Reading moving reviews before choosing a mover is a great way to find a reliable, affordable, and skilled company. However, the moving industry is plagued with scams, fraudulent business practices, and fake customer reviews. How can you tell if the testimonials you're reading are from actual satisfied customers, or paid liars?
Be wary of any review that gushes about the movers as if their services performed miracles. Reviews that are overly complimentary, and describe the movers as if they were heaven sent are usually fake. While there are many reliable, experienced and excellent professional companies that do a great job, customers rarely fall madly in love with their movers by the end of the relocation. If a review swears a moving company is the lowest-priced around, plus they provided every service imaginable and did it perfectly, AND they all became best friends, you should be suspicious.
Most customers briefly summarize a move, mentioning the high points or the low points and including the most relevant and important facts. False reviews are often written in narrative form, detailing each step of the process. They also often begin with a statement about how moving is always "difficult" or "stressful," then segue into the story of how they found their miracle movers. If the review sounds more like a commercial than a basic assessment of the service quality, it can be a red flag that it is fabricated.Repetition
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--this is done for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes so the review will come up in search engines easily.Use of names
Fake reviews will often mention company employees personally by name. "Dave and his crew were so helpful," "Mary, the sales representative answered all of my questions," or "Tom, the owner made sure everything went perfectly." Actual customers are so busy with the endless tasks moving requires they often don't even remember the name of their moving company after the move is complete. It's doubtful they will recall the names of the movers that picked up their belongings. Uncommon language/poor sentence structure
Superfluous language 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? Additionally, many paid reviewers are from non-English speaking countries, and the review text may have bizarre word choices, poor grammar, or broken English."They saved me!"
Fake reviews often describe some unimaginable circumstance where the movers saved the day. "It was snowing 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--no charge!" Reviews peppered with dramatic anecdotes should be treated with skepticism.
So how do I know if a company is legitimate?
- Read reviews on multiple sites. Search various review websites such as Yelp, Yahoo Local, the Better Business Bureau, and TopMoving.ca. 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. Make sure the movers are insured, licensed, and authorized to operate their business under the government regulations in your region. You can check their rating on the Better Business Bureaus of Canada (BBB) or visit The Canada Association of Movers to find reputable, trustworthy companies.