Monthly Archives: January 2014

New! Mover Licensing & Credentials Info

published by on January 30, 2014News

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A Step Toward Transparency

News Flash: Most consumers don’t know if a moving company must be licensed for their move, which licenses they legally need, and that the consumer should, as part of their homework, verify a mover’s licensing as part of the hiring process.

USDOT-300x300Movers, state regulators, and mover associations have worked hard to educate the public, but I think we all can agree that there is still an enormous lack of knowledge. Most people don’t know that a moving company must have a special license from the Federal government to move their household goods across state lines. Or that their state might have their own regulations for in-state moves, too. This ignorance is partially what keeps the “rogues” in business, creating a negative view of the industry.

Unfortunately, it’s not a simple task for a consumer to verify licensing for a mover. It’s hard to know where to go for the information, and how to interpret the information — even for us here at MCR!

That’s why we created a new LICENSING & CREDENTIALS section on our Mover Profile pages.

Updates To MCR Mover Profiles

  • State-specific regulations on each mover profile page
  • US Department of Transportation (USDOT) numbers with “verify” link to the Company Snapshot on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website
  • Display of applicable state license info with “verify” link to the state licensing website or page with licensed movers
  • Display of applicable state mover association and whether or not the mover is a member, with “verify” link to the association membership roster.

First Class Example

Looking Ahead

Of course, the best thing would be for us to just come out and tell consumers: “Mover A has all the right licenses and is up to date as of this very moment; Mover B does not”. We’re getting there.

The various government entities and regulations are complicated, and access to the data is spotty, but we’re doing our best to make this information available to consumers in a way that they can use it. These enhancements will get us moving in the right direction to help consumers understand the licensing requirements for their specific move, know whether or not their mover meets those requirements, and in the end, choose a great mover and have a happy move.

With any release of data of this magnitude, there is sure to be a few things that have fallen through the cracks. Call us out on it! For movers and users of our site, we have a link on every single mover page to allow you to contact us if anything is wrong or missing. Please let us know if you see anything that is confusing.

Coming soon: Mover’s social media links, van line associations, and AMSA memberships. Stay tuned!


You can rely on our MCR Verified Reviews

published by on January 21, 2014News

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You may be wondering what’s up with the new “MCR VERIFIED REVIEW” green shield that displays next to every review on MovingCompanyReviews.com. They are there to remind you that this review can be trusted because it’s from a real customer for a real move.

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Online reviews in general can be so helpful, but one has to be careful when relying upon them. As consumers, we sometimes think “Hmm, this review looks fake”, and from business owners we hear “All my good reviews are being filtered out as suspicious.” Not a big deal when it comes to choosing a Chicago hot dog place (though trust me, it’s the Vienna Beef Factory Cafe), but in choosing a moving company to whom you must entrust all of your belongings, actual research is super-important.

Here at MovingCompanyReviews.com, we’re taking the guesswork out of reading online mover reviews with the “MCR VERIFIED REVIEW” badge and our review verification process. For consumers, this means we guarantee that the reviews you’re reading (praising and scathing, alike) are from real customers. For moving companies, this means that your reviews submitted by your real customers will be published (and not filtered out).

There are 2 versions of the “MCR VERIFIED REVIEW” badge:

1. “Verified with Bill of Lading”: This means that a Bill of Lading or equivalent was submitted as proof with this review. A moving company should provide a Bill of Lading to each customer upon delivery of their belongings. This document includes the mover name and license info, the move date, the customer name, and signature that the job was completed.

2. “Verified with Mover’s Customer List”: This means that the author of the review was positively identified and matched up against a trusted mover’s customer list. In most cases, a Bill of Lading or equivalent is also provided.

Verifying each review is a lot of work, and unfortunately (at the time of writing) causes us to reject more reviews than we publish, but we think it’s worth it to give you peace of mind. So we mark every review with a “MCR VERIFIED REVIEW” badge to reassure you, and leave the detective work to us.

