Moving With Movearoo's Help? Hope You Like AT&T, Verizon, And Qwest

Movearoo.com is a new website that appears to offer free assistance with your move, helping you set up things like phone service, gas, and electricity at your new address. The site calls itself “Your Total Moving Resource.” It’s a helpful site, sure, but you should be aware that it’s funded by AT&T, Verizon, and Qwest, and exists primarily to promote their services. In other words, you won’t find a comprehensive list of competing phone service providers through Movearoo, only those offered by the three sponsor companies. A consumer advocate points out the drawback of making Movearoo your sole relocation resource:

“If you go online and you only have one choice of a subsidiary of one of these companies, it’s not one-stop shopping,” [Ev Liebman of New Jersey Citizen Action] said. “It’s simply misleading. Consumers need to be aware that there are other companies providing similar services and possibly at lower prices.”

Movearoo’s sponsors disagree, saying it’s just useful advertising for their services and not misleading.

“It’s not unlike what other industries do when they provide services,” said Frank Kellam, business development manager for Verizon. “You won’t find the traditional phone companies on a similar site (cablemover.com) set up by the cable companies. It’s not unique and it’s not out of line.”

They’re right. But that’s also why you should look for more comprehensive online help when you move.

Interestingly, you don’t have to look very far: the company responsible for Movearoo’s backend has a similar site called WhiteFence.com which offers a much broader list of companies to compare. (Although we see no mention of companies like Vonage on their site.)

Do you know of other websites that offer help with moving, and aren’t just fronts for a few key players? Add them to the comments below.

“Aid or ad? New telephone hookup website blurs the line, critics say” [New Jersey Star-Ledger]
(Photo: Getty)

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  1. timmus says:

    I put in my last address, which had Embarq telephone/DSL and Time-Warner cable.

    The Most Popular Phone Companies Are Available At: XXXXXXXXX [change address]

    Unfortunately, Phone is not available through this website in your area.

    Fail!

  2. chrisjames says:

    This is like PROMOVE in Atlanta. It’s a free apartment hunting service, but it’s sponsored by the apartments themselves. Gee, I wonder where my PROMOVE agent is going to try and place me. It couldn’t be that high-dollar dump by the train tracks next to the building where people get frequently mugged at night, could it? Yeah, it is.

    That actually happened. I found a gated complex for slightly cheaper, a two bedroom versus a one bedroom with twice the square footage, in a much, much nicer part of town, and with much more amenities. Sorry PROMOVE, but I did better in one hour of research online. Thanks, but no thanks, for the sponsored help.

  3. Skipweasel says:

    We have a similar problem in the UK with insurance comparison websites – many of them only use a “tame panel” of unsurers (that was a typo but I like it!) so you don’t get a good idea of what the market is offering.

    Of course, they’re careful to make their adverts /sound/ as if they do – but are equally careful to avoid /actually saying/ they do.

  4. consumerd says:

    This is nothing new, cable companies have one too.

    [www.cablemover.com]

  5. silkyjumbo says:

    @chrisjames: Ugh, Promove is the worst. I stopped in that place once – it felt like a used car lot. The guy even said to me, “Now, there have been a lot of break-ins in this complex, which is why I can get you a great deal.”

  6. Derv says:

    Also nothing new, USPS does something similar…ever filled out a change-of-address form in person at a post office before? They are choc-full of ads from Home Depot, the phone company, and anyone else who ponies up the dough. See [www.dmnews.com] Actually, USPS is worse:

    “The USPS grants advertising through a bidding process administered by Imagitas. Only one company per sector, such as cable, moving equipment, insurance or household appliances, is allowed to advertise in guides and kits for each bid cycle.” (FTA)

    So again, be very suspicious when someone offers to “help you out” with spending your money.