why U-haul sucks.

Oh U-haul.  You have gone and done it. 

In general, the theme of my blog and "product" placement is to share with you things that I think are awesome, worth the money or time spent and will in general help you out a little in life.  I choose my giveaways and product reviews based on whether you, my reader, would like them or not.  I pass on a lot of things... orthopedic shoes, books that I wouldn't read, random weird "other" things...that I don't think fit here. 

If I have a bad product or company experience, I generally don't mention it...or I do in passing.  Not saying you shouldn't...I just don't in general.  Usually, because I realize it could be a fluke or my fault.  I do my best to be gracious with companies, etsy sellers and waitresses.  More than once I have told sellers, just choose a color/style/etc, I am sure I will like it.  Doug and I LOVE to over tip a good waiter or waitress.  One of our favorite vacation stories is about a waiter having a terrible day and us leaving him a 100% tip just because we recognized that his day was pretty sucky but he was still trying.  All that to say, I don't turn on a company or service person easily.

What WILL get to me is patterns of behavior and lack of compassion on a comany's part to do the right thing.

Take our U-haul issue.

A week before our move I went to U-haul's website to reserve a truck.  In particular I knew we would need a 26ft truck.  Being unable to secure one at other truck rental locations, I was delighted to find and "reserve" one through U-haul.  I made the reservation and did not give it a second thought. 

Here is the definition of reservation:

res·er·va·tion/ˌrezərˈvāSHən/

Noun:
  1. The action of reserving something.
  2. An arrangement whereby something, esp. a seat or room, is booked or reserved for a particular person.
That is NOT U-haul's definition.

At 6:59pm the evening BEFORE we moved and exactly ONE minute before they closed for the day, U-haul leaves a message saying that our 26ft truck is not available.  Lucky for us they could offer a 14ft truck and a small trailer that we could drive over an HOUR up and down a mountain to get (annoying for many reasons but mostly because there are SEVERAL pick-up stations within a couple of miles of our house).  We also needed to call them back to reserve it.  That LITTLE feat made impossible by the fact that they waited to call us until ONE MINUTE before they closed for the day.  The place we could pick up this fancy 14 footer didn't open until the next morning.  We had people coming to help us move.  We had, you know, based our entire move on this "reservation".  Our stuff would not fit in a 14ft truck!!

Somehow they thought that a 14ft truck would be just as good to us as a 26ft truck.  Above is a screenshot of U-Hauls front page...that states a "Reservation is guaranteed for location and equipment".  That apparently means absolutely nothing to U-Haul.  They have shown zero compassion or concern for the frantic pace they set to our move because we could do nothing about the truck situation until the next morning.

They say that moving is one of the most stressful events in your life.  It was not stressful on us until U-Haul went back on their word and left us with nothing to move our belongings to another city.  They did offer to "reserve" a 26ft truck for us the following week if we would like to reschedule.  Because that is normal for people to do.

Doug and I were without words, frustrated and a little panicked.  We had been living apart for over a month at this point and here we were possibly facing more time apart.

That night I went on U-Haul's facebook page and posted on their wall our situation and frustrations.

I got back a COLD email stating that "U-Haul reserves the right to change equipment and location pick-up".  I just did a dry run through the "reservation" process and NOWHERE do I see anything remotely like that.  Basically, they told us "Too bad".   What I did see was the screenshot above.

I called around in a panic the next morning.  Thankfully, Penske had a 26ft truck we could rent and reserve using the traditional meaning of the word.  The only catch is that it was going to cost us $677 MORE than the truck we had reserved with U-Haul.  

I moved on temporarily so that we could focus on moving knowing I would call U-Haul at a later point. 

Fast forward to today.  I have gone back and forth with them so many times I can't even count.  They have offered me a $50 credit which I kindly declined, reminding them how much more I had to spend because of their careless behavior.  They have been snarky behind closed doors while being all nice and mushy faced on their FB page.

Now like I said...I may not be so furious with this situation if you couldn't go onto their Facebook page and read story after story after story just like mine.  U-Haul seems to take a non-chalant attitude with customer service that no one seems to want to stand up to.  I, however, have nothing better to do with my time, being a stay at home mom and all.  :) I have kindly told them that I am not going away until they choose to make it right.  My next stop is the Better Business Bureau...right after I share this post with U-haul and my nearly half-million visitors a month. :)

If you have a similar story feel free to leave a comment AND be sure to go post it on their Facebook page. 

Happier things coming soon!

xo

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26 comments:

Whitney said...

We have moved many times and due to its low cost, have gone with UHaul more times than I could count and EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. they have been a total nightmare to deal with.

It's normal operations to send you far away for a truck. It's happened 100% of the time, for us and for friends. Their franchises are rude, callous, and display no knowledge of true customer service. My FIL is a very patient, kind man who could make friends with a rock, and even he left their office insanely frustrated.