Do you believe us now? Let us know in the comments or drop us a line at support@movingcompanyreviews.com


My turn: 10 Things I learned from my own move

published by on January 21, 2014Before You Move Tips

Boxes from UsedCardboardBoxes.com purchased on MovingCompanyReviews.com

The MovingCompanyReviews team has been working hard this past year to make the best online moving resource out there. But what happens when we use the site for our own move? Are we getting it right? Are there parts of the process we could do better? I recently put our site to the test with my own move, and learned some things along the way.

Read more…


Caution: Questionable Mover Ahead

published by on January 16, 2014News

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Introducing the Caution Badge

To help you choose the best mover, we recently added a new feature to the site to identify movers you should avoid. Other sites have been reluctant to do this out of fear of mislabeling companies and possible backlash from impacted companies. But, our job is to make it incredibly easy for you to find great movers, which also means helping you avoid the bad ones.

It doesn’t get much clearer than this:

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We’re doing a bunch of homework on our mover listings so you don’t have to, including checking that they have the licenses required to do the moves they advertise, researching any history of complaints and verifying moving association memberships (generally a sign of a good mover).

But when all is said and done, you just want to know who you can trust. The Caution symbol helps make this incredibly easy.

Our Caution Badge Criteria

A company must meet several of the criteria below to receive the symbol. We’ve found that these companies are riskier choices and warrant significant additional research before making a decision to book with them.

  • Multiple unresolved consumer complaints recorded at the state or national level
  • Company was caught by law enforcement holding goods hostage and/or committing other illegal behavior
  • Negative reviews on MCR and other review sites
  • Mover submitted fraudulent reviews on MCR
  • The address the company advertises cannot be verified and/or does not match what is on the license(s) they claim to possess
  • No state license where required
  • No USDOT/MC license where required (if their state requires, or if they claim they handle interstate moves)

You can read more about our criteria here.

Great movers are behind happy moves. Here’s to helping you find yours!

Any questions or feedback? Send it to us at support@movingcompanyreviews.com.

Movers: We’d love your feedback as well. And if you ever see the symbol associated with a company (yours or otherwise) that you think has been wrongly assigned, or, if there are questionable movers in your market, let us know at support@movingcompanyreviews.com.

 


Self-Storage Tips and Tricks

published by on January 9, 2014Before You Move Tips

Protect your stuff in storage.

Tips Provided By: Grace Bailey, a freelance author and content contributor for Removal Service London and other sites. 

Over the years, it’s highly likely you may have changed your place of residence several times, so you might be aware of the good sides of using storage units. There are quite a few great reasons why you would want to rent one and the following tips will give you the tips and tricks you need to know to get the job done right.

Let’s start with the first one on our list:

Focusing on pallets

If you want to keep your items away from the floor, then you will need to do so with pallets. You should always make sure you have a few available unless you want to experience damage when an accident happens. Floods may not be common, however things happen and it’s best to be prepared for them ahead of time. Depending on the type of self-storage facility you’re using you may need it, so better to be safe than sorry.

Wrap your belongings

Each time you’re using a storage unit of your choice, you should wrap things in either bubblewrap or industrial plastic to ensure things are tightly sealed up and safe from bugs and vermin. You could do that with shrink wrap as well in most cases due to its flexibility.

Using a good lock

You should also focus on putting some locks of your own in your storage unit if you want to place some sensitive items in there. As much security a place has, you can never have enough of it. Strongboxes for sensitive documents or jewelry are a good choice for that, especially when combined with a good lock.

The power of labeling

You should always be aware of what you’re putting inside the storage unit at all times, so this means you will need some type of labeling system now. You will want to avoid any confusion further down the line if possible. Make sure you label all the objects you store while also keeping tally of what you have in there. Making a floor plan or a numerical system of boxes also doesn’t hurt in the long run.

Plan ahead for changes in temperature

Though you may not experience that everywhere, in some locations the changes of temperature combined with humidity can be a real issue, particularly with mold and similar situations. Any sensitive items should be stored carefully and double wrapped just to make sure they’re fine.

Keeping your footing

If you have to reach your storage unit outside in winter conditions, you should always make sure you have a good deal of sand so you can safely walk across any ice patches that may have formed. Cat litter or even plywood can also do a good job at keeping you safe if you don’t have sand around.

You can read more tips and tips from Grace here.