Universal Truck Rental

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1.4 out of 5, based on 7 ratings and
10 reviews & complaints.
Company Profile
Universal Truck Rental
1625 Shawson Drive
Mississauga, ON L4W 1T7
1-866-518-0150 (ph)
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Universal Truck Rental Has Poor Customer Service
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

KITCHENER -- My first impressions of this company were great! I had excellent customer service and felt that I had received a good deal. I was looking for a one way truck from Halifax to Toronto and it seemed like I would be saving a lot of money. I then received an email saying that I had been "upgraded" to the larger truck for free. I told them that I did not feel comfortable driving a larger vehicle and they told me that I would "have to wait" for them to hear from another customer before telling me if the smaller truck (that I CONFIRMED the reservation for) was still available. It ended up working out that I got the smaller truck.

When I arrived to pick up the rental truck at Maritime Fleet Centre (they use another company's parking lot) in Dartmouth, the staff said I was "lucky" because they are "normally already closed by 4:30 pm on Fridays." My scheduled pick up time was 4:30 pm. They also informed me that they were not surprised by the fact that Universal Truck Rental company would have made an appointment during closed hours. Needless to say, this was not a good start to what I thought would be a simple/easy process.

The gas tank was not full when I picked the truck up and the driver's cabin was dirty. There was garbage left behind by the last driver. There was a chocolate milk bottle, a muffin wrapper and crumbs everywhere, an empty pop bottle and used napkins. The washer fluid was also completely empty. The visor on the driver's side of the truck was broken and borderline dangerous. The clip is broken off. It sagged down into the driver's line of sight. This vehicle is not safe for anyone to be driving.

Also, I was charged $60 for "not filling the tank fully". I was then told that there would be an admin fee to see a scanned copy of the receipt showing that they added gas to the tank. Prior to dropping the truck off, I filled the tank to the point where gas spit out at me and onto the side of the truck. They do not do the inspection while you are there-- take a photo of the dash before you leave the truck with them. The mileage on these trucks are horrible. It cost me $600 in gas for 1840 kms.

Lastly, I am very disappointed with the customer service overall. I asked Shauna for a senior manager's name/contact information and was denied because she could "not give out that information." I called the Mississauga office and they provided me with Steve **'s name and number, no problem or questions asked. Needless to say, this was a horrible experience. I would pay the extra cash and go with a company that doesn't have an average rating of 1 star... You get what you pay for!

Company Response 04/08/2013:

My name is Steve Baty. I am the managing partner with Universal Truck Rental Canada. I have read this clients comments over many times and dealt with this clients feed back initially. I am really sorry but I am not sure what the issue is.

The client was offered a FREE upgrade and turned it down. Therefore, they received the vehicle size requested. So what is the issue?

Universal Truck Rental offers a 24 Hour 7 days a week self check in - check out program. The truck was scheduled for a self service check out at 4:30 Pm. The renter picked up the truck at 4:30 Pm and talked to the day shift as they were getting ready to go home. The truck was parked where it was promised, at the time promised. With the keys in the ignition, as promised. The computerized satellite tracking system engaged the starting system, so the truck would start, as promised. So what is the issue?

Universal Truck Rental's outbound digital inspection record indicated the truck was full of fuel. The fuel gauge is digitally photo recorded between every rental.

What this client failed to mention was they drove the truck home. Once they got home they recorded the fuel gauge with a photo of their own. Well of course the fuel gauge was not full ... they drove the truck and burned fuel.
So what is the issue?

YES the truck cab was dirty. Universal Truck Rental has discussed this issue with our Halifax dealer. They oops and confirmed the truck was not cleaned after the last rental.

The sun visor clip was broken and UTR has a digital photo showing the broken part. The part was ordered and replaced asap. The client drove from Halifax to Mississauga, so I am not sure how this would rank as a safety item. The client obviously felt comfortable enough driving the vehicle 2300+ km. So what is the issue?

This client received a copy of the inbound digital inspection photo indicating the truck was not returned full of fuel including a copy of the fuel receipt. FULL means Full and the client signed off and accepted the fuel return program.

