UHaul: Never Again

So, currently in the process of moving a houseful of stuff from Point A to Point B. Went online at http://www.uhaul.com to reserve a truck. Easy! Found a location 15min away, booked everything out with their website, and printed out my confirmation.

Here ends the chipper part of our story.

So, first, the confirmation page says “if you have not received a call from your local office by 5pm tomorrow, please call our regional office to schedule pickup of your vehicle.”

The next day arrives and departs, no call from “my local office.” So I call the regional office.

20 minutes of hold spiel. Wieux-hieux. Finally get through to a person.

“You need to call the local office directly, they’re now in charge of your reservation.” Grrr.

I call the local office. “No, sir, sorry…we don’t have a 24′ truck available. Here’s the number for [the next town over] that might have one.”

I call the U-haul in the next town over. I get someone on the phone who “transfers the reservation” to their office. They think they’ll have a 24′ truck available on the date it’s needed. Cool. “So, we’re all confirmed?” I ask, innocently.

“Um, no sir. We’ll call you back by 5pm tomorrow to confirm pickup.” Can’t you confirm it now? “No.”

Okay. At this point, my confidence is flagging, and I call two other companies in the area to put a backup in place, as U-Haul is not filling me with the warm fuzzies. A backup reservation is made, just in case UHaul doesn’t come through.

The next day, U-haul calls, they leave a message and…surprise!…they have no trucks available for the date I have a reservation for. Backup is confirmed at this point.

To ensure that I’m not charged for the non-existent reservation for the non-existent truck with UHaul, I call up again, this time to cancel. 30 minutes on hold, and NEVER get a person to pick up the phone. I hang up, and will be checking next month’s credit card statements even more diligently than normal to ensure that they didn’t charge anything for the non-existent truck on the non-existent reservation.

On the other hand, if you’re in the Bay Area and need a truck, I highly recommend either:

Condon and Sons (Penske rentals) in San Mateo


Hengehold Trucks in Palo Alto


BTW, talk about identifying a market, getting inside of it, and showing that you understand a customer…while most truck rental outfits in the Bay Area seem to have a strict “we will not rent to you” policy for that thing in the desert, check out what Hengehold does instead. How much incremental revenue do you think Hengehold gets each year because they trust their customers?

9 Replies to “UHaul: Never Again”

  1. Why Uhaul?

    … I’ve always wondered why Uhaul gets away with this: So, first, the confirmation page says “if you have not received a call from your local office by 5pm tomorrow, please call our regional office to schedule pickup of your…

  2. Why Uhaul?

    … I’ve always wondered why Uhaul gets away with this: So, first, the confirmation page says “if you have not received a call from your local office by 5pm tomorrow, please call our regional office to schedule pickup of your…

  3. Hi folks:
    I am getting raked over by UHaul now.
    They are trying to make criminal charges against me on an already returned cart. They refused to even tell me how much they thin I owe.
    Anyone want to call them up and scold them for me?
    Cleveland Regional Marketing Office

  4. As an employee, who actually is Customer oriented, it is VERY frustrating to do this kind of stuff.
    How DO they get away with it? Believe me folks, if I didn’t NEED the job, I wouldn’t have it.
    I do agree that it sucks, they “Guarantee the availability, but not the location of pick up..” and no they don’t transport them for you from location to location. ???????????? The hard part of being on the other side is, at the same time, people are put to the wire on this already, and working on a budget (that quickly dwindles at these times) of $$$ and time.
    Yet all I can do is try to help locate the next nearest location and direct them there.
    As a consumer, I am on your side. No matter which side of the couonter I happen to be on.

  5. I scheduled my move on a Sunday morning, following a funeral, with a compressed time window. But thankfully my family was on board to help me with my move.

    A few days prior, I scheduled my move online, providing my credit card and I’m all set. I arrived for my scheduled truck pickup at 9 and the office was not open. So I wait.

    At 9:15 I called customer service. After speaking with the first customer service rep, providing all the details, waiting on hold, suddenly the line starts to ring again. A new agent picks up as if I had just called in, and I have to go through the whole process again!!

    Eventually I was scheduled another truck 15 miles across town. It’s already about 9:45 at this point when I was to pick up at 9. When I arrived at the next location there was a line 3 people deep. The credit card machine was not accepting credit cards. They were unable to service us to complete our reservations. They basically stood there with blank looks without a thought in their head on how to address the situation. BUT, I had registered online, providing my CC info. So I thought they could just go off that, give me my truck and I’d be on my way. But NO. Same issues. So finally I offer to go get cash from the ATM to complete the transaction. Thankfully I’m capable of problem solving a situation, or I’d still be standing their as they scratched their heads and crossed their fingers that the machines would magically start working!

    Finally I got the truck after waiting in line when returning from the ATM with cash. This cost me 2 1/2 hours of my scheduled time to move with my scheduled help. By the time I had gotten back home, they were frustrated with the whole process. Understandably so. An hour later my brother and his gf left, further hampering efforts. 2.5 hours of time with the truck would have made a HUGE difference with the added help there. The rest of the help left a few hours after but the damage was done.

    I kept the truck an additional day to work on things myself, but it was too much for me. I eventually had to hire movers to complete the process. I’ve registered my complaints with UHaul through email and twitter. Uhaul’s twitter handle is @uhaul. But if you complain, @uhaul_cares responds to you and tries to move the conversation to DM. This is a standard Social Media ploy to diffuse the situation, move the conversation out of the public view and minimize the situation.

    I was promised by twitter reps that they would send my issues on to management, etc. and they’d be in touch with me. I received only one call after repeated complaints, and that was short to just let me know they were looking into it. No response since.

    Whatever you do, use someone other than UHaul. It will only cost you more money in the long run. Their service and business practices are shady and they aren’t out to assist you, only themselves.

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