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I Hate U-Haul Truck Rental (And So Does Everyone Else)

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U-Haul is, in my personal opinion, quite possibly one of the most poorly managed businesses still in business and the only way they get away with it is because they’re almost the only game in town. The U stands for Unreliable. Ask anyone if they’ve ever had or heard of someone having a bad experience with U-Haul and prepare yourself for an intricate story about how U-Haul screwed them This is exactly what happened to me this weekend. (I added to the title because everyone else hates U-Haul too!)

I was to help my girlfriend and her roommate move out of their apartment in New Jersey starting at 10am on Saturday. The night before, her roommate called and confirmed (the guy said they had the truck on site and she could pick it up at 10ish the next day) that the truck they reserved was ready for us tomorrow. She calls the next day right before she is supposed to leave – truck isn’t there. Truck was never there. In the general area, there were no one-way trucks available for rental because it was the end of the month and they were all booked (reserved! ha!). We didn’t get a truck until 7pm, didn’t depart until 11pm, and worked all through the night until 6am unpacking.

One year ago, when my roommate and I moved out of our apartment (and into another), we too ran into the same situation. The U-Haul site had decided, even with our reservation, to rent our truck out to a walk-in customer because they didn’t know if we would show up. We didn’t get a truck that day until 2pm. This year, we opted to use a minivan from a reputable rental agency.

U-Haul is unreliable and dishonest. While they’ll gladly take your cancellation fee, they won’t give you any money if they screw you and rent out a truck you need. Most of the time we’re talking about end of the month moves where you need to follow a strict schedule in order to check out of the apartment, complete the final walk-through, and get on your way. If we didn’t move, we would have to continue paying a rent because of U-Haul’s unreliability. Don’t call it a reservation if you don’t reserve anything.

My fellow bloggers who read this, write a post about how U-Haul has screwed you and trackback to this one. Non-bloggers, send this to a friend and have them comment and/or pass it along. Spread the word, like a virus, that U-Haul is a business that should go down the tubes.

If you need to move, use these alternatives (I haven’t used them but U-Haul has screwed me two out of two times, so I’d use any of these before U-Haul ever again):

  • Budget/Ryder – Ryder was acquired by Budget, so try Budget for your moving needs.
  • Penske – I see their trucks all the time and the drivers are always smiling, so they can’t be all that bad.
  • Hertz – Word on the street is that Hertz rents trucks as well.
  • Public Storage – Storage companies typically will let you use their truck if you rent from them and with the smallest storage closets running about $30 a month, this is a great deal for in-town moves.

From the comments, it also sounds like even if you get a truck (the “lucky” ones), they aren’t reliable (surprise!) and could die on you.

U-Haul CEO’s Cell Phone Number

Courtesy of the Consumerist:

The CEO of Uhaul gave out his cellphone number last night on an episode of Inside Edition, inviting consumers to call with complaints or questions. Joe Shoen explained saying, “People can’t get this organization to behave, I can.” That number is 602-390-6525.

Let him have it!

{ 802 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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802 Responses to “I Hate U-Haul Truck Rental (And So Does Everyone Else)”

  1. Mike says:

    I’ve had a few issues with U-Haul. I rented a 26′ for business once and it wouldn’t go over 45mph. I went back into the center (franchise) and put the keys on the counter, and the manager asked what was wrong. Just then, KAPOW!! It backfired. I had the keys with me, but it had continued to chug and sputter even after I shut it off, ending with the big bang. He said he didn’t have another in the same size, I pointed to a much newer truck out front and he said that was his demo unit and he didn’t want to send it out. I told him that he could use this junker as the demo as it was more reflective of their offerings, he gave me the new truck and I had no problems.

    Another time, my buddy moved from TX to FL and rented a truck and car carrier. The carrier had a short in the lights so he had to steal fuses from his own truck (which was on the carrier) to keep them working. U-Haul gave him a couple dollars for new fuses.

    I rented a truck for a 5 mile local move and it was really old and worn out. It had a knock and ping issue and smoked a bit due to oil leaks, but it got the job done.

    The employees were all nice enough but then again I am always nice to people, even when upset. I would never rent a U-Haul for any long distance move, for that I use Budget, Enterprise or Penske as their trucks are newer and typically well maintained.

