Sirelo’s View on Reviews
When planning to have your precious belongings moved by a moving company, it’s more than likely that you want to ensure you’re making the right choice. After all, handing over your personal items to a third party is certainly not an everyday occurrence, so some quality assurance is definitely needed. Because of this, choosing a moving company is quite a difficult task for many. Think of hiring a mover as choosing a hotel to stay at during your holiday –it’s nice to be able to consult reviews first before you book a room, right? So, why should hiring a moving company be any different?
Until 2016, a large majority of movers didn’t have any online reviews, which made it difficult for future customers to determine whether a moving company would be reliable and efficient. At the end of the day, you can only determine the quality of a mover after you move house yourself, or by reading the experience of others in the form of reviews –and if you don’t have reviews, then what? If a mover doesn’t have independent reviews, then the whole process is simply a gamble for the consumer. And when it comes to an event as big as a move, you don’t really want to take the chance. As a consequence of this, we decided it was time for a change.
Transparency in the Moving Industry
We decided to set up a platform on which all moving companies could have a unique profile. Not just the good ones, the paying ones or the movers that are affiliated with an association –simply all of them. This was the first step we took towards creating transparency in this industry.
The second step we took is to provide independent reviews. In Sirelo, people who have already moved can write a review on the profile of the related moving company. This creates transparency and gives insight into which movers do a good job, based on an actual move.
Both the Customer and the Mover Can Tell Their Story
By writing a review, the customer of a moving company can share their experience with the firm. Naturally, this experience is from the customer’s own perspective. But because we aim for both parties to be able to share their story, we provide the mover the opportunity to post a public response, which allows them to share their own perspective on the matter.
As both parties will be able to make their own point of view known, it will then be up to the reader to judge which aspects of a review and the response are valuable and which are not. We strive to paint a representative picture of a moving company composed of all the reviews and responses on the profile combined. From this, an overall picture of the moving company can be constructed to give you the best indication as to their quality.
Are All Reviews on Sirelo Guaranteed to Be Genuine?
As an independent review platform, we cannot guarantee that every review is genuine. After all, we weren’t present at the move.😉 We believe that transparency in the moving industry can only be created through sharing as many real experiences as possible. That’s why we can guarantee that every review is checked before publication. You can read more about this below.
Automatic Metadata Check
The process of checking reviews begins with an automatic check on metadata. Through this check, patterns are spotted in order to distinguish the authentic reviews from the fake ones. Due to this first check, approximately 20 to 25% of all reviews that come into Sirelo are rejected. Naturally, the reviews which are flagged by this initial inspection aren’t published in our platform. When a review does pass this first check, the team checks the content of the review.
The Content of the Review
In the second step of the review inspection, the team reads through content of the review and determines whether or not it meets the policy requirements. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for the team to determine whether the content of a review is true or not, because at the end of the day, an experience is always subjective. Sirelo therefore does not act as a judge here. The team ultimately just checks the review for swear words, discrimination and person-identifying data. Finally, the name and e-mail address of the customer are checked. If there is any doubt about the authenticity of the reviewer, for example, about the contact details entered, the team will send an additional verification email to the individual. In addition:
- We don’t accept reviews that we know or suspect aren’t written from an honest experience. This means that movers cannot publish reviews for themselves or for each other.
- A review stating that it was written by staff or a supplier of the moving company won’t be accepted.
- We only publish reviews that are likely to have been written by the consumer in their own time, on their own device, and of their own free will.
In the case where there is a question over the authenticity, an email is sent to the customer asking them to confirm the review (and thus the experience). In this email we ask for a supporting document (e.g.: quote or an invoice). We do this to prevent fake reviews from being published to the best of our abilities.
If there’s no response to this email and verification isn’t forthcoming, the review will be rejected. The author of the review is always informed about this.
Sirelo Strives to Provide a Representative Picture of Every Moving Company
We cannot claim that every review on Sirelo is genuine. However, we strive to give a representative picture of each moving company. This means that after scanning the (review) profile of the mover, you should have an idea of the company’s quality. It’s important to keep in mind that the overall picture says more than an individual review. To make it extra easy for you, we also display the review score of the mover that they received on other review platforms to paint as full a picture as possible.
Calculating Review Scores
Review scores on Sirelo are displayed on a scale of 1 to 10.
Once a published review appears on a company’s profile, their review score is recalculated to include this new review. In addition to the star rating, this calculation is made based on three factors:
- Age – Newer reviews are weighted more than older reviews. Recent experience is more relevant than distant experience, as service can improve and decline over time.
- Trustworthiness – The more proof we receive to verify a review, the more weight a review is given in the overall score. Even though we manually inspect all incoming reviews, those with guaranteed authenticity are given greater influence.
- Bayesian Average – This statistical technique helps balance the review score. By adding 5 3.5-star reviews to the calculation, a review score is not only comprised of a company’s first few reviews. The more reviews a company has, the less influence this correction has on their score.
Why do we do this?
The reason is simple: Fairness and accuracy. Let us explain further by way of an example:
If Company A receives a single 5-star review and Company B receives fifty 5-star reviews, their review scores would be the same if we merely took the average of all reviews.
We do not think this is fair to Company B and does not accurately reflect the service quality of Company A. Therefore, it would be misleading if they appeared next to each other in a ranked list.
By giving review scores different weights based on different circumstances, the review score more accurately reflects the quality of the moving company’s service.
Total Review Score
The total score you find at the top of a moving company’s profile isn’t simply a sum of all the reviews the company has received. To ensure we offer a representative picture of this company, reviews count in full for the first 2 years. After this, the value gradually decreases and after 5 years, a review no longer counts in the total score. We do this because a company can change a lot over the years. By weighting the more recent reviews, the total score gives you a better idea of the current quality of the mover.
Additionally, our system assigns each review a reliability score based on several points. Reviews with a higher reliability score (for example, when verified by a document) are weighted more heavily in the average.
Writing a Review on Sirelo: What We Ask from the Writer
When someone writes a review for a moving company on Sirelo, we ask them to:
- Always remain polite and respectful. Even when the experience may have been less than positive, please share the experience in a respectful manner;
- Avoid privacy violations. When names of employees of the moving company are mentioned, we’re forced to remove them;
- Put statements in context. This is desirable for both the reader and the mover receiving the review.
A Review on Sirelo: What We Promise
We can promise readers, writers, and mover companies the following:
- We guarantee privacy and anonymity. This goes both ways: when personal data is mentioned in a review about employees of a moving company, we remove it. We also give the writer of a review the option to have the review published anonymously. This means that we have received the personal data to be able to verify the review, but that the reviewer’s name isn’t shown on our platform. Also, personal data is never shared with third parties, unless the author’s consent is given.
- We apply a fair, independent policy. No distinction is made between companies or reviews: all reviews are judged by the same criteria. We don’t distinguish the negative from the positive reviews and moving companies themselves have no influence on this policy.
- We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to discrimination. If this does occur in a review, we won’t publish the review.
- We strive to publish every review within 1 business day. This applies when no additional verification is needed. So, unless we request the writer to respond to our verification email, we always strive to publish the review on Sirelo within 1 business day. Please note, we cannot always guarantee this due to the high numbers of reviews we receive.
- Reviews are only removed at the request of the writer. This means that only the writer of the review can request us to remove the review –this is never done at the request of the mover. Sirelo operates as an independent platform. Do you want to remove your review? Then send an email with your request to [email protected].
Do you see a review on Sirelo that, in your opinion, does not meet our above standards? Please report this review by clicking on the exclamation mark at the bottom of the review.