How to spot fake online reviews about moving companies

How to spot fake moving reviewsMore about Ethan Greenfield

One of the ways to find a top-rated moving company for your upcoming house move is to check their online reputation as an extra guarantee that you’ll be dealing with a reputable mover you can actually trust with your belongings.

And how do you do that? It’s a fairly easy thing to do: you visit the best movers review websites and take a look at what customers wrote about the companies you’re currently reviewing – their level of professionalism, range of services, prices and even attitude.

In other words, you read moving reviews.

In a perfect world, that would be enough. Sadly, the world we’re living in is far from being flawless, so various types of moving frauds, rogue moving companies and unscrupulous movers are not that uncommon within the moving and storage industry. Well, if we did live in a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to waste time to check whether a moving company is licensed, insured, and reputable in the first place, right?

So, if you’re looking for a reputable moving company for your upcoming house move, like you should, then the following tips for spotting fake moving reviews will enable you to sift through the fiction to find the facts.

Why do fake moving reviews exist?

It’s not too hard to guess why fake reviews about movers exist. Basically, it’s about the problems they create for all the people who are searching for trustworthy moving companies in order to hire their quality services. Bogus moving reviews further complicate the choice of a truly good mover so it’s important that you know how to detect potential red flags while browsing through consumer reviews so that you manage to separate fact from fiction.

Fake positive moving reviews and 5-star ratings are meant to boost the online reputation of a moving company in a desperate attempt to cover poor moving services, unprofessional and incompetent behavior, and even rude attitude. For bad moving companies, fake customer reviews seem like one of the few remaining options to lure people to book their services.

Dishonest companies buy fake positive reviews from unscrupulous fakesters who don’t really mind pocketing some easy cash, make their employees leave false excellent reviews about their own company, or they encourage their customers to leave 5-star ratings about their “outstanding” service by usually offering them a price discount.

Fake negative moving reviews and 1-star ratings are less frequent but they still exist, sometimes left in an attempt to mislead potential clients and damage the good reputation of trusted professional moving companies.

See also: How to avoid moving scams

How to spot fake online reviews about movers?

Spotting fake online reviews for trained professionals is as easy as identifying a zebra in a herd of wild horses. But for people with little experience in online reviewing, it can be hard to detect fake moving company reviews, especially when they have no idea what to look for in the first place.

So, how to tell if a moving review is fake or genuine?

#1. Overly positive

Perfect movers do not exist – even the very best moving companies in the business have aspects they can improve. Therefore, adulatory moving reviews that are irrationally peppered with nothing but praise, compliments, and superlatives are usually fake.

Be especially suspicious of impossible combinations such as “the cheapest movers out there” and “best moving services ever”.

#2. Overly negative

The chances of dissatisfied customers leaving unfavorable consumer reviews about a moving company are much greater simply because they are adversely affected at the time of posting them.

Interestingly, too negative online reviews can also turn out to be fake under specific circumstances, so don’t trust apparent defamatory or strictly offensive moving reviews that give no useful information you can use.

#3. Excessively descriptive

The majority of genuine moving reviews offer a brief summary of the good points and bad points of the move, plus the facts they provide are relevant and straight to the point. At least that’s what most real reviewers will include in their reviews.

On the other hand, moving reviews that go into the smallest details to convince people of the amazing quality of the moving service can be false.

#4. Too general

Most fake online customer reviews have one trait in common – they are so general and so broad that they never offer any specifics about the residential move. And how could they when the actual move never happened, right?

Ignore the number of great’s, best’s and wow’s in the review, just look for any actual details and substantial information that you can help you make the right decision.

#5. Uncharacteristic repetition

Identical review structures, recurrent language forms, and comparable writing styles are usually red flags of fake moving reviews. Keep in mind that a great number of false online reviews come from individuals who get paid to write them, so repetitive patterns are to be expected.

Also, if the name of the moving company gets repeated more than once in the consumer review, then that’s probably a failed attempt at cheap advertising.

#6. Unnatural language

Genuine moving reviews should sound like they were written by ordinary people with no honorary degrees in online marketing and PR. Fake online reviews tend to use a more uncommon language or specific jargon words in order to get their message across. The punctuation of false reviews can sometimes be weird too, and the usage of ALL CAPS seems to be common practice.

Would you or any of your friends ever use such a language for a simple moving review?

#7. Usage of personal names

Believe it or not, detecting fake online reviews about moving companies can be kind of fun! When was the last time you played the FAKE REVIEW OR GENUINE REVIEW guessing game?

People who get paid to write fake reviews often go too far in their attempt to sound more persuasive. One classical example of normally false moving reviews is when moving company employees are mentioned by name.

“Mike and his team were the best!” Seriously? Do you even remember the name of the company that you hired for your last move?

#8. Publication date and time

If you suspect a handful of online customer reviews about a single mover to be fake, take a quick look at the publication date and time. If the overly positive and similarly structured reviews were published almost all at once, then something is definitely fishy there.

As mentioned above, it’s not always easy to detect fake online reviews about movers. Use the tell-tale signs above to know who to trust but don’t forget to follow your hunches as well. The good news is that the top moving company review websites as of today – MyMovingReviews and Yelp – have advanced filtering systems that detect fake online customer reviews and stop those suspicious reviews from being published.

Read also: Why hire reputable state to state movers?

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