    U-Haul does have it’s place though. For starving college students or those with a limited budget moving shorter distances, they are usually cheaper. Just check the truck out in detail before leaving and call the local centers to make sure they have the truck before arriving.

    With that said, know what you are getting. An old rent-a-wreck truck that might be leaky or of questionable reliability, but at a cheap price! If you can live with those terms to save a few bucks, then U-Haul has it’s place in the world. When you are older and don’t have time or want to risk having to unload on the roadside, pay the extra and go with the higher end companies!

  2. Budget does not own Ryder says:

    Ryder is in no way owned or even connected with Budget.

  3. tom says:

    I am a U-Haul dealer and I hate U-Haul. Not only do they lie to customers, they lie to us the dealers too!! we work on commissions only. They lie and steal from dealers. U_haul Centers, owned and operate U-Haul Centers steal reservations to keep the money in house. We can’t get truck and if we do, old and high mileage. The reservations we get are short and close to home. We don’t get the long ones to another state. They create all kinds of fees to cut into our percentage that we get paid. In the end, we lose money. We are require to do all kinds of work on the truck for no pay. The company people, the managers lie to dealers. They will open another dealer right across the street from you and say so what to your face. They do play tricks on customers. They have a secret account called E-Alert to get back at trouble customers. You get on E-Alert, you can’t rent a U-Haul truck anywhere in the USA. Be aware!!!!

    • Brazen says:

      Interesting info. My guess is the Department of Commerce and perhaps even the Federal Trade Commission would be interested in these business practices? Just a thought….. ;’]

  4. Kyme says:

    I made not one but TWO reservations to pick up a covered trailer on a Sunday – with places U-HAUL had listed as open. I happened to speak to the owner of the first one and he said no, he’s closed on Sunday. So I called U-Haul back – made another reservation with a place they assured me was open – and corrected the misinformation some idiot there had put in (I didn’t need a motorcycle trailer). Got to the place this morning…. wait for it….. NOT OPEN ON SUNDAY! I will NEVER use U-Haul again!

  5. Yvette says:

    My 16 yr old daughter and I rented from uhaul,we are a military family and have used Uhaul before. I picked up the truck and had just turned on my street and the truck broke down! We were left stranded from 10 oclock am to 920 pm trying to get Uhaul to come out and repair the truck! I did speak with one couple that said they were on there way at 1 oclock in the afternoon, and they never showed up! I called a few times and they never answered their phpne! I was so upset and highly frustrated from all of this and all Uhaul told me was that I was responsible for that truck and could not get another one until the broken down truck was fixed!!!!!!!!!!!!!The Uhaul dealer did not give a damn about me or my daughter being stranded, because I had already rented the truck from them, now it was my responsibilty! I am thankful that the truck did not break down after my daughter and I were on the road, because Uhaul would of left us stranded on the highway! Eventually a towing company came out and took the truck, but that was not until 920 tjay evening,It took a few days to get this resolved, I was eventually given my money back after I complained and cried and was so upset while speaking with a supervisor. It really screwed up my move, my time and I would never rent from uhaul again!

  6. Yvette says:

    Just posted this article on Face Book!

  7. patrick says:

    ahaha you’re a moron, no truck rental comes close to uhaul, they’re the only trucks that are low enough for people to actually move with ease, they’re all gasoline engines so you don’t have to worry about buying over priced diesel, they’re not freight trucks just fyi like the competition, oh and uhaul actually takes care of their equipment, uhaul is so popular that you have tons of different companies that rent out uhaul trucks and trailers, go cry me a river dipshit, it’s not a car rental place, it’s a moving rental place, completely different, get that through your dim witted head and realize that nobody else can even compete with uhaul 🙂 dumbasses

  8. Alexis says:

    That doesn’t excuse the poor customer service and poor equipment. We go to rent the trucks because there is an understanding that the truck will get an individual from point A to point B. There is no need for a vulgar attitude. It just makes you sound like a dipshit. Have a blessed day and may something like that never happen to you.

