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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. wayne says:

    try being uhaul dealer they treat us bad also dont have right equipment for are customer so they send reservation to one of there centers and mysteriously they have right equipment happens in albany new york all the time those women should all be fired ,there incompetent

    • Fallen Anger says:

      Sorry to hear that Wayne! I cant tell you Im not surprised! I was an AFM not too long ago and there is no professionalism with this company! it’s not what you know, it’s who you blow! If you are kissy kissy with the traffic department, you get what you need…

  2. wayne says:

    i called owner joe shoen see what he will do which will be nothing then im going to see if i can convince all 13000 dealers to quit doing with uhaul for 60 days and make them sweat

  3. wayne says:

    everybody should boycott uhaul for 60 days and that will straighten them out ,the public can put them out of buisness thats who put them in!

  4. Aaron says:

    This is another reason I’m glad I’m a minimalist. I can move out in 20 minutes and don’t have to worry about moving a ton of possessions.

  5. facts says:

    I’m a small dealer and agree with a few points but, the qaarticle isn’t entirely accurate. First off, Uhaul never claims a truck is on there lot. The call ahead of time was to confirm a reservation. Were you 30 minutes or more late? If you’re over 30 minutes late at the end of the month then we will bump you. Occasionally, people will just not return trucks on time thus, runing your plans. If you’re saying the actual trucks are unreliable, I disagree. We had 1 battery go out in the last 3 years. I honestly hear the same feedback of other truck rental places because they’re all the same, Uhaul is just a little cheaper and has more locations. One piece of advice is to not reserve a truck online or through anyone besides the actual dealer you want to use. Always choose a dealer over a center because they are run by people who actually care. We have nearly 5/5 stars and a top 100 dealer in customer satisfaction. Uhaul centers are horrible which is why people are so relieved they came to us. Uhaul has over 16,000 locations. We’re a small dealer but avg approx 2500 customers a year. 2500×16000 – approx 40,000,000+ customers a year. So if you’re looking for a complain then I’m sure you’ll find it. Also, if you’re just rude for no reason, curse in front of children or try to hassle/get things for free, you’re chanses of a lost reservation goes through the roof. Treat others how you would like to be treated and i’m sure you’ll get things done.

  6. Cathie says:

    My ordeal with U-Haul was more than a few years ago, and I am still so incensed that I am STILL telling everyone I know to use any other rental company.
    My husband and I had precisely one afternoon to move our equipment of off a property that we had built. We picked up the truck at the U-Haul place, and drove the 20 miles or so to the site. Loaded the truck, got ready to leave and the truck wouldn’t start. Called U-Haul who sent someone to pick it up. We had to find someone else to help us move our equipment. When we finally got back to U-Haul to request a refund, they refused, saying that for all they knew we could have used the truck for whatever purpose we had rented it before it broke down. I was so mad that I contacted “customer service” who evaluated our complaint. They sent me coupons to use on my next rental. HA! As if. I ripped them up and sent them back, telling them that I will NEVER use U-Haul again. That is BAD customer service.
    Prior to that, I had rented a truck to move from VA to NJ. When I finished the paperwork I went outside and lifted the back of the truck, roaches scattered everywhere. I realize that the company isn’t responsible for what customers haul, but don’t they do between-customer inspections? I was able to get a different truck at that time, thankfully.

  7. Cliff says:

    I am a uhaul manager in Oregon, and while it is near impossible to make EVERY customer happy, (and lord knows I have had my complaints) it is uhaul policy to take care of the customer. Now something that may or may not have happened to a customer 8 years ago is fairly irrelavent today. Hell, 8 years ago I was overcharged for a taco, but you dont hear me complaining about that company. It was 8 years ago. Move on. Lets talk about the 100,000 people that have had good experiences rather than the hand full of people out there that feel the need to take to the internet to spew their hatred.

    • Stan says:

      Good for you homes. You go be another useless manager for that sorru company. When are you going to wake up and realize your part of the problem and you have to go

    • Customer says:

      Wow this is a horrible attitude and utterly unprofessional talk!!! What happened 8 years ago has completely changed this customer’s mind and made her angry for 8 years! Imagine if customer service was good to her that day, and switched the truck, how many new customers she would have referred to your company in those 8 years? You’re just a local manager so you probably don’t even know how much it costs to a company to acquire 1 customer… Shame that ignorant people like that are in service industries in this country. Go travel to Southeast Asia, especially Thailand and Singapore, they will show you real customer service. After that you will vomit every time you remember your service past!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just had to arrange a move from hell with U-Haul. I needed (1) a truck (2) movers (3) a loca storage unit. U-Haul said they could do it all…….BUT OH MY GOD, it was a nightmare coordinating it. It actually gave me physical pain to be on the phone with them for over 3 hours to do all of the above within a one mile radius. Don’t customer service people go to some kind of training at a company the size of U-Haul? The only consistency with the 15+ people I dealt with is that they ALLLLL talked over me. All of them. Rude and inept. I’ve never written a review on line EVER for ANYTHING. This is a first. NOT HAPPY and I expect things to be chaotic and disorganized and possibly not even happen on moving day…..can’t wait – ugh!!!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    U haul pisses me off and today is the last time I rent trucks from them

