So I finally decided to abandon my Marina del Rey mansion and move closer to work. I selected Huntington Beach which is about an hour south of MDR and had been working furiously since the beginning of August to get ready for the move. One of the steps in the process was hiring a moving outfit to help me as I’m growing past that age (as well as accumulation of goods) where I have friends willing to help me move for a six pack. I have seen Starving Students moving vans all over the place over the years so I assumed them to be an acceptiable company.
I called two weeks ahead and asked to move on Sat. I was told that Saturday is their busy day and I should go for Sunday as the rates are cheaper and they are better able to get a team out to me first thing in the morning. I was told to call again the week of the move to re-confirm which I did. I also made sure to confirm that I was likely to get the early end of my 8:15 – 12:15 window because I had scheduled TimeWarner cable to come out and do an install the same day and I had to be there. I was assured that this wouldn’t be a problem and was told I should expect the movers to be there as close to 8am as possible.
So, Sunday morning comes and I wake up at 6am, pack the last of my stuff, and wait, and wait, and wait, and . . . wait. At 11:45 I get a phone call from Starving Students informing me that someone didn’t show for work that morning and that they hoped to have a truck out by 2 or 2:30. Ok, so now I have someone from TW scheduled between 1 – 5 and the SS guys not even able to commit to having someone out until 2. My problem solver cap went on and I suggested that since everything was packed, labled, and ready to go that I could leave a key hidden and that they could call me when they arrived and I would tell them where the key was. They agreed and I raced down to Huntington Beach to wait for the cable guy.
Now, it may not seem obvious why the cable guy is so important to me so let me explain. In addition to normal cable, I also was having TW supply my internet access via cable modem. And just as the leg bone is connected to the hip bone I need the cable modem because I ordered Vonage VoIP telephone service which needs . . . . an internet connection. No internet connection = no phone service.
I arrive in HB at 1pm. No sign that the TW guy has been there yet so I . . . wait. Around 2:00 the guy from Starving Students calls and says that he has a guy on his way to my place but I have to be there otherwise he can’t let his guys enter the premisis. Now, as you may have remembered from earlier in this tale, this very same guy said it was ok if I left the key. Now, it’s not possible. Knowing in the very core of my soul that the minute I leave the TW guy will arrive, I leave and within 15 minutes my cell phone rings and it’s the TW guy saying he’s at the HB apartment. I tell him I need to reschedule and I call the main TW offices. After sitting on hold for a half hour I finally get someone who says that they can schedule me as soon as . . . next Saturday!! I have to wait a week. I have no cable, no internet, and no telephone for a week now.
After getting caught in beach traffic I turn the corner onto Speedway expecting to see a Starving Students truck outside my place. No such truck is there. It took me over an hour to get from HB to MDR and the Starving Students guy told me at 2 that his guys would be there within a half hour. It’s now 3:15 so I call Starving Students. At this point I have lost all ability to filter myself and so as soon as I recognize the voice on the phone I demand “Where the hell are your guys? You told me a half hour and it’s over an hour later and there’s nobody here. I just raced across town, missed my appointment with the cable guy, and your guys aren’t here.” He responded that they’re supposed to be there by now to which I replied, “No, they were supposed to be here at 8am. They were supposed to be here before noon. They were supposed to be here by 2:30. You know what? I’m tired of hearing what’s supposed to happen. Just tell me where your guys are and when they will be here and quit telling he what’s supposed to happen since you don’t have a very good track record in that department.” He gets on the walkie-talkie and the driver says that they’re on Ocean Park and Lincoln which at that time of day is going to be 20+ minutes. It’s 3:15, they’re not arriving until 3:30 – 4:00 for a move that was supposed to have happened before noon. At this point I’m very seriously considering just telling them to screw off and I’ll rent a U-Haul and throw the stuff in the back.
It’s moments like this where some people should pick up on the vibe that they would most help the situation by saying nothing. Instead, the SS guy asks “Well, do you really need to move today?” I officially lost it. “Yes, I need to move today. Funny enough, I scheduled this move two weeks ago because I did need to move today. Let me explain to you my problem so that you can fully appreciate how thouroughly you screwed me. I’ve already moved all of my important stuff to the new place. All my clothes, toiletries, etc. are at the new place already because I’ve been moving stuff all this week. So I can’t live here without going back down to the new place and grabbing a bunch of stuff and bringing it back AND now when I move into my new place I have no telephone or internet access for a week because I rushed to get back here so as not to keep your guys waiting.” Being the quick learner that he is, he responds “So, you need to move today?” My response back to him isn’t really appropriate for children and most adults so I’ll leave it to your imagination.
So, if anyone is thinking of using Starving Students (and I hope this page ranks high in Google so prospective customers find it), run, run, run as fast as you can to any other moving company!