How To Spot A Fake Moving Review Online

Imagine buying a car or going to a new Chinese restaurant. What would be the first thing you do? Check the online reviews, right? Of course! Luckily, we live in the 21st century where getting information about different kinds of products, services or companies is possible and very easy.  All we have to do is check a company’s website or some online forums and the information is right there, available for everybody to see. However, how do you know when some information or an online review is true or not? There are some ways of finding that out, do not worry. This is especially important if you are looking for some information about something important, like moving companies. So, if you are interested in how to spot a fake moving review online, keep on reading.

Sometimes, a single comment can make or break your decision about the moving company. So, be extra careful when reading them.

A Moving Review Which is Too Positive

No company is perfect, remember that. Accidents happen, and sometimes it is not about what went wrong, but how the people from the moving company dealt with that situation. Always keep that in mind. So, if you go to a company’s website, and all you can see are the words of praise, something is wrong. Furthermore, clear signs of a fake moving review are words that are overly positive and complimentary. In the end, the most important thing is that a moving company can satisfy its customers’ needs and that the belongings are transferred safely and on time. If you see those words in the comments section, you are in the right place. Otherwise, keep on searching.

If the only thing you can see while reading the comments are words which overly praise the moving company, something is wrong. So, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is!

A Moving Review Which is Too Negative

And now, the complete opposite. Moving reviews which are overly negative. Many people do not pay enough attention to these negative moving reviews when trying to find storage or a moving company. They usually occur when some dishonest moving companies try to block or hinder the competition. And they do that to ruin their reputation by posting negative comments onto their websites or forums and blogs. The best way to recognize a fake moving review online is by paying attention to the language. If the language is offensive and derogative, it is probably fake.

Pay Attention to the Language

One thing is for sure, the language used while writing the reviews is extremely important. If you are, for example, looking for the best cross-country moving companies, you have to read a lot of comments and decide which company suits your needs the most. So, if you find yourself reading moving reviews written in academic language, you probably stumbled upon fake testimonials. Let us be honest, everyday people use everyday language, not academic one. That is where your focus should be. Always look for moving reviews written in simple language which describe a specific event that occurred while moving or which show content or discontent. Moreover, regular people should not sound like they have a degree in marketing, so if it looks like they do, you are probably reading a fake moving review.

Stay away from reviews that require having a dictionary by your side. Look for plain and simple reviews! Those are the honest ones.

Watch For Very Descriptive Reviews

So, if you were moving all out of sudden, the whole process would go very quickly. That is why people usually do not have time to remember all the details of the relocation process and the names of the movers who helped them. Nobody has time to remember personal names and every single detail. If you come across language that is very descriptive and full of unnecessary details, you are probably reading a fake moving review. For example, which of the two following sentences sounds more natural to you?

  • Michel and Anthony were extremely friendly and careful when transferring my belongings from the basement into their big orange moving truck; or
  • The guys were careful with my belongings, everything went great.

It goes without saying that the second statement sounds more natural, while the first one obviously looks like an overly descriptive online review, thus, a fake one. If you notice that somebody is trying too hard to make something sound great, it is probably a fraud. So, even though you are in a hurry, and you need to find a moving company as soon as possible, do not be fooled by overly descriptive and positive reviews.

Things Are Just Too General

Another thing to pay attention to are moving reviews which are just too general. Most fake moving reviews have that in common. Those are reviews and comments which are very general and broad, and which offer no specific details about the move. And how could they when the relocation process never happened anyway? So, while reading the comments section and trying to spot a fake moving review, ignore the ‘great’, ‘amazing’ and ‘wow’ comments. What you need to focus on are the specific details that show that the move actually happened. Things like date and time, problems and solutions, and so on. Actual details and substantial information are of great importance when trying to look for an honest moving review and thus stay away from a fake moving review.

