Mulcahy’s couch was one of many stored items that the managers of Moving and Storage admitted to having misplaced this past summer. The managers admitted to losing between 10 and 15 items that students had stored with them over the summer.
Assistant Manager Mike Condon ’13 said a certain amount of property loss was inevitable given that the agency stored 1,900 items.
“For any operation, there are going to be some mistakes,” Condon said. “We only misplaced 10 or 15 items out of 1,900.”
Manager Rob Kleebaum ’13 said the agency has reimbursed 10 students for lost and broken items so far and plans to reimburse the rest of the affected students. Kleebaum said the agency a total of fewer than 20 students to reimburse.
Despite the mistakes, Condon defended the agency as one of the most convenient services on campus and maintained that its student employees work very hard to pick up items and deliver them on time.
“We come to your room to like the fifth floor of Henry and pick up a sofa bed,” Condon said. “We carry it down, we store it, and we put it back in your room before you even arrive on campus.”
He added that as the agency moves furniture during exam period, its employees often have to balance studying and picking up items.
Occasionally, the agency has trouble delivering all the items. When items remain after the initial round of deliveries, the agency tries to sort the items but usually waits for students to call and ask for them.
Kleebaum explained that many items are lost or not delivered because the labels are poorly placed or have fallen off. Sometimes, he said, students don’t put down their room number for the fall semester. The agency had tried to fix the problem with safety-pinned labels.
“It’s our mistake, and we want to help them out,” Kleebaum said. “We’re here to service the student. That’s the point of the agency.”
Students can opt to buy an insurance plan when they store their items to guarantee that they get reimbursed. In past years, students could buy plans of up to $100, but this year the agency increased the upper limit to $150.
Kleebaum said the insurance policy’s upper limit is intended to protect the agency since it has no way of knowing how many valuable items were stored in a box or whether students are lying about a box’s contents. Kleebaum said that the agency has given reimbursements of more than $150 in order to better compensate some students.
When Mulcahy reported his couch missing, the agency initially told him that it would reimburse him only $150. But after negotiating, Mulcahy said he received the cost of storing the couch in addition to the $150.
The increased insurance limit is part of a few changes the agency has put into effect this year. The agency also used a new Excel system with object descriptions in order to better track the stored items.
Kleebaum said that the total number of reimbursements, but not necessarily the number of lost objects, decreased this year. He added that the total revenue of the agency was also down from last year.
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/10/09/31429/