  9. Jen says:

    Just wanted to add my two cents…

    My boyfriend has worked for U Haul for almost two years, first as a customer service rep and now an assistant manager. I’ve learned a few things along the way. Rule #1: Think before you call. Do you really think that you’ll be able to reserve and get a truck by calling the night before? Especially on the weekends or end of the month. Sorry it’s not going to happen. It’s just like planning a vacation, you book IN ADVANCE. Do the same with U Haul and you’ll be much happier. Rule #2: Consider moving during the middle of the week, just a thought. Rule #3: Everyone is complaining about the bad customer service and poor equipment. Who’s hands does that fall on? The store manager and corporate. You would not believe what kind of “service” occurs at his store all because of horrible management beyond his control.

  10. KC says:

    With more then a few moves using U-haul I have always experienced good equipment and good service. First I check out the truck with care and make my reservation a week or two before I’m moving. I take care of the equipment, not like some people I’ve seen. I’ve used Trucks, Trailers and Tow devices. All without a problem. U-Haul always seem to have a loctation I can return the equipment to without driving many miles.

  11. Detroit71 says:

    I’m from Detroit, MI and I moved from Detroit to Grand Prairie, TX back in july 2010. I made the reservation online for a truck and car trailer and received a confirmation call the next day. The equipment was there as promised and in good working order (I did check it out though, only a fool wouldn’t for such a long distance move). Gas mileage sucked, but other than that everything was flawless. Guess I really lucked out after hearing how so many other s got bent over. Mofo’s get shot like that (heard from a reliable source); guess being in the Murder Capital of the World kinda helps in situations like that, huh?

  12. Kristine says:

    My mother rented a truck for myself and my children to move her out of her apartment; this truck was reserved 2 weeks in advance. I arrived at the UHaul location on 309 in Montgomeryville, where I have rented more than 5 times over the past 10 years, on Sunday 8/26/2012 to pick up the truck that was reserved in her name with her credit card. I was told there was an alert on my name from 2002 and they could not rent me the truck until I paid an unpaid balance of $45.73. I told the clerk I have rented numerous times since 2002 and have never been told this before. He called the number on the alert and put it on speaker. A very rude woman answered the phone and told me I could not rent the truck until I paid $45.73. I protested that I always paid for my trucks on my credit card and my credit card was always charged. I added I have never received a notice or a phone call about this and my number has not changed in 10 years. She offered no explanation and told me I had to pay the $45.73 to rent the truck. I told her the truck was in my mother’s name and it was for her to move today. I was then told because I have a balance I need to pay that they could not rent to any of my family members or friends either. I have never heard of such a thing. I was beyond upset. I did not have the $45.73 to spare and I was against paying for a bill from 2002 that I had no idea what the charges were for. So I was bullied into paying the $45.73 so I could move my mother out of her apartment which had to get done that day. I have always used UHaul but I never will again and I still have not received proof of what the $45.73, that UHaul stole from me, was for. And I tried calling Joe Shoen and it’s no surprise his voicemail is FULL!!

  13. Arthur Demars says:

    I used U-Haul in February of 2012 to move my son from New Hampshire to Houston. NO PROBLEMS!!! The truck was fine and it cost me exactly what I was told it would cost. Although such a move gets you on the mileage, it was cheaper than any alternatives I investigated. That includes other truck rentals as well as “container” type moves. I am a U-Haul repeat customer and will use them again on my next rental.

    • Arthur Demars says:

      Oh yeah, I guess you should change your title, since it’s obvious “everyone else” does not necessarily agree with you.

  14. Eric Y says:

    With a dude that throws $1000 out of a window into the street to make a point and a family with greed and murder, any wonder the company sucks? QUOTE:
    L.S. Shoen is a lonely, 78-year-old man who now lives in a small tract house outside Las Vegas. He is regarded by some as a business genius, responsible for building the billion-dollar U-Haul empire.

    He has fathered 12 children. Some hate him enough to have run him off from the company he built by virtue of working 16-hour days for more than 20 years.

    Shoen once regarded himself a colorful character who incidentally made a lot of money. Now he realizes he has become a tragic figure. Not even a recent court verdict of $1.4 billion against two of his sons and his company can make things right with his life again.

