HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I actually had some difficulty believing the customer service I was provided by the folks at Penske truck rental. I have moved numerous times, so my choice of moving truck rental companies was based primarily on cost rather than on an expectation that the move would be anything but a tedious, unpleasant experience with a truck rental company that was primarily, if not exclusively, focused on making money and not on trying to make stressful moving less stressful. My choice of Penske was based primarily on cost, but in the future I would choose Penske regardless of cost competitiveness, because of the superb customer service I was provided.
I rented a Penske truck to move my daughter's household belongings from Houston, TX to Seattle, WA, a 2400 mile trip. Because my daughter lived in a small apartment and her belongings weren't very extensive, I requested a 16' truck. Penske told me that their 16' trucks didn't have either cruise control or CD players. I knew I wasn't going to drive 2400 miles without cruise control, so I had to take a 22' truck instead. The 22' truck had a diesel engine and an automatic transmission.
The trip from Houston to just outside Cheyenne, WY went fine until I stopped for a bite to eat and was unable to restart the truck. I was on a tight schedule with an unloading crew scheduled to unload the truck on the following Saturday in Seattle. The unloading crew didn't work on Sunday, so if I missed them on Saturday, we wouldn't have been able to have the truck unloaded until Monday which would have meant two nights in a Seattle hotel (and they are all pricey).
I called Penske road service and they said they would send out assistance as soon as possible. It took an hour for the diesel mechanic to arrive, but once he arrived he identified the problem very quickly - a faulty starter. He managed to get the starter to crank the engine but said he did so only by hitting it with his wrench and that it might not restart if it was turned off again. He called Penske and told them the situation. The mechanic said he thought it might well have been a one time quirk and that it might start just fine but that he couldn't promise.
He said the safest option would be to stay overnight in Cheyenne (it was after 6:00 p.m. when this happened) so that he could order the part and install it the next day. This wasn't a good option for me at all because it would have meant missing our date with the unloading crew. After listening to my tale of woe the mechanic said that if he was in my situation he would take a chance and go ahead and drive the truck.
He said his experience as an independent vendor with Penske is that they will do anything necessary to get their trucks and customers back on the road. I was torn because I was pressed for time but also was nervous about the possibility of turning the engine off in some distant location and having to wait even longer to get a Penske repair service to address the problem.
After speaking with the Penske folks and telling them of my situation, Penske said they would obviously abide by my wishes and pay for either option I chose. But they suggested that I go ahead and drive to Laramie where I had hotel reservations and that if the truck didn't start right up when I turned it off in the Laramie hotel parking lot Penske would send a repair person immediately and would alert their Laramie vendor that they might need to meet me in Laramie at my hotel. I decided to take the latter option.
I didn't have to turn the truck engine off before Laramie and made it to my hotel without further incident. When I arrived in Laramie and stopped in the parking lot, I cranked up the truck and it started right up. However, I still didn't have a lot of confidence it would start up again when I was ready to depart the following day. I while later a Penske representative called me on my mobile phone to inquire as to whether I had made it to Laramie. I assured them I had, and they said they would be ready to provide me with support as quickly as possible if the truck didn't start the next day.
That was only of modest comfort because I feared that if the truck didn't start the Penske service people would have to remove and replace the starter once they had located one (the truck was an International the parts for which aren't always that easy to locate). I had no idea how long that would take.
About an hour later, it was about 10:00 p.m. by then, a Penske representative called me again on my mobile phone and said they had decided that they didn't want to take any chances that my trip might be delayed, so they had already located a starter for the truck and that Penske was sending a team with the part to Laramie from Aurora, CO to replace the starter during the night. The Penske representative said that since I would understandably be in bed by the time the mechanics arrived from Colorado they asked that I leave the truck key with the front desk attendant so they could do the repair without disturbing me.
I was very surprised and delighted that Penske was going to make such an effort and, of course, left the truck key with the front desk and went to bed. I was awakened in my hotel room by a phone call from Penske at 1:30 a.m. The Penske representative explained to me that the mechanics had arrived from Aurora and had started up the truck over 20 times and that it never failed to start. As a result, the mechanics called into Penske and suggested that the starter didn't need to be changed (they agreed with the Cheyenne diesel mechanic that it must have been a fluke of some sort).