A calculator, ready for your moving estimate

Non-Binding Moving Estimate vs. Binding Moving Estimate

There are a lot of things that you need to worry about when moving. You need to think about packing your stuff, setting up new utilities, the mountains of paperwork… The list can just go on and on! However, do not worry! Even though this may seem like an impossible task, it’s not hard to do. Finding a good moving company and planning your move in advance can not only speed up the process but also reduce stress during a move. However, for a first-time mover, it may be frightening to meet with phrases that pop up so often during this process that might not mean much to you. Learning them is a big part of a job and, today, we are here to help you with that. In this article, we talk about the differences between a binding and a non-binding moving estimate.

What is a moving estimate?

The first thing you might be curious about is what even a moving estimate is. Of course, the term might seem pretty obvious. It is a number the movers will give you when talking about the cost of your move. But what will an estimate include? How do you work it out with a moving company? At what time during the moving process does the estimate happen?

a measuring tape and a weight scale
Many factors will influence the estimate.

Well, first, the moving estimate should happen before you settle on a moving company. A representative should visit your home and take a look at your items. If they insist to do this over the phone, you should beware. It is one of the red flags of working with bad movers. Think about it – how can anyone decide how much to charge you based solely on a phone call.

The estimate, however, can include many things:

  • Depending on the length of your move, the estimator might be looking at the weight of your items or their size.
  • They might be checking the distance you are traveling as well as similar smaller services.
  • Finally, a moving estimate can also include additional costs that make the move difficult – stairs, elevators, tricky driveways, etc.
  • Sometimes, movers might also be charging per mover per hour.

You can read all of this in a document that the estimator will give you. Make sure you carefully look over it and see everything that is included – it can tell you a lot about the moving company. However, the most important thing to check is whether it is a binding or a non-binding moving estimate.

What is a non-binding moving estimate?

A non-binding moving estimate is a written estimate of the moving costs. It tells you what the estimator thinks your items will weigh and how much they will charge you. The first thing to realize about a non-binding moving estimate is what the name itself implies – this number can change over time. If you add extra stuff to your move, or if the moving condition somehow changes, then the movers can change their prices. However, they will usually give you a number that they will not surpass if nothing changes.

A person signing a paper.
Read everything before you sign it.

However, this is not a bid or a legal document. Because of this, the moving company cannot charge you for making it. Nevertheless, you should request the estimate in writing. The piece of paper needs to have your items written down. The services that your moving company offers to you need to be on it as well. The prices of these services need to be on separate forms called service order and the bill of lading. Remember not to sign these until the amounts the movers will charge for each form are there.

This estimate should be attached to your bill of lading – and the company needs a copy of it as well. A thing to keep in mind is that they will be able to refuse to move you if they think you are moving more items than the estimate notes. When it comes to any additional services, your movers need your permission for them before providing them – even when moving to another country. You will have an hour to decide upon service and make a deal about its costs.

What about binding moving estimates?

On the other hand, we have a binding moving estimate. Unlike the non-binding one, the movers may charge you when making a binding estimate. This is because after you get it, the company will not be able to charge you more, even when you are sending goods overseas, if your package exceeds the estimated weight.

A knot - just like a moving estimate ties the movers to it.
The movers are tied to their binding moving estimate.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association has made a list of rules about binding moving estimates in order to make long-distance moves easier for everyone. First, the estimate needs to list what you are moving as well as what services the company will give you. If you have extra services – like flight charges, for example – then the company needs to bill you after the move, separately. They cannot do it when charging you while delivering your items. This is also the time they will charge you for the move – and you agreed to it by signing the estimate.

There are a couple of similarities between the estimates, though. First, the movers need to attach a copy of the estimate to the bill of lading. You will also get your own copy of the moving estimate, and it needs to clearly state that it is a binding one. Again, the movers can refuse to move your items if they believe you have more than you showed them. However, once they load up their truck, they agree to the estimate – and will charge you what it says on the document.

a row of trucks on a parking lot

Moving Red Flags: 5 Signs You’re Working With Bad Movers

When you decide to relocate to a new home, what’s the first thing you do? That’s right – start thinking about hiring a moving company. And this is definitely the right thing to do. Moving can get pretty complicated and frustrating, so having professionals by you side helps. When your relocation is handled by people who know what they’re doing, that definitely reduces stress during the move. On the other hand, though – you need to know how to avoid bad and fraudulent moving companies. Which is why we’ve decided to give you a few tips on recognizing the signs you’re working with bad movers!

