References question

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References question

Postby LFL » Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:28 pm

Okay, so I've had four moving company estimators come to my house here in Rochester, NY.

They are from the following companies:

Cook (United) -- was here Wednesday afternoon
Lafayette (Atlas) -- was here Friday afternoon
Clark (Mayflower) -- was here this morning
East End / Corrigan (United) - was here this afternoon

Following the advice on this site, I told them all in advance, on the phone, that I wanted them to bring references with them.

None of them brought references.

I then asked them to email the references to me. The estimators from Cook (United), Lafayette (Atlas) and Clark (Mayflower) all said they would do so, but they still haven't done it, even though I emailed the first two yesterday to remind them that I needed the references.

The estimator from East End / Corrigan (United) told me outright that he'll only give me references if I sign with them. He doesn't want those customers who give references to get a million phone calls so he'll only give them out to customers who agree to use East End/Corrigan.

He also said that references aren't worth much in this industry because everyone only gives out the clients who loved them as references, and everyone has some clients who loved them.

He did give me an article written by a customer who loved them that detailed that customer's experience, though.

What do you guys think about this? Is it normal for this industry? Should I wait for references and call them? I am under a time crunch and need to make a decision in the next few days, and I don't know if lack of references is a good reason to hold up the decision, especially since all of the reputable companies locally seem reluctant to give out references.

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Re: References question

Postby ArchieWhite » Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:34 pm

All of those are good companies that will do you a good job. Pick the one that gave you the best feeling, at a competititve price.

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Re: References question

Postby LFL » Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:34 pm


I just saw that I did get an email with two references from Cook/United. It went into my spam folder by mistake. But still no references from the other three. How important are they?

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Re: References question

Postby LFL » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:46 pm

Anymore opinions on this? I need to make a decision soon. How much weight should I give to references or the absence of references?

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Re: References question

Postby farrah7031 » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:51 pm

I wouldn't worry about it. They are all reputable companies.

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Re: References question

Postby Techsan93 » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:01 pm

Why would a company be reluctant to give out references? I would much prefer to be able to provide testimonials and we require our folks to have several recent testimonials with them in their presentation binder at all times. If a sales person provides testimonials that gets rid of the million calls issue..

In my opinion if a sales person makes a commitment to get you information or references and they don't, how do you know you can trust them to keep commitments regarding your move after you have chosen their company?

I wouldn't put too much stock into the reference deal but I think it should figure into your buying decision to some extent...

Just my $.02...


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Re: References question

Postby chaz4moving » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:10 pm

My experience has been that references are not going to be of much benefit. Like the one moving consultant said, no one is going to give you a bad reference. Also, I do not know about other movers participating on this website, but I always found it difficult to find former customers who were willing to be a reference. And yes I did have a few happy customers. People do not want to be bothered. If someone who performed a service for me asked me to be a reference for them, I would be hesitant. I am a busy person and just do not want to have people calling me. I sometimes used letters I received with the name of the customer left off the letter or blacked out. Some people were OK with those; however, I am sure some thought they were fake. I swear they were all real but I felt it was important to protect people's privacy. I would sometimes mention locally known companies for who we regularly did employee relocations. Obviously, these companies were not gong to keep coming back to us if we were not performing their employees' moves well. What do others think about references?

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Re: References question

Postby Rick » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:15 am

Last edited by Rick on Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: References question

Postby BillAdams » Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:34 am

I wouldn't think of going to an appointment without several recent references. If I didn't carry any, and was asked for some, I would get them.

Really, how much effort would it take to call a few people you moved recently and ask if they'd mind being a reference? If your company did a good job, I'm sure they would be happy to take a phone call from a potential customer. People like helping people. I really don't think we're talking about a million calls.

This smells completely of lazy sales reps. I used to hire and train sales reps, and would be furious if I heard these excuses.

Regardless of my opinion, these companies are reputable, and perhaps the responses that you get from the industry pros on this site ARE your references.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones that you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover."
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Re: References question

Postby smatwilly » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:21 pm

Doesnt sound like any of them really want the business--maybe its just because we are in a very non metro area--I have reference letters by the dozens---I staple together about 6 at a time & give them to ALL my estimates--before I do the estimate---not only that but I give them a packet with the "legal" booklets & pamphlets from NAVL - If its an inter move than I put together a small packet of info on the area they are moving to - the good restaurants, golf courses, gyms, malls, statistics of the city they are going to----a cd on how moving works-- I take my shoes off before I enter the house & I bring my digital & measuring tape for dims on crating & pics of high value or antique pcs -- the consumers think its great when I take pics of items that require special care---
I usually email, fax or mail my estimates out the same day or at least the very next day---it helps when you work in an area like I do - All these are reasons why I usually get the move----Im not standing on my soap box because I have lost moves but these things are no brainers & they get the move!

Sorry, but if I had estimates & nobody gave me references letters AFTER I asked & then one told me he wouldnt give them unless I went with him I would tell him to go pound sand----thats just plain stupid if you ask me!!!!
Call someone else----- :x

az ops man
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Re: References question

Postby az ops man » Tue Sep 30, 2008 3:42 pm

Due to all of the indentity theft and consumer protection laws these days you really have to be careful as to what info you give out to people as far as contacting someone else for a reference, and heck the estimator could give you his best friends name and number as a reference anyway and you wouldnt have a true referral anyway!!! Just doing a reference check for employment verification is ajoke anymore, by law the previous employer is only allowed to tell you if the person was ever employed by that company and the dates they worked there. They arent even allowed to disclose whether or not the person is eligible for rehire!!
Sean Soule
The difficult we do immediately,
the impossible takes a little longer.

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Re: References question

Postby Jim » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:39 pm

Sean -- what a great point. The world became a lot more dangerous with the internet (see moving as another example) and exposing one of your good customers to someone with less than honorable intentions could result in something really bad happening to that customer.

I think encouraging each of your customers to express their appreciation for the service performed - without providing too much personal info to the mover - would probably suffice. However, I think the internet should be a better source for conducting due diligence on a mover with reference checks as something that simply supplements (or potentially contradicts) what your customer finds in the DD.
It's Sunny Somewhere In The World

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Re: References question

Postby indifferent » Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:55 pm

I know it's been a long time and this post won't be helpful to the original poster of this thread, but I wanted to mention that when I moved from Rochester, NY back in 2007, I hired Lafayette, and had a great experience. They gave me a fair (binding, not-to-exceed) quote, didn't give me a hard time about watching the truck get weighed, and were pleasant and easy to deal with in every respect. The destination Atlas agent was great as well (although all that really means is that the two guys who unloaded for me were good). The damage to my stuff was negligible.

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Re: **References question

Postby MusicMom » Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:55 pm

Thanks for the review, even a long time later.

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