U-Haul Complaint - Coporate Fraud & Criminal Theft by Taking
Resolution Update on 10/04/2008:
Uhaul has refunded the unauthorized charges to my account
COMPLAINT ACTIVITY REPORT Case # 97045218 Better Business Bureau of Central, Northern & Western Arizona
Consumer Info: xyz, Marc
Business Info: U-Haul International Inc.
2727 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Location Involved: (Same as above)
Consumer's Original Complaint :
On the evening of Friday March 14th, 2008, I rented a 6'x12' open trailer from University Uhaul dealership in Athens, GA. to move a piece of equipment. The rental was for done as an "intown move", at approx. $35 per day, intended for 2 days to be returned to the original dealership on Sunday, March 16th. This 2 day trailer move should have cost approx. $70 total. I paid a $60 deposit in cash. The trip was uneventful with the exception of the trailer to have a tendency to swerve slightly side to side at times. I delivered the piece of equipment to Melbourne, Florida early in the morning on Saturday, March 15th. Due to my concern for trailering back an empty trailer which was tending to swerve, I located a Uhaul dealership in Florida. I knew from prior Uhaul rentals that some trailers were assigned to certain dealerships and some were not and floated among dealerships. I explained that this trailer was rented under an "in town" rental and wanted to know if this trailer was assigned to the dealership in Athens or if it was possible to return it to the dealership in Florida. He checked the computer and informed me that the trailer was assigned to the Athens dealership but that he would see if he could authorize the return to that location instead. He placed a call to a district supervisor and informed me that I was now authorized to return it to the Florida location, however, the rental type would change to a "one way" move with a higher rental rate. I asked how much and he informed me that it would be $128.90. He noted that I had paid a $60 deposit and therefore the balance for the rental was $68.90. Even though it would cost me more than a 2 day "in town" move, I felt it would be worth the extra money to not have the liability of a swerving trailer on the trip back. He drafted a new contract as a "replacement" and I paid him cash money in full and dropped off the trailer, believing the rental to have been completed as of Saturday, March 15th. He assured me that there would be no other charges and noted that my contract reflected a zero balance. I have since received notice from my bank that Uhaul has also charged $155 to the debit card on file. After speaking with many Uhaul representatives and hearing several different stories as to what the charge is and why, I am left with no choice but to file this complaint, as Uhaul has shown absolutely no inclination to remedy this issue. In their opinion, even though I was only doing what Uhaul representatives themselves authorized and instructed me to do, they believe the charges to be justified. In addition, I have been informed that they intend to charge an additional $52.50 for a total amount of $207.50. This amount is above and beyond the total rental fee which I submitted in full with cash and have receipt for. The latest story I have been told was that each dealership can charge a one way rental fee for the same rental and contract #. I had to repeat that to make sure I was hearing the Uhaul representative correctly. She confirms that that is what has occurred in this case and they are justified in doing so. Multiple rental charges from different dealerships for the same rental borders on fraud and criminal theft by taking. Without satisfaction from Uhaul immediately, I will dispute the charges as fraudulent and contact the State Office of the Attorney General for relief. I remain hopeful that Uhaul will take the necessary action to follow though on the commitment of their representatives and resolve this issue.
U-Haul Rental Location:
UNIVERSITY U-HAUL CENTER
2900 ATLANTA HWY
(US HWY 78)
ATHENS , GA 30606
U-Haul Rental Location:
UNIVERSITY U-HAUL CENTER
2900 ATLANTA HWY
(US HWY 78)
ATHENS , GA 30606
Consumer's Desired Resolution:
I request that the charges assessed to the debit card on file are immediately refunded and no other charges will be assessed and a waiver of claim for any charges or fees arising from this matter .
04/07/2008 web BBB Case Received by BBB
04/08/2008 lbc BBB Case Reviewed by BBB - Accredited Business
04/08/2008 Otto EMAIL Send Acknowledgement to Consumer
04/08/2008 Otto EMAIL 1st Notice to Accredited Business of Case
04/14/2008 lbc BBB MORE INFO RECEIVED FROM THE CONSUMER : The company's assistant in the Office of the President contacted me and took down my information and informed me that I would be receiving a call the next morning for the regional office to remedy this issue. Of course, that has been many days now and I am yet to hear anything from them.
04/14/2008 WEB BBB RECEIVE BUSINESS RESPONSE : April 14, 2008
Thank you for your concern for our customer Mr. xyz.
Mr. Charlotte Cowser, our Traffic Manager for the U-Haul Company of Central Georgia, followed up on the information Mr. xyz provided. She spoke to Mr. xyz on or about April 8th and explained his charges to him in detail. She informed our office Mr. xyz understood and agreed to all the charges. He agreed he should pay the one way rate from Athens and he understood why he was charged the fees at the drop off location.
Ms. Cowser explained no further action was needed after her conversation with Mr. xyz.
Our customers are very important to us and we regret to hear of situations that cause problems for them. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and allowing us to offer a response.
