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[rant] Don't rent with UHaul

  1. Jun 25, 2004 #1

    enigma

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    :grumpy: :grumpy: :grumpy:

    I'm moving Sunday morning. I have enough stuff that I need to rent a small truck. So, last Monday morning, I call U-Haul because I had no problems last time I moved. The guy picks up and says "please hold". Mind you this is 9:10am, and they open at 9. I'm on hold for 15 minutes. He never picks up. I give up, and figure I'll call back later.

    At 10am, I call back. This time the guy says: "How can I help you?" "Do you have any 10 or 14 foot box-trucks available for a local move on Sunday morning?" "Hold on."

    12 minutes later, I get a call from my boss on the other line, so I have to hang up.

    I then call another location, figuring that that one is just shortstaffed. I'm on hold for a total of 13 minutes, but at least there, I'm told that they don't have any available. I'm told the 1-800 number to call which can check all the locations in the area (which wasn't in the phone book anywhere). I call the first location again, and after waiting on hold for 5 minutes, I give up and call the 800 number.

    The person picks up almost immediately. "Do you have 10 foot box-trucks available for Sunday Morning? 14 foot would be OK too, if there aren't any." "No, I'm sorry. We do have cargo vans available." "Are they big enough to move a double bed?" ... checks... "Yes" I reserve one.

    4 days go by. Today... Friday... At 5:17pm I get a message giving me the pickup location... and time...

    My pickup is scheduled for 4PM on Sunday. You can return it Monday morning. Since when is 4PM in the morning? And, sorry... I need to work Monday morning. THATS WHY I F____ING ORDERED IT FOR SUNDAY MORNING!

    So I call back. "No, we don't have anything available for pickup in the morning." "How about other locations? Other sizes? I'm flexible..." "Nope, nothing."

    :grumpy: :grumpy: :grumpy: :grumpy: :grumpy: :grumpy:

    She didn't even freaking APOLOGIZE for her company screwing up my entire move! Now I'm supposed to find a truck (on musical hold right now)

    on Friday evening;

    after business hours;

    on the last weekend of the month;

    for a move in 2 days.



    *Ohhhh... I'm a little hot right now*

    It's going to be a loooooooong weekend.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 25, 2004 #2

    enigma

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    So yeah... Don't rent with UHaul.
     
  4. Jun 25, 2004 #3
    Wouldn't it have been more effective to just go to the U-Haul location and check after the 2nd call?

    Maybe you may have better luck at their website:

    http://www.uhaul.com/
     
  5. Jun 25, 2004 #4

    enigma

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    Their website doesn't take reservations for local moves. I checked there first.
     
  6. Jun 25, 2004 #5
    Well if it makes you feel any better...

    We (my family) took out a big U-Haul at the beginning of this year. While attempting to drive the beast back down my driveway the bottom edge of the hopper thing (you know the metal strip you stand on in the back that I can't remember its name). So my dad stopped the beast and we took a look. Couldn't get the thing to move, but lucky for us there was another truck behind us so
    that truck rammed ours out. Big ol' chunk of metal on the bottom of the U-Haul
    truck was ripped to pieces and there was a nice dent from the ramming.
    They didn't charge us for any of the damages when we returned it.
    So get out there and abuse a U-Haul! :tongue2:
     
  7. Jun 25, 2004 #6
    Enigma,
    You might try the customer service number: 1-800-789-3638

    If you explain what has happened to you and the situation you now find yourself in courtesy of their company, hopefully they will go to work for you and try to get you fixed up.

    Good luck
     
  8. Jun 25, 2004 #7

    Evo

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    Have you tried Ryder?
     