    For the old man, there has been nothing but pain since he turned the company over to his sons in an act of paternal generosity when he turned 70.

    Not long afterward, the faction of sons that hates him kicked him out.
    The story of the Shoen family feud is complex and twisted. There is so much intrafamily violence, it could be the basis of a Eugene O’Neill tragedy.

    Scattered throughout the family history are totally bizarre acts, threats of violence and a couple of brutal beatings Shoen’s sons administered to each other in full view of their father. Finally, there was the murder of the old man’s favorite daughter-in-law.

    Part of that story seemed to end last week. In Montrose, Colorado, an ex-con named Frank Marquis admitted that he fatally shot Mrs. Eva Shoen, the wife of Sam Shoen, the oldest son, in Telluride, Colorado, in 1990.

    But even Marquis’ admission from the witness stand that he fired the fatal shot on his own, and that there was no murder-for-hire scheme devised by any of the feuding Shoen brothers, does not bring closure.

    There is a libel suit pending against the old man, who is charged with intimating that his sons Mark and Joe Shoen were responsible for the crime.

    “When a person makes the kind of statement like my dad, it has a great deal of credibility,” Mark Shoen told The Business Journal. “People have to understand that L.S. Shoen is not a storybook father. He has a lot of personal demons of his own.”

    Mark promises the feud with his father will never end.
    “Sure, he is my father, but I don’t like some of the things he has done. We won’t kiss and make up when the lawsuit is over.”

    The old man and his chief ally, son Sam, are pressing additional claims against the company, seeking another verdict that could boost their judgment against the present U-Haul operators to a total of $3 billion.

    There was a time when the old man was eager to answer the phone, and would talk about the case at length. Now all that has changed. If you call his phone number in Las Vegas, you get a secretary who says she will give him the message that you called.

    Apparently, the old man is through talking. If you call his lawyer, Gil Shaw, here in Phoenix, you get a recorded message asking you to state your business and leave your phone number.

    What a way for L.S. Shoen to end up. As a young man, he boasted of being kicked out of medical school because he gave a fellow student some answers. Those were the days when everyone called him “Slick.”

    He started U-Haul on a shoestring after the Second World War. Veterans were moving all over the country. He rented them trailers to do it cheaply.

    That’s when he worked 16-hour days, slept in the cheapest motels and took all of his meals at McDonald’s.

    Shoen moved the headquarters of the business to Phoenix in 1963, placing the company headquarters at 2727 North Central, a block south of Thomas Road. It’s still there.

    He has been married three times. His first wife bore him six children. She died of a heart attack after 13 years of marriage. When he was 41, he married Suzanne Gilbert, then 23. They had five more children, and were divorced after 19 years.

    It was his third wife who gave Shoen his 12th child.
    Anyone familiar with the L.S. Shoen story recalls the day in 1970 when he decided to give his employees an example about the value of money.

    The old man called his top employees into his office. They could not get out, because he had placed an armed guard at the door.

    Once he had their attention, Shoen tossed $1,000 in mixed denominations of bills out the window. They fluttered down onto Central Avenue, causing a wild melee.

    “I wanted to make a point,” the old man said later. “I wanted them to realize that when an executive spends money on something that only makes him feel good, he might as well be throwing it into the street.

  15. bryan says:

    Uhaul hwy 78 hewett rd snellville ga did work on my trailer hitch didnt fix the problem on my truck made it worse but took my 50.00 bucks and when i asked owner marc lee circle to take alook at my truck he told me tuff shit deal with it u paid me u left so i did we got into a fist fight both got locked up and truck still is not fixed and found out uhaul owner marc lee circle is a sex offender and child abuser working right there with yalls wifes and kids something needs to be done need to get the word out some how

  16. Steve says:

    I rented a 14′ in town for three hrs was charged $126.00 on my credit card and five days later they still have not corrected their mistake. They said the truck had 1/4 tank of gas but was actually on empty, the truck had not been cleaned (food in front seat, dirt in back, blankets all over the back, dollies lose in back) and the counter people were very rude and un-helpful. I called the 800 number but at this time, (five days later) I am still waiting on a return call. Tomorrow, 1st thing, I am contacting my bank and cancelling all U haul charges on my card and not allowing any further charges. I bet once they figure out they didn’t get paid they will call, but they will get paid in cash and they will come to me to get paid. I would recommend not giving them your credit card because once they have it they can charge whatever amount they want and keep it until they “get around” to returning it to your account. GO ANYWHERE BUT U HAUL, STEAL YOUR CHILD’S RED WAGON OR A HOMELESS PERSONS SHOPPING CART, BUT DON’T USE U HAUL

  17. Mandi Vanover says:

    You are a dumbass.