Negative online reviews are among the signs you’re working with bad movers

Okay, so you decide to hire a moving company to help you out with your relocation. How do you go about doing that and finding the right company? Obviously, in this day and age – you utilize the power of the Internet! These days, you can use platforms like Yelp to find reviews on every service provider you can think of, so why not moving companies? And obviously, what you’re looking for here is positive customer feedback. Sure, some people leave bad online reviews for no reason, or for petty things, but if a company has consistently bad reviews across the board, that’s one of the signs you’re working with bad movers.

Still, make sure not to rush to any conclusions. And, in this case, we primarily mean not reaching a conclusion solely based on a numbered grade, or a low star review. Make sure to actually read the experiences people have had with any particular company. That way, not only will you know if their experiences are useful for your situation, but you’ll also know what to avoid in the future.

a laptop on a table, where you can recognize signs you're working with band movers
Make sure to read online reviews before choosing a moving company!

A lack of transparency

Of course, simply looking at online reviews is not enough, in most cases. If you want to check out any trace of signs you’re working with bad movers, you have to go a bit deeper. And bear in mind, this is true regardless of what kind of moving service you’re looking for. Even if you are looking for storage solutions, for example, and not a full-fledged relocation, you should still be careful. And one of the biggest red flags when it comes to moving companies is a lack of transparency of information on them.

So, first and foremost, check to see if the company that you’ll potentially hire is registered at all. Trust us, this is crucial; the first thing any reputable movers would do is register their company. And this is important for you as well because that’s your only guarantee that your items will be relocated safely to your desired destination.

Their demeanor is sketchy

Let’s face it, when it comes to hiring someone to do a job for you, there’s one thing that’s absolutely crucial – first-hand contact. Sure, you can do plenty of research online, and you can ask around all you want, but at the end of the day, there’s really nothing that’s more important than your own personal impression. That’s one of the main ways you’ll spot signs you’re working with bad movers.

So, to surmise – don’t forget to interview your potential movers thoroughly. Ask them as many questions about their jobs and their methods as you can think of. Reputable, registered movers will have no problems answering all of them – that’s their livelihood, after all. On the other hand, uneasy, unsure answers and sketchy behavior are definite red flags, so stay away from moving teams that exhibit them. If you pass on them, chances are high that you’re avoiding fraudulent movers.

People having a business meeting while drinking ice tea.
Don’t forget to interview your movers thoroughly!

Unrealistic estimates

So, if you’ve talked to a few different moving companies, what’s the next step? Generally, you should examine the moving estimates they’ve given you. Remember – if you want to pick the right moving company, storage unit or furniture movers, it’s important to have plenty of choices available. Which is why we recommend asking for written moving estimates from no less than four or three different movers. This is a move that grants you the opportunity to think long and hard, proceeding to make an informed choice in the end.

But how does a moving estimate help you spot shady movers? Well, once you take a look at all the different services they all offer and their prices, you may notice a large discrepancy somewhere. In comparison with legitimate, reputable movers, ridiculously cheap estimates are one of the signs you’re working for bad movers. Which is why it pays to have a few other estimates to compare them to, in order to know what the market average is.

Suspicious details

While there are many signs you’re working with bad movers that we’ve listed above, these are mostly bigger, major things you should be wary of in general. But just as often, people may run into a fraudulent moving company that’s less obvious in its misgivings. In this case, the devil is in the details, literally. So, be wary of small things like:

  • Lack of a logo – In most cases, reputable movers like to advertise their company with every opportunity, which is only natural because they’ve got nothing to hide. But if you see that a company has unmarked vans and trucks with no clear insignia, that’s something to be wary of.
  • Bad estimate – In most cases, the cost of your relocation will depend on the weight of the shipment. So, before giving an estimate, reputable movers come to your home and do a visual estimate. If they fail to do this, you’re bound to receive an inaccurate estimate.
  • A large deposit – If the moving company asks you to pay a huge deposit upfront, you should know that this isn’t standard practice, and avoiding that company is probably a good idea.
A pile of one-dollar bills.
If movers are asking for a very large deposit – avoid that company!
Guide to Avoid Fraudulent Interstate Moving Companies