  9. Jun 25, 2004 #8
  10. Jun 25, 2004 #9

    Moonbear

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    You're right, UHaul is awful!!!!! I had a similar problem...reserved a truck for the morning of the day I needed to move, and it didn't come in until 10 PM!!! They kept telling me the trucks were late, they can't guarantee a time, etc. I ended up making enough of a fuss to get a discount, but that didn't help at all when all the people I had lined up to help me move had already gone to sleep and I was then left loading a truck, IN A SNOWSTORM, until 3 AM to need to wake up only 2 hours later to drive to another state to make it in time for closing on my house. I was supposed to tow my car, and the tow dolly they gave me was completely covered in ice and they made no effort to de-ice it and my car just slid right off when attempting to load it...so I wound up leaving my car and having to make an extra trip back to get my car (it was supposed to be a one-way trip). And you're right, they are not the least apologetic about it. I just tell EVERYONE I know not to use UHaul when they are moving (and I know a lot of people who move since I'm in academics and grad students and post-docs do a lot of moving). Friends of mine also had problems with UHaul. For a cross-country move, they were given a truck with nearly bald tires. In the middle of nowhere, one of the tires went flat, so had to wait for an hour or two for someone to come out and change the tire, then the next day, the air-conditioning died. I think there was something else they said went wrong too because they were going to just keep going without the AC but instead wound up again on the side of the road, that time needing to change trucks in the middle of a highway somewhere. They warned me then, but I thought it was just a one-time thing. I will NEVER use UHaul again. I've had good luck with Ryder and Penske. If you are just doing a local move, you might want to try a car rental place (like Enterprise...they are pretty cheap) and get a pick-up or large cargo van (I've done that for short moves) and do a few trips...better than waiting all day when there's nothing. Um, yeah, can you tell I've moved more than a few times?

    Good luck! I can seriously empathize with you on this one. At least you got forewarning a few days in advance, I didn't get told until the day of my move they wouldn't come through with a truck (they were telling me they'd give me an extra day and a discount if I would wait until the next morning...yeah, that's really helpful when your lease is running out and you need to be in another state that next morning for a closing on a house!) Don't bother calling the 800 number to complain...all you'll get are coupons for your next move or free boxes...like you'd ever use them again even with a coupon, and who needs boxes AFTER they've moved?
     
  11. Jun 25, 2004 #10

    Kerrie

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    don't have experience with uhaul, i typically rent Ryder. i did have an interesting experience with Budget-i drove from Portland Or to Phoenix Az for a long move several years ago. While driving through the CA/AZ desert, the emergency brake had been engaged-for hundreds of miles and I didn't even know it. There was no light indicating it was on, and I had my two year old daughter with me. I also could not figure out why it was getting half the gas mileage I was quoted. When I pulled into my destination in AZ and tried the reverse gear, it wouldn't go. I called the Budget people who sent out their mechanic. When he checked out what was wrong, the emergency brake literally crumbled in his hands and had told me he had no idea how I made it so far. I won't rent from Budget ever again, but I sure am grateful the truck made it through 1400 miles!! Getting stuck in the desert with a young child and no access to a phone would have been a nightmare.
     
  12. Jun 25, 2004 #11

    Moonbear

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    Enigma, I just double checked...Enterprise does rent cargo vans. If they do the same with vans as with cars, usually they will bring the vehicle to you or pick you up, so you don't even need to find someone to go with you to get the van. Same when you drop it off, they'll drive you back to your home or work or wherever you need to be taken after you drop it off. They are usually one of the more inexpensive car rental places and I've always had good experiences with their customer service. They have pick-up trucks too, but with a van you don't have to worry about rain. They might still have some left at the last minute since most people don't think about going to a car rental place to rent something for moving. Good luck!
     
  13. Jun 25, 2004 #12

    enigma

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    Thanks for checking Moonbear.

    I ended up finding a 15 footer from Budget. More expensive, but at least it's available and I didn't wait 15 minutes on hold.
     
  14. Jun 25, 2004 #13

    Evo

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    Enigma. does one of your local tv stations have a consumer complaints segment? They do here and they would crucify U-haul if this kind of complaint was called in.

    You should demand that U-Haul pay your moving expenses.
     