04/17/2008 lbc EMAIL Forward Business response to Consumer
04/18/2008 WEB BBB CONSUMER REBUTTAL TO BUSINESS : (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Do I accept the response from the business? Absoultely not. The response is nothing short of utter nonsense. I spoke to Charlotte Cowser prior to filing the complaint with the BBB and PRIOR to speaking to the corporate Office of the President. The Office of the President has simply kicked my complaint made to them back down to someone lower, who failed to handle the issue when provided the opportunity in the first place. Because Charlotte Cowser had spoken with myself prior, she appearently did not find it necessary to follow-up on this complaint issued with the Office of the President and instead chose to dismiss and ignore my issue. This is evidenced by the fact that I never received the follow-up phone call I was slated to receive the next morning, as promised by the Office of the President It was largely due to the complete and utter lunacy of Charlotte Cowser's "explanation" that I felt I needed to escalte the issue to the BBB and the Office of the President.Upon speaking to Charlotte Cowser, I inquired as to the specific nature of the charges and informed her that I thought I had been charged for a "wrong-way drop-off" charge of the equipment but that Uhaul had changed my contract and informed me that I had approval to drop-off the equipment at the dealership without additonal charge or penalty. If this was the case, it was clearly not correct to charge me for following through on information Uhaul itself had provided me. She emphatically informed that the charges appearing on the credit card were absolutely not a charge for a "wrong destination drop-off" of the equipment, as she said that the current charges stemmed from the dispatching dealership and that only the receiving dealership could charge a "wrong location drop-off fee". Rather, she informed me that the charges were for a "one-way" move rate. I explained to Charlotte Cowser that I understood and approved of the change of the "local" to the "one-way" move rate, as evidenced by the fact that I was charged by, and paid for the "one-way rate" to the receiving dealership at the time of the equipment drop-off. She was able to verify this fact. Her absurd final answer was that each location, both the dispatching and receiving dealer, had charged me a "one-way" move rate. Stunned, I asked her if she was telling me that I was charged for the same trailer on the same move rental by both locations. She informed me that this was indeed the case and Uhaul was perfectly within their guidelines for doing so. Is Uhauls's corporate office aware of this?!? I specifically informed her that her "explanation" amounted to outright fraud and could be potentially viewed as criminal theft by taking. I asked her to think carefully about what she was informing me and reclarified with her exactly the position she was defending. She again restated herself and stood by her "explanation". The level of incompetence appears to be so massive, at this point, I find no other alternative than to file complaints with the Attorney Generals of all States involved, including the State of Uhauls's corporate offices. I will have the credit card charges disputed immediately and have the bank initiate a fraud investigation. As well, I will seek all other legal remedies at my disposal, including the possiblility of civil suit for the damages caused to myself directly as a resukt of their actions. I will also search out the possibility other customers have been damaged by Uhaul's fraudulent practice of being charged by multiple dealerships for the same rental, in order to determine the possibility of gaining class action staus of any potential civil litigation. All this because Uhaul wanted to take a little extra from a repeat good customer of a dozen prior rentals, when I did nothing more than follow the very directives and information Uhaul provided me. This was a very easy customer service issue to remedy with a clear cut resolution for Uhaul to take care of their customer. For the small amount of $155 which they have attempted to take without cause, they could have wiaved the charge, admitted error, kept myself as a loyal customer and had me as a positive and vocal endorsement for Uhaul. Instead, they have made the decision to lose my future business and ensure I will spend every day of the rest of my life ensuring that I inform as many people as possible, at every opportunity, about Uhaul's treatment of myself and their fraudulent practices, in the hopes that they do not also fall victim to Uhaul.
04/18/2008 lbc EMAIL Forward Consumer Rebuttal to Business
04/30/2008 BBB MORE INFO RECEIVED FROM THE CONSUMER : One additional noteworthy item that should alarm Uhaul management is that during my conversation with Charlotte Cowser, she informed me that I was "lucky" because I had actually paid much less than the current "one-way" move rate for that trailer between those destinations and informed me that the actual one-way move rate should have been $250. Interesting bit of information. So I went online and checked the one-way move rate for the trailer between those two locations. It was $83 and included 4 days rental. I called Uhaul and guess what I was quoted, the same $83 rental rate. I called a local dealer and asked him to fax me a one-way move rental quote for that trailer between those locations. Amazingly enough, it was $83 and again, included 4 days rental. Does anyone need any additional information to come to the conclusion that this was an outright lie to the consumer of this company? Please remember, Charlotte Cowser is the reason I saw fit to escalate my complaint to the Office of The President. Instead of handling this issue, they choose to kick it right back to the very person who caused them to receive the complaint in the first place. The same person who told me an outright lie and tried to sell me on the idea that I was "lucky" I wonder if Uhaul still has the recording of that phone call. It sure would be interesting to hear it again. Perhaps the discovery process of civil law will tell. Uhaul, you have been caught red-handed and should be absolutely ashamed!
04/30/2008 WEB BBB RECEIVED BUSINESS REBUTTAL RESPONSE : April 30, 2008
Thank you for your continued concern for our customer Mr. xyz.
