HOUSTON, TEXAS -- 2 weeks ago 1/20/2004, I personally went to the company-owned/operated U-HAUL to reserve a truck for an upcoming in-town move. I made the reservation for pickup 1/30/2004 5:00 pm and return due date no later than 1/31/2004 5:00 pm. The location that I went to make the reservation/pickup was at: U-HAUL Co. of I-45, 16405 I-45 NORTH, HOUSTON, TX 77090 - (281) 440-5113
I have the reservation contract RENTAL CONTRACT ADDENDUM with me and I was billed $100 on my credit card for reservation deposit (this was for 26-ft. truck, moving pads and dolly). I have a witness who was present with me and can vouch the reservation. Now on the day of 1/30/2004, I got at the store at 4:50 pm to pick up the rental and once they looked up my reservation, I was informed I had to return the truck prior to 7:00 am next morning.
The person who had taken the reservation informed me that they had a new manager that had just started after my reservation had been made. And that he had made this change so the truck that I had reserved is supposed to be in prior to 7:00 am and out for next reservation, and then back by 3:00 pm for the next reservation. I was not informed of this change and no reason was given to me as to why this change was made. And of course the manager was NOT available to comment.
I informed that my reservation is until 5:00 pm next day, not 7:00 am. I cannot move middle of the night, plus I informed the desk employees that I had made arrangement for some friends to help me move and they are coming at 7:00 am, 1/31/2004, not at middle of the night.
So at around 5:25 pm finally I get the truck and the following morning I get a call from the manager, telling that the truck should have been back at 7:00 am and that he was going to charge my credit card $100. I and few of my friends worked really hard to get the work done early, because we felt sorry for the other renters. So finally I returned the truck at 11:35am 1/31/2004, and the manager had charged $10,000 on my credit card. He gave a credit of $9,725.52 (after taking $100 late fee).
I have a witness from all 3 occurrences: reservation, pick-up, return. Not only that the manager tried to snatch my original reservation contract from my hand, he was very rude and abrasive. When I tried to take down his name he immediately took off his name tag, I was only able to get his first name: **.
Also the truck given to me had bare metal on the clutch and break, the shift stick groves was all worn out, very difficult to shift the gears. Basically the truck was a road hazard to the public. I was shocked and astonished that such a vehicle would be allowed to operate on the road. This has been a nightmare move in part because of the location I rented the truck from. I am still recovering from that move. I was hoping by renting from the company owned location, this would be smooth uneventful move.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I surely do hope this letter and statement reaches the attention of people who can change the way you do business...because your company is no longer about customer service. A month ago I had made a reservation for a truck, knowing full well Memorial weekend was going to be a busy one, but confident a month planning was plenty of time. About a week to go I decide to email and make sure my reservation was still on for Sat., May 29 and was told yes.
On Friday though, when I was supposed to get a call before 5, I decided to call myself and had learned the following: U-Haul overbooks all trucks, reservations online do not reserve anything and the so called area managers are nothing more than a glorified operator. I was told I might not have a truck because of the busy weekend and yada, yada, yada...which is why I booked a month ago. I decided to talk to a supervisor and let her know that I was flying into Houston a few hours later and needed to know fairly quickly if I was not going to get a truck.
She guaranteed me a truck sometime Sat., but was not sure what time and would call me back...of course no call back and I had to go catch my flight. Saturday morning arises and I was told I would get a call before 9 am. Of course no call again, so I call and get told the same thing..."sir, this is a busy weekend and we cannot get everyone who booked a truck in one, so if you wait by the phone we will call you by 5".
Being as patient as possible, I wait and actually call a few U-Haul places in town and learned a few things from 6 different U-Haul employees: U-Haul employees know that everything is overbooked, they all know the internet reservation system is false and they are not pleased with the way things are handled. 5:30 rolls around and I finally get a call, but am told there are no trucks and have to wait until Sunday.
