Talking about someone being the best in the industry is very illusive. Today in any industry the competition is diverse and there is no way one company is the best. No matter the size or the years of experience a company has, there is simply no way it is the best in the whole industry.
With services such as moving or auto transport, when you call a customer service number you expect to talk to a human being that will understand you and do their best to take care of your request. Yet, most companies today simply follow a script that is supposed to sell more. They want to get your business and they know how. In most cases it is all about money. The cheapest price usually gets the deal closed fast.
A lot of research has been done by the big guys in every industry and they know exactly how to sell. Doing business today requires companies to understand how the human brain functions. Yet, this does not mean they care about the human being. It does not mean they care to adjust to your human situation and offer you the best possible solution.
Five star reviews make us feel good and safe, and satisfied with our choice.
In the auto transport industry, just like in any other industry, customer reviews are perceived very important. We all read reviews when we want to purchase a product or service. It is actually advisable that you as a consumer read reviews.
Auto transport companies’ reviews are abundant online. Every company tries to get the word out and asks customers to share their experience. In today’s world though, it is not only word of mount referrals companies need.
Every single business now relies on the shiny five stars customers can see online on certain customer reviews websites.
So, what do companies do? They do everything they can to make their customers write reviews online. Auto transport companies ask, offer discounts, offer gift certificates, some offer money. So whatever it takes to get that shiny stars showing online. And even if some institutions and organizations say it is not ok, there is no other way.
Most people have a consumerist mindset already and they respond to a request only when they are promised something in return.
We don’t want to write reviews because we are busy or just don’t care. But when the company offers us something little then it’s a different story, then our effort seem justified.
Many people don’t have time or don’t like writing and sharing their opinion online. Yet, when there is something on the table in exchange for the effort, then we are motivated to write a review. It’s human nature.
How to choose the best auto transport company?
Now, that is a though question. Many customers think that the best rated company is really the best, but that is not always the case. Things change in the auto transport industry very often, especially in big companies. People come and go, and in most cases big companies grow bigger and this often affects the customer service negatively. Yet, we look at those shiny 5 star ratings online and we want to believe that this particular company is the best. The stars affect our brain. But we should seriously think about all those reviews before making a purchasing decision.
“This was an industry plagued by scammers,” he said, referring to the car transport business. “People were going to jail. We decided, ‘We’ve got to do something about this.’ So we launched our site.”
These are the words of Andrew Wash, the president of Valley Solutions, the company that owns TransportReviews.com, quoted in a New York Times article. This website is the biggest when it comes to auto transport reviews. When you search online the site is almost always the first in the search results. The focus of the article is that on this type of websites the companies have the last word. TransportReviews.com owners say that they simply can’t afford to let the customer and company go back and forth endlessly, and they end the online conversation with the first and only company response.
Another thing the article emphasizes is the fact that TransportReviews.com makes all its money from the auto transport companies. The site offers different levels of support to auto transport companies and the purpose is of course to support the website and for the company to gain extra exposure. This is normal practice and auto transport companies that can afford to pay are happy to sponsor any website that offers them industry relevant real estate.
Websites like Yelp! and organizations such as the Better Business Bureau operate in the same manner. Companies pay to be members or sponsor the website which is obvious conflict of interest. Yet, it is a vicious circle companies and consumers cannot escape.
Moreover, besides the review websites, many auto transport companies pay other industry relevant websites to add them to a list of supposedly the best auto transport companies. Such articles are this one and this one
So, who do we trust and how do we decide?
A good approach would be to check the Federal Trade Commission’s website for advice and tips. They have a very nice blog where they often post helpful information. You can check out this article about consumer reviews.
When it comes to choosing the best auto transport company, you should be very careful and simply don’t believe everything you read online. Besides being paid for, some information is also outdated like this tread on Yahoo Q&A board about the most reliable auto transport services.
In any case, my advice to you as, a customer is to do your research and pick a at least three auto transport companies. Then call and talk to representatives. First, consider how you are being treated. Think about whether the company representative listens to your situation and offers different options instead of just reading from a script. And lastly you should consider the price and discuss your budget. Do not choose a company because it is giving you the lowest price.
In the auto transport industry, unfortunately, many companies offer really low prices and then in a few days they call and ask for more money because the initial quote was too low and they can’t find a trucker to transport the vehicle for this price. This is unethical business and once you are tied in, you can’t cancel because you have already given them your credit card. Moreover, you have already lost precious time waiting.
You should really think about how some companies make their money, your hard earned money– money they pour into sponsoring ads and reviews. It is the world we live in, but the least we can do is try to be savvy consumers.