  15. Jun 25, 2004 #14

    Moonbear

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    I think you should at least demand that UHaul pay the difference in cost since they couldn't provide what you requested at the time you reserved it for, forcing you to pay more with someone else at the last minute (find out from Budget if it would have been cheaper had you reserved last week when you reserved the UHaul...I'm sure they wouldn't mind providing something in writing to that effect if you get to stuff it to their competitor). Glad you found something. Just know you are not alone in the moving experiences (some of my friends told me I should write a moving how-to book...sort of half helpful hints, half humorous). What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!
     
  16. Jun 25, 2004 #15

    Tsu

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    Has anyone had experience with the "Starving Students" moving services that most colleges and universities have? I've had one person tell me that they were EXCELLENT, but this was about 20 years ago.
     
  17. Jun 26, 2004 #16

    Kerrie

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    tsu, that is a great suggestion! enigma, just be sure budget has a truck with no major mechanical defects! i assume you aren't moving a far distance though.
     
  18. Jun 26, 2004 #17

    Monique

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    I'd try to get back the money that you spent for extra expenses, threatening that you'll inform every single person you know how bad they are always got me my money :biggrin:
     
  19. Jun 26, 2004 #18

    Moonbear

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    Tsunami, I don't know if anything like that still exists. The "starving students" moving services I'm familiar with is that all the grad students help each other with moves all for the small fee of pizza and beer and the assumption they will gather a similar crowd for their own next move.

    When someone new joins my lab, we round up everyone and we all help with unloading those moving trucks (and we also help them load them back up when they graduate and move on, but by then they usually know enough people in the area to ask for help themselves). I've even had students and post-docs (and entire family) live in my house on a temporary basis just so they don't have to worry about where they are going to sleep if there's a gap between their moving date and when a new lease can start here, or just to spend a night so they don't have to stay up all night trying to get beds assembled and bathrooms cleaned and kitchens stocked on the first night in town. It's a lot easier to face that apt full of boxes after a good night's sleep. But, hey, I have two spare bedrooms plus a sofabed, so might as well use them. People have done the same for me when I was the poor student struggling to move myself across country, and when someone offers to do something to thank me, I tell them to just pay it forward because there will always be more people in the same situation. Now that I live in the middle of the US, I even offer that friends or friends of friends can stay here a night if they are passing through during a long-distance move and need a stopping point without having to resort to the flea-bag motels along interstates.
     
  20. Jun 26, 2004 #19

    Monique

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    Oh wouw, your lab sounds like a great place to be part of. The place I worked at before had the exact same atmosphere, like a big family, where I also lived in with my mentors for a while :) It's really nice when people care for eachother like that.
     
  21. Jun 26, 2004 #20
    I can give you a rough idea of what can go on with a company such as this;
    Requesting a rental from one of the centers finds the employee looking to the pegboard of keys on the wall behind as well as their computer listing all vehicles on their lot, incoming times for current rentals in the field, etc. If a truck is not found they are likely instructed to accept your order anyway, kicking the matter to the people in traffic division (who monitor the movements of rental units nationwide) to fill the request. It may be the vehicle needed is already in town at another center, or is due to arrive in a timely manner such that your request can be filled (The customer may be instructed to pickup the vehicle at a different center, if convenient for him to do so). With this particular company, I believe the center is supposed to call you 24-hours in advance to inform you of any difficulty and if necessary ask if you would accept another, possibly larger, vehicle at the same rate (provided they can obtain one).

    Of course, as so often happens in this life, things go awry; perhaps a truck due back with plenty of time to spare for inspection and cleaning prior to being released to a new customer is delayed in arriving. It could also come limping into the center with mechanical problems. In the rental business this can create a mad scramble to have it repaired before the customer arrives, yet it is possible the repair facility may be closed, field service personnel unavailable, part not available, repair time needed too great, etc.

    Anyway, if you are of a mind to be persistent, complaining to the right people, you can likely expect some measure of compensation provided the complaint is justifiable.
     
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