  18. Marilyn says:

    Once I reserved a truck over the phone (the Internet wasn’t that big back then). When I went to the address where I’d reserved a truck, there wasn’t a U-haul there! We drove around the neighorhood for about a half hour (gas was cheaper then too), parked, walked around, and still couldn’t find the business. I asked a woman on the street but she said that U-Haul had closed and only was there a few months anyway. When we went back to the house to call U-Haul (cell phones weren’t common yet), they insisted that there was an agency at that address.

    That said, I’ve rented from every one of the truck rentals. U-haul is cheapest. Penske trucks have a really high truck bed. Ryder isn’t any better. Many budget locations don’t offer trucks. None of the truck rental business is much better than the others.

  19. Maddy says:

    The first time I ordered a 10 foot truck from u-haul, I showed up and they wanted me to take a truck twice the size. So big, I was scared to drive it. So they then tried to charge me a cancellation charge. You think I would learn and not go there again. But I’m really stupid, because now they are doing it again. I had a reservation for a 10 ft truck in one location. They just sent me an e-mail confirming a 14 ft truck from a location an hour away!!!!!

  20. David W Hessong says:

    “David Hessong” writes:
    I hired Versailles moving in September to Load my house into a 26′ truck. The mover Bam looked over the house AND THE GARAGE and said everything would fit in the truck. The truck was not loaded properly. It listed badly to the right and was not full . They left me with a full garage. I complained to the owner VictorAbetia He and Bam agreed to comp me two hours to load the garage into another 26′ truck. Bam looked at the garage and assured me they could do it in two hours. Several boxes were old and coming apart. Bam saw this. I asked him via mobile phone text how many boxes would he need, hesaid we didn’t need any boxes and and to just concern myself with getting a dolly. They complained about the boxes and packed haphazardly and once their 2 comp hrs were up they left. Said they had another move at 2 pm. They left several hundres of dollars of my belongings in the garage. Then my wife, my pregnant daughter in law and my son that has a bad ankle. I called U haul and they talked to them but got no results. At the very least I feel they owe me the cost of the truck + the gas and bring the rest of my belongings to my current address. I also want them off of U Haul’s list of movers. They have lied to me and made up stories as the day passed.I have pictures of both trucks , but I need an email address to send them to. I have spent several hundreds of dollars at U-Haul. Basically 3 moves, 3 26 ‘ trucks, a 14 ft truck 2 trailers and a car trailer. Unless this is resolved I’ve spent my last dime with U Haul. I will wait for your reply before i hire a lawyer. David Hessong Dates of moves 9/21 & 10/23

  21. Scott says:

    I rented a 10′ moving truck from U-Haul in Tustin, CA, and was happy with everything overall. Price was $20/day + $0.79/mile + fuel (return with same amount and no charge). I didn’t make a reservation- I just called and they had a truck available. The truck was kind of dirty, but it’s a moving truck so that’s what I expected. It drove ok, what I’d expect for a large moving truck. They also had a lot of moving supplies and accessories at good prices. I would recommend taking pictures of the truck from each corner just in case you get charged for a dent that was already there, although I did not have that problem. The optional damage insurance is not a bad idea if you only need the truck for a day or two- I didn’t do that, but I’ve driven a lot of trucks (without hitting anything lol).