The last time we moved, we paid more for another company and it was just what it should be. We're never going back.

I'm sorry you had to pay extra - maybe the Better Business Bureau or something local could help?

Elena said...

I moved a lot in college and this exact thing happened every time. "it's not our fault if someone doesn't return the truck we have reserved for you." And it's totally first come, first served with no regard for reservations. They frequently gave my truck away, sent me somewhere over an hour away, and left me scrambling to find another truck at literally the last minute.
Maybe if theyade their late return fines a lot steeper, then people would return trucks on time. The $50 or whatever it is wouldn't motivate anyone to rush to return a truck after a long day of moving.

They also offered me a BS $50 credit toward my next move. Yeah, right! I'm moving in 2 weeks and am hiring someone to do it for me. I'm a sucker no more!

Amy said...

We're preparing to move to another town in a few short weeks. We were just talking about UHaul the other night and wondering if we should take the risk of "reserving" a big truck or not. Hmm... not sure there are any other options around us. Boo.

Diana said...

Our daughter had the same thing happen with U-haul (except they didn't notify her -- she didn't find out until she went to pick up the truck and it wasn't there!) when she moved from Memphis to Austin last year to start a new job. She had to run all over town at the last minute to find something that would work (as she had to be able to tow her car behind). It was beyond frustrating!

Bridget said...

That exact thing happened to us but instead of notifying us when my husband showed up they told him our truck wasn't there and they gave us a 14ft truck with a trailer which did work but was soooo frustrating when we were planning on something else. My husband did complain and they gave us a complete refund. Keep trying, hopefully you will get somewhere.

Bethieee said...

This is why i like Penske. I reserved a mid-sized truck for a December move a few years ago. When i arrived, the reserved truck was unavailable due to a corporate contract for holiday fedex deliveries using every truck of that size in three states. Thet honored the price on the reservation and sent me out in the largest truck you can drive without a commercial license. Getting into my neighborhood was a little hairy and we spent a bit more on gas, but loading all my stuff was significantly easier with all that extra space.

Bunnyslady said...

Good for you Crystal. There is no excuse for taking advantage of your customers. You did the right thing by asking them politely to correct the situation they created. It is really unfortunate that they chose to act the way they did.

csmith said...

We too, have had bad experiences with U-Haul. We bought a car for our daughter and had to tow it home, so we rented a tow trailer from U-Haul, we made the arrangements over the phone but when we went to pick it up they did not have the size that we requested. We had to drive across town to get the right size, when my husband got there they would not accept the form of payment we had agreed on AND would not take our credit card over the phone from me at home. I had to drive there with the card, and it cost more than they originally quoted. Recently when we moved we rented a U-Haul because they were the cheapest. Our first truck broke down and they could not find us a replacement. They offered us a larger truck and at the same price but would have had to go pick it up and leave a larger deposit. It ended up being such a hassle that we just moved with our truck and Suburban and a friend's truck. Thankfully, it wasn't a long distance but I'm still irritated over the rude attitudes and bad customer service.I think they count on the fact that people will generally go with the least expensive(them)so they don't really worry about good service.

Elizabeth Adcock said...

We reserved a UHaul truck once just around the corner from our (rental) home, and when we went to pick it up the only person there proceeded to cuss out and threaten my husband for politely asking him if we could go ahead and get the truck when he kept us waiting in the parking lot for 20 minutes while he took a personal phone call.

We ended up getting a truck from another nearby location, and called UHaul to file a formal complaint against that location. They called us a week or so later to let us know that the individual who was so rude to us was THE OWNER'S SON and that he had been fired. Seems we were not the first people he had been so rude to who had called the corporate offices to complain, so his father fired him so that he could keep his business. We never returned to that location again but I was very impressed at how quickly the corporate office took care of it, and that they actually called us back to personally let us know.

Tiffany said...

Penske is great to work with. I am not a fan of Uhaul. We used Penske on a move from Utah to Maryland. In Ohio, our truck broke down. Penske paid to have a tow truck tow our truck all of the way to Maryland. Then, they gave us a decent credit for our issues. In a crappy situation, they did their best to make it easy on us.

Molly said...

We move fairly often due to my husband's job, and after having MULTIPLE experiences similar to yours, we now always go with Penske or Budget. Typically we pay a lot more, but to us it's worth it now to not have to deal with U-Haul anymore.

During one move (while I was in college and a single gal loading up and moving by myself), my U-Haul broke down in two ways- wouldn't start, and the door wouldn't shut completely; it got stuck halfway down. Of course this was after I had completely loaded up. U-Haul wouldn't send a repairman out to me until the next day. So I had to leave all of my belongings unattended overnight! AND to top it off, I had to pay for an extra day since it took me that extra day to complete my move, even though it wasn't my fault!

