TLDR: Their employees are neglectful, indignant, threatening, mismanaged & irresponsible. They lied, attempted to intimidate & extort me, verbally abused me & caused damage/loss to my property. They broken 3 federal laws, made me feel so unsafe that I called the police, it was a nightmare.
FULL STORY: Arranged for full service with STI from Chicago to LA. I was employed full time, which is why I sought service from a professional moving company. According to STI's website, their mission is to "deliver dependable, worry-free moving". It goes on to pledge moving services that are "quick, efficient and professional". Unfortunately, their was unsatisfactory due to the lack of organization between employees and horrific customer service.
At the time of confirmation, they advised that delivery would occur within that fourteen day window & they would give me a 24-48 hour notice of the exact time. I was working in Chicago & my office new equipment was part of the shipment. I was to fly out and meet the delivery once they gave 24-48 hour notice so there would be no lapse in my schedule. When it did not arrive within 48 hours of this notice, I called to inquire. I was told it was delayed & would arrive the following week. When the delivery still failed to arrive, I called again & was told it would take another two weeks, longer than the 14 business day window.
No one ever reached out to notify me of a delay. Instead, I had to call every day & every employee seemed to have no means for tracking it. I received different estimated delivery dates that seemed to move back and forth with no rhyme or reason. It's evident that there was a lack of coordination between the dispatchers, trucks & coordinators.
I was concerned that the delivery had been lost or damaged & they were stalling. They did nothing to soothe my anxieties and reassure customer confidence. As a result of STI's failure to stay organized, I missed several weeks of work. My employer grew critical of my relocation efforts as I was forced to relay conflicting information, & as a result of STI's incompetence, I got laid off.
The following month, I received a call on a Friday 5pm confirming that the delivery would arrive between 9-11am the next day. This 16 hour notice also falls short of what might qualify as 24-48 hour notice. The truck still didn't arrive on time. It showed up in the afternoon & the driver said dispatchers had given him the wrong address. All tardiness aside, this is when the real nightmare began. The driver wouldn't give me his name & demanded an additional payment in cash for "added fees" before completing services. I spoke to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration who explained that by law, a moving company cannot demand more than the binding estimate upon delivery. Lawfully, STI could have charged me added fees within 30 days of delivery. Instead, they unlawfully demanded more money in cash & threatened to hold my property hostage if I didn't pay. As I refused to pay more than the binding estimate from the Bill of Lading, the driver raised his voice & threatened to leave with my property. His language was demeaning, his tone disrespectful, he kept gazing at my body & I had to request that he look at my eyes, not my chest. I was home alone & felt unsafe by the two nameless employees, one of whom was the driver, whom seemed fixated on my body & threatening my property. After it escalated, I called the police to ensure my safety & settle the dispute. Then, I began collecting evidence (i.e. - taking pictures of the truck, the license plate, etc...all while they belittled me with undignified laughter). The driver called me a liar & insisted I hadn't actually called the police. I recorded video of the driver refusing to identify himself, threatening my property & refusing to cooperate with the police. It must have dawned on him I was serious because he stopped laughing, told me to put away my camera before climbing back on the truck & driving away with my property.
I then called STI & I spoke to a dispatcher, explaining that two men who refused to identify themselves had demanded more money than I owed. The dispatcher responded by also raising his voice, claiming I had no reason to not trust STI. He called me a "stupid girl" among a slew of other vulgar insults and further remarked, "You don't know how to read". The dispatch employee called me a liar & again I was accused of not calling to police. I refused to let him raise his voice & insult me over the phone, so I attempted to move the conversation to email to have it on record.
I sent 3 emails expressing my grievances. Refusing to correspond in writing, the dispatcher kept calling back repeatedly, yelling with abusive language. According to the FMCSA, if STI wanted to dispute my complaint, they had a responsibility to express this in writing. Instead, they bombarded me with verbal abuse & drove away with my property. This violates the Household Goods Movers Oversight Enforcement & Reform Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-59) section 4210, which makes it unlawful to hold household goods hostage.
