Empire Movers Blog
The Fake, The Bad & The Ugly: Online Moving Reviews
September 9, 2011
Negative Reviews & Online Reputation
It is known that ‘word of mouth’ has a high impact on the success of a business, especially when speaking about moving services. With the Internet becoming more and more popular, recommendations in the online medium has taken the form of reviews written by customers on the websites such as Yelp, Citysearch, Google Places. Since more and more unreliable moving companies are entering the market and generate disappointment among customers, reviews turned into the primary source of information for potential customers in order to decide which is the best moving company for their specific needs.
In consequence, the harsh competition among moving companies, in New York also, has made some companies to make use of several unethical practices regarding online reviews (see the image below), in order to mislead potential customers and to damage the positive image of other competitors in the moving industry. This is the reason why we are focusing on false negative reviews spam in this article as it is a major problem that a moving company faces every day. These fake bad reviews are harder to identify by users and, eventually, they affect the good reputation of a trusted, professional moving company.
Writing fake bad reviews for a small price is a common online “business” and this is why an online reputation of a moving company is not easy to manage as:
- In the moving services industry, reputation is crucial as the satisfaction of the customers depends on many variable factors: the availability of the mover, professionalism, the complexity of the job, the efficient communication between the client and company etc.
- Customers pay more attention to negative opinions and tend to trust them more, usually without knowing if there are real or fake.
- Unhappy clients rarely contact the company to express their opinion and dissatisfaction and prefer to talk to others about it.(Statistics show that only 1 in 25 disappointed customers will contact a company)
- Clients that had negative moving experience are more motivated to leave a review than those that were pleased by the quality of service offered by the moving company (upset customers tell 9 to 12 persons about their moving experience, while happy customers tell the positive outcome to only 4-5 others.)
From this perspective, as a customer, it is essential to be cautious when browsing through reviews pages and be able to identify bogus deceptive opinions.
How Can I Detect False Negative Reviews?
It is recommended to:
- have a skeptical approach when reading bad reviews, because as mentioned before, paying users to write negative things, even though they didn’t really used the moving services of that company, is a popular practice on Internet
- consider twice the reliability of the negative reviews if they contain bombastic words, ALL CAPS, abusive punctuation and exclamation marks
- take your time and look for the patterns if several bad reviews doesn’t seem trustworthy to you. In the end, all fake testimonials have similarities.
- be aware if suddenly a dozen of users are giving 1-star rating to a moving company or have accounts registered around the same time
- look for testimonials and opinions of a particular moving company on different websites. This may give you a better perspective on the activity of the company, so make sure you are informed.
- watch out for reviews that have the same text. In order to verify if the review is multiplied, we suggest to search on Google for a phrase from that review.
- pay attention if the user has a nickname with more than 3 numbers at the end. If you notice this in several reviews, be aware, as it may be a mark of an automated soft that is programmed to post bad reviews.
Ultimately, it is very stressful for a moving company to deal with negative review spam issues since it can affect the good reputation, which took years to build and is an additional time cost. As NY movers, we hope the popular review sites will focus their resources to prevent this unfortunate incidents and that they will be solved faster in order to minimize the damage caused.