Category Archives: News
The votes are in! We combed through all of our reviews to determine what the highest rated movers on MovingCompanyReviews.com have in common. Check out the traits of the best movers in the biz!
Chicago-based start-up shifts the moving industry through technology and transparency
Chicago, IL – September 23, 2014 – MovingCompanyReviews.com (MCR), a site that connects consumers with reliable moving companies, today announces its official launch from a beta period. Shannon Cullins, MCR vice president and general manager, co-founded the moving review site in 2012 with HomeFinder.com CEO, Doug Breaker. MCR was founded as a unit of HomeFinder.com to create happy move experiences for consumers.
MCR was born out of a belief that technology and transparency can improve the stressful experience of moving. MCR uses verified reviews to help consumers make informed decisions when choosing from more than 7,000 listed movers nationwide. MCR visitors are only contacted by the movers they want to hear from and will not receive phone calls or emails from unwelcome movers. Unlike other mover review sites, MCR verifies each review with a bill of lading (mover issued receipt) to ensure it was written by a real consumer, from a real move.
“Our goal is to instill confidence in both the consumer and the mover with the authenticity of a verified MCR review,” says Cullins.
To further confirm authenticity of a mover, MCR displays if a mover has the required state and federal licenses. Mover license rules vary by state, so if a mover lacks the required licenses and/or has demonstrated a history of poor service or dishonesty, MCR will display a caution badge on that mover’s profile.
“MCR works closely with the moving industry to address our challenges and to make it easier for consumers to distinguish the reputable movers from the bad ones,” says Andy Newitt of A-1 Moving & Storage and Chairman of the Florida Mover and Warehousemen’s Association. “On most moving sites, any company can post reviews. MCR researches and confirms that its reviews are written by real consumers. MCR makes it easier for people to find the movers who are most likely to perform a great, professional move.”
MCR also helps consumers streamline the process of getting a mover estimate, by using HomeFinder.com’s listing data to pre-populate home information (beds, baths, square footage, etc.), and suggests licensed movers in a consumer’s area. Consumers receive free pizza as a thank you on moving day when they use MCR’s easy and automated phone system to review their mover.
For more information on MCR, visit www.MovingCompanyReviews.com.
MovingCompanyReviews.com (MCR) connects consumers with reliable moving companies to create happy moves. Through verified reviews and vetted movers on an easy-to-use platform, MCR helps consumers make informed decisions when choosing a mover. Unlike most moving sites, MCR visitors are only contacted by the movers they want to hear from so they won’t be bombarded with phone calls and emails from unwelcome movers.
MCR offers moving companies exposure to ready-to-book consumers. In addition to giving movers the opportunity to respond to reviews, MCR is also the only site that sends free leads to movers when consumers request a quote from them.
MCR is helping to shift the moving industry with its focus on honesty, fairness and transparency. MovingCompanyReviews.com is located in Chicago, Illinois and is a unit of HomeFinder.com.
A peek inside the Idea Machine
You may have heard us say that we’re a “small team.” Well, it’s true – there are just 8 of us (one out on maternity leave) cranking away to make MCR the best moving site around. It’s hard to do everything we want to do with such a small group, but a lean team helps us work quickly and smart. We are constantly debating and prioritizing which new features are going to make consumers happy and drive more business for our mover partners. These are always tough decisions because there’s so much we want to do.
But once a month, we get to roll up our sleeves and join the HomeFinder team in Prototypes Week. Here’s how it works: Someone has an idea and pitches that idea to the company in an attempt to form a team. Anyone in the company can join a team, whether it’s a customer service rep, salesperson or a software engineer. Then, for 2.5 days, the team cranks away at building the idea into a “prototype.”
At the end of the week, the teams present it to the rest of the company over beer. Awards are handed out for “Best for Business”, “Best for Technology” and “People’s Choice.”
Real-time chats with hot prospects
This past week, the MCR team swept the awards with their Mover Chat prototype. Here’s how it works:
- Consumer is searching on MCR for a mover
- They find a mover they like and can click “Live Chat” to chat with them immediately
- Or, they may still be deciding on a mover and ask to chat with an available mover in their area
- Before initiating the chat, the consumer will provide some basic info about their move
- The participating mover will see chat notifications in their dashboard and have the opportunity to respond back to the prospect in real-time.
- With the chat, they’ll receive the info that the consumer entered – name, move date and contact info – so that they’re up-to-speed when they begin chatting
- The mover and consumer can chat about things like availability and price and even schedule the move on-the-spot. The consumer doesn’t need to hop on the phone, but the mover still gets to ask the questions they need to price out and schedule the move. Instant gratification!
Why do we think this is cool? Consumer want quick answers, but movers sometimes complain that consumers – even when they’ve submitted a Request for Quote - are difficult to reach. Voila! Movers and consumers can immediately connect. And participating movers can get a leg up on their competition by being the first to respond.
What do you think of our prototype idea? Would you use it? Share your comments below!
Special MCR Awards go to:
- Jaime: 5th fastest woman in the Sunday 5k!
- Denzell: 5k newbie
- Marcus: Also rocked his first 5k AND blew past tons of seasoned runners
- Dave: Ran a time LESS than his age
- Shirlee: Biked to/from the race (Marcus gets points for this too)
- Heather: Got the MCR team out running at 6am on a Sunday
- Shannon: Fed the team post-race mimosas
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.
Movers, 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.
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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
You just moved another happy customer, and the details are fresh in their mind. It would be a perfect time to collect that feedback, but they don’t have Internet yet and booting up their computer is probably the last thing they want to do.