They were informed up front they would be charged if the truck was dropped off requiring fuel.
So what is the issue? Return the truck full of fuel or pay the fees, no exceptions. UTR provides a web based video to assist our clients with the minimum fuel return expectations.

Yes cube vans have a gas engine and use a lot of fuel. They will get approximately 8 MPG moving 4000 lbs of payload and or 840 cubic feet. This is the best the industry manufactures ... So what is the issue?

Unfortunately this client had a bad rental experience. I suspect the bad rental experience may have been slightly exaggerated because this client asked for compensation over and over including free top off fuel.

They indicated they would pay extra for "a better experience"....so why did they not just pay the extra and top up the fuel tank? Problem solved.

Universal Truck Rental has very clear guidelines on compensation spelt out on their web site. None of these client's issues met the minimum compensation criteria.

As per the fuel incident. The client confirmed they received the inbound dash board inspection photo showing the fuel gauge did not read full... Full means Full. If the truck is returned requiring fuel, regardless of the factors. Please be prepared to pay the admin fee and cost of fuel or PLEASE bring the truck back FULL OF FUEL.

Universal Truck Rental takes client comments very seriously and offers a process for customer feed back. Unfortunately this client wanted to by pass clients services to communicate directly with senior management to ask for compensation, with disappointing results.

To recap;

The client picked the truck up as promised, where promised, moved their house hold furniture from Halifax to Ontario as promised then dropped the truck off at the location provided, as promised.

So what is the real issue?

A few items accidently left in the cab of the truck from a previous renter and the top off fuel?

This client had high expectations for compensation. Unfortunately Universal Truck Rental does not participate in a complaint for compensation program.

We welcome all client comments and feedback. UTR has the highest satisfaction level in the One Way Truck Rental business in Canada. Regretfully we disappoint a very small few ... very rarely.

Sincerely Steve Baty

Save Yourself The Hassle, Don't Book Universal Truck Rental
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

This company is terrible. Moving is a difficult enough experience on its own, DO NOT make your life more difficult by utilizing Universal Truck Rental. The list of problems we had with them was long.... First off, the cargo area of the truck leaked. We drove from Calgary to Vancouver island and obviously there was some rain along the way. When we arrived, our mattress and box spring were soaked (we had to trash them and get a new one), along with some other boxes (luckily most of our stuff was in watertight bins) because the one whole side of the truck leaked.

When I complained about this to Shauna in customer service and asked if they would offer any compensation for our damaged goods, she advised me it was our responsibility to insure our belongings. I understand that the company is not responsible for our goods (if they get stolen or we get in an accident, or if something falls and breaks), but this damage was directly due to their truck leaking, and they don't seem to care, I don't even think she reported the fact that the truck leaks so that the company would fix it for the next client. So be careful.

They also wouldn't let us drop the truck off on Vancouver Island, as they said they had too many trucks on the island, so we had to pay for the ferry and drive it all the way back to Vancouver after our move. They are so anal about the gas being full to the brim, that they actually advise you to keep filling after the auto shut off at the gas tank so that you can see the fuel at the base of the neck (this is actually a safety issue... those auto shut offs exist for a reason, to prevent gas spills at the pump and it is irresponsible for the company to be advising people to do that.)

I wanted to fuel up as close as I could to the drop off location, so I called the location to find out the closest fuel station that could accommodate our large truck (because the nearest one could not) and they weren't even able to give that info.

The pick up location in Edmonton was very difficult to find and the map the company gave us was not accurate.
There is no one there when you pick up or drop off the truck and the keys are in it and you have to trust that someone completed a proper damage report of the truck before you take it (but they don't leave a copy for you in the truck). When we picked up our truck it was dirty, the key to the cab doors was broken (so we were never able to lock the cab of the truck which was inconvenient when we stopped for the night), and there was a good sized chip in the windshield.

The chip was so obvious we were certain it would have been recorded in the inspection and thought nothing of it. (Of course we had no copy of the inspection and no human contact so we had no way of knowing). But of course, a week after dropping off the truck, my deposit had not been returned and I had not been contacted by the company. It took me several days and 4 unreturned voice messages until I finally got in touch with someone who advised they were holding my deposit due to the chip in the windshield... turns out it was NOT on the inspection report!! Big surprise!