Well, half the weekend is gone and I am stuck in Houston with no truck and getting irate with your so-called area managers. I am told that they are working on getting people who reserved a truck a year ago and cannot handle people like me who reserved a month ago. I am not that stupid, no one in their right mind could know they are moving out and need a truck a year in advance...maybe one or two. So I decide to call Penske....who helped me out of a jam and got me a truck...a company who knows what is available and were easy and pleasant to work with.
What really got under my skin was we passed a U-Haul place heading out of town and saw at least 25 trucks sitting in the lot. Well Sunday rolls around and I get a call from U-Haul about 11:00 am telling me they might have something later in the afternoon...and I said to cancel because I already had other means and was on my way to San Antonio. Supposedly it was noted, but then get another call from U-Haul around 5:30 on Sunday and this time, am told that there are no trucks available and have to wait until Monday.
Apparently your company's system of reservations is not a good one and there are numerous folks, including U-Haul employees that agree. Not only do I plan on never using another U-Haul truck, but am telling everyone I know about the ordeal, as well as sending out letters like this one to all those who will listen. I thank you for your time in reading this.
BETTENDORF, IOWA -- $28 (almost $43) of b. s. charges: Upon my timely return of the truck, I forgot to take out three very light and compact items that were nicely placed near the overhead door of the back of the truck (items that I'd intended to place back in my car; it had been a long hot day, it was late at night. I was very tired, and I was distracted by having to write a note regarding U-haul's incorrect mileage and gas gauge readings—more on that below).
Nevertheless, I should have not have left them in there. I did call them first thing the next morning about this, but it was too late. They charged me $26.75 to “clean” it, which is ridiculous and frankly downright dishonest; it could not have taken more than one to two minutes to reach into the truck from the ground, pick the items up with one hand, and throw them into the nearby dumpster.
This would not have been so bad were it not for the extra charges I would have incurred had I not spotted the errors and had them corrected by the reps earlier in the day: the mileage and gas gauge readings had both been off—in U-Hauls favor for approximately $15. The manager's attitude at that time appeared to be such that I was making a fuss about nothing.
His last words about the matter were that the $25 cleaning charge was going to stay, because he had taken care of the mileage and gas gauge problems. Excuse me, but those were your errors, not mine, to take care of; they should not have reflected poorly upon me and influenced you to make an unfair decision regarding the other matter of “cleaning” the truck. I've been going to this company (Bettendorf, IA) for over 20 years. This is the last time.
HARDEEVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA -- About a month in advance, I reserved a truck and car transport to be available at 8 am in Hardeeville. When I called the morning of my move to check and make sure that the truck was ready for pickup, the dealer "had no reservation under my name and no available trucks". After spending all morning on the U-Haul hotline, I found out that U-Haul changed my reservation location and time at the last minute. They did email me this information but only about 12 hours before I was scheduled to pick up the truck! Because my computer was already packed, I hadn't seen it.
Now, I had to drive about an hour north of my home to pick up my truck, and THEN drive about an hour south of my home to pick up the auto transport in a different location! Also, my truck would not be ready until 5:30 pm! They also did not have any Dolly's available, which I had also reserved. Because of all these changes, I was not ready with the truck in time for the movers that I hired. I spent my entire day driving around to different U-Haul locations trying to get my equipment, when it should have been ready at 8 am!
When I actually got to checking out at U-Haul, the experience was just as bad. The server was running so slow that it took me two hours to check out. The computer denied 2 of my credit/debit cards which had PLENTY to cover the cost. Finally the man told me "Oh, on the last day of the month the server is so busy it usually just denies all credit cards".
When I asked him what to do, he told me to go to the bank and get cash. This was on a Saturday afternoon when banks are not even open, and why would I want to carry thousands of dollars in cash? If this happens every month on the last day of the month, shouldn't that be something U-Haul addresses and fixes? Finally after many tries, the card randomly went through and was accepted.
When I tried speaking to the regional manager in Savannah about the hundreds of dollars of costs I was incurring (movers cancelling, another night in a hotel because of the late pickup, gas to drive the U-Haul several hours out of the way), she simply told us that the reservations are only a "preference" and are not guaranteed and she could not discount or compensate us in any way.
