Over the last 25 years, we have seen many changes. Today I would like to point out one of the most significant changes that has affected both our business as well as the customers serviced by our industry. The biggest change, without a doubt, has been in our advertising. From our inception (quarter of a century ago!) until about 5 years ago, our main form of advertising was the yellow pages. Any mover could take out an ad in the yellow pages and expect the phone to ring. The yellow pages were not cheap but they were effective. Today, if you are reading this my guess is you don’t know when you last saw a yellow page book, let alone opened one. It is way too easy to go to the internet and search for the product or service you may need.
From a pure business perspective, it is much more difficult to figure out how to advertise our moving company on the Internet. Our biggest challenge is competing not with other moving companies, but with the new wave of Internet scam artists. They really are artists — they have great web pages, look like real moving companies, and sound like real moving companies. But they are anything but real moving companies. Instead, they are just operating a phone line and web page, in an attempt to attract business by low balling the prices on-line or over the phone. If they do book the business it is then sold of to another company to haul, and they bear no responsibility for the process or results.
There is a company out of Chicago with a similar name to ours. They have perfected the art of scamming customers. How do I know? Because of the similarity to our name, Able Moving & Storage Inc. — We get their complaints. The complaints are usually similar: “They gave me a great price over the phone and when the shipment arrived they wanted at least double or wouldn’t release our stuff.” “Some other company with a junk truck and a couple of extremely rude thugs loaded our possessions and complained about the work all day long. Before they finished they demanded a tip or things might get broken.” “They loaded our stuff two weeks before Christmas and guaranteed our delivery would be before the holiday. It’s January 15 and we don’t know where our stuff is. Also, We called the office several times and no one will return our calls.” By now I hope you get the point. There is a well oiled network of these crooks working together, and all they want is your money. Luckily, it is real easy to avoid most of these crooks by doing the following:
Do not book your move with a company that does not have a real facility (warehouse, office, people, trucks) in your area.
Do not book a move without an in-house, written estimate. Over the phone estimates are ok if you have previously moved within the last year, have the same amount of goods and use the same company. I will not allow my sales reps to book a move over the phone unless it is a repeat with the same parameters or the move is less than 4 rooms.
I could go on for days about how not to pick a mover but these two parameters are probably the most important to weed out the Internet scam artists. If you get an estimate from a real moving company in your area, and they prove to you that they are capable of handling all your relocation needs, then you are going a long way towards taking the pain of dealing with a crook out of the equation. Moving is stressful enough without dealing with some of these scam artists!
Again, the key here is for real results that you will be happy with, use a real moving company! Luckily it doesn’t take much homework to figure out which companies are real and legitimate…and which are not!
Best of luck,