MovingScam introduces “Review Verification System”By Eric Anders • Oct 2nd, 2012 • Category: *RELOCATION NEWS UPDATES*, Advertising, MovingScams
How many people purchase, bait, and then deploy skunk traps when they're not being bothered by the stinky predatory scavengers?
That was my first reaction when asked if I'd seen the new “Review Verification System” subscription service that was announced by MovingScam.com on October 1, 2012.
MovingScam is the popular free “consumer oriented” trash-your-mover venue that founder Tim Walker created ten years ago to let others “know what is going on in the moving industry”. I used to be one of the industry professionals who was an active participant in the community before being banned from participating at the site.
Since opening, the well-optimized venue has become the online social media litterbox that upset shippers use to try to publicly (and anonymously!) trash the reputation of the household goods motor carrier or move broker they hired to complete their personal relocation.
According to Jeff Walker, Tim's brother, the Review Verification System (RVS) is a new premium pay-to-participate feature of the MovingScam.com website that tracks and verifies that reviews posted by consumers to authenticate the move was “genuine”.
Under MovingScam's new site monetization scheme, consumers wishing to leave a review are asked for certain unique (and very proprietary) customer information that the “mover” they hired can use to verify that they actually did perform the move.
Once the consumer enters their 'invoice number' and completes their positive or negative review, the comments are sent to MovingScam's owners “to scan the message for inappropriate material (such as spam)”.
The process map include in this new MovingScam product offer shows that both pieces of information will then be routed to the “mover” by email, where they can verify the move in their system.
At this point the “mover” can reportedly check a box to verify that they did perform the move. The “mover” then has the “option” to respond to the review submitted by the consumer. Failure to verify the move will not keep the review from being posted on MovingScam. It will eventually show up on in the 'mover' rating site as “unverified”.
There's no explanation about whether "unverified" moves are "genuine" or not.
According to the somewhat vague terms of the "Review Verification System" offer posted at MovingScam, RVS provides subscribers a web page “completely dedicated to your business”.
Paying participants determine what information consumers have access to, including your business contact information such as phone numbers, emails, physical address and a link to your web page from your profile page.
The incentive to sign up for the introductory rate of $30 per month, according to Walker, is to use “MovingScam.com's popularity over the web” to link “our site to yours” – ostensibly to provide “an immediate boost to your search engine rankings”.
On December 1, that rate will increase to $50 per month.
In response to concerns expressed by the lone remaining lay MovingScam moderator, Walker explained that “The same measures are in place in the review verification system that we have used successfully on the message boards for the past 10 years, and we don't talk publicly about what measures we have in place in either system.” Click here to learn how that 'top secret' system 'works'.
In addition, movers will be screened prior to being allowed into the program for things like hostage moves or a high number of complaints. Before signing up, ask MovingScam for their current definition of a "hostage move".
According to Walker, “Studies have shown that an angry customer is 10 times more likely to post a negative review than a happy customer is to post an "atta boy!"
The problem with this well documented behavioral phenomenon is that licensed “moving companies” are expected to pay a monthly subscription fee to have their professional reputations vetted by lay judges in MovingScam's popular court of public opinion.
The same trash-your-mover court, incidentally, that historically has only endorsed unregulated 'do-itself-yourself' motor freight transportation and labor services to their budget conscious forum visitors.
Since neither of these low-cost service service options fall under the same federal or state consumer protection regulations, each subscriber's new MovingScam web page “completely dedicated to your business” is indexed against competitors who don't have to play by the same set of industry rules.
Curiously, Walker never mentions how negative consumer feedback about move brokers and container transportation companies will be handled.
Under a 2008 court agreement, MovingScam's owner is prohibited from allowing any disparaging comments to be published from customers upset with the services they received from any of Aldo DiSorbo's online household goods or motor vehicle transportation "move management" brokerage companies.
The DiSorbo family's online properties, coincidentally , are the same virtual vendors that were the subject of the recent year-long Senate investigation into popular online shopping services are being used by unscrupulous internet brokers and rogue movers to scam unsuspecting customers..
And, even after the monthly reputation management 'protection' money is paid, angry customers, competitors, or former employees looking to trash a companies reputation online from are still attracted to the well optimized site by the MovingScam site name.
"Permissum Permoveo Caveo"
Before being rebuked and banned from the site, I routinely used the phrase “Caveat emptor” to warn inexperienced, uniformed consumer shopping online for moving services at the four MovingScam forums.
It's Latin. It means "Let the buyer beware" Today I would also offer the same advice to moving professionals interested in MovingScam's new Review Verification System.
It you don't want to find your garbage scattered all over the neighborhood by a stinky scavenger when you wake up, put the lid securely on the trash can before you ever set it out for public collection.
It's the best deterrent to avoid attracting skunks!
Is WOM* advertising destroying reputable movers? – RELO Roundtable
MovingScam trashes another mover’s reputation – RELO Roundtable
AMSA questions MovingSCAM’s motives – RELO Roundtable
MovingSCAM owner calls out AMSA’s ProMover program – RELO Roundtable
Movers lined up at the hanging tree – RELO Roundtable
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