I moved last year with Penske and the whole thing ran so smoothly, it makes U-Haul look like a joke. Avoid this company if you can - they are unprofessional and they will inconvenience the customer without a second thought, even when it is costing you hundreds of extra dollars. By the way - the poor employees of the "neighborhood dealers" were mostly nice. It's the corporation as a whole that screws you.
DESOTO, TEXAS -- I rented a truck today at the U-Haul in Desoto, TX. A 10' truck. I unfortunately did not request that the clerk show me the mileage inside the truck because I didn't know I needed to verify what the clerk had written on the contract (too trusting. I forgot people tend to not be honest nowadays). But after this experience I know better...because when I returned with the truck my correct mileage was 7 miles...this is all I went...U-Haul charged me for 37 miles.
I will never use their services again, I believe the clerk was attempting to make up for some used mileage she had to account for and chose to account for the mileage by over charging me. Before I left with the truck I had asked the clerk for a van, she became very insistent that I drive this truck. Hindsight now tells me there was something screwy about that. Food for thought: please make them verify mileage before you use their rental equipment. It may save you being overcharged (theft by person). I do plan to inform other authorities of this matter.
CORPORATE -- This is my second bad experience with U-haul. The first was just dealing with a jerk at the pickup site, which I didn't blame on U-Haul, so I chose to use them again. Very bad choice. When we picked the truck up the windshield was filthy, and we found out a few miles down the road that there was no washer fluid. Then, the truck died - multiple times - during the trip. Once on a one lane mountain road with no shoulder and no cell service. The only blessing is that after sitting a while the truck would start up again and allow us to continue, until the next time it died.
But the biggest reason that I will NEVER use U-Haul again is how they handled all of this. When we called during the trip, the one time we had cell signal when it died, we spent over ten minutes on hold with their 'emergency' line, before giving up and driving on. I called customer service after the trip (the woman on the phone was very pleasant), and I was told that senior management would get back to me within three days. They didn't.
After a few weeks I then sent an email via the U-Haul website. I did receive a call then, from a man who was prone to interrupting me, claimed there were no problems found with the truck, and offered me a $50 U-Haul credit. He could not have made it any more obvious how little he cared.
TEMECULA CA, PRESCOTT AZ, CALIFORNIA -- I've got a Whopper of an abuse case; was even threatened with death and a beating. I'm 73 and rented 3 trucks for my move from CA to AZ. The air conditioning went out on the lead truck, the one I was riding in, as we filled up to make the drive. I suffered indescribably and have respiratory and vision problems ending in a heart attack last week. I couldn't reach their ‘hotline' until the dealer finally called for me and they called me.
I was reaching the Palm Springs area, with my driver and dogs suffering; we even had to turn on the heater full force to avoid overheating. Amazing. They directed me to their Palm Desert area shop, where the owner stopped everything to work on ‘my' truck, resented it and it showed. He wouldn't tell me anything about his progress, then after about 4 hours I called U-Haul to tell him to release the truck; I could wait no longer. He threatened my life then said he would ‘beat me up' when I left his ‘office'. I called the cops for police escort off the premises.
The grades out of Phoenix were as bad, and I moved the dogs to the 2nd truck back; they were dying, and it took a lot of box moving but we saved them. We were extremely late arriving in Chino Hills, I had to hire a Labor Ready crew to offload and send the drivers back in an expensive Avis one-way rental.
We had to stay overnight in a hotel but got no rest. The entire schedule was woven to include my wife driving a truck and trailer with our livestock, but that went all to hell also, needless to say. It was an absolute fiasco, and physically harmful at many levels. The ‘regional manager' doesn't respond to my emails or calls and I'm going after them in Riverside, CA Superior Court for actual and punitive damages. Can you help me post this on your site?
STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA -- Useless Roadside Assistance and unsafe truck. On Nov 2007, I was helping my friend move to the Bay Area and told him I would drive one of the U-Haul trucks. The truck that I was assigned was old and somewhat beat up, but I assumed would be in good working order. The trucks 'check engine' light was on.
