Starving Students Screwed Me

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!

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.

13 thoughts on “Starving Students Screwed Me”

  1. I too had a recent disgusting experience with Starving Students Movers. These guys were scheduled to arrive at 8:30AM and showed up at 2:30PM and informed me that I had not packed enough and they would return the next day, since they claimed to be fast and didn’t want to wait for me. The next day a different crew was scheduled for 9:30AM and showed up at 6:00 PM. We rescheduled for a third try. They arrived at 9:30 with a third guy and I was hit with extra fees for PUC, Workman’s Comp., Double-Drive Time, etc., which would add an additional 25% to the bill I did not have time to get other movers at this point so we began. Every hour or two, the guys went for a “cigar” break. I would later find out that it was not really a cigar. Somewhere during the move, over $4000 worth of jewelry went missing, along with a prescription for Oxycontin from years earlier (and that’s just what I know is missing so far). A few of the items are irreplaceable heirlooms. For example, one of the rings is (was) all I have left of my late father’s possessions.

    I emailed Melanie in claims who told me that it was “ridiculous” to think that employees would smoke pot right in front of a customer and that there was no “evidence” that a theft had occurred, despite a filed police report, which seems to be growing daily as I notice more missing property. You see, two of the three guys went with me to take a load to storage while a third stayed behind to pack up the cabinets and drawers. Four hours later, when we returned, he had only packed an eight-place set of dishes and some glasses. I paid $120 for him to pack up less than $30 worth of dishes! It appears that he was busy pilfering my property, rather than packing. I thought these guys were bonded and insured – I guess not.

    The move appeared to be going in slow motion, I thought, as an attempt to pad the time but several furniture items were damaged along the way. I won’t even know the full extent until I move out of storage. My solid oak dining room table was rolled from the truck to the storage room on its side across the asphalt. My dresser was turned on its side, with two of the top drawers full of items other than clothes. I don’t even know what all might have fallen out. Certainly, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that you have to take the drawers out or unload them first. Surely, one could hear all of the property clanking around inside and falling out the bottom.
    Although the Claims Department (there is only one person who seems to answer to no one) is looking into the extensive property damage, they are not even willing to investigate the theft and drug abuse, essentially calling me a liar. Not once did Melanie ever tell me that they would look into the matter but immediately went into “defensive mode.” Not only was I grossly overcharged but violated, insulted, disgusted and angered at how this operation conducts business. In our last email, I was patronized by the comment, “I believe you believe everything you’re telling me. That doesn’t make any of it true or correct.” It certainly does not make any of it not true either. In other words, I’m some sort of nut job making this all up. How in the #@%& do you know if you never investigate?!? No wonder these guys feel so free to get away with this. Perhaps, a few personnel changes should be in order.
    To top it off, I had to hire a second crew of movers to finish the job these guys started. They only moved about 2/3 of my property and left the rest. They charged as much to move a few miles as it did a year and a half ago to move across state – I had much more to move then too. When I inquired about finishing the move, I was told, “You can certainly schedule another move.” You’ve got to be kidding, right?
    I was told that this company makes 3000 moves a year and there are bound to be some complaints. Guess what Melanie, I’m only concerned with my move and the return of my property! How callous can one get?

    Do yourself a huge favor and DO NOT USE STARVING STUDENTS MOVERS!!!

  2. I always wondered if it were actual students moving stuff. Go figure its not. Glad I did my research before attempting to use them.

  3. This had to be the worst moving experience we have ever had. There was absolutely no communication from the corporate office when they would pick up our items or when they finally did, no communication when these items would be delivered. Many calls to the corporate office were never returned and had to rely on our local branch to get any kind of information. Unfortunately, their information on delivery was completely wrong and cost my son, whose apartment the items they were going, great stress and inconvenience.
    When I did speak to the corporate dispatcher, I was treated rudely, without respect, and without any effort for accommodation or compensation for the inconvenience the company caused my son and my family.
    The movers, themselves, were excellent, but because of the grief caused by the corporate office I will never use this company again and will recommend to my friends and family to do likewise.
    PS. The total amount for the move was $150.00 over the quoted price.

  4. I used Starving Students twice, once when I was living in California and another time while living in DC, and both times they were absolutely perfect. Fast, polite, professional, good priced. This company is huge and I have to imagine they do hundreds of moves a week, and I suppose from time to time there could be a mishap. Best of all, I called them on a Sunday Morning with questions about my upcoming move and there were live voices to help me out.

    I’ll definitely use them again!

  5. WOW…I’ve used Starving Students twice and they were amazing!!! I couldn’t believe how fast and professional they were.

  6. Oh, yes. Me too. I’m sorry you also had to learn about them the hard way. I agree with your closing statement that it would be very difficult to do worse than Starving Students. Ugh.

  7. Starving Students, San Jose.

    Starving Sudents is a Complete SCAM.
    These guys (in San Jose) employ highly unprofessional crooks.
    They moved 2 bedrooms worth of stuff 5 miles away and charged me $750 (At the rate of $99/hr. + mileage).

    They work EXTREMELY slowly and make sure you are overcharged.

    Additionally, they left several items on the curb at the destination and took off. During my move they almost drove off with my safe still in their truck.

    If you decide to use them make sure you inspect the truck throughly before they drive off.

    I called the customer service guys and they were far worse.

    I am specifically talking about the San Jose, CA branch of Starving Students. These guys are complete thugs!!! Be Warned !

  8. I wish I had read this before I moved last week. Read my blog on myspace…

    Glad to know I am not alone… I love the “do you really need to move today?” so funny.. I scheduled my move 6 weeks in advance, because I needed to move that day.. LOL and I still didn’t get to move that day.

  9. I hear all the terrible stories of these guys all the time although they do perform a lot of moves per year and trying to keep track of all those moves doe’s create a dilema, I would try bringing this to there attention.

    If you need a reliable moving company that would be there when they say try
    for california moves and for Piano moving try
    or and for small moves try
    all of these are good moving companys.

  10. Any failure by Starving Students to follow the orders in their settlement with the PUC will result in the loss of their license. NOW is the time to keep after the California PUC and put all of the deadbeats that cant pass drug tests or get a real management jobs anywhere else on the street.

  11. Wow, that’s just asinine.

    And, yeah, this page ranks pretty high on Google. Within the first 20 results or so. I have an aqquaintence who is considering using SS for her move, which is why I Googled it and found you.

    Mind if I link you?

  12. That’s messed up.

    Of course, they are not Starving nor or they Students.

    Starving || Students = null

    having no internet access for us geeks is just about as close to a temporary castration as possible.

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