At 3:00pm, I received a call from a relocation coordinator who was willing to speak without raising his voice. We discussed the situation, looking over the contract while I expressed distress caused by their employees' disorderly conduct. He agreed to have the truck return to complete the delivery and I was to pay the balance according the binding contract without the "added fees". Following this, he sent an stating in writing that I had refused to pay the balance (false).
When the truck returned, they still refused to give me their names. They also refused to reassemble my property as promised by the full service agreement. Instead, they tried to coerce me into doing it myself. Our disagreement over who was responsible for reassembling these items only served to further catalyze the conflict.
About halfway through the delivery, the police arrived. The driver reached them first & told them that I'd refused to pay for my delivery. Their story didn't fly with the cops, especially when I showed them my deposit receipt & money order for final payment. The police took my side and the driver got mad because I was a woman and he wanted to get his way. He called me a liar & once again, refused to complete the delivery. I got their supervisor on the phone, who spoke with the police before speaking with the driver, instructing him to cooperate. The driver's behavior was so appalling it's no wonder he refused to reveal his identity. Any sense of professionalism and legitimacy I had for was lost.
Much of my property received significant damage since I'd released it into the care of STI, there were even items missing. Their website claims professionalism in moving art, yet original pieces were haphazardly crushed & stuffed into boxes. They weren't packed between cardboard inserts, while one particularly large piece of artwork went missing entirely. Other items had water damage, indicating that they hadn't been stored in a temperature controlled facility. The movers failed to wrap my electronics in thick brown padded paper & the moving boxes themselves were in bad shape. Fragile boxes hadn't been labeled "top load", while boxes labeled "this end up" were unloaded with no regard to this labeling. My glass plated table was only wrapped in one blanket & a large mirror got broken after they hadn't wrapped it in any padding at all. My marble desk was delivered in such terrible condition that it fell apart upon delivery, while delicate musical instruments had been stuffed carelessly into boxes.
Their website claims to "ensure a safe and successful long distance move". Under no circumstances should a successful long distance move make the customer feel unsafe or entail police involvement. The poor execution of this delivery failed to reflect any sense of security or professionalism. The services of STI was beyond unsatisfactory, hardly the "dependable, worry-free moving experience" that is clearly stated as their mission. Their services caused me to experience distress and anxiety as a result of the property damages, neglect, indignity & mismanagement.
In response to my grievance letter, STI offered me a $200 settlement that required my signing a nondisclosure clause. I refused to accept this agreement, how could that small amount possibly compensate for the extent of stress & abuse not to mention lost wages & damage to my property? According to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), STI had broken not 1 but 3 federal laws including extortion as well as holding property hostage. I filed reports with the FMCSA as well as the BBB and Attorney General, all of whom suggested I take STI to small claims since I had documentation.
Of course, ran into a problem filing claim because the courts couldn't locate STI's agent of service! Turns out they weren't authorized to do business, make transactions or operate in the state of California! Digging deeper, we discovered that STI changed the name of their company a few years back, which means it's likely they've faced previous litigation.
When we stood in front of the judge, he ruled that the dispute involved violations of federal law & was thereby out of his jurisdiction, suggesting I take them to federal court. Good luck finding an attorney who's willing to represent a lone consumer against a small sketchy business on a federal level! STI walked away scot free - no accountability. They're free to be negligent & abuse customers while breaking whatever federal laws they please.
STI Moving and Storage
No part of this review is true. Our delivery spread has always been 1-14 business days to California. We delivered on the 11th business day, well within our spread. Starting the delivery spread means that a customer is available and ready to accept at their destination and not that someone is still at their pick up location. Our paperwork clearly states, "The first date that you are available for delivery in your new home." This customer has tried this battle on the BBB, with the DOT and even in court and lost so she's now adding to the story. She tried to post this junk on Yelp last week and Yelp removed it so now she's here. This is the first we're hearing of her losing her job due to the delivery spread that she agreed to. Our company does offer shorter guaranteed delivery windows in certain circumstances for an additional fee, but this was never what she asked for.
We will gladly provide further details regarding this situation to any customer or potential customer concerned by this review. This move was completed 2 years ago so we aren't sure why she continues to try to pursue the matter.