Guide to Avoid Fraudulent Interstate Moving Companies

We all know that this world we live in is a dangerous one. With the rise of technology and artificial intelligence, ripping people off is now easier than ever. Believe it or not, danger lurks even when undertaking a task such as moving. Since the boom in the moving industry, a lot of companies whose sole purpose is to steal from people have developed. Now, while deciding to play it safe when moving locally and pulling off a DIY is possible, if you are moving to another state, you are forced to look for movers. At least, you are forced if you want your relocation to be an easy one. But how do you manage to protect yourself and avoid fraudulent interstate moving companies? That’s something we as a site dedicated to finding cross country movers can answer.

Signs that the Company You are Dealing with is a Fraudulent One

Just like no two persons are the same, no two companies will conduct their business the same way. And just because a moving company doesn’t operate the way you think is the norm, doesn’t mean that they are fraudulent. That being said, you should know that there are some huge red flags that should warn you that the company you are thinking of hiring is a fraudulent one.

Guide to Avoid Fraudulent Interstate Moving Companies

Stop for a second, and make sure you don’t recognize any of these signs in your movers.

  • If you want to avoid fraudulent interstate moving companies, don’t try to find and opt for the lowest moving estimate. Low-ball moving quotes serve to lure you into a trap, so know that any company whose quote drastically differs from the other ones you got must be fraudulent.
  • When it comes to fraudulent movers, it all comes down to money. If they ask for you to pay large sums ahead of the move itself, feel free to politely refuse.
  • When talking to a moving company’s representative, you should receive a good vibe from them. If you feel like they sound unprofessional, especially if, at the same time, they refer to themselves simply as movers, without any specific names, know that you are about to become a victim of moving fraud.
  • Fraudulent moving companies do their best to avoid any face to face contact. If you have a hard time setting up a date with a company in question, it’s best that you move on to the next ones.

How to Avoid Fraudulent Interstate Moving Companies

Knowing the signs of fraudulent movers isn’t enough to protect yourself from them. As a database dedicated to helping people find reputable movers, we have made sure every company that enters our system has passed our test. If you want to conduct a test of your own, here’s how to do it. It will ensure you are never crossed over by less than reputable movers. 

Look for a license and insurance

It might be superfluous to mention this, but you would be surprised how many people forget to check a thing as basic as this one. In order for any moving company to be legitimate, they must have all the necessary licenses. For starters, every company should have a US DOT number. It serves as proof that a company is registered with FMCSA and allowed to operate a moving truck. It doesn’t matter whether you are moving to Denver, Los Angeles or New York – movers’ licenses are something you should always check by yourself.

Guide to Avoid Fraudulent Interstate Moving Companies

Check whether a moving company’s truck is registered to avoid fraudulent interstate moving companies.

Licenses and insurance go hand in hand. You need to make sure your movers can financially cover any damage caused to your items during transport. Of course, fraudulent interstate movers won’t get as far as to transport your possessions. If a mover can’t offer you even the two basic types of liability coverage, look into your other options.

Check whether there are any moving reviews and testimonials

Think about it. If you became a victim of moving fraud, wouldn’t you want to warn the world about it? On the other hand, wouldn’t you put in a good word if satisfied with the relocation assistance options your movers provided? Of course, you would, and other people are no different. So, if your goal is to avoid fraudulent interstate moving companies, all you need to do is an online check. Look up different forums where people leave their reviews. You can even look at the company’s website and find the moving reviews section. But, be careful. Moving reviews that are too positive are indicators that the testimonial was written by a professional. Even the best movers can sometimes make a mistake – no one is perfect!

Guide to Avoid Fraudulent Interstate Moving Companies

The Internet will be your best ally in finding fraudulent interstate movers.

