NAD Reviews Advertising Claims Made for ‘College Hunks Haul Junk,’ Finds CHHJ Franchising Can Support Certain Claims; Recommends Certain Modifications

New York, NY – July 9, 2018 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that CHHJ Franchising, LLC, modify claims that promote the services of “College Hunks Hauling Junk,” as available across the United States and Canada, but determined the company could support claims related to the training, licensing and insurance each franchisee provides.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

In its initial inquiry, NAD requested substantiation for claims that included:

  • “We are the only nationwide moving company that offers full-service residential and commercial moving, junk removal, donation pickups, and moving labor services across the United States and Canada.”
  • “At College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving, we are committed to providing you with the highest quality services in the moving industry, each and every day. Every member of our team goes through extensive training and is licensed and insured to guarantee the best services for each person or business we work with.”

CHHJ is a franchisor and it sells franchise licenses to other companies who conduct business under the CHHJ marks.

The advertiser said that it is the only company in the U.S. that offers full-service residential and commercial moving services, junk removal services, donation pickup, and move labor services.  According to the advertiser, many companies offer one of these services but no other company offers all of these services to its clients nationwide.

According to CHHJ, franchise owners are contractually obligated to properly train their employees in addition to obtaining and maintaining all applicable federal, state and local licenses and insurance requirements for their franchise and their employees.   CHHJ, as the franchisor, provides training on meeting the requirements before a franchisee opens a location. CHHJ also conducts compliance checks and audits to ensure that each local franchisee’s clients receive excellent service.

NAD first assessed if CHHJ is a “nationwide” company as to its moving, junk removal and donation pickup services. CHHJ is registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Mover Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as an interstate mover in 24 states. The company notes on its website “currently offers limited interstate moving options” and that it has “partnered with a logistics and trucking company to provide you with a full service long distance moving experience at a fraction of the cost of national van lines and other national moving companies.”  In Canada, CHHJ operates in Edmonton, Alberta.  Alberta accounts for 12 percent of Canada’s population.

NAD recommended that CHHJ discontinue the reference to operating “nationwide” as well as across Canada.  NAD determined, however, that CHHJ could support a claim that it provides moving, junk removal and donation pickup services across the U.S.

NAD then assessed whether CHHJ is the only moving company that offers full-service residential and commercial moving, junk removal, donation pickups, and moving labor services across the United States.

In support of the challenged exclusivity claim, the advertiser provided a list of its major competitors who provide moving services or junk removal services and noted that none of the companies provide both moving and junk removal services.  There does not appear to be an independent, third-party market research list of moving and/or junk removal companies operating on a nationwide basis.  NAD’s research indicated there are other companies that provide moving and junk removal services, but they operate in far fewer states than CHHJ.

NAD determined that the exclusivity claim was supported and could form the basis of a modified claim regarding CHHJ’s junk removal and moving service across broad geographical regions in the U.S.

Turning to the “best services” guarantee, NAD determined that “guarantee of the best services” was an affirmative performance claim, assuring consumers that they will receive the best service because employees undergo extensive training and are licensed and insured.

“While these are important factors in assuring good or excellent service,” NAD noted in its decision, “there may be instances when customers receive average or poor service even if CHHJ seeks to provide the best service by regularly monitoring whether a franchisee is licensed or undergoes extensive training.”

To avoid conveying the unsupported message that the best service is guaranteed, NAD recommended that the challenged claim be modified to remove the reference to “guarantee.”

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it would comply with NAD’s recommendations.

“We are proud of our reputation as a full-service company that offers stress-free Honest, Uniformed, Nice, Knowledgeable Service, and are also proud of our reputation as a company that operates with utmost integrity,” the company said in its advertiser’s statement.

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.