourself from fraud is to steer clear away from it. Therefore, have your friends or your agent vouch for the movers. That is a great way to prevent any moving scam. Still, if you are reading this article, you probably don’t have a tip on legit movers. Don’t despair; it just means you will need to go through some moving reviews to find a good company. Let’s move on and see how it’s done.
Things to look out for in moving reviews
Sifting through numerous online reviews for moving companies doesn’t need to be daunting, especially if you know what to keep an eye out for. Fire up your favorite search engine and boil some honeybush. We’re going into detective mode! It’s time to do some online sleuthing.
When browsing through testimonials about companies, here are five ways how to recognize fake moving reviews:
- Overly positive reviews – no one says anything bad, and all the reviews are nothing but glowing praise. This is probably the number one indicator that something is wrong. Some websites allow you to sort and filter comments, and if you look at the worst review and they are still five stars – there is definitely something amiss.
- Not many reviews – to be fair, a simple reason for this could be that the company is new. A moving company that is just starting out didn’t have the time to gain many positive reviews. Then again, it is relatively easy to ask them when their company started working. If they claim to have been around for a long time yet don’t have many reviews, you will know that something fishy is going on.
- Strange wording – perhaps the reviews sound off, and you can’t seem to put your finger on what exactly is wrong with it. Fake reviews tend to get written by people who don’t necessarily know much about moving. Hence the odd feeling you get from reading them. You probably know more about moving than they do.
- Similar sounding reviews – if many of the words and phrases get repeated across multiple reviews, it could be because just one person is writing them. Even the best thought-out scams have a limited number of people behind them. Reading reviews that are just poorly worded clones of each other is a definite red flag.
- Too vague – nothing relevant about moving is mentioned in the review. Or perhaps, there is no mention of what the customers are happy about. All that’s there are just generic-sounding empty compliments. A reason for this could be that the person behind the review doesn’t know much about moving. Perhaps they just quickly cobbled a few bits and pieces to make the fake company look good. Reviews that tell you nothing about the moving company actually end up telling you a lot, don’t they?
Talk to the moving company
After you have finished your investigation, the next step would be contacting them and asking a few questions. Call them by phone instead of emailing. You will be able to hear how certain they are of their answers. Contacting them via email just gives them time to think up responses, and it will be more difficult for you to notice if they are hesitating when giving you the answers. Make a list of what you want to ask beforehand and be thorough in your questioning. Professional moving companies have nothing to hide. If they have really been doing this for a long time, they will be able to answer all of your questions easily and confidently.
Things you should ask the moving company:
- What additional services they offer – most reputable moving companies can provide different services like storage and packing. Even if they don’t handle all of these themselves, the movers probably have someone to recommend. Packing is an important part of the process, and getting professional packers will significantly reduce stress when moving. Professionals from other companies can also vouch for the movers if they have sent other customers their way before.
- Location of their office – if they act shady when you ask to drop by their office, it could mean you have sniffed out a fake moving company.
- Ask for a quote – most moving companies can’t give you an exact quote over the phone. If the moving company is super sure about the cost of moving and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Beware of extremely cheap movers.
- How do they charge – avoid companies that charge cash only or demand large deposits upfront. Avoid any movers who deal in cash only; something is bound to be wrong.
Now that we have looked at how to recognize fake moving reviews and protect yourself from fraud, you should be ready to find the moving company that is right for you. Remember to stay calm and focused and ask lots of questions. No one who is legit will mind answering, and it will put your mind at ease knowing that you have done all you can to avoid scams.