With our new Review By Phone option (coming very soon!), your customers can now record a mover review right on their smartphone – in about five minutes or less. And get a free pizza for sharing their move story!
We all know someone with a bad move story. We hear things like, “I used the worst mover” or “I would never use that mover again.” There’s a pretty good chance, though, that these people didn’t actually use a real mover.
A mover is a licensed and insured business with a legitimate address and phone number. They have a physical location and will pick up the phone when you call them. Often, a mover has been in business for generations, is active within their community and is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service.
Meanwhile, those guys who advertise on Craigslist or a flyer in the neighborhood with the cheapest price may not be licensed or insured. Real movers like to call these guys “rogues” or “bandits.” If this sounds like it’s right out of an action movie, it’s not so far off. Many states are operating sting operations to try to catch bad guys who are out to rip you off, as you can read about here or even watch here.
The rogues ignore state regulations and aren’t covered financially to protect you if something goes wrong. They’ll try to scam you by offering a too-good-to-be-true price and then surprising you with unexpected costs on move day. They may actually change their name multiple times so it’s hard to find out who they really are – some may even steal a real mover’s name or business address.
Sounds scary, huh? It is. But it’s our job to help you avoid the scammers and find good, credible movers who play by the rules and will treat your stuff (and your money) like it’s their own. We’ve done our homework so you don’t have to.
Here are a few basic steps we take to identify the bad guys. Look for future blog posts where we’ll go into even more detail on each step:
- Identity: Are they who they say there are? The phone number and address they post should reach a real company that answers the phone with the name of that business.
- License & Registration: Do they have the appropriate state and interstate licenses? We’ll provide more detail in a future blog post, but most states require some sort of license which you can typically look up online. We’ll do this for you. Just check the “fine print” section for each listing.
- Insurance: Do they have the necessary insurance? Again, most states require that this is posted publicly, and we’ll help you identify if they meet the minimum.
- Real Consumer Feedback: What’s been the experience of others using the company? Check out consumer reviews and be prepared for what you might encounter with a company. All of our reviews are verified, so you can trust that they came from a real consumer for a real move.
Soon we’ll be posting badges next to each company listing on MCR so you can quickly see which companies passed the steps above and which didn’t.
Moving doesn’t have to be scary. There are thousands of excellent movers out there. We’re here to help you find them.
If you have any suggestions for how we can make this even easier, let us know at email@example.com.
It’s been three months since our soft launch. Since then, we’ve attended two moving industry conferences – FMWA (Florida Movers and Warehousemen’s Association) and AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association), talked to more than 100 moving companies, started collecting consumer reviews and released several consumer features to help further our mission to be THE resource for consumers to find a great mover.
Before launching MCR, our team’s knowledge of the industry was based primarily on our own experiences – good and bad. We don’t claim to be total experts (yet) but we wanted to share a few things we’ve learned in our first few months.
1. Moving requires some homework
Switching cell phone carriers. Finding a babysitter. Buying a new car. Choosing a vacation spot. Big decisions require research. Would you buy a new car or pick a hotel without reading reviews? Would you change your phone carrier without researching coverage area and costs? Would you hire a sitter for your kids without checking their references?
Same goes for moving. Before you trust someone to handle your stuff, spend a little time researching your options – read reviews, check credentials and talk to the company. Because cheaper isn’t necessarily better when it comes to your prized possessions. See Point #2.
2. Cheaper isn’t always better
Moving can be a big cost. Especially when traveling out-of-state. According to the American Moving & Storage Association, the average cost of an interstate household move is $5,630 (based on an average weight of 7,100 pounds and an average distance of 1,220 miles).
It’s easy to want to save a little money on your move. After all, it’s way more fun to put that money toward furniture for your new place. But think of your move as an investment – in your stuff and your sanity.
We’ve read reviews of regret and reviews of praise. Before you pick the cheapest option, consider how you’ll feel sipping that iced tea after your move is completed within budget. Peace of mind may be more affordable than you think.
3. DIY is cool…unless you’re moving
We’re all for doing stuff ourselves. Members of our team have been known to sew their own curtains, install their own wallpaper, and build their own furniture, but we know when to leave the work to the experts.
Move with a great mover and you’ll never think twice again about doing it yourself. These guys are professionals. They know how to lift and pack better than most of us ever could. One member of our team watched his mover put a dresser – filled with stuff – on his back and carry it down 3 flights of stairs (twice!). Instead of “paying” your loyal friends with pizza and beer for helping you move, save those treats for your housewarming party and spend the moolah on a mover. Your back, your friends, and your partner or roommate will thank you for it.
4. People want to talk about their moves
Ask anyone who’s had a bad move and you’ll get an earful. But talk to someone who’s had a great move and they will sing their mover’s praises, share that name with their friends and pat themselves on the back for having made such a good decision. We’re excited to get more reviews from people like you – so please, come back, and tell us how it went. And don’t be shy. We want all the gory…and good…details.
5. It’s a new frontier
We saw a problem. A void. An opportunity. Moving is hard and no one was making it easier. We know the online space and knew we could make it better for moving [read our start up story]. As anyone at a start-up will tell you, it can be frustrating, time-consuming and stressful, but it can also be loads of fun figuring stuff out as you go, and pitching in as a small team. We’re three months in and aren’t tired. We have a long list of stuff we want to do and we’re pretty psyched to do it. We hope to share lots of great news with you in the coming months.