Dorm storage company loses, damages NYU students’ belongings

Several students have been forced to replace and repurchase items after Dorm2Dorm — a storage and moving company for college students — delayed deliveries, damaged belongings and failed to return items.


Matt Levine

Several students have reported delays and damages to their belongings by the moving company Dorm2Dorm during NYU move-in. (Photo by Matthew Levine)

Abby Wilson, News Editor

Many NYU students have been met with delivery delays and have experienced a lack of communication from Dorm2Dorm, which offers storage for students over the summer and while they study abroad. Some families told WSN that their delivery windows were moved at the last minute and they were not given new expected times. Students who did receive their boxes often found that items were missing or damaged.

CAS sophomore Sebastián Prats-Fernández had scheduled to have his belongings — which he had stored with the moving and delivery company Dorm2Dorm — delivered to Palladium Hall on Aug. 27. Days later, after having trouble communicating with the company and witnessing several other students report damaged and missing boxes, Prats-Fernández began to worry about one item in particular: a letter his mother had written him for his first day at NYU.

“There’s obviously things that would have been unreasonable to bring back home to Puerto Rico while I was away, but there’s also emotionally important, one-of-a-kind things,” Prats-Fernández, who had left four boxes with the company while he returned home for most of July and August, said. “If that is damaged in any capacity — and a letter is very easy to damage — there’s no replacing it.”

Thousands of students return to campus in the last week of August each year, before the beginning of NYU’s fall semester of classes. Many students scheduled their delivery times with Dorm2Dorm to line up with their move-in slots so that their families can help bring belongings into their new rooms. Several parents said that the delays led to an added layer of stress to an already stressful process of moving into a new place — especially for those who were unable to be in person to help out on move-in day.

“He said, ‘Your letter to me is in that box,’ and it broke my heart,” Prats-Fernádez’s mother, Liza Fernández-Rosselli, said. “I’m hopeful that he’ll get everything but the process has been so stressful and not being there to be able to help him. He’s 19, but still — he’s my kid.”

Prats-Fernández said that he attempted to call the company several times each day between Aug. 27 and Aug. 29, but received the same automated message that instructed him to contact Dorm2Dorm by sending a text message to the same number. He was told on Aug. 27, in the only message he received from the company — a text through the customer support number, signed by the company’s CEO Jonathan Hotchandani —to “enjoy the day until you hear from the driver.”

Prats-Fernández said he has decided to stay close to his residence hall for the next few days to not miss the delivery in case a driver were to come unexpectedly. He added that he had heard from other students that deliveries had been arriving without notice, sometimes late at night.

Dorm2Dorm’s website says that it operates in six states and Washington, D.C., and has been in business since 2005. Dorm2Dorm lists two phone numbers on their webpage — both of which are missing the last four digits and say “coming soon.” Beneath, they offer a phone number that only allows customers to text the company, but many students and parents shared that their texts to the number often went unanswered as well. Dorm2Dorm did not respond to a request for comment.

Many customers received a text message on Aug. 27 that was signed by the company’s CEO. He said there were “severe staffing shortages in NYC.” The text asked customers to disregard the scheduled delivery times that they had previously confirmed, which many had paid hundreds of dollars to secure.

“I want to sincerely apologize for the delay on the delivery of your items,” a second text later that day, also addressed from Hotchandani, read. “My employees are refusing to come into the city this late in the evening. I will have a truck sent into the city tomorrow by noon. They will reach out to you in order to schedule a delivery time directly with you tomorrow.” 

The message then concluded with another apology from the company’s customer service number, again signed by the CEO. After Fernández-Roselli spoke to another mother who had posted about her issues with the company in an NYU parents Facebook group, she was able to get in touch with one of supervisors for the delivery drivers. The supervisor gave her an updated delivery time for the following evening, but Prats-Fernández still had not received his belongings at the time of publication.

Another parent, Diane Castro, had a similar experience to Prats-Fernández, but her daughter, Tisch sophomore Sophia Herzog, did eventually receive her belongings. Although all seven boxes of her daughter’s belongings — which she had stored with Dorm2Dorm over the summer to avoid having to ship them home to California — were returned, she said that the experience was stressful and that she felt as if she and many other students were being left in the dark.

Her mother, who said she paid for the company’s “elite” pricing package in order to shorten the delivery window, waited for days to hear from Dorm2Dorm after initially asking about her daughter’s missing shipment and following up multiple times. She said that she had seen other parents post to the Facebook group, reporting that they had to purchase items they already owned because they were unsure if they would ever be returned.

Although Herzog received most of her belongings intact, with only a few plates damaged, other students were less lucky. Tisch sophomore Matthew Levine, who moved into Gramercy Green this week, only received three of the four boxes that he had stored with the company. The boxes he received were also damaged when they arrived, and his mini fridge — which he said he had to look inside of the moving truck to find — was significantly scratched.

One parent, who preferred to remain anonymous, told WSN that his son’s boxes have also not yet arrived. He had hired the company last year, and said he had no issues with them at that time. 

This year, however, the parent said the delivery was several days late, and he received no communication from Dorm2Dorm about delays or rescheduled times. He said some of the missing items were computer parts, towels and bedding. The family had to purchase new bedding and other belongings to replace his missing items.

From what I’m hearing from other parents, we might not even get everything back,” he said. “It’s extremely frustrating and unfortunate. I’m trying to remain hopeful.”

Betsy Ellen, whose daughter Jami Ellen is a Gallatin senior, said that her family has also experienced several delays. She said that all of her daughter’s belongings have still not been returned, and that before some of them were delivered, the family was forced to spend hundreds of dollars at Bed Bath & Beyond to replace the items that were still missing.

Betsy Ellen said the customer service text line began responding to her daughter’s texts, signed by the CEO, so she replied and asked for a reimbursement. She said that it sent a text back to her, saying that she should reach out again after Sept. 6 and he would consider a reimbursement.

“I would never ever use them again,” she said. “This is supposed to be a convenience for college students, especially when you don’t live close by, and it has become a complete nightmare.”

Contact Abby Wilson at [email protected].

Carmo Moniz contributed reporting.