LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- On August 30th, 2012, I employed Starving Students Movers to help me move my possessions from an apartment to my newly purchased condominium, only six miles away. Starving Students Movers promised the following guarantee when I hired them:
Two strong, professional men would be sent; 2. A moving truck large enough to accommodate a 4 bedroom, 2000 square foot home would be provided; 3. Furniture pads would be provided free of cost to ensure protection of my large pieces of furniture; 4. The rate would be $84.99/hour, with a 2-hour minimum, plus 22% added to the total;
Driving time in Los Angeles is doubled (i. e., if it takes fifteen minutes to drive from location to location, the amount of time would total thirty minutes); 6. A guarantee that no additional or hidden charges would be incurred in the price; and 7. My possessions would be cared for with the utmost respect. However, these are not the results we received from Starving Students Movers.
Following is a list of our complaints with regards to the two charges: 1. One man took two fifteen-minute “restroom” breaks in the middle of the day; 2. The other man constantly kept making inappropriate advances on my girlfriend and making her feel totally uncomfortable and it was completely unprofessional; 3. Neither man brought any water or water bottle to drink from on a sweltering hot day in Los Angeles, to which I spent over $40 for several bottles of water and Gatorade for them for fear that they would collapse otherwise;
I opted to hire a third man to help with the unload at the condo but he stopped working 45 minutes before the job was done; 5. One man sat in his truck for over 30 minutes hand-calculating my total while only one man finished the job;
The truck did not accommodate all of the property within our apartment, which was only 1,200 square feet and included no large appliances such as a washer/dryer, dishwasher or refrigerator. We had to rent a U-Haul truck the next day in order to finish our move, which included 2 dressers, 10 boxes, 1 vanity, plants, a sofa and a desk with a hutch as well as lamps and a few chairs;
Furniture pads were not offered. Instead, I was told by the two men that if I wanted my furniture protected I had to spend $29.99 to buy industrial plastic wrap and have each individual piece of furniture wrapped by them. This added an exorbitant amount of time to the overall move; 8. The rate was calculated at $89.99/hour instead of $84.99/hour which is what I was quoted;
In addition to the rate discrepancy and the $29.99 charge for the industrial plastic wrap, I was also charged three additional “hidden” fees: $18.40 for mattress bags, $3.00 for tape and a PUC fee (of which I am not sure it is) for $5.83; 10. During the unload, boxes that had clearly been labeled “FRAGILE,” “CHINA” or “CRYSTAL,” etc. were turned upside down and very carelessly placed about; 11. Boxes were crushed; 12. Furniture had scrapes and scratches that went right through the industrial saran wrap;
Boxes and items were tossed carelessly throughout two rooms and I was told that if I wanted the movers to put the boxes in the rooms as they were labeled, I would be charged additional; 14. Once the truck was fully unloaded, I saw a stack of furniture pads that extended from floor to ceiling that were never utilized for the protection of my furniture; 15. In the end, I was told my balance due was $565.08 but 45 minutes later (when the job was actually complete) was told that the balance was $622.35 because the “computer was now working and could accurately calculate the price”;
The man who gave me my bill couldn't even verbalize a three-digit number, such at six-hundred-twenty-two-dollars-and-thirty-five cents. Instead, he had to say the amount digit-by-digit in order try to explain my balance to me.
I called Starving Students Movers the very next day, August 31st, to complain about the service I was given. I was sent to a voice mail of a woman in claims who has never called me back. That same night I decided to call Discover to question the charge and find what kind of protection I had. Since then, I have tried calling back to Starving Students Movers to get the “complaint department” on the phone but to no avail. I feel I have been completely taken advantage of and have no form of recourse. No one answers the phone, you can't get past the local LA complaints department to get to corporate and no one cares.
I received an email today that offered me $80 off of my bill. However, they accept ZERO liability for ANYTHING I mentioned in the above letter. LIARS, CHEATERS, IDIOTS!!!