  10. Jerold says:

    I have moved 8 times in the last few years as my wife was a travel nurse. I have used ABF and Penske once each and Uhaul 6 times. Penske was Hott bad terrible hot in the box so was ABF and the ramp was so high it was extra work and not worth the savings. We used ABF cause the trailer was stored a month til we knew where our next home was. Used Penske cause we moved back south and it cost nearly nothing to rent it, but took us 8 hours longer to load than the uhaul. The only so called down experience I had with uhaul was driving up a winding mountain thru turns a vw had to go 5mph and honk the horn in cashier nc back to Otto nc but it was gods plan for us to go there and we had another last scenic ride so no complaints with uhaul.

  11. Jennifer Skrapka says:

    So, went to @U-Haul and rented a truck. They charged my debit card 96 dollars after I told them my mom was paying cash. So my mom dropped the truck off and payed cash. Several days later my balance went into a negative due to @U-Haul not releasing my funds. My mom went to @U-Haul Hwy 5, Douglasville, Ga and spoke to one guy that she showed my balance to sand he couldn’t figure it out so he gave her some numbers for me to call for me to get my money back. One was Timothy Agan, GM who originally did the contract, Brent Atwood, President of U-Haul and the 1-800 number. I first called the 1-800 number and after being transferred the second time Brandon in collections helped me a lot and told me to call Terrica Exec Asst at the regional office. I was telling her what happened and she was extremely RUDE! I called Brent Atwood, Pres. of the company. Not 10 mins later Tara from Hwy 5 U-Haul called and was very nice. She got all my information and gave it to her boss Tim. Tim called me and was of little help. My mom took my information from my bank to U-Haul and showed Tara who became very rude to my mother. She handed the phone to my mother that had Tim Agan on the phone who got into a shouting match with my mother. Still today my account has not been taken care of. So, I’m taking this situation into my own hands. Do not rent from them, rent from @Penske, I have never had a problem with them. @FOX5Atlanta please look into this.

    • customer says:

      you are renting a 40k+ truck they are going to have to hold somthing! if your that poor then you should not be moving and u haul has not control on how long a tran pends with your bank. that is all the bank. 3-5 days on any hold.

    • Ellie says:

      Your BANK holds funds NOT a company. That’s with refunds, hotels, car rentals… The industry standard is up to 5 days. Dummy.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I used U-Haul moving from Orlando, Florida to Portland, Oregon. I broke down three times. Once with a tire (inside rear) bald with no tread. Mechanics had to bypass fuel lines giving me no idea as to consumtion.
    The dealership in Portland was outstanding and refunded me hotel accomodations after speaking with the Market VP for the Eastern Division. In 25 years in customer service, I have never been treated to rude, especially under the curcumstance. Needless to say, Budget and Ryder has my business which has far exceeded what U-Haul hauled in from me on this occasion.
    Lastly, I was disappointed as U-haul use to represent American “yes I can” business savvy. Not any more!
    Just imagine the money lost due to this nimrod VP lack of management skills just on all people I have told this story to.

  13. Stan says:

    I worked for u haul i would never do business there. They are useless people in charge. They all should be fired. They treat customers like trash. I would never be a dealer for them, that is a complete waste of time. Do not waste your time renting from them. Go to another company. The traffic department manager is a joke. Any one in charge is a joke and unfit to do there job. They even treat the employees like garbage. Keep making me mad ill close another store down.

  14. I hate jerry says:

    Don’t waste your time going here. It’s a complete waste of everything. They are the worst company to deal with

  15. Roger Kline says:

    the store (842059) on main ST. in billings, mt just totally upset me today. after completely not explaining the quote correctly i was slammed with a bill twice what i expected. i had my own parts on the front seat of my truck which was hand written on the order were not used. instead they charged me for 2 7 blade plugs at twice what i paid for, used the wired i bought and charged me for it and to top it off after having a 12:30pm appointment they didnt even start working on it til 1:30pm delaying me the rest of the day. $45.00 extra is alot for 2 plugs i had already bought. then i also had a brand new brake controller for them to install but no they chose to not install it but to use what i wanted replaced. then to top it off now my drives seat is broken. i can not now sit up straight but have to lean back and to the right because someone just had to lean back in my seat. till now i did hold that store in high regard but after today i will not have anything to do with them.