Good for you spreading the word about their bad business ethics!

My name is Becka said...

I'm super excited to see how this turns out! Please post an update if they make things right.

helgainaz said...

I had the same problem with UHaul on two occasions and have sworn them off permanently. I will never do business with them again. I always choose Ryder or Penske and have been happy with their trucks and their customer service.

Holly said...

so sorry you went through that! When we moved we used a local company from the city we were moving to. I dont even remember why but it turned out great! We ended up needing the truck for a couple days extra. Because it was a holiday weekend they told us to park the truck and drop off the keys when we were done and they didnt charge us any extra!

Julie @ Joy's Hope said...

We have had entire youth group camps DERAILED by Uhaul and our RESERVED trucks. Not once have they come through on the reserved truck at the reserved location, and not once did they care.
It got to the point were we completely wrote them off and scrimped and saved until we could buy our own box truck.
I'm pretty sure they do it because they can.
Which is gross.

Julie - Clementine Digitals said...

Ugh, U-haul did the same to me, I wonder how they're still in business. We were moving from Toronto to Montreal and on the day of the move, no truck! We finally got a truck at about 6pm (was supposed to be an early morning move), we then spent 2 hours loading it up, made the 6 hour drive to our new place (it's now 2am!) and then had to move into our new place. We had people in Montreal waiting for us, they were expecting us at about 5pm, we were a little late!

Theresa said...

Just be careful what kind of stuff you post about them. Would hate to see you hit with a libel or slander suit. Sometimes it is best to just document and not vent.

blueschoolmomma said...

I"m so sorry! How awful when it was supposed to be so exciting! Same thing happened to friends of ours and to my in-laws. Maybe if enough people get mad, they'll shut their doors! yay!!!

Anna Marie said...

Wow! We have only used them once and it was fine. But reading this story and hearing about other situations like yours has definitely influenced me and when the time comes to need a service such as theirs I will absolutely choose a different company (we have plenty to choose from in our city). Sorry to hear about all of this. I sure hope they make the right move for their business' sake.

Rachel said...

Your blog post and all the comments left by those who have used UHAUL make me want justice for this company... a boycott or something... oh it makes me mad when companies screw over their customers just because they can!

BAH!

janabigelow said...

A similar thing happened to us on our last move back in May! But it was with budget and we reserved and showed up to pick it up and they didn't even have one truck available and said that a reservation doesn't guarantee you a truck! Then why do you have them!!!! Luckily the uhal place down the street had a tiny truck with which we had to make multiple trips! What is wrong with these companies?! I was just grateful we were only moving 2 miles or that would have been a major nightmare! At least you got a phone call.

jmar198013 said...

So I said, "Why can't I talk to your manager NOW?" He replied, "Well, see I work from home." That's right--this is all being handled by Millennials in their pyjamas eating Malt-O-Meal and taking calls between, I suppose, posting selfies on Facebook and playing Angry Birds.

roots said...

janabigelow, as far as I can tell, Penske is the only company who GUARANTEES that they will have your truck at YOUR pickup site even if it means having someone drive it 5+ hours to get it for you. Happened to us once, we called the day before to make sure they had our truck (a 26', the largest), and someone was driving from a Penske place about 300 miles because our truck still hadn't come in.

Amazing customer service from Penske. Plus they will price match ANYONE on a truck if you can provide proof of the quote.

roots said...

janabigelow, as far as I can tell, Penske is the only company who GUARANTEES that they will have your truck at YOUR pickup site even if it means having someone drive it 5+ hours to get it for you. Happened to us once, we called the day before to make sure they had our truck (a 26', the largest), and someone was driving from a Penske place about 300 miles because our truck still hadn't come in.

Amazing customer service from Penske. Plus they will price match ANYONE on a truck if you can provide proof of the quote.

roots said...

janabigelow, as far as I can tell, Penske is the only company who GUARANTEES that they will have your truck at YOUR pickup site even if it means having someone drive it 5+ hours to get it for you. Happened to us once, we called the day before to make sure they had our truck (a 26', the largest), and someone was driving from a Penske place about 300 miles because our truck still hadn't come in.

Amazing customer service from Penske. Plus they will price match ANYONE on a truck if you can provide proof of the quote.

roots said...

janabigelow, as far as I can tell, Penske is the only company who GUARANTEES that they will have your truck at YOUR pickup site even if it means having someone drive it 5+ hours to get it for you. Happened to us once, we called the day before to make sure they had our truck (a 26', the largest), and someone was driving from a Penske place about 300 miles because our truck still hadn't come in.

Amazing customer service from Penske. Plus they will price match ANYONE on a truck if you can provide proof of the quote.

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