Analyze the moving quote you got

The first thing you should know is that almost every company in our database offers instant moving quote calculators. All you have to do is put down some basic details about your relocation, and you get a quick estimate. Once the clients want to get something more accurate, they request an in-home price estimate. If interstate movers refuse to come to your home and take a look at your things and, instead, want to give you a quote over the phone, know that something is awfully wrong. Reputable movers will need to take a look at your stuff and evaluate whether you need any special moving services, such as cross country piano moving. Or, more importantly, you should be able to tell them that face to face.

Keep Your Eyes Wide Open!

Moving fraud is everywhere. The only way to avoid fraudulent interstate moving companies is by being alert all the time. We can all agree that moving such a long distance is hard enough without any moving scams. With moving scams, it becomes one of the worst experiences in a lifetime. So, be careful and double, even triple-check who you are about to hire. It will all be worth it once you settle comfortably into your new home.

How to Reduce Stress During a Move

how to reduce stress during a move

Moving can be an exciting time in your life. Or, it can be a negative, unwelcome event. This is especially true if you’re moving to a new city and you’re not sure if you chose the right neighborhood. Moving, in fact, is one of life’s top stressors, right along with a job loss, a major illness, divorce, and death of a loved one.

Luckily, there are lots of ways to reduce the stress of moving. Here are 7 ways to manage your stress before, during, and after you’ve boxed up your whole life and decided to start over.

1.    Outsource and delegate.

As the saying goes, many hands make light work. And when moving, you need as many hands on-board as you can get. Craigslist and TaskRabbit are good online resources that you can use to search for people who can help you pack and move.

Prior to them leaving, request them to help you assemble the furniture and get the big stuff done first.

2.    Create ample time and deadlines.

Time is not always in your control. Sometimes you may need to move last minute when a move has sneaked up on you, and you’ll have to act fast. If it’s possible to plan ahead, allow yourself a couple of weeks. Eight weeks will do!

If you are planning a summer move and/or need to hire movers, then you’ll need even more time. Generally speaking, though, eight weeks are enough to do everything without putting too much stress on yourself.

3.    Protect your valuables.

how to reduce stress during a moveMoving is a major undertaking and in the process, your belongings can easily become damaged. Luckily, there are ways to avoid that.

Below are tips to pack your valuables when moving house.

  • Get sufficient packing supplies. How you pack your valuables determines whether they will remain in one piece during the move or not. Ensure you have enough bubble wrap, packing paper, and boxes.
  • Consider purchasing insurance for your valuable items. Contact your insurance company and ask them if your current home insurance policy covers the relocation of valuables from one point to the next.
  • Make a detailed list of your valuables. Also, keep any accompanying documents like certificates of authenticity, warranty cards, bills, receipts, etc. Don’t also forget to take photos of the items.
  • Pack your valuables safely. You want to invest in high-quality cushioning and protection. Most valuable articles are rather delicate and easily breakable.

4.    Clear out the clutter.

how to reduce stress during a moveDecluttering is a must before moving house. Some of the benefits you’ll get include:

  • Your new home will be easier to organize/clean.
  • You’ll have less to unpack in your new home.
  • Your home will be easier to stage (if you are selling).
  • You’ll save money. The less you have to move, the less it’ll cost to move it.

Before you begin decluttering, have markers, a shredder, and trash bags ready to help with the process. Next, be methodological and start small. Decluttering smaller places first will give you a sense of accomplishment that’ll help you tackle larger tasks later.

As you declutter, keep this quote in mind: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

5.    Hire professional movers.

No one really likes packing and lugging around furniture. If your budget allows it, then consider leaving the work to the experts.

Here are good reasons why you should consider moving experts:

  • Professional movers are insured. Having peace of mind that you’re protected by a professional mover’s insurance is priceless.
  • Professional movers have storage facilities. You can rely on them to safeguard your possessions either for short- or long-term durations.
  • They have the vehicles. They supply both workers and drivers as well as trucks of all sizes to fit your needs.
  • They have the right equipment. They arrive armed with labor saving devices like dollies, lifts, and ramps.

