Former Lansing Party Bus employees speak out against owner
Since LansingParty.com, LLC, had its buses impounded for operating unlicensed and uninsured, former employees and neighbors are speaking out against owner Christopher Staggs.
“It was almost like stealing from these kids,” former employee Matt Joy said. “When something would go bad and he would promise them a refund and he would never give it to them or he would change the price.”
Joy was a manager for Lansing Party for 8 to 10 months in 2015, and he left the company because Staggs was not paying him, a common theme among former employees. Staggs did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Xavier Davis, a former driver from July to December 2016, sued Staggs for wages he was owed. Davis said he won the lawsuit and received his money through garnishments.
Another former employee, Lisa Thomas, worked at Lansing Party from April to December 2016. She said she left the company because she was not getting paid — Staggs owes her almost $5,000 — and she had been pulled over multiple times by the Michigan State Police because the buses were unlicensed.
The insurance for the buses expired on Sept. 1, 2016 and the Michigan Department of Transportation revoked the company's operating license on Sept. 14, 2016.
“Everytime I would hire somebody or a hire group of people, they would end up quitting because they weren’t getting paid,” Thomas said. “Or they were rude to them or something.”
Staggs would answer the phone for LansingParty.com, LLC, use an alias and say he was not the owner so he would not have to talk the customers, Joy said.
“I only saw it for that short amount of time, but he would answer the phone and answer it as an alias, multiple times as different alias,” Joy said. “He would not put down his personal name on federal tax documents either.”
Thomas said she was usually the person who talked to angry customers and had to sort out any problems. One reoccurring problem was that Staggs would schedule a bus and then tell the driver not to show up.
“They wouldn’t show up for runs,” Thomas said. “They would call customers and tell customers that their drivers were in terrible accidents and in the hospital.”
Complaints about Staggs also extend to the neighborhood he lives in.
Staggs would park buses in the road and block sidewalks, making it hard to neighborhood kids to ride their bicycles on the sidewalks, a neighbor who wanted to remain anonymous said.
“I want to say it was 2013 sometime is when buses started showing up in our neighborhood, he’d park them in the road,” the neighbor said. “We live in a very small subdivision, there’s literally 60 homes and it’s a nice subdivision. He was bringing the buses in and parking them here, parking them across driveways, blocking mailboxes. People would complain about it and he would basically just ignore them.”
Eventually, Staggs was forced to move the buses due to township regulations, the neighbor said.
Staggs also rents his home out through Airbnb, which led to drunk renters knocking on backdoors at night and trying to gain access to the houses, the neighbor said.
Confrontation does not work well with Staggs because he becomes “completely unglued,” the neighbor said.
“The way he goes off on people, there’s a lot of people around here, I think, they don’t say it, but they are scared of him,” the neighbor said. “I don’t trust him.”
The neighbor said they and others just want the neighborhood to be safe again.
“What we want, we just want the guy out of the neighborhood, quite honestly,” the neighbor said. “Everybody’s just kind of sick of it. When you have party buses down your street, it’s safety issues especially with all the kids.”
The investigation into LansingParty.com, LLC, is ongoing.