Needless to say I was frustrated at this point given we had thrown out a perfectly good bed due to their leaking truck, had spent hundreds of dollars getting the truck back over the ferry and they were now trying to hold back my money for a chip in the windshield that THEY failed to report. I told Shauna how useless their pick up/drop off and inspection process is if we don't get to see it at the time of pick up and questioned whether any of the reports (pick up or drop off) mentioned a key broken in half and in the cup holder... she advised they did not.

Clearly their inspection is not quite as thorough as they claim. She basically just cut me off and told me she would close the investigation and I would get my deposit back as soon as she realized that I was going to pursue the issue further. So I did eventually get my deposit back, but the way it was handled was questionable at best. Be very wary of dealing with this company. They don't give a damn about you or your belongings. I have dealt with U-haul several times in the past and my experiences were far superior (the only reason we didn't use U-haul was because we booked too late and they didn't have any trucks available).

GREAT Experience w/ Universal Truck Rental!
StarStarStarStarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 4/51

CANADA -- Seriously, I do not understand all the bad reviews! I booked this truck on the phone, the woman I spoke to, Shauna, was as friendly, helpful, and polite as can be. The price was great. She really helped me to keep the cost down, and it was all smooth. When I read all the terrible reviews I called and spoke directly to the owner, Steve. He answers the phone. Anyone who says they can't reach him sure isn't trying very hard. I expressed my concerns based on the reviews, and he did his best to put my fears to rest.

Over the next two weeks I must have called Shauna at least 4 times changing the reservation - pick up day, pick up time, drop off location even! Every time we spoke Shauna was again super friendly and helpful. She would have been within her right to start getting annoyed at me! But she didn't.

When I picked up the truck it was in great shape. My only complaint was the engine was running when I got there. I was 1/2 hour late arriving, which means 1/2 hour of gas burned and emissions released. I didn't love that. But otherwise the truck was great. No problems at all. The inside was clean - not Mr. Clean clean, but who the hell expects that!

I had no mechanical issues. The ramp design is bad - you need a second person to hold the catch out of the way when you push it back in. The door in the cab rattles like mad. And their gas policy is ridiculous. In order to make sure I have NO empty space in the gas tank, it went to overflowing both times! A bit too much. But that is minor.

Overall I had a great experience, and I would definitely use them again! Don't be scared by these other reviews. I had a small business. I know how easy it is to anonymously slam someone. It's a power trip, and often what's written is not even true. So try these folks out. I was happy I did, and it saved me a lot of money!

DO NOT rent with Universal Truck Rental
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

TORONTO -- I tried to rent a truck for Easter weekend 2013. It was a terrible experience. The previous renter did not leave the keys in the truck, as explained in every possible communication with the company. I arrived to pick up my truck at 9 am, and found there were no keys. This is not the company's fault, but no one at the company was working on a Saturday (somehow), so I had to call the emergency line.

It took the emergency line over 2 hours to get a hold of someone to come with another set of keys, and by the time I had tracked down a U-haul van in another city to rent. Because we were basically 3 hours behind schedule, we did not make it to the Goodwill location where we were dropping off our vanful of stuff in time, and had to call my uncle to store it at his place.

The fun really started when I contacted the company, explained what happened, and asked them to credit me a truck for a couple of hours so I could move the stuff I dropped off at my uncle's. They waived the rental fee but still charged me for kilometers and insurance. When I got the bill they had charged me an additional 75 dollars because my dad (who moved the items in the truck, since I had moved to another city) apparently had not refilled the truck (which the manager, whom he talked to when he picked up and dropped off the truck, did not explain to him).

My dad went 22 kilometers, and he says the needle hadn't even moved from when he picked it up and dropped it off. When I called to complain, reminding them that the only reason I had needed the truck the second time was because of the debacle the first time, they refused to waive either the admin fee or the fuel charge. They were unbelievably unhelpful, and I cannot stress enough to NOT rent from this company. It was by far the worst moving experience and customer service experience I have ever had the displeasure of being a part of. DO NOT RENT FROM HERE.

