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Starving Students Movers Review - Why They Aren't Starving Anymore

By Anthony Heidenreich

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Like most of us, I hate moving.  The semi-annual ritual of packing all of my belongings into little boxes and relocating them across town/state/country.  When you have to go through this trial there are a couple of options.  You could pack up all of your belonging, rent a truck and handle it all yourself.  I've done this, many, many times.  The other and preferable method is to employ a professional moving company.  We used Starving Students and things have never been easier.

The Starving Students truck


Things started off well, with the Starving Students moving truck scheduled to arrive around 8am.  At 7:30am I received their call and by 7:45am Steve Knight and Chad Koropp were on site.  The paperwork is fairly straight forward, but make sure you pay attention to the coverage options.  Another important piece of paperwork is the "Not o Exceed" amount.  If you think that number too high or not what you agreed upon, call the office.  From there, they survey and document your possessions.  Go along with them to make sure everything gets listed.  

A long day ahead


Now that the preliminaries are completed, the move starts in earnest.  By 10am the jam packed 10x10 storage unit was cleared out and we were on our way to my studio apartment.  There they had to deal with street parking and an antiquated elevator.  Steve and Chad repeated the survey and documentation process at the apartment.  Once again, make sure to double check that they document everything.  The elevator proved to be too much trouble for most of the move so they had to haul the stuff down the stairs.  They were very careful with everything and overcame the precariousness of the stairs so that nothing was damaged.  Despite the stairs and larger items, the apartment took under 3 hours.  

Taking inventory


They worked tirelessly taking breaks only long enough to drink some water on a hot June day.  While it's not required of you, it is considerate to offer water or other beverages for them.  With everything loaded and secured in the truck, we were off to the new apartment.  There they had to move everything up a flight of stairs as the new place has no elevator.  The boxes and other items were quickly and neatly stacked in the main room.  While larger items, like the fridge and bed, were deposited in their final destinations.  It took about 3 hours to unload the truck, an impressive feat considering the approximate five hours it took to load. 

Securing the boxes


They had me do a final walk through on the truck and sign some paperwork before they were off.  If you are as happy with your move as I was with mine, make sure to tip the movers.  These guys do a lot of hard work.

About Starving Students

In 1973, Ethan Margalith, our founder and Chairman, could not find a part-time job to pay his way through college. He found an old truck, which he fixed up and drove around moving people's things - one old beat up truck and one young driver - pretty humble beginnings. He did everything to ensure a quality move at the lowest possible cost, but still it is amazing how far a simple smile will get you.

Wrapping the breakables


Today, we are not students anymore; we have gotten older and better. We are a vibrant national moving company running hundreds of trucks from Los Angeles to New York and everywhere in between. There are many things that he has not forgotten about his humble beginnings. And if you ask, he will tell you, "it is the driver that is the most important part of what we do, not the truck." And that is why our drivers still exuberant that youthful optimism and enthusiasm each day - a readiness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

And that is it. We have kept it that simple, just the driver, his branch manager and the two teams. This means a driver anywhere on the road in America is only one tier away from the decision making process for the entire company. We are in touch with every aspect of operations and we react with speed and sensitivity to our drivers and customers' needs –we will give you "the best move you've ever had".

Loading the truck


With success comes growth. We now have more than a thousand people who rely on us to pay their mortgage and feed their families. It is a responsibility we take very seriously. The complexity of keeping track of the more than 60,000 families we move each year, requires high quality standards and constant monitoring. We are here for you.

You can contact Starving Students on the web at http://www.ssmovers.com, by email at [email protected] or call them at  (6683).

Moving Company Tips

When looking for a moving company, in addition to getting recommendations from friends and relatives, consumers need to check to see if their mover is licensed, says Douglas Hill, president of the California Moving and Storage Association. You can do that by calling the public utilities commission or Department of Transportation nearest you, or by calling one of the industry trade groups, such as the American Moving and Storage Association (703-683-7410). Its Web page lists many, but not all, licensed movers.  Licensed movers are registered with the state and have at least basic liability protection. Be warned: If the mover is not licensed, it is operating illegally.  Also, go to the mover's office and simply buy a box. Seeing the office and the employees might indicate whether you'll feel comfortable letting these people into your home. Not having a local office is another red flag.

Unloading the truck


Understand that all licensed movers offer "valuation" packages, the industry's answer to property insurance for your goods. Like so-called "collision damage waivers" that you can buy when renting a car, the moving industry's valuation packages are not insurance. But they function much like it.  The standard package, included in the cost of a move, compensates you 60 cents for each pound of lost or destroyed material. If the mover drops a 30-pound computer monitor, it will pay you $18.  There are two other valuation options, but they'll cost you. You can buy "actual cash value" coverage, which will compensate you for the depreciated value of goods that are lost or broken during a move.  That's enough, for example, to get you another two-year-old computer monitor if yours gets dropped, but not a new one. Or you can buy so-called "full value" protection, which would compensate you, in the previous example, with enough to buy a new monitor.  Actual cash value coverage usually costs $5 to $7 per $1,000 of goods covered, Hill says. The cost of full value coverage varies based on whether you agree to pay a deductible in case of a claim.  No-deductible coverage can cost up to $10 per $1,000 in value, while coverage with a $500 deductible runs $2.10 or less per $1,000. That's mainly because the average claim in the moving industry is small – a few hundred dollars in damage.  If you have a lot of electronic equipment or expensive items, the additional coverage is worth considering. Roughly one in every five moves generates a damage claim.

Doing some heavy lifting


Never sign a blank contract. All promises should be in writing. Any changes should also be in writing, initialed by you and the mover.  Realize that the rate quotes you get over the phone are not binding.  Reputable movers will not charge more than they quote, if you give them accurate and thorough information.  But if the mover finds you have more furniture than you said, or you're moving up three flights of stairs, you should expect to pay a lot more.  The only legally binding limit is the "not to exceed" price written on your contract that you sign at the time of the move. Pay attention to it.

Finally, Report problems to your state's consumer protection agency, your local Better Business Bureau and the Federal Highway Administration.  Get a copy of "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move," a booklet prepared by the FHWA and available online. Your mover should be willing and able to provide it to you.

In the new place


General Moving Tips
One Month Before Moving  
One To Two Weeks Before Moving
On Moving Day
After Arriving At New Home 

Published on Oct 30, 2006

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