Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Monday, June 27, 2005
UHaul made my move a miserable and stressful experience
UHaul made my move a miserable and stressful experience.
I made a reservation on the web a week and a half before I had to move some furniture from New Jersey down to Baltimore. They said they would call me to tell me the details of where I would pick up a truck on my cell phone when they knew.
I got 5 calls in the weeks prior telling me that they didn't have a truck ready or know when one would be, but they would definately have a truck and I would be called when there was one available.
On August 30, 2002, I hitched a ride up to New Jersey with a friend of mine who was travelling even further north to visit family for the weekend, figuring that I'd hop in the truck that I had reserved, pack it up with furniture and drive home.
By 17:30 that day I was talking to an agent who still couldn't find me a truck within 40 minutes of South Plainfield, NJ. She found a place in Passaic, NJ, but called me 30 minutes before it was going to close to tell me that I could pick up a truck there. Since I was still on the New Jersey Turnpike in traffic, there was no way I could make it there in time to a place that closed at 18:00. Had I known this before I left, I would have left earlier.
The web site says in a bunch of places that the place where your preferred location may not be the place you actually pick it up, which was fine with me, but there's nothing obvious to state that you might not get a truck at all or they might spring one on you at the last minute right before that facility is about to close.
I kept calling them every hour on the hour from 18:00 to 20:00, and getting women who told me that they would find me a truck when they found it and otherwise I was just out of luck. My mother called up, and got a male operator in the office who assured her that I would be first in line for a truck the next morning. I went to sleep that night ticked off and wondering what would happen.
Finally 16 hours later, they sent me an hour north of South Plainfield to Hackensack, NJ to pick up something 3 feet shorter than what I requested. My grandfather had to drive me all the way up there and follow me back just so I could get back home.
My moving schedule got completely thrown off because of it and all the friends who were ready to help me in the morning of August 31, 2002 had to leave to do other things. I wound up dividing the work of moving all my things between two very close friends because I didn't make it back to Maryland until 21 hours later.
Almost to the Delaware line, the truck started to overheat. I looked at my receipt and saw that the station attendant had filled it with regular unleaded, and then looked at my key which said DIESEL ONLY in big capital letters. Thinking the attendant put unleaded regular into a diesel engine, I freaked out. I calling the help line and spent 40 minutes at a rest stop until they finally told me that it wasn't a diesel engine at all, but they would still send a mechanic out about the overheating, but it would be another 60 minutes.
At that point I finally had the nerve to open the hood (I'm not a big fan of being on the business end of an exploding diesel engine), checked the fluids, had TWO service station attendants check my fluids, and felt fairly confident that the engine overheating was nothing I'd be able to do anything about.
Since I was at that point 11 hours behind schedule, I told them to forget it and kept going at 45-50 miles per hour with a 1/3 load in the back of the truck to keep it under the red line.
Being perpetually 21 hours behind schedule all weekend long was no fun. UHaul truck number DC3047C constantly overheated above 30 miles per hour even with an empty load, had a broken alternator gauge and fuel guage (perpetually three quarters full, so I had no idea how much fuel I was going through), doors that didn't stick open and crushed my kneecap while I went to get the rental information from the seat. It also had 116,886 miles on it when I started the journey.
I was scheduled to drop off the truck by 12:18 on September 2, 2002, which was Labor Day. I called the number to find out the drop-off location and the scheduling center said the service center was closed, but if I dropped it off they would check it in for me when they opened. I said I wanted to be able to follow up and she gave me the number of the service station to call the next day.
I called All Tune and Lube on Loch Raven Boulevard to follow up and she said that they charged me $86.40 for an extra two days of rental and didn't know why. I called the regional office and she didn't know why either so she called them back. We finally realized that it was my early reservation (I asked for the truck on Friday and didn't get one until Saturday morning) and the fact that they checked the truck back in on Tuesday at 10:00 even though it was sitting in their lot since Labor Day at 11:00. Credit of $86.40 to my VISA card was serviced after an annoyingly long phone call.
Update October 2, 2002: My Visa bill arrived today, to include a $114.40 charge from All Tune and Lube, and only a $80 refund from UHaul, so basically UHaul has just defrauded me out of $34.40. I will call tomorrow to find out why, but until then, I'm ticked off. Don't give UHaul your credit card unless you want to spend 3 hours on the phone like me tracking down unspecified charges.
Update October 3, 2002: A call to UHaul customer service got me my $34.40 after half an hour on the phone.
Rent a Penske Truck Today! I just had a great experience with them over this weekend moving Donna's stuff all the way from Wisconsin and would highly recommend their trucks to anyone!
See my moving experience, and stay tuned for my letter to UHaul corporate coming soon.
Next time I'm going with Penske.
Update October 14, 2003: Rented from the Penske Truck Rental center at Ajello Service Center in Towson, MD and had a wonderful experience in a great truck for 5 days for less than I had paid for my U-Haul a year ago. Highly recommend, again!
U-HAUL owns UHAULSUCKS.COM!!
This is the information I got when I queried uhaulsucks.com:
2727 N. Central Ave. .
Phoenix, az 85004 US
Registrar Name....: REGISTER.COM, INC.
Registrar Whois...: whois.register.com
Registrar Homepage: www.register.com
Domain Name: uhaulsucks.com
Created on..............: Thu, Aug 05, 1999
Expires on..............: Thu, Aug 05, 2010
Record last updated on..: Fri, Nov 12, 2004
2727 N. Central Ave. .
Phoenix, az 85004 US
2727 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ ., . 85004 US
DNS Servers: name.roc.gblx.net name.iad.gblx.net name.phx.gblx.net
Ha Ha. Talk about trying to cover their own asses!!
Yet Another Dis-Satisfied Customer FOUND!
My experience with U-Haul has been bad. I don’t quite understand how they can continue to exist as a company.
I needed to rent a small truck for a day to move a couch a couple of months ago. I only needed it for a Saturday, and U-Haul was the only option that would let me do a one-day rental on the weekend and return the truck in a fairly convenient location. (For a rental starting on a weekday, I recommend Penske, which has never caused me any problems.)
The first thing I discovered is that you can’t actually “reserve” a truck with U-Haul. Instead, you “request” a truck. Although the email confirmation comes from “firstname.lastname@example.org” it includes the following disclaimer:
Your pickup location is a PREFERENCE ONLY. The U-Haul regional office for LYNN, MA is now in charge of your reservation. They will call you by 5PM on the day prior to your pickup date to schedule your exact pickup location and time. To change or cancel your reservation, please contact us no later than the day prior to your pickup date. Our phone number is (800)344-2212. Reservations cancelled on the day of pickup are subject to a $50 cancellation fee. So they won’t guarantee you any pickup location, but they will charge you a $50 day fee if you decide the location they pick for you doesn’t work. What if airlines worked this way? “We’re sorry, your ticket to leave from Boston was only a request; your flight is actually going to take off from Providence.”
To read more, go to:
TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE WITH UHAUL?
They have the worst trucks, the worst customer service and should be put our of business.
As an alternative for rental of moving trucks, try:
Budget Truck Rental
Penske Truck Rental