Company Response 04/08/2013:

We at Universal Truck Rental recall this rental vividly. It was really unfortunate that the previous renter did not leave the keys with the vehicle. Universal Truck Rental provides written instruction to every renter on how the self check in - check out program works. Our clients must even sign off that they have read the self check-in instructions. Unfortunately this issue beyond our control. The emergency road side service team did their best, after hours, to get things back on track quickly.

We understand the first rental attempt did not go as planned and have apologized. As the renter acknowledged. UTR offered a replacement truck and waived the daily rental fee to help complete the move as a show of good faith.

Universal Truck Rental has a ZERO tolerance policy on fuel. The client confirmed his family drove the truck 22 km and did not fuel. What did they think the truck engine was running on???

Universal Truck Rental will not under and circumstances compromise the fuel return program/policy. Full means Full. If you rent a truck from Universal Truck Rental or any vehicle rental organization always return the vehicle full of fuel or be prepared to pay.

As this renter commented Please "DO NOT RENT FROM HERE" if you are going to test Universal Truck Rental's fuel return program/policy and expect positive results in your favour.

PS If this client would have returned the truck full of fuel they would of had a better chance getting the entire rental cost (km and insurance) waived. If the renter does not bring the truck back full of fuel and you are going to find very little sympathy, regardless of the contribution factors.

Stay Away
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

SASKATOON -- I am not sure about anyone else but when I am moving across the country I would like to be assured that I indeed will have a truck. I called and booked a truck a month in advance, yet I had to wait until up to 24 hours before I was scheduled to pick up the truck to find out whether or not they will actually have it. Moving across the country is stressful enough.

I strongly suggest to anyone reading this that you spend a little extra and rent from a REPUTABLE company and make sure that you WILL HAVE A VEHICLE on moving day. By reputable I mean a company that has at least ONE good review online. Do your research and let all these bad reviews that you find influence your decision. However, I am sure after reading this and posting some sort of 'reason for why my truck was not there' that Steve Baty the Director of Sales and Operations for Universal Truck Rental, Moving & Storage will spend some time online writing up a few good reviews instead of trying to make sure that customers vehicles will be there.

Company Response 11/21/2012:

My Name is Steve Baty the Managing Partner with Universal Truck Rental.

I am a little confused about this complaint. This is how one way truck rental works. Someone has to move into your area so you can move out. If there are no trucks in the area the truck rental company can not assign you a vehicle. This is the same for all One Way Truck Rental Company's.

No different than an air line that books all the seats on a plane. If there are no tickets available they can not assign you seat to fly.

All one way truck rental company's have the same reservation policy. If you want a guarateed truck reservation greater than 30 / 10+ plus days you need to book a local truck and pay & go round trip.

Sorry that is how "One Way Truck Rental Works" and it not a reflection on our industries reputation.

Absolutely most horrific experience - zero customer service
By -

CALGARY -- "Without Prejudice" - When deciding to move provinces I made the standard phone calls to companies with trucks for rent, as my family is a 3 person family (Myself, Husband and little girl) my main concern was that there was enough seat belts to accommodate us.

I stumbled upon Universal Truck Rental and gave them a call, during the initial quoting phase I advised the agent that I needed 3 seats to which she replied that in order to get that I would need to get a 24' straight truck as the smaller model does not have 3 seats despite the fact that this truck was too big for my move I was willing to eat the cost as I was the one with the need for the 3rd seat.

After checking with other companies I found it standard that the bigger trucks had more seats and after doing my homework (checking websites, and making calls) I decided to book with universal as I was GUARANTEED I would have a 3rd seat along with the website stating that truck specifications also said 3 seats.

I was advised to make a reservation with an additional company so as not to be left stranded if they could not get me a truck, so I made the second reservation and a few days later I was told I had a truck and AGAIN I asked the agent if there was a 3rd seat and I was again told yes. (Not once was I advised it was a possibility there would be no 3rd seat.)

