Author Archives: Shirlee Berman

Full-Service or Moving Labor: The different types of mover services

published by on July 11, 2014Before You Move Tips

Full Service Movers

Just like other home service companies, there are different types of movers and moving services available to tailor to your individual need and how much work you’re willing to put in! It’s easiest to start just thinking about what you actually want done for you. 

STEP 1: Which of these things do you need help with?

  1. Provide a truck, load it, drive it, and unload it
  2. Load and/or unload a rented truck or portable storage container (pod)
  3. Pack stuff into boxes and crates
  4. Move items on-site (not moving to a new address)

Full Service Moving Companies:

If you answered “Yes” to #1, be confused no longer — you want a Full Service Moving Company. Depending on the move distance and the US state(s) involved in the move, there may be licensing requirements for a mover transporting household goods with their own truck (a “household goods carrier”).

  • If moving across state lines (interstate move), your full service mover must have an active USDOT license to move household goods between states. This government oversight in theory protects you, your belongings, and others on the road by making sure the mover meets minimum safety and quality standards.

  • If moving within the borders (intrastate) of any non-regulated state (Alaska, Arizona, DC, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin), your full-service moving company does not need a license.

  • If moving from, to, or within a regulated state (all other states not listed above), your moving company must be licensed to move household goods by your state’s regulatory agency.

 

Moving Labor:

If you answered “No” to #1, you might be able to get away with hiring simple Moving Labor. These companies can help you pack your stuff, load/unload your rented truck or storage pod, move items around your house or to the garage, and they can even drive your rented vehicle without a special household goods license. These companies run the gamut from day laborers getting most of their business off Craigslist to well-established and well-rated companies that just happen to specialize in small moves.

Warning: Be careful when hiring Moving Labor. The lack of regulations also lessens their responsibility to perform a well-executed move with minimal damage and loss. Also, since many are not established businesses, they lack robust scheduling systems and may not be reliable or even show up when you need them the most — on moving day!

 

Portable Storage Container Movers

These companies (like PODS, UPack, and others) deliver a portable storage unit or pod to your home or pickup location. You then can load the container yourself on your own time or hire Moving Labor to do it for you. When you are ready, the Portable Storage Container Mover will pick up your container and move it to your new location, where again, you can unload it yourself or hire Moving Labor at your destination.

Some things to keep in mind regarding Portable Storage Container Movers:

  • Estimate your belongings: Make sure you have a large enough container for your move.

  • Where will you keep it? Make sure you have a legal place to park the container at origin and destination. For example, some tight urban areas or high rise buildings will not accommodate a container for more than a few hours.

  • If you don’t want to load or unload yourself, you may have to hire additional moving services. Moving is already a stressful time — you may not want to have to deal with additional companies to handle your actual move.

 

Specialized Moving Companies:

There are also movers that specialize. These are piano movers, safe movers (movers who have special equipment and skill in moving safes), art and antique movers, jacuzzi movers, pool table movers, and more. If you hire a Full Service Moving Company and own any of these items that also must be moved, make sure they are capable of handling them confidently. Otherwise, you may need a Specialized Moving Company to handle your special item.

Still confused? Hit us up through chat or at support@movingcompanyreviews.com and we’ll help you out.


Attn Movers: Add your social links, and verify your licenses, van line, and BBB info

published by on March 10, 2014For Business

MCR Enhanced Business Listing

As Promised…

A few weeks ago when we rolled out our new Licensing and Credentials section, we promised to also allow you to include even more information about your company on MovingCompanyReviews.com (MCR).

32-facebook 32-twitter 32-googleplusWhen choosing a mover, consumers are looking at a lot of different criteria. Most movers are hyper-aware that consumers are always looking for a good deal. That’s true, but they’re also interested in the softer side: How responsive are you? Do you seem like you care about their business? That’s where your presence on social media sites come into play.

We’ve opened up the ability for you to add more of this important detail on your MCR Business Listing.

MCR Enhanced Business Listing

MovingCompanyReviews.com – enhanced mover business listing pages

 

Just hop on to your MCR Mover Dashboard, and edit your company profile to find these goodies:

  • Your Facebook page
  • Your Google+ profile
  • Your Twitter page
  • Your Better Business Bureau page
  • Your van line affiliation, if applicable

 

Any one of these items on its own doesn’t tell the whole story. But together, and in conjunction with your MCR Verified Reviews, it lets someone know more about your voice, your authenticity, and frankly… whether or not “anyone’s home”.

So if you pay more attention to your Facebook than your Google+, or you’re more of a Tweeter, feel free to pick and choose which links you want to display. This is your chance to take control of your listing and how you’re perceived.

So, go ahead and login to your MCR Mover Dashboard, and get those shiny new social icons on your profile page.  While you’re there, verify your licenses and supported move distances are correct.

Any questions? Contact us and we will walk you through it, step by step.


New! Mover Licensing & Credentials Info

published by on January 30, 2014News

movingcompanyreviews-licensing-credentials

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

mcr-verified-review

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.

mcr-verified-review

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


Coming Soon: New Mover Listing Design!

published by on December 18, 2013For Business

newsletter_image_survey

Get your listing ready for our updated mover listing page design.

newsletter_image_surveyWe will be accommodating new information, so take advantage of this chance to stand out.

  • Add links to your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages
  • Interstate Mover indicator
  • Move For Hunger, AMSA Membership etc.
  • And more!

Fill out this quick survey, and we’ll update your data for you.


Calling All Granot Movers

published by on December 18, 2013For Business

newsletter_image_CRM

newsletter_image_CRMWould you like to see your MCR Referrals in your Granot account?

We’re looking for movers who would like to “beta” test a new offering where your MCR Referrals will flow into your Granot dashboard. Get all your leads in one place, thanks to our new partnership with Granot.

Let us know if you’re interested, by adding your Granot ID in this quick survey.

 


NEW! Set Your MCR Referral Status In Three Clicks

published by on December 18, 2013For Business

New Referral status features in your notification email and mover dashboard.

Can’t accommodate a move?

Let us know in 3 clicks.

We heard you. Sometimes we send you leads for moves you just can’t accommodate.  Now there’s a quick and easy way to tell us.  Just click “Cannot Accommodate” in your New Quote Request Email.

Referrals inbox

3 Reasons Why You Should Bother  

New Referral status features in your notification email and mover dashboard.

New Referral status features in your notification email and mover dashboard.

1. If you let us know when you can’t accommodate a move, we can help the consumer to find someone who can. This gives other movers a shot at the business. If more movers respond quickly, more movers get the opportunity for more business. Rack up your karma points by setting your referral status!

2. We’ll be noticing which movers are updating the status of their referrals. Since consumer experience is so important to us, we will be rewarding rapid responders on the site with the opportunity for more referrals. Stay tuned!

3. The more we know about the quality of our referrals we are sending to you, the better we’ll get at sending you better leads. So keep the feedback coming.