The problems started when I was traveling down the hill to I-580 when I applied the brakes and the pedal hit the floor. I pumped the brakes and the brakes and the truck slowed down just fine. As I was traveling on I-580, I heard a loud pop from the left rear of the truck. The pop was the inner left rear tire. I immediate pull off to the shoulder, where I notified my friend and U-Haul emergency roadside service.
At approximately 10:30 am I contacted the U-Haul roadside emergency service and explained to them about the flat tire and my concern with the brakes. I gave the operator my location W/B I-580 in Livermore. That stretch of I-580 is a three lane Highway posted 70 mph. The operator was polite took my cellular phone number and told me that help would be on the way.
At approx. 11:30 hrs, I re-contacted the emergency roadside assistance and was told that they were working on the problem and they would call me back. As I was standing alongside the freeway, I noticed a yellow truck about the size of the U-Haul driving towards at me at approx. 25 mph. I soon realized that the driver was looking into his side mirror and talking on a cellular phone. At the last minute the driver saw my disabled truck and swerved into the highway causing a non-injury auto accident. He could have easily hit the U-Haul or run over the two working safety triangles supplied by U-Haul. The third triangle was broken.
I believe Federal law requires three working safety triangles. After helping the people in the accident and calling Highway patrol I received a voice mail from U-Haul emergency roadside service. The operator told me that they were unable to finding anyone to help me and that they would be calling me back in 30 minutes. Time approx. 12:30 to 12:40 pm). After waiting for over 30 minutes and failing to hear from U-Haul I recontacted the road side service and asked the operator what was going on.
The operator told me that they were trying to get a hold of a supervisor who could authorize a mechanic or tow truck to help me. The operator said they were having a hard time getting in touch with an on call supervisor. I ask the operator if I could speak to her supervisor, at first she told me that he was not available then connected me after I pressed the issue.
The supervisor was polite but was unable to help me. I told the supervisor that I was concerned for my safety and if I could move the truck off of the freeway. Closest exit was approx. 1 mile down the freeway. The supervisor told me that they were doing the best they could and call back when they knew someone was en route to help me.
During the 1 o'clock hour I again recontacted U-Haul and was told that they were trying to get someone out to my location to help me and that they would call me. The operator did agree with me that the wait time was unacceptable and that she would not want to be in the same situation. The operator did advise me that if I left the truck on the freeway it would be concerned abandoned, even though I told her I had given them the location of the vehicle.
I again expressed my concerned for my safety about being on the side of the freeway with traffic driving by in excess of 70 mph. The operator told me that U-Haul was concerned for my safety and that they were doing the best they could to get someone out there to help me.
At approximately 2:14 pm I re-contacted U-Haul roadside assistance and was told that they a tow truck was en route and should arrive to my location in 90 minutes. I again asked to speak to a supervisor and was told that one was not available. Again after pressing the issue, I spoke with a supervisor who told me that the tow truck was coming from San Jose. Livermore and Pleasanton are closer to my disabled vehicle.
I again explained to the supervisor that I was concerned for my safety and had not eaten or used the restroom since 8:00 am. He was polite and apologized fort the inconvenience but told me that was the best they could do. The supervisor said they would check back within 90 minutes. At approximately 4:00 pm the tow truck arrived. The tow truck driver was unable to tow the U-Haul truck because U-Haul roadside assistance failed to tell him that the truck was loaded. After waiting for approx. 30 minutes, I was told I could drive the vehicle to the closest U-Haul. The closest U-Haul is in Livermore.
Note: U-Haul failed to call or check on my status. Upon arrival at the Livermore center and after telling them what had happened, they were more than helpful and apologized for the U-Haul roadside assistance had handled the incident. After replacing the tire and checking the brakes (low brake fluid) the supervisor told me that the Stockton U-Haul should not have let the truck leave the lot. He assured me that the truck would be taken out of service once it reached Fremont U-Haul center.
I was very disappointed in the U-haul Roadside Assistance because of the horrible way this whole situation was handled. The operators were polite but did not seem to care about my situation.
Here is what was especially upsetting:
1. The U-haul Roadside Assistance was useless and could not offer any kind of help in getting the tire replaced or me to a safer location.