I was sent an e-mail with my rate quote, and all the info I needed but when the time came to collect the moving truck we arrived and there was ONLY 2 seats, I called the company immediately to sort out the problem and I was greeted by an agent who argued with me that the truck did in fact have 3 seats and apparently I was blind! After arguing for a few minutes I told her I could send her a picture to which she replied "OK maybe there is no 3rd seat", I immediately advised her that without the 3rd seat this truck was useless to me and she then advised me...

Company Response 11/21/2012:

Hi my Name is Steve Baty the Managing partner for Universal Truck Rental and this issue concerns me as all client issues do.

The client claims they asked for three seats ...
they even comment as follows.

"I resorted to advising the man on the phone that his website stated the 3rd seat and when I went to copy the page I noticed he had now changed the website to reflect what he was saying, as I am sure he anticipated I would not have a leg to stand on however, when I returned to their website it had been changed to reflect what he was now saying that a 3rd seat is not a guarantee."

All I can say is the web site clear states the number of seats each truck has.


...We suggest if seating is an important part of your rental talk with your reservation coordinator up front.

Very, Very Bad Experience With Universal Truck Rental
By -

SASKATOON -- I totally agree with another review in my3cents.com about the Universal truck rental. "When we first reserved with Universal Truck Rental the staff was efficient.... It was a surprise when the service charge was added to my credit card.... From that point the representative was the most arrogant, rude service person I ever have the misfortune to encounter. He had access to my credit card, and a huge sense of entitlement. Our experience was a mixed one, we had a truck that did not start properly and one representative who has not been trained to deal with people." That is so true.

The company and service person is the worst company and worst person I have ever met. I had almost the same experience. I moved on Jan. 31, 2011 from 2KM away. When I made the reserve, I called the service person, he told me that there will not be a cold start problem. But when the truck cannot be started, I called for the emergency help. I was waiting outside the cold weather of -31 degree for 4 hours until somebody came to boast the truck, but boasting didn't work. So a towing company came and tried to tow the truck back to the company location. He didn't care about what I going to do. At that time, all my stuffs were in the truck.

So I decided to ask the towing company to tow the truck to my new place, which is only 2 KM away. I paid 40 dollar to the towing company for towing to my new place. However, when the bill comes, I found that I have to pay another 270 dollars for this sucking moving. When I asked the details of the bill, the guy even threatened me that he will charge me $25 for any more email and phone. In conclusion, this is the worst service I have ever met.

Company Response 04/29/2011:

Hello...I am the managing partner of Universal Truck Rental Canada and I agree this was an unfortunate experience for both the renter and rental company.

Unfortunately the rental truck would not start because of a cold start problem. A third party service provider checked the vehicle for mechanical defects and did not find any problems. Unfortunately our rental agreement does not cover cold starts & no starts and if the truck needs to be boosted or towed the renter is financial responsible.

We clearly state our cold start and no start policy on our on line rental agreement and every renter must sign off acknowledging their acceptance. See Link Below


When a vehicle will not start for no apparent reason there is a good chance a human was involved and did not plug in the block heater.

Unfortunately, this client was expected to pay the invoice for the service call because they called the 24 hr emergency road side service. All our trucks are equipped with block heater for cold weather starts.

This charge could have been avoided by double checking that the block heater was plugged in and working.

Please note this renter lives in Saskatoon and acknowledged the temperatue was minus -31. We confirm with the clients statement that "he should not have a cold start problem"...what was left out was..."if you plug the block heater in for a minimum 4 hours". (Really ... who lives in Saskatchewan in minus -31 degree weather and does not know to plug a vehicles block heater in.)

Rental trucks are not magically trucks. They require the same care as your personal vehicle in all weather conditions.

We are committed to helping Canadian's move cost effectively, worry free and with excellent over the road support. We are glad to hear the emergency road side provider was responsive and efficient.

We look forward to your business and can be contacted at 1-866-518-0150 to book your next truck rental needs.

