Moving and Storage Agency stores double last summer's items, has not yet received any lost item claims| Sep 23, 2013
When Gabe Banevicius ’15 and his roommates returned to their new quad on campus at the beginning of the semester, they found a refrigerator and a mattress that didn’t belong to them. They assumed the furniture had been delivered by Princeton’s Moving and Storage Agency, one of the 14 services affiliated withPrinceton Student Agencies.
“We were a little confused, so we called [the agency],” Banevicius said. “They actually came in about two hours and took it away. It worked out really well.”
Banevicius and his roommates were also expecting a couch that was never delivered. However, about a week after the Sept. 7 deadline, another student emailed them to explain that the Moving and Storage Agency had delivered the couch to her room.
Despite the mix-up, Moving and Storage received only four damage claims on the nearly 4,000 items they stored for over 650 students during the summer recess, according to Assistant Manager Alec Rush ’14. This number is more than double the 1,900 items the agency said it stored during the previous summer break.
Rush said the agency had not received any claims of lost items. Last year, the agency reported losing between 10 and 15 items.
This year, the service guaranteed delivery of everything it stored directly to each client’s dorm room by Sept. 7, according to the agency’s webpage.
However, improper labeling always delays the delivery of certain items, Rush explained.
“All the items that are correctly labeled will be delivered to their rooms by the deadline, and we made that mark again this year,” Rush said. “A couple things do happen though — one, people don’t label their things; two, people incorrectly label their things; or three, the labels just fall off during storage.”
The service uses an off-campus site owned by the University on Alexander Road to store the items each summer, he explained.
Although Rush recognized that students blame the agency for property damage each year, he noted the ease of securing insurance during the process of registering items for storage.
“Not only is insurance included, it is the default setting,” Rush explained. “People have to actively choose to not take the insurance, which shockingly many of them do.” Althoughthe service’s webpagedoes not currently list the price of the insurance, Rush said he believed the cost was about $7 per item.
Although the group remedied the situation without involving anyone from the student agency, the service does provide students with an email address,email@example.com
“As far as I know, no one has had trouble getting a hold of us or getting their message through to us,” he added.
Rush noted that the agency is still holding a few unlabeled items. However, if they are not claimed three weeks after the start of the academic year, the Moving and Storage Agency is no longer liable for returning the items, as detailed in its user contract, according to Rush.
“We’ll still help out if we can, but sometimes there’s nothing we can do,” Rush said.
PSA’s Moving and Storage Agency is one of two campus storage options available to students. The other is the Summer Storage Coalition offered through the USG, which does not deliver student belongings directly to dorm rooms and only stores items packed into boxes it provides which cannot accommodate larger items like furniture and fridges. Rush explained that USG representatives decided against Moving and Storage’s proposal to combine the services this year.
“They didn’t really cite a specific reason why,” Rush said. “We approached them this year, and they decided that they did not want to use us.”
“Our goal is to just make sure the service is of high quality and at a reasonable cost for students,” Jackson noted. “So if we can find a compromise between what USG wants for the students and what Moving and Storage want for their business, we would definitely be open to that.”
The Moving and Storage Agency is completely student-run, like all of the services offered through PSA, although Rush noted faculty and administration do advise them occasionally.
“We use students to help us store everything — really anyone who wants to work," Rush explained. “We store during exam period, so everyone is obviously very busy.”
Staff Writer Anna Mazarakis contributed reporting.