Having a customer wait 5 1/2 hours along the side of a busy freeway for a tire replacement or tow truck is absolutely unacceptable and shows that U-haul does not care for the safety of their customers.
That U-Haul would let an unsafe vehicle leave their lot.
In the end I (Do to time constraints) was unable to help my friend unload the other two trucks. Through U-Haul overall incompetence I will never do business or recommend others to use their services.
Thank you for your anticipated assistance in resolving my problem. Please contact me at if you have any questions.
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA -- I will never as long as I live use a U-Haul truck to move any of my things around, so help me God. I was moving out of my apartment July 31 and I did not get the keys to my new place until August 1st. My only option was to get a U-Haul, load it up, let it sit overnight, and then unload it the next day.
I used the easy to use Uhaul.com website to reserve my U-Haul with no problems. It allowed me to reserve a U-HAUL for 24 hours and gave me the closest location. I put this reservation through and then called the location to see if it would be a problem to extend it from 24 hours to 48 and explained my moving situation. The guy who answered assured me this would not be a problem at all. I also at this time changed my pick up time from 8 am to 10 am and the drop off to reflect the same time change.
I arrived at U-Haul at approximately 10:15, as we all know nothing goes as planned on moving day. After standing there for several minutes while the THREE employees (one of which being the manager) chatted amongst themselves I was beginning to be annoyed. I was finally acknowledged (did I mention I was the ONLY customer in the store?) and as he was pulling up my reservations I made small talk and apologized for being a little late.
He get real short with me and was like "yeah two hours late, your reservation was for 8. You're lucky we held your truck with it being the last day of the month". I responded with, "No I had that changed to 10 because I knew I would never make it here by 8".
I am quite upset about this as you can imagine, so after I am done moving, I write a "contact us" on U-Haul's main website. I get the automated "thanks for contacting us" message telling me someone would contact me in 2 business days. 2 weeks go by, I respond to the auto message saying I still haven't heard anything from them. I get another response back apologizing and I should receive a call the next business day. It's now another week later. I have heard nothing.
I refuse to give money to a company that flat out called me a liar, didn't want to give me what I paid for, and then doesn't care enough to try to contact me. Never again U-Haul! P.S. This was the Washington Blvd. office in Pittsburgh and I believe the managers name was ** or something similar.
CALIFORNIA -- I am writing to file a complaint with U-Haul, to let you know that I am disappointed with my experience with your company on my last move. I am so disappointed in your reservation process and customer service, in particular with the regional manager I spoke with, that I never intend to use U-Haul services again, and intend to explain this to everyone I contact that is planning to move.
I reserved a moving truck about a week before the move date. I reserved it for 2/13/06, and chose the 6 AM pick up time on your website. I realized at the time that the pick up location was a preference only as clearly indicated below.
Critical reservation advisements: "Before confirming your reservation, please read and check each one of the advisements below to indicate that you understand them. I understand that my pickup location is a PREFERENCE ONLY. I understand that the U-Haul regional office for WEST VALLEY CITY, UT will be in charge of my reservation. I understand that they will call me by 5 PM on the day prior to my pickup date to schedule my exact pickup location and time.
I understand that to change or cancel my reservation, I will contact U-Haul no later than the day prior to my pick up date. I understand that reservations cancelled on the day of pickup are subject to a $50 cancellation fee. I understand that U-Haul reserves the right to substitute equipment of equal or greater size at no additional charge to me."
However, as you can see above, it is not so clearly written that the pick up time is also only preference. This would not have been any problem for me had I been contacted to let me know of the change. In fact, I was told three separate times that I would receive a phone call the day before the scheduled pick up time to confirm the exact location and time. The first time was on the confirmation page after I MADE the reservation, the second time was in a confirmation e-mail, and the third time was when I called 1-800-go-uhaul on 2/11 to confirm the reservation.
I was told that I would have to wait to confirm the time and location until the following day when the regional manager would call me by 5 pm. On 2/12 at approximately 5:30, I called again to confirm the time and location. The representative told me that someone should have called and that she would have someone call me between 7-9 AM the next day - the day I had reserved the truck for. I explained to her that I was expecting to pick the truck up at 6 AM and couldn't wait until 7 or 9 AM to hear from them. She apologized and told me that I would have to wait to get that call.
