How to Distinguish Fake Auto Transport Reviews
When you are looking for a trustworthy car shipping company, it is a good idea to check up online their reputation as well. Customer reviews can tell you a lot about how a company interacts with their customers. However, you should be aware that some auto transporters try to manipulate their public image by incentivize some customers, even employees to leave a positive feedback for their ‘car shipping experience’.
It can be challenging to distinguish the authentic reviews from the fake ones. Keep in mind that it is not an easy job and requires your attention. In this guide, we try to help you with some insightful information, so you can be more confident when you make your final choice and avoid car shipping scams.
Online reviews are usually extreme
Most people who post reviews online are the ones whose expectations were exceeded or the contrary, not met at all. When you are searching for an auto shipping company, more often you will see 1-star or 5-star moving reviews, rather than 3 and 4-star ones. That is simply because only strong emotions trigger real actions. People who are okay with the experience just move on. Those whose expectations were not met, are the ones who cannot just walk away from the conflict situation.
Another challenge comes from the fact that many reviews are rather short without much detailed information. There will be a lot of brief 4- and 5-star reviews saying “best movers ever” or “excellent service”. Surely, that does not give you a solid information on how the job was handled. On the opposite side, you may come along with a lot of 1-star reviews that are equally vague, saying “worst company ever”. You should also keep in mind that review sites algorithms are not perfect when it comes to filtering fake reviews.
Reviews gone rogue!
Unfortunately, some auto transport companies consider fake reviews a keen way to attract more customers. According to Business Insider, a whopping 20% of Yelp reviews are actually fake. That means that 1 out of 5 reviews on Yelp were written by fake customers and are not genuine. TripAdvisor reported recently that it blocked nearly 1.5 million fake reviews in 2018.
Posting fake reviews online is not only unethical, but it is illegal. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission brought its first successful case against a company that tried to manipulate the public by using deceptive reviews and online testimonials. The FTC judged that the practice of soliciting fake reviews is unlawful and harmful.
What details should you pay attention to when reading online reviews?
Fake reviews can be difficult to identify that is why we made this comprehensive guide to help you easily distinguish fake reviews from the genuine ones. What specific features should you pay attention to?
If you are unfamiliar with the review website, a good way to learn about the site policy is to initiate the process of leaving a review. If the platform does not require a login, then it can be easily manipulated and flooded with fake reviews and testimonials. On the contrary, the more details the site requests, the harder to manipulate it is. Good review websites require verification and the reviewer need to validate themselves as a customer of the company they want to leave a review about. Many requests information such as an order ID number, contact info of the company, car move price and even the name of a sales representative.
Number of reviews
If most of the good reviews for a car shipping company came in around a short period of time, then you should be suspicious. Generally, authentic reviews will be posted at a steady pace over time. Having 7 5-star reviews for a week should ring the alarm, unless that is a big company with offices all over the world. If an auto transport company’s review history shows a varied number of reviews over a lengthy period of time, they’re more likely to be genuine.
Authentic car shipping reviews should sound genuine. Ordinary people do not use marketing language in their everyday life. Fake online reviews tend to use a more peculiar language or specific-industry jargon in order to funnel their message across the Internet. Also, the punctuation of fake reviews can be weird too. Intense usage of ALL CAPS should be another alert signal for you. Next, if the name of the auto transporter is repeated more than once in the review, then that is probably an advertising attempt to strengthen the brand.
If a review website allows visitors to set up a profile, but most of the testimonials are submitted anonymously, that should be another red flag. There will always be someone who would rather stay anonymous on sites when they allow it, but most of the reviews should have a name attributed. You should not let John Doe weigh in when you have to decide on a car shipping provider.
If you are reading reviews on social media, then you can easily click on the profiles of the reviewers. You should also pay attention to the photo and the history of the account activity. Fake profiles will have portrait photos that look like Shutterstock photos.
Also, make sure you check reviewer’s location. Companies will hire people from all over the world to leave fake reviews. When you research their profiles, make sure that they are located in a place where the business operates or if they have an office there. If that person has never added a review or recommendation, and this is their first review they leave, that may also pull the trigger. People who are active online shoppers will frequently add reviews regarding the products and services they have used.
Overly positive reviews
Beware of reviews with an exaggerated or too positive tone of voice, and those which overuse words like “great”, “awesome”, “and excellent”. Genuine reviewers will be objective and reasonable with their positive opinions. If all of the reviews for a car shipping company sounds like nothing but praise, you may be dealing with a company that tries to manipulate their public image. Take into consideration reviews which talk about the overall process and are not too emotional about their experience. It is hard to speak from neutral standpoint, but good reviewers do their best to be as objective as possible. Disregard marketing and industry language and testimonials that sound like praises.
Grammar and mistakes
Often, an auto transporter who is looking to polish their public image will hire cheap freelancers to write fake reviews for their business. As they try to post as many reviews as possible and as fast as possible, they usually forget to include important relevant information. These reviews will often lack details such as dates, location, and transport method.
Generally, you should not expect all authentic reviews to have perfect grammar and punctuation. Still, you should be careful if you find out that most of an auto transporter’s reviews have a lot of mistakes and lack relevant information.
A fake review is more likely to use general statements and just talk about how satisfied they are with the car shipping experience. There is usually a lack of arguments and facts as to why the car haul went smooth and fast. If the reviewer had a real experience using that particular company, they will use arguments and describe real events that have occurred during the whole shipping process. When personal interaction lacks, the language is vague and there is a lot of repetition.
Even with all the fake reviews out there, you can still learn a lot about a company services by reading feedback online. Use your common sense and steer away from overly positive and overly negative reviews.
Do not rely on star ratings alone. Keep in mind that someone’s 5-star experience may be another person’s 3-star experience. It is important to read the whole review to get an idea about the reviewers themselves. People have different standards, but the text of the reviews will give you pure facts.
Take into consideration reviews that were written by people whose idea of a good customer care matches yours. Although reviews are a good starting point, confirm the company is licensed by the Department of Transportation. The more information you have about potential companies, the better choice you will make.