Ms. Virly Williams, our Executive Assistant for the U-Haul Company of Central Georgia, reviewed the information Mr. xyz provided. Mr. xyz rented a trailer on an in-town rental contract. He signed the contract agreeing to return the trailer to the same U-Haul location he rented it from in Athens, GA. Instead, the trailer was dropped off one-way in Melbourne, FL. Our U-Haul location applied the one way rate as follows: trailer-$250.00, previous deposit -$60.00, tax-$17.50 = $207.50. Our receiving location collected $54.11 at time of drop off and our Collections Department applied a debit for $155.63 to Mr. xyz's Visa account.
According to the above charges, we over collected $2.24 for the rental and have issued a credit back to Mr. xyz's Visa account for this amount.
Ms. Williams advised our office they incurred an additional expense to retrieve their locally owned trailer and that a refund was not warranted.
Thank you again for bringing this matter to our attention and allowing us to offer another response.
04/30/2008 adh EMAIL Send Business 2nd Response to Consumer
05/01/2008 WEB BBB CONSUMER REJECTS BUSINESS FINAL RESPONSE : (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
What resolution??? For me, as the customer, to incur additional charges for performing the very actions which Uhaul themselves informed me I could do??? Of course not. Uhaul is simply missing the most obvious part of this matter and the entire reason there is any issue at all...UHAUL THEMSELVES TOLD ME WHAT TO DO AND I SIMPLY ADHERED TO THE INFORMATION WHICH THEY PROVIDED TO ME! Yes, as I stated in my original complaint, I rented the trailer on a "local" move. On this point, we are in complete agreement and there is no dispute, so why do they keep saying it? Perhaps because they do not want to focus on the following...Uhaul has simply not acknowledged or addressed the following point whatsoever: Uhaul agreed to change the "local" to a "one-way" move and wrote a "replacement contract" (it even is the same contact # as the original) which I am in possession of a copy. It clearly lists the charges and states them as paid in full, with a zero balance. I was assured that no other charges would be incurred. The fact is, I have a legal and binding replacement comtract with Uhaul which I have completely adherred to in full. As a customer, I only did what Uhaul informed me I could do. If it was misinformation on the part of Uhaul, I understand but it should not be that I, as the customer, pay the price for Uhaul misinforming me as to how to handle a situation. They have as yet acknowledged this fact and seem completely unwilling to simply follow through on the very thing which they committed to. Please listen carefully Uhaul, again I say, THE ONLY REASON THE TRAILER WAS DROPPED OFF AT A DIFFERENT LOCATION WAS SOLELY BECAUSE UHAUL INFORMED ME THAT I COULD DO THAT. VERY CLEARLY, THEY TOLD ME THAT THE ONLY CHARGE I WOULD INCUR WOULD BE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE "LOCAL" AND "ONE-WAY" MOVE RATES. THEY CHARGED ME THAT AMOUNT, AS QUOTED BY THE RECIEVING LOCATION, WHEN I DROPPED OFF THE TRAILER AND IT WAS PAID IN FULL. IS ANYONE HOME HERE OR SHOULD I STATE THE BASIC FACTS FOR YOU ONE MORE TIME?!?! READY, LISTEN CAREFULLY, THE TRAILER WAS DROPPED OFF AT THAT LOCATION BECAUSE UHAUL TOLD ME TO DO THAT! THEY PROVIDED ME AN UPDATED RATE PRICING AND I PAID THAT AMOUNT IN FULL. I AM NOW IN POSSESSION OF A SIGNED CONTRACT THAT DEMONSTRATES A ZERO BALANCE! Interesting again that they have stated the $250 "one-way" move rate quote in their latest response. As I pointed out in my previous information, this appears to be nothing short of an outright lie. The rate for a "one-way" move is clearly $83 to this very day, and can easily be verified on their website and as quoted by a number of local dealers. How incredibly arrogant can this company be as to lie to the Better Business Bereau?? I am sincerely hoping that a representative of BBB will verify this infomation at Uhaul's own website. Uhaul should prepare itself to state that disproveable nonsense under oath in a court of law. And another obvious question, if the "one-way" rate was $250, why did the receiving Uhaul location only charge me $54.11 after acknowledging my $60 deposit and demonstrate a zero balance on my receipt?? It simply doesn't add up and Uhaul knows it. The bottom line is what Uhaul is trying to do is charge extra and penalize a customer, without warrant, for performing the actions I took, which was based on the very information Uhaul provided me. Let me say it just one more time in hopes that it clicks for them...The bottom line is what Uhaul is trying to do is charge extra and penalize a customer, without warrant, for performing the actions I took, which was based on the very information Uhaul provided me. I am thankful that this process has committed them to putting their complete lunacy on written record. Their next response should be drafted by a member of their legal staff for civil proceedings. I request Uhaul forward this complaint with all pertinent information to their legal department so they may gain some qualified advice on the best way to handle this matter going forward. Uhaul apparently needs much better advice than they have gotten to date.