  16. Sarah says:

    Speaking as a dealer for UHaul, the stuff they don’t want us to tell you. One, my company is a dealer, not a main UHaul center. So if you make a reservation online, or even with the 800number, you are not going to get the truck you want at the location you pick all the time. It has that wrote on the site in very small print. The main UHaul wants us to tell customers it’s because of the one-way trucks always moving to different locations. NOT always true. Example: You select my location for a one way move out of state. I do have the truck. The main UHaul will not inform us a reservation has been made on that truck. They will come pick it up from our place, and take it down to their center. Then take the move that was supposed to come to us. So we are being shitted on. Another couple things. When you reserve online, the per day rate for a local move does not give you 24hours even if you select it. Some people miss the part were you select how long you need it for, and it automatically puts you renting the truck for 4-6 hours. So then people can reserve the truck when you scheduled to return it. And god forbid someone does schedule for 24hours, we as the dealer are told to call you and lie. To tell you other people have it reserved, even when sometimes they don’t. Then to top it all off, I’m not going to be specific, but I just found out last week another sneaky trick UHaul pulled. My location is one city, another one about 10miles away. The location 10miles away sucks. The dealer does not clean his trucks, lies to customer, doesn’t check the trucks fluids, anything he is supposed to do. Well, since his business did so crappy last year, he called a main uhaul guy and complained. So the main uhaul guy decided to change this city’s name online, to our city’s name. My location is a top dealer, we do what we need to and always try to help our customers. But now when people make reservations online, they are picking our city, and thinking its our location. But being sent to a whole different location. We found out because our regular customers thought they had reservations with us, so they came into our store. Which we have explained what uhaul did, and they have to go to the other location for pick up since they were scheduled. Since being a dealer, I see it from the customers view, and a dealers view. I’ve been cursed out so many times for things the main uhaul center does, and customers don’t realize we are separate from them. And as a dealer, the only other thing I can say from that point, is if you are rented a clean truck with folded furniture pads, please return it the same way. I have my main business to run, and then the uhaul is my second. But it takes a lot of time to go out and fold furniture pads all day and clean out the trucks. Then getting yelled at for having to charge a cleaning fee. UHaul sucks, that’s really it! I wish my bosses would just kick them to the curb so I wouldn’t have to deal with all the crap from it!

  17. Enrique says:

    When I rent a unit I toll em that I needed a unit for 24hrs access. That guy said yeap is 24hrs access. I got there at night and the first day access denied. I toll em clear I want a 24hrs access unit cause I need to put stuff tonight cause ill b busy all day. I called and they said sorry can’t do anything can take payment by phone u need to wait until business hours in order to register for that. No option I when back the next day I toll the guy u ruined my day I toll you I wanted for 24hrs access. He said im sorry let me fix the problem. He said u good now… I got there that night and again same problem acces denied cantact manager. O man I was real mad. All the time keep thinking how can a big storage company could how this type of problems. Is so f amazing. Next day I toll em cancel my contract im gone. They were like ok no problem I can help you with that.

  18. Taylor says:

    I rented a Uhaul truck from a locatiin close to where I needed the service. Icalled that morning and waited over four hours for the truck I reserved and still it was not there. I was told the truck may not be available till another day! I had help for my move and we wasted time. Finally they found a truck over 40 miles away and charged me for the additional mileage. I had to use that truck because I had a deadline. Because the truck was unavailable I dont think I shoyuld have been charged the additional mileage but they were rude and showed no customer service.

  19. Anonymous says:

    the tanks of gasoline are never full. They should require full tanks when they are checked out and checked in. No truck should leave the dealership without a full tank of gas.

    • customer says:

      working there I know this is will never happen. we rent over 100+ trucks a day and to be able to that with out two extra full time employees. people more often then not bring it back on empty.

  20. ARNOLD R. MAGGARD says:


  21. Justin says:

    Just want to make sure this keeps getting traction on the first page of Goolge. So I will agree that UHaul is a terrible business. Reservations mean nothing to them. All staff store and corporate do not care about fixing anything. I can only hope that there is a chapter 11 in UHaul’s future.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Uhaul sucks!!! They came and took my truck packed with my whole house and didn’t inform me and now I’ve gotta pay them to get it back. Screw them. I hate uhaul!!!

    • customer says:

      something is not adding up. ya if do not return there truck and reported stolen then they have the right by law to take your truck. you are not under contract if you are late and that means you have it illegally.

  23. N/A says:

    I worked for uhaul…and I seen what goes on… Everything that ppl say about there reservations and what not, is very true… Either they give your truck to a repeat loyal Cust. Or were overbooked, Cust before u got ur truck or… And I seen this happened a few times, u come in with a bad attitude, thfyll just tell u we don’t have one, when we have a few sitting right there. My mngr was sleeping with a few girls from our traffic dept. It was nothing but constant drama… My mngr couldn’t run that store if it wasn’t for me, he was never there, and if he was, he was to busy pretending to be busy in front of the screen for 12hrs while I took care of his center. Uhaul is dirty in all sorts of ways…. They fired me, yet promoted the guy who raped me!

  24. Stacy says:

    Interesting, I have used U-Haul on quite a few occasions and never had a problem.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I am still too angry with them to comment! To sue them sounds like a good idea to me. jerks

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