  22. Rebecca says:

    U-Haul is quite the worst company still in business. They are dishonest and criminal. Anyone I care about (or don’t care about for that matter) I advise to steer clear of this company. The service records and maintenance records on their trucks and trailers are routinely falsified and incomplete. A close relative of mine was killed on the road by a driver who had unknowingly rented a Uhaul truck and trailer without working brakes. In the course of the investigation, it was revealed that along the “line” various Uhaul operators had been told that the brakes on the trailer were not working. But, instead of having the trailer pulled from service or repaired, the decision was made to continue renting it to the next unsuspecting customer. Because, once that piece of equipment leaves that particular Uhaul franchise, it becomes the next guys problem & expense. People are thinking about price when they rent one of these trucks or pieces of equipment, they are usually not thinking about brakes, tires, oil changes, transmissions or maintenance in general. I’m sad to say that my families case against this rotten company is not isolated. There are many, many, many more. But, because Uhaul has big bucks and fancy lawyers, you will rarely ever hear of one. So, if Uhaul rents your reserved truck to someone else, that’s just an angel on your shoulder watching out for you. I don’t even ride on the road near one, I do whatever I can to avoid traveling in front of or behind a Uhaul. It’s that bad, people. And, they are a CRAZY, ECCENTRIC family. Totally unbalanced.

  23. Anonymous says:

    UHAUL SUCKS!!!!! We rented a uhaul in Riverside Ca. to Ohio. I was on the phone with customer service before we even pulled out of the parking lot because I could tell the auto transport was wrong. POS! Customer service hung up on me. NICE!! While driving to the house to load it I had noticed it wasnt pulling right. I again called customer service only to get hung up on AGAIN!!!! Driving up a small hill the truck would go no faster than 30. I had to put the hazerd lights on and let everyone pass me. Including a semi carrying an oversize load doing at least 55 up the hill. I again called customer service to be told there was nothing wrong with the truck. I finally in Little Rock after being FED THE HELL UP WITH THE BS spoke with a manager. They finally got roadside assistance there to tell tell us the springs were bad on the truck and quote un qoute we got screwed on the truck! Got the truck here to final destiniation to be told there is nothing wrong with the truck. LMAO!! Really?! Had 2 different truck mechanics look at and said the springs were bad and should have been replaced. Between the bad springs and the truck being totally out of alignmenet we got a whole 3 mpg the whole way here. UHAUL IS THE WORST COMPANY EVER AND I WILL NEVER DEAL WITH THEM AGAIN!!!!

  24. Linda says:

    I worked for uhaul for 5 years….they employ the most deceptive practices of any company i have ever seen…reservations that are made a month in advance are not honored..customers are given 26 ft trucks when they reserved a 10 ft and vice versa..People are left little choice but to take them because they are in a do or die situation and have to move that day..they instituted a policy saying if “we don’t have your reservation at the correct time and place promised you w be given $50. I cant tell you how many times that happened and they still try to get out of it by saying they have a truck they just don’t have the size you ordered and even when they cant talk their way out of it the $50 is not given to you it is applied to the next truck rental! like you ever want to rent from them again..most of their trucks are not repaired…even tho i worked at one who had a shop on premises..they do the bare mimimum to keep them running…10 people can return and report brakes not stopping and they still send them out wo letting the unsuspecting customer aware of the danger..over the years i cant count the # that have broken down and when the customer calls they tell them to call a tow truck or leave them stranded in the hot sun or cold for hours ( i mean hours) waiting on uhaul to send a repair truck..they won’t let their workers join a union –like wal mart–u w be fired if y mention union- and we are told to tell these lies to the customer and make them think it is their responsibility not uhaul…i was fortunate to have several good managers who went out of their way to help make the wrongs right,that is the only way i was able to stay as long as i did, but most don’t care about the situation.
    They intimmidate their employees—they rule by intimidation and constantly tell employees it is their fault when business slows down, they must be doing something wrong instead of fixing their trucks and stop hiring young people who don’t have customer is mostly the district managers that are deceitful but employees are afraid to lose their job…one last thing make sure you have an employee go out w you to mark where your gas needle is, because they w swear it was full when you return when you know it wasnt and you w have to pay …overall it is an awful place to do business with and for what its worth any of the other truck rentals are better..(if you pull up next to a uhaul at a stop light you w hear terrible noises but not from a budget or other rental..they know which ones are troublesome and save the good ones for certain people. Good luck

  25. aua868s says:

    i have rented u haul only once….but the experience has been pleasant.

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