The Penske representative said that I should feel confident that the truck would start as necessary and that I should proceed with my trip. The Penske representative again promised to quickly respond if I had any more problems with it. I, of course, thanked Penske for going above and beyond anything I could have expected. The next morning the truck cranked as predicted and continued to do so all the way to Seattle. I arrived in time for the unloading crew to do their thing and the move-in went without a hitch.
I write product, service, and other reviews frequently and do not hesitate to complain or criticize when either is due and deserved. Likewise, I try to be as diligent in writing complimentary reviews when they are due and deserved. Penske certainly deserves some major kudos for going out of their way to keep me on the road.
READING, MISSOURI -- I reserved two trucks. One of the reservations got lost but they were able to get a truck from another location. When I picked up the second truck I noticed it was dirty. At the time I thought it was from someone hauling tires. I wasn't happy but I needed the truck.
I loaded the "clean" truck first then I loaded the "dirty" truck. By this time it was almost dark I had to use the cargo light to see. I paid no intention to the condition of the truck and the spots I thought were from tires. I loaded in Missouri and took it to New Mexico. I unloaded the "dirty" truck in the morning as the sun was coming up and noticed a blood stain after unloading a few feet of the 26' truck. The first spot was nothing compared the rest of the truck. The truck literally looked like a massacre happened on it.
After I had the truck completely unloaded I drove it straight to the drop off which happened to be a corporate location and went in asking for a manager. I told the manager that he needed to come out and look at the back of this truck and he did. He had a loss for words but ended up taking some pictures. We went back inside and he asked me when the truck was due back. I told him "tomorrow" then he said it would be taken care of then. I was flabbergasted. I thought he would call the police or at least get me out of the rolling crime scene but he didn't.
Since then, I have spent the last six months trying to figure out what I was exposed to. I have been sent two lab reports that they claimed to have done on the truck (again no police). The first lab report had a date discrepancy so I called and got another copy of the report. This time the conclusions were different and that report had a date discrepancy also. I believe both reports to have been falsified. I have spent the last six months wondering if I contracted something from this biohazard.
KENNETH CITY, FLORIDA -- I was shopping around to find a truck rental that best fit my needs. I was contacted by Penske and offered a $100.00 if I reserved that day. I was told the truck would be 595.00 and 20.00 for a dolly. A few days before the pick up they call haggle me over adding insurance for 119.00 or so. I was also given misinformation on billing and was told they would bill the card on file. Upon one of our conversations I was told they didn't have the ability to do that and the card holder needed to be present. It was my card and my husband was traveling to get the truck. We dodged a complete lie on their behalf, because I happened to question it myself.
When the day came to get the truck they tacked on 51.00 additional dollars for taxes which I don't mind and understand paying, I do however think that should have been in the total I was originally given. When I contacted their customer service they were rude unhelpful and said it is up to the customer to inquire about additional fees??? I am very displeased with this company. It is shady, they have no people skills and yes I did expect the extra 51.00 to be returned to me... I was given false information... I don't know if it will do anything but I am contacting the Better Business Bureau. I will not ever use them again. Nor would I tell anyone else to use them...
KEENE, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Below is the review I wrote on 10/3/2010. On 10/11/2010, I received a call from Penske in Denver offering to refund $200 for the time that I overbooked. Perhaps it was the review(s) or perhaps the complaint to Customer Service finally found its way to someone who was sympathetic, but I graciously accepted. I found many positive reviews for Penske truck rentals when deciding who to use: Penske, U-Haul or Budget in relocating from NH to Colorado. I obtained a quote over the internet for a 16' truck and car carrier and found like most, Penske seemed to be the lowest of the three truck suppliers. With the good reviews, pricing made the decision.
I didn't know how long it would take to drive the truck and trailer to Colorado, because speeds would be low with the loaded weight and trailer, so I requested the truck for 10 days. The language in the Penske contract is very specific about the monetary penalties for returning a truck late. Naively, I felt I could obtain a refund for days not used as it's always done at Hertz, Avis or any of the car rental agencies. I even mentioned to two rental agents at the time I picked up the truck, that I expected I to get a refund for time not used, if I made better time than estimated for the trip. Neither agent said anything to the contrary.
