Keeping mover reviews honest

Sharon  @GoodMigrations

Just last week Outside magazine fielded this question: Can I trust the reviews on TripAdvisor?

Their answer: Not always.

TripAdvisor was one of the earlier review sites out there. It’s been around for 14 years and has 170 million reviews of 4 million travel properties and businesses. So they must be a venerable institution, right?

As Outside magazine said, this isn’t exactly the case. In fact, TripAdvisor has gotten in trouble for claiming its reviews come from “real people”. Real people, yes; real customers…not so much.

In fact, someone I know at a big city hotel in the U.S. admitted that when the hotel first opened, the marketing guy had some shady marketing firm add hundreds of reviews for the hotel on TripAdvisor. Within six months they were ranked one of the best hotels in the city on the site thanks to this deception.

Obviously, TripAdvisor isn’t trying to trick anyone. I’m sure they put effort into keeping their reviews honest. But when you have 170 million reviews (that’s over 12 million a year!), it’s hard to stop all the scam artists. And the upside of faking it makes faking it worthwhile. A study of Yelp done by Berkeley economists showed that a half-star improvement on Yelp’s 5-star rating system “makes it 30-49% more likely that a restaurant will sell out its evening seats.” I’m sure there is a similar boost for hotels or any other business that relies on reviews.

A review site overrun with fake reviews is like a restaurant that makes bad food: it serves no purpose. So how can one help to keep reviews honest?

 

While fake reviews are a concern at GoodMigrations as well, we don’t have to worry about getting inundated with millions of reviews since we only focus on international movers. Because we’re focused we can take the time to audit every review that comes in to make sure it’s legitimate. If it doesn’t pass the audit, it doesn’t get published on the site. (We review the reviews, so to speak). Our commitment to keeping reviews honest is not just to the people out there using GoodMigrations to find movers, but also to the movers working hard to provide the best service to their customers. You can read more about our review process here.
Keeping reviews honest with goodmigrations

 

Funny International Mover Review of the Week

Adam Vagley @goodmigrations

 
We take our review process very seriously over here at GoodMigrations. However, once in a while we get a review that is just too funny not to share. Here is yet another one for our series on funny mover reviews. What I love about this review:

1) The terrible use of English

2) He says their business location on Devon Avenue is the best place to do business with them. Great tip, otherwise people might go to other places to try to do business with them

3) He signs off “Mr. Abu24”

4) He’s going to recommend them to friends and family…but only gave them 3 out of 5 stars

funny international mover reviewWant to stay connected and hear more of our Funny Mover Reviews? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Busted! Calling out the first mover for a fake review

Adam Vagley @goodmigrations

I will not post fake reviews
Anyone running a company has one or two things they constantly worry about. Currently, my biggest concern for GoodMigrations is preventing fake reviews on our site. So many review sites suffer from spam reviews submitted by shady companies trying to boost their ratings or competitors trying to discredit their competition. I’m constantly thinking through ways to prevent this from becoming a problem. For instance, our marketing efforts have focused solely on reaching out to fellow expat bloggers. I’ve specifically avoided letting moving companies know GoodMigrations exists because I know that as soon as I do, the spam reviews will flood in. While we audit every single review before publishing it and perform additional diligence on some, it’s only a matter of time before a fake one sneaks through. Still, I was surprised to find one already submitted. The below review was submitted yesterday by a John Lyn, who moved from the United States to India.

Cost: 3/4
Time: 4/4
Condition: 4/4
Would use again: Yes
Additional Comments:
“Though a bit of cost additions, the move went on well and i do not have second thought to recommend this company to others.”

A few things made me suspicious:

1) The use of English wasn’t great. John Lyn is not an Indian name, and since he moved from the United States to India, we can assume he’s American-born. American-born people don’t talk like that.

2) The email used was a Yahoo India email address. Yahoo email has been around in the U.S. for a very long time. There’s no reason someone moving from the U.S. to India wouldn’t retain their U.S. Yahoo account.

3) The review was submitted on the same day the company profile was created on the site. I mean, come on people, show some self restraint.

(However, I was a bit impressed that the person only gave a 3 out of 4 rating on Cost, as if to throw off the scent by not giving too laudatory a review).

So what did I do? First, I sent a message to the Yahoo email address requesting some additional information in order to publish the review. That message was returned as undeliverable. Then I called the company out, sending them this message:

Thank you for creating a company profile for <Company Name Removed> on GoodMigrations. We have approved this profile and it is now visible on the site.I also want to emphasize our Site Rules: submitting fake reviews is not tolerated. A suspicious review for your company was submitted yesterday. This seems a bit too coincidental considering the company profile was also just created yesterday. In addition to the suspicious timing, our audit of the review found the email address used to be invalid. This review will not be published. If this happens consistently a public warning will go on your company profile page.

We’re just getting started out. As we grow, real <Company Name Removed> customers will find the GoodMigrations site and submit real reviews. And if you take good care of your customers they will be good reviews 🙂

The mover responded denying any tampering, saying that this John Lyn found GoodMigrations, reviewed his move, and then sent the company an email to let them know about it. Whatever. Just don’t try it again. Ultimately, the only real defense against spam reviews is to get tons of legitimate reviews. So please spread the word to all your expat friends and ask them to rate their international moving experience.

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