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Don’t Rent U-Haul Trucks, Read Why

Posted By Jim On 05/22/2006 @ 4:22 pm In Personal Finance | 54 Comments

After a ridiculously awful experience with U-Haul truck rentals, I blogged about why I hate U-Haul [3] and the response was stunning. Of the twenty or so accounts from people done horribly wrong by U-Haul, not a single one was a positive experience. No one came to the defense of U-Haul and I can’t count the number of “U-Haul Sucks” websites out there. This comment by “Don,” which I felt warranted a spotlight, captures the U-Haul experience perfectly.

I am a military, retiree, disabled as a result of military conflict. My doctors recommended I move to warmer weather because my disabilities worsened in my hometown (New York City). I chose a small beach town in Florida and rented a truck from U-Haul to make the move. That was 3-weeks ago and I still have nightmares and feel angry because U-Haul violated everything I believe in by subjecting me to the worst businesses practices I have ever encountered.

Any military and civilian person who has moved as often as I had to can attest to the fact that anything can and will go wrong on moving day. But what U-Haul did to me is purely un-American. They did not have a truck for me even though I had made a reservation 45-days in advance and had told them that I was disabled and had to hire help on moving day. I paid for movers I was unable to use, and when they finally gave me a truck at 2PM that day, they gave me their largest truck (with 227,000 miles on the odometer), which could go no faster than 45 mph, and consumed gas at the rate of 5-miles per gallon. I had to vacate the premises by noon that day or pay $2485 for violating my lease and be subjected to legal action from the person scheduled to move-in the same day at midnight. As such, my furniture sat in the corner of a New York City street while I tried frantically to appeal to U-Haul to please help me get a truck.

I called U-Haul several times on my way down to Florida because once I left the city, the truck developed too many problems and it was unsafe to drive. Every person I talked to was rude and they would hang-up the phone whenever I told them my name and situation. We drove as far as Virgina, where State Troopers pulled me off the road and said I was driving a hazardous piece of equioment…and to have U-Haul come tow it. I called them and explained my situation, but they hung-up the phone. The trooper called from his phone and they sent a tow truck. When the trooper left, the tow truck asked me to follow him. Two exits down the highway, he told me that his job was to escort me out of that county and to wish me a safe trip. I was left on the side of the highway at 5PM and I was too tired to continue a battle I could never win. My driver was exhausted from trying to keep the truck on the road, so we stayed at that exit and crawled to a hotel and stayed for the night. The next day they said they were not sending anyone out to check the truck and that if I left it there, they would sue me for abandoning their equipment. At 40mph I finally made it to my destination several days later.

U-Haul employees at all levels are nice when they take your reservation: they start treating you as a non-person once they procure two credit card numbers and non-refundable charges are made to your card. A reservation and confirmation number mean nothing: as the regional officer manager told me, “You are welcome to send me your confirmation number on a piece of toilet paper I can use to wipe my a$$***e. I bought their “Safe Move” insurance, but collected nothing because they say that I ultimately made it to my destination alive and there was no basis for a claim! When I returned the truck they continued to be rude. They were so abusive I had to call the police to leave one of their operating locations. There is a police report on file as the officers who responded to my call believed that the “brother” of a U-Haul employee threatened me with bodily harm within the U-Haul facility, and they were sure he intended to hurt me before I left the premises. Now I have this case pending in court as the officers asked me to please file charges and not let the individual get away with it. As I was leaving the facility, one of their empoyees yelled that I had to bring the cops because I was a scared “faggot.” The cops ended their yelling, but that is hardly a way to treat anyone who has done you no harm.

If you love yourself and trust in good, hardworking principles, please do not rent from U-Haul. They did everything in their power to make my move a living hell. I am not a cry-baby, and as I said, I expected things to go wrong. I have been to wars and conflicts and I know that life is not fair. I would always expect any business to make as much money as possible to maximize their profit, but I do not see why U-Haul employees at all levels feel the need to disrespect people at will. I never once asked for anything special in return for my military service: I did what I wanted to do with my life and I must live with the consequences of a decision I made when I was 18-years old. Regardless, I would have enjoyed basic courtesy from the people who work at U-Haul. They are un-American and if you can refrain from using them, please do yourself that favor.

I am sure there are good, hardowrking people associated with this company, and I am truly sorry that I had to bad-mouth U-Haul in general. Whoever such good people are, I am sorry that I did not have the pleasure of meeting you.

Thank you for reading this.

Don


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[3] why I hate U-Haul: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/i-hate-u-haul-truck-rental.html

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