Sincerely Steve Baty
Director of Sales & Marketing

Never AGAIN!
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

CALGARY -- We reserved a truck a month before we needed it. Two days before we were to move our entire house from Calgary to Kelowna, we got an email that they would not have a truck for us. Seriously? I phoned and said that was not acceptable and that I was completely screwed. I can't find a truck that quick and needed to be out of my place by that weekend. The girl found a truck in Edmonton but we had to go get it. Which we did. A day earlier than what we needed. Universal didn't charge us for the extra kilometers but that was only because I complained.

WE paid for the gas to get there and back to get the truck. Then we were told that we would have to drop the truck off in Burnaby. That's another 4 hours from Kelowna and then we'd have to come back? Ridiculous. Turns out we could leave it in Kelowna thank goodness. We returned the truck a day early AND COMPLETELY FULL OF FUEL! We fueled up right at the corner. We were charged another $63 in fuel and an "admin" fee. Absolutely ridiculous. Don't use these trucks. Stupid company. I imagine they don't get many repeat customers. I work in radio and will be definitely mentioning this to hundred of thousands of listeners.

Skeptical Business Practices
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

KANSAS -- My wife and I were considering using this company to rent a moving vehicle. While reading the reviews, I was disheartened. Not so much by the actual complaints from dissatisfied customers, but how the aforementioned complaints were handled by the company's "customer service" representative. I was utterly appalled to read about the apathy and lack of professional courtesy displayed by the representative. It seemed to me that CS rep's only motive was to deflect the (most likely valid) complaints/concerns.

The attitude of this company (with their seemingly apathetic approach) was more than enough for me to opt for their more expensive and more reputable competitors. Not sure if the owner of the company is handling customer complaints, but if this is not true then perhaps you need to consider hiring somebody with some real PR skills or change your practices entirely.

Will never rent from them again.
By -

CANADA -- We rented a moving truck from Universal in March to move some things to BC. We showed up at 9 am when we were told the truck would be waiting for us. It wasn't there. No one was around and no one answered any of the phone numbers we had. The truck finally showed up - late. The guy jumped out, said he just drove from Calgary to get it to us "on time" and then handed over the keys. Inside, the cab was covered in dog food. We had to clean it out just to be able to drive it. Even though we returned it far cleaner than the condition we received it, we were charged a cleaning fee.

We moved the things we needed to, and then had to return the truck the evening before it was due to be returned. The place we were told to return it to had open drug deals occurring in the parking lot we were to return the truck to - and, according to the instructions, we had to leave this truck there with the keys in it! There was no room in the parking lot to actually get the truck in there anyway (it was full of drug dealers and users), so the truck was parked on the street.

We called the next day to make sure everything was OK and there were no issues with the return of the truck. We were told everything was fine. A week later, we received an email saying they couldn't find the keys. Even though they already told us everything was fine with the return of the truck. For the week they didn't contact us after we returned the truck, they charged us for the parking tickets!

I would never recommend this company to anyone. The service is horrible. They are difficult to get a hold of, and when you do manage to speak with someone, they're rude and have no desire to listen to what you're saying. They will do anything to charge more on your credit card.

Company Response 10/14/2011:

Hi I am the Managing partner with Universal Truck Rental and I do recall this rental. When returning a truck the renter is responsible to park the truck in the receiving dealers yard, turn off the motor and leave the keys in the ignition. Universal Truck Rental vehicles are GPS tracked and central dispatch will disable the engine by satellite so the truck can not be stolen. Unfortunately this client parked the truck on the street and received parking tickets. We tried to move the truck into the yard however the keys were not in the ignition. On day 2 the receiving dealer found the keys hidden in the truck. There was no need to hide the keys. I share in the renters frustration but their driver parked the truck on the street and "got" parking tickets. So who should pay for the parking tickets???

Parking tickets are not cover by any car or truck rental agreement.

If the renter noticed illegal activities, like drug dealing and using, they should have called the police not the truck rental company.

I am concerned this client did not feel they were dealt with properly. However I can only assume it was because they wanted something for free and the rental company was not prepared to pay for their "parking tickets". Not all clients can be satified.

If you see illegal activity, please report it...to the police.

Sincerely Steve Baty

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