The next morning I found an e-mail letting me know the pick up location had changed, and I tried to call to find out when I could pick up the truck. I called the location until 9:30 AM and could not get a hold of anyone, so I called the regional manager over the pick up location in West Valley City, Utah. As bad as I thought that the reservation process had been to this point, it was speaking with this regional manager that made me decide to never use U-Haul again.
I told the regional manager that I was upset because I had scheduled the truck for 6 AM and it was now 9:30 AM and I still had not been able to pick it up. She told me that the location opened at 9 AM and there was nothing she could do. I explained to her that I expected to pick up the truck by 6 AM since no one had told me otherwise, that I could not make the move in the day I had to do it, and asked what could be done about it.
She then accused me of trying to get something for free, and told me that it was clearly explained before I made the reservation that the pick up time is only a preference, which you can see from the pasted portion from your website above that this is not the case. I told her that it did say that the time and location would be confirmed, but since I had made the reservation a week in advance, I would have expected someone to let me know beforehand. She said that there is no location in her region that opens at 6 AM and that there is nothing she can do about it.
I asked her if I could speak to anyone else about it, but she refused to give me any information about someone else I could call. I told her that if I had known that there was no way that I could have gotten the truck at the time I reserved, I would have been able to go with someone else, but in fact no one had ever called me- not on 2/12, or on 2/13 like I was told. She asked me what I wanted her to do, and I told her that I thought that an apology and some sort of discount would be in order.
This upset her more and she told me that nothing had gone wrong. She did apologize that I did not get a call, but it was not a genuine apology- it was more like she was sorry that she had to talk to me. I asked her if she cared that she lost a customer, and that I would tell everyone I know about the horrible experience with U-Haul and she said that was my choice and she wouldn't do anything.
Is that the kind of company that U-Haul is? I have known U-Haul since I was a little kid, when my dad rented trucks and trailers. It was in fact the first name I thought of when I was planning the move. But, I think it is reasonable to expect that if you make a reservation a week in advance, the company has enough time to contact you and let you know if it will not work beforehand. By the time I was actually told that I could not get the truck when I needed it, I would have been charged $50 to cancel it.
Is that the plan? To charge people $50 for believing that you will deliver the goods they need when you have no intention of delivering? That is how it appears when the regional manager can tell me off the top of her head that no office is open at 6 AM, but she cannot call me to let me know that until it is too late. If that is not the intention then I think you need to work on the reservation process because it allows for terrible things to happen.
Furthermore, your customer service is horrible. Every person I spoke with at U-Haul was annoyed to have to deal with me, even when all I was asking for was information that I had been told to expect. I had been told repeatedly to wait for a phone call - in fact two calls on two separate days - I didn't receive even one call. This meant that the day I had planned to move was now two days off work and a night on the road.
I would expect the regional manager to do whatever she could to make me a satisfied customer. Instead she accused me of trying to get something for free - even before I asked for anything. Although I did ask for a discount later, I think it is reasonable. U-Haul knew for almost a full week when I needed the truck, and also knew that there was no way that I could pick it up at the time I reserved it on the website. Yet I was not even given the common courtesy of being told that you cannot provide that advertised service in my area. Instead I had to pick up the truck almost 4 hours later than I had scheduled.
If I brought the truck back 4 hours late, I am sure I would have to pay extra. Isn't it reasonable that I expect you be held to the same standard? The discount I was asking for was simply to cover the motel room I would have to rent overnight - probably $40. Instead I was mistreated for expecting the services you advertise on your website, and that I had been told by your representatives to expect.
I am writing you this letter out of courtesy to you so that you know how your reservation process and customer service lost you future business from me and everyone in my sphere of influence - which I might add can be surprisingly large in a services and sales business like I am in. I am not as upset with the whole process because I understand that there will be problems with anything. However, I refuse to do business with a company with such poor customer service representatives and management, and that would rather lose future business over a dissatisfied customer than to give up even just $40 of their profits.