6.    Plan the move.

how to reduce stress during a moveCarefully planning can make things go a lot more smoothly. To be efficient, pack your stuff methodically. Move from room-to-room packing everything before proceeding to the next one.

Keep one suitcase for each person. Pack it as if you are going for a vacation, and then pack the rest of your home into boxes. Store the items that you’ll need to immediately access, such as clean socks, underwear, and a toothbrush.

In addition, clearly label each box based on the room it should be deposited to.

7.    Have a backup plan.

Have some options should some things fall out of place. For instance, allow a few days on either end of your move out/move-in day should your moving company not show up or cancel.

Also, keep a short list of back up movers and rental agencies, just in case.

Moving is part thrilling, part awful, always emotionally fraught. Be that as it may, it’s something that most of us will do at some point in our lives. With these tips, you can rest assured that you’ll have a stress-free move when that time comes.

Moving To Guides: Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield California

Located near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region is the ninth most populous city in California. We’re talking about Bakersfield, and more than 464,000 residents call it home.

History

The first settlers were attracted to the area because of the discovery of gold at the bottom of the Kern River.

When a large number of people began to settle in the valley, Colonel Thomas Baker was tasked with laying out the plans for all of the residents. After looking at the alfalfa field in his backyard, he decided to name the city Bakersfield.

When the gold became harder to find, Bakersfield still continued to grow as it was a great place to live. Today it has much to offer residents, and if you’re looking to call this city home, here are some things you may want to know:

Demographics

The median age of residents is 30.6 years, which is lower than the state’s median age of 36.2 years. Over 79 percent hold a high school degree or higher, and the median income is $61,039.

Employers

If you are looking for a job, the city is home to hundreds of employers. They include:

  • Bakersfield Memorial Hospital
  • Bank of America
  • Nestle
  • University of Phoenix
  • Superior Grocers
  • State Farm
  • General Electric
  • Granite Construction
  • Black Angus Steakhouse
  • PetSmart

Neighborhoods

Bakersfield offers a variety of neighborhoods, and when compared to other areas in California, the home prices are generally reasonable. Neighborhoods include:

City in the Hills – Featuring picturesque mountain views, this planned community is perfect for those who want rural living with easy access to good amenities. Within the neighborhood, you will find a theater, ballroom, spa, tennis courts, and a swimming pool.

Seven Oaks – This master-planned community offers tree-lined streets and beautiful landscaping. At the center of the neighborhood is the Seven Oaks Country Club that boasts a pool, golf course, tennis courts, and restaurants.

College Heights – College Heights is appropriately named as Bakersfield College is nearby. Homes date back to the 1950s, and residents often enjoy activities and events hosted by the school.

Education

Bakersfield City School District – The district’s website states that its vision is to be a leader in public education through a collaborative and supportive learning community that ensures all students are inspired to achieve academic excellence and become life-long learners and productive citizens. The district educates thousands of students, and consists of thirty-five elementary schools and ten middle schools. Students in grades 9-12 attend the Kern High School District that enrolls more than 35,000 students and features eighteen comprehensive campuses, three career technical education sites, and one adult education center.

California State University, Bakersfield – Established in 1965, California State University, Bakersfield is a comprehensive public university that offers a variety of undergraduate majors and programs. They include Anthropology, Kinesiology, and Political Science. Students can participate in sports or join student organizations to enhance their college experience.

Restaurants

Residents enjoy the city’s many restaurants, and two you won’t want to miss include:

Boss Pizza – Located downtown, Boss Pizza displays the toppings out in the open to allow diners to experience the custom crafting process first hand. Signature pizzas include Jack of Hearts, Jalapeno Popper, and Greenhouse.

Frugatti’s Italian Eatery – Frugatti’s is where you will find the best Italian dining experience in Bakersfield as the cooks use the freshest ingredients and authentic equipment such as a wood-burning oven from Milan. In a laid-back atmosphere, you can enjoy friendly service and meals such as Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine, Chicken Parmesan, and Tortellini Alfredo.

We hope this moving to guide has helped you learn more about Bakersfield. When you’re ready to call this city home, please contact us. We will help you find movers who will help you relocate both quickly and efficiently.