Terrible Service, Belligerent Movers, Way Overcharged
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- WORST BUSINESS EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!
I have moved 14 times in my life and have used every kind of service, from Allied Vans, to day laborers never without a problem, until now. Here is my experience with Starving Students.
I acquired their services in May 2007. It was a nightmarish day. The movers were moving an already boxed and packed 1 bedroom condo from a ground floor self storage unit, 5 miles away to a 2nd floor 625sqft 1 bedroom condo. Previous moving company using 2 people took under 4 hours for the entire move. Day started with Starving Students calling and asking if I would like an extra mover for a total of 3. I said why not. They did not disclose how much more I would be paying over the phone for the added 3rd mover. The movers came and right away it seemed these movers were going to go as slow as humanly possible.
The movers at different times of the day would just stand and watch 1 worker, talk on their cell phone, smoke, walk so slow as to drag their feet. I understand that movers need to take breaks, but these guys goofed off constantly. After 2 hours into it, I saw that at this pace it would not complete as I needed to be out of my storage unit that day. I asked one of the movers very nicely if he could move faster cause I was paying by the hour. He said, I'm not his boss. I said, I am a paying customer. He was dismissive and said he doesn't need to be doing this. I said, if you don't want to do this, tell your head mover and they can work and get paid. After that, all 3 of the movers ignored me. They were here to have a good time, not work. I was amazed. One of my cabinets had items in it. they said it needed to be boxed.
I asked 3 times repeatedly for some boxes so I could box the few items since they were not doing it, and was ignored each time. The movers had brought a semi. They only managed to get half of the items from the storage unit. Not because there was a lot of stuff, but because they did such an inefficient job packing the semi. I've moved a 3 bedroom house in a semi, they can surely do a 1 bedroom condo. I had moved everything before with a much smaller U-Haul. The movers continued to work slowly so I started moving stuff myself.
Note, I had had carpal tunnel surgery less than 2 months prior so my wrist was in a weakened condition.
I was nice to these movers the entire time, never used epithets, and even bought them lunch. After the movers completed unloading the truck, they told me they would not be going back and would have to schedule another move and then gave me a bill of $1100 for half of a 1 bedroom condo in 6.5 hours. I couldn't believe how ridiculous cost this was for such a poor job performance. I had paid them an initial deposit. I told them I would not be paying the balance.
It is at this point where things got really ugly with these movers. The head mover suddenly became very belligerent with me. He started yelling at me with epithets, mother $%^$, you don't pay us, we don't get paid. Staying calm, I told them my dispute would be with management. He continued his rant, calling me a rainbow collision mother #$%$, a bigoted term because of my sexual orientation. He continued yelling and got into my face. At this point I was getting scared. I told him he would need to take it up with his boss. He continued yelling and said he was going to go up and repossess my sh*t and at that point I said, I'm leaving now, and ran back up to my condo and locked the door. The head mover ran up behind me. He stuffed the receipt in my screen door, ripped in two.
After I had stopped shaking, I called customer service at Starving Students and explained what happened. Customer service was very nice. He gave me the information for the manager. I later spoke with the manager and explained what happened. He said they would investigate. I wrote 2 letters to the company explaining what happened. I received another call from a higher up manager stating that he would look into what happened. After that last phone conversation, I didn't hear anything back in form of written nor voice. I assumed the matter dropped and was going to try to forget about that awful day.
In the move they did break a crystal vase I had which I did not bother reporting after feeling shaken up by the incident. Following the move, my wrist and arm swelled and I went to the doctor. the doctor said I had pulled a tendon. I had exerted too much pressure on my forearm trying to compensate for my weakened wrist from surgery.
Fast forward to October 2008. I get a letter of bill due out of the blue. I couldn't believe I would get a notice over a year later. I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. A few weeks later I received a phone call from the claims department. The lady, Melody Thompson, stated that I owed them the balance and had received the Better Business Bureau complaint. I stated what had happened. She apologized for how the movers acted but I still owed the balance. Her tone was somewhat apathetic. I explained to her that based on their work, it would have taken 13 hours to move a 1 bedroom condo, and if she thought that was fair for 3 movers, and myself assisting, for a 625sqft condo?? We went back and forth and I began to get upset and her tone become more patronizing. she told me that if I was afraid, hmmmmm, I should have filed a police report. I asked her why they are now contacting me over a year later. She said there was some accounting problem. She then said we aren't getting anywhere and was about to hang up on me and I said, who is your supervisor. She says, she doesn't have one. I then say, who is your manager, she says she doesn't have one. I say, you work for Starving Students right, you must report to someone. she refuses to say and tells me HA! All I'm thinking at this point does everyone suck at this company.
Well, I talked to my lawyer and they are sending out a letter to this company. A company performs poorly at a task and is given a chance to redeem themselves yet they continue the behavior. To me this is a sign it is company culture.
STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY. They need their business license revoked. I am a full-time Realtor and will be doing everything I can so everyone knows, and every Realtor at my brokerage knows and refers to their clients, NOT to use their service.