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 625 sq ft 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, "**, 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 **, 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 ** 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, **, 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 625 sq ft 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.
TEMPE, ARIZONA -- I had a HORRIFIC experience and I would caution ANYONE to stay far away!! I have used them before in the summer of 2007 and thought they did a fine job, and were very reasonably priced, so I tried again.
In my error, I left my wedding rings out on a shelf. It was a hectic day and I didn't realize until 3 hours into the move they'd been left on the shelf. By the time I got to the room where they were, of course, they were gone. The movers did not move that shelf. No boxes were shuffled around or packed/unpacked in that room. The only people in my house that day were the movers, my mother, my husband, and me. When I questioned the movers, naturally, they denied fault. I filed a police report and contacted the claims department.
OK so I understand it's my word vs. theirs. I understand I have no proof. What I don't understand is how **, the corporate claims adjuster, still has a job. She was absolutely rude over the phone. Raised her voice and told me to "stop accusing" her workers because I was offending her (EXCUSE ME?), and hung up on me! But the best part is that when I asked her if she had contacted the local Tempe branch (where my move was scheduled out of) to question the manager/movers she said no and that she hadn't planned to.
What if this is a pattern of behavior from these men? They would never know because no one follows up on anything! Of COURSE they are going to steal my 2.5 karats worth of jewelry, they know they can get away with it because no one at this company trusts the customer or even cares that I am now missing jewelry that is completely priceless to me. What if my DVD player hadn't made it to my new house? Would I just have to go buy a new one? I think it is ludicrous to offer a service to a customer and blatantly refuse to follow up on problems. These people are thieves. They are rude and unhelpful. They are absolute cheats.
Pay the extra money and use a company that won't steal your stuff. The $4700 worth of jewelry I lost sure wasn't worth my $750 move.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Moving day came, and I expected the crew between 8 and 10 AM. They showed up at 6:30! Without much preamble, one of the movers ran around with a clip board, asking what was going and what was not, the other loaded several boxes I had already packed onto the dolly, then proceeded to curse all the way down the stairs! I'm not talking garden variety cursing here, we're going with G-D, M-F, etc... When I asked the clipboard-wielding foreman what the problem was, he stated the boxes were too heavy and carrying them down 3 flights of stairs was just too much! (The company had no specific weight guidelines for boxes.)
The nightmare continues... When we got to my new apartment, they cursed again at having to carry everything up to the third floor, even though I had specified that when I hired them. Then came the parade of broken things: the handcrafted bookcase, the handcrafted credenza, the television, the brand new roll around duffel bag had holes in it... several boxes were (deliberately!) inverted - how can you mistake which side is up on a box labeled 'this side is up'?
A lot of the things I had in the overturned boxes broke, like my jewelry box, dishes, etc. Then the most insulting: my two torchere lamps snapped at the base, and the mover/cusser chuckled as he lay them down on the floor and said 'these didn't make it!' After putting up with their mouths and attitudes for 6 hours, they finally presented me with invoices, told me to sign here, here, and here, then they left. That was the first time I saw the inventory form, and I had to study it, because... in code, they described all my furniture as badly worn, scarred, old... basically crap!
That evening, I made several trips to the old apartment, to load up things the movers did not load, like: the office chair, the support braces for the bookcase, the floor fan, boxes they said they had no room for on the truck... Their customer service department is equally inadequate. I called them to complain, and only then found out I could file a claim for my damaged goods. However, the claim form is cumbersome, and demands pictures of the broken things before and after the move, and a copy of the inventory.
From their instructions I found out that a review would then ensue, and that if the review panel deemed my claim had merit, I would be reimbursed for a portion of the value of my damaged goods. If time had not been so pressing, I would have simply dismissed them when the first foul word tumbled from their mouth... but I do know I will never hire them to move me again!