There is nothing mentioned in the Penske contract about an early return of a rental, only penalties for late return. When I arrived in Colorado 4 days early, I was told it's not Penske's policy to refund money for an early return. I did receive my $100 deposit back, which also was not something mentioned in the quotation. Later, in studying the contract, the deposit should have only been taken for a cash or check payment; mine was with a credit card.
The only place I was able to find anything that said there are no refunds for early returns was in an obscure FAQ on the Penske website. It seems obvious the two Penske agents in NH should have told me I would never receive a refund. My naive decision cost us $300-400 in unnecessary charges. I wrote a complaint to Penske Customer Service which they didn't bother to answer.
My advice would be to never use Penske. The trip cost us more than either of the other two truck renters and the ABS brakes didn't work properly on the truck. Unfortunately for us, since this happened, we've found there's ample evidence in negative reviews of Penske on the net that show they deal shoddily and deceitfully with customers.
I rented a Penske truck recently and was quite happy with it. It had a nice comfortable ride, and was very quiet for a moving truck. It had a really nice holder for cups, blue-tooth ear piece, etc., which may not sound important in the grand scheme of things, but once you get out on the road, it's a really nice thing to have. It also had a nice engine, which meant I could at least go 50 mph or so up hills, although the truck wasn't jammed full of stuff - it was from a 1 bedroom apartment. I was much happier with this truck than trucks I've rented from other companies.
BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY -- A few weeks ago I reserved a moving truck online for Dec. 26th. I thought it to be a much better deal than another self-moving company I've used. I realized that it was the day after Christmas, but the site did not state that the particular location would not be open. I believe my phone number and email address were included in the reservation and that the location would contact me if they would not be open. Since I was not contacted, I believed that they would be open.
On Dec. 24th I called the place numerous times and got no answer. Being Christmas Eve I figured they were closed so after work I drove over there to see if they had Christmas hours posted on their door. I couldn't find their office door but asked the business next to them if they knew whether Penske would be open the 26th. They said no, they will be closed all weekend.
So I had to call the toll-free # and cancel the reservation. This caused a major hardship as I don't own a truck & don't have any friends who own trucks. I had to be out of my apt. on the 27th so I couldn't just wait till the 28th. That would've been my last day off so I had to be able to start sooner. I couldn't move the weekend before; my house hadn't closed yet. Luckily my dad got a friend's truck & he helped me move, but it took numerous trips... that wouldn't have been necessary had I been able to get the moving truck. If someone reserves a truck online for a date that the place is not going to be open, then the customer should be contacted and notified.
I was calling all the truck rental companies to get a quote for an upcoming move. When I got to Penske Truck Rental their salesperson said he needed my debit card number to give me a quote. I thought this was a little fishy because none of the others had asked for this but he assured me that nothing would be deducted from my account. Against my better judgment I gave him my number and got my quote. I ended up going with another company and never thought about Penske again. Then about a month and a half later I had a $100.00 charge on my debit card from Penske truck rental.
When I called they said I reserved a truck and didn't cancel it so they were charging me $100.00. So beware of Penske truck rental and whatever you do do not give them any credit card info. You will regret it!
Despite having a reservation, our truck was a half day late, then a wrong truck which cost us much more in fuel, and then the A/C broke every two hours. We had to find somewhere safe to pull over to reset the A/C computer. Apparently this is common for their trucks. When we called to complain or to even tell them about the truck so the next poor sucker did not have to sweat it out like we did the customer service is a runaround. Save yourself grief and sweat and use one of the other rental companies.
PUYALLUP, WASHINGTON -- In mid April 2005 my son and I rented a 15 foot Penske truck that was driven from northwest Washington state to Eastern Oklahoma, over 2100 miles with no problems. The truck was clean and low mileage and had plenty of horsepower for the mountains. Unlike some truck rentals I have used, the truck did not sway from the weight of
the load or high wind conditions. The truck was available at the scheduled time for pickup and the personnel at both the pickup and return sites were professional and helpful. There were no HIDDEN charges connected to this rental and we were very satisfied. I would recommend Penske Truck Rental..