SACRAMENTO, CA, CALIFORNIA -- The first day, these guys showed up at 2:30 PM, when they were scheduled for 8:30 AM. I was informed that I didn't have enough packed and they would come back the next day. These guys showed up on the second scheduled date at 6:00 PM. They were supposed to be there at 9:30 AM. We rescheduled for the next day when they hit me with added fees for PUC fees, Workman's Comp. fees, Double-Drive Time fees, Stretch Wrap fee, etc., that would add another 25% to my bill, which turned out to be way more than I ever expected. They went outside to take "cigar" breaks every hour or two. I later found out that it wasn't really a cigar.
One of the guys stole over $4000 worth of jewelry from me and a prescription for Oxycontin, I had from years ago. Claims (there is only one person who answers to no one) told me that it was ridiculous to think that their employees would smoke pot in front of a customer and that there was no evidence of a theft, despite a filed police report. She was rude in our email exchanges and essentially, called me a liar and refused to even investigate the matter. No wonder these guys can get away with this crap! She said that they had to be concerned with employee rights - What about my rights?!? This is in addition to damage to the moved property.
I also had to hire another mover to complete the job that they simply quit on. Not only was I violated, but offended by their lack of concern or empathy. Not once did the claims person take any information or agree to look into the matter. Whatever you do, DO NOT USE THESE GUYS!!!
I will never use this company again. My experience with them was terrible, and their customer service was nothing short of atrocious. First of all, they arrived well outside the window. When they finally got there, they told me that my apartment was on the third floor so they wouldn't be able to make the move that day. I would think as a professional moving company, you would have all the details of the move before you showed up. In any case, I spent 45 minutes trying to convince them to carry out the scheduled move, which they finally agreed to do.
Three days later I receive a call from them saying that my deposit was declined, and threatened me with litigation and reporting me to a credit agency if they did not receive a payment from me within 10 days. All this on the first call, mind you. Subsequently, I made numerous frantic calls to try to resolve the issue, which all went unanswered. About 5 hours later, I received a voicemail from an associate telling to disregard the message, because it was an error on their part!
The next day, I realized that my Discover Card (on which I made the deposit payment) had been charged the full amount of the move, IN ADDITION to my Visa card, from which they had already debited the move amount.
Needless to say, I'm infuriated and frustrated with them. They are terrible.
After considering several companies, we decided to go with Starving Students because the clerk I talked to sounded quite professional and prices were quite reasonable. So moving day comes, and they are supposed to be at our apartment at 8 AM--the guy said it will be more like 7.30. Great... 8 AM comes and goes. I call them and the guy tells me a smaller job came up and they will handle it first and then come do our place. So by the time they show up, it's 1.30 PM! The two fellas looked like neither professional movers nor skilled workers. And the whole move for a 2-bedroom apartment took 7 hours excluding the road!
Some of our furniture was damaged, and some of it damaged the floor of our new place while they were moving stuff around. I never felt this scammed in my life! It is obvious that they deliberately were slowing down their work in order to charge us more. So for a move of about 5 miles distance, we paid close to $750 dollars! And one more thing: The moment one of the guys saw our new place (which is a quite nice apartment) he practically started yelling at us for some superficial reason. He was simply jealous! I couldn't believe it. If you have any type of common sense, just don't let these people make a penny off of you. They are just a bunch of scam artists.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I used Starving Students for a move for 7 items that were too heavy to carry by myself, and it was only 2.5 miles. The driver was hitting on me and telling me about all the sex he and his girlfriend had been having, which was really uncomfortable. He kept mentioning his tip. I did everything like tie the doors and such. Then at the end, they overcharged me. I caught the mistake and they argued at first and then agreed, then put through the faulty amount anyhow.
I have been fighting for two weeks to get my money back and had to make no less than 50 calls so far only to be given the runaround by everyone I talk to. They don't care about people and the corporate office doesn't seem to care that they are ripping people off. Stay away!