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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. Anonymous says:

    Thay suck went to go get truck and dolly.thay had wrong size truck and no dolly when we called the lady on the phone said aorry thats what u wanted and would do nothing for use.So i did not get the truck from them

    • Laura says:

      Had an issue at the very end of my move. requested to speak to general manager, the reply was he was too busy to speak with me. On my way out I saw hin installing a tow bar and asked if he was too busy to speak with a customer of 4 years. YES he was. Next move, boxes or storage units and tape, locks and so on will not be from uhaul. Laura

  2. lori miller says:


    • Serg says:

      I HATE UHAUL !!!!!

      Their truck run into my daughter’s legally parked car, and it takes now nearly a MONTH TO GET REPAIR APPROVED BY THEM.


    • Guy says:

      Customers just don’t have a clue and most lie. If someone has a problem with uhual, it’s most likely their fault. They reserved the wrong truck, or they are just complete idiots.

      I have rented hundreds of trucks from uhual and they are great.

  3. Dan we says:

    “reserved a 6×12 trailer ” even got a confirmation email and number 3weeks prior to needing it then received a call day and a half before needing it that I could drive 65 miles from where I was ( already drove 5 hours ) to move my daughter . Then they found the 5×8 trailer 35 miles away I had to do it my only opportunity to make the move ! When I called Penske to maybe get a truck everything was gone but they were very understanding nd tried to be as helpful as possible. I even suggested to Penske that he apply for the CEO of uhaul because they need some direction! The kicker I was quoted 170 for the rental I go to pick up trailer charged 250 I come home and the uhaul website lists at 114 I think paying to get screwed is only legal in Vegas but I I’ll check

  4. Ronnie K says:

    I worked for U-Haul for two months and it was the worst job in the world. I worked in the maint. department for a branch in Nashville Tenn. for a low life called STEVE BRATCHER. He abused me in all ways possible.(verbally and mentally). He even hit me once. He is lucky that i didn’t kick his butt. I finally quit because i could not take it anymore. I would not recommend U-Haul to no one.

  5. Randy V says:

    I rented a tow dolly from my local U-Haul dealer and because she had no one to go get it I had to drive 50 miles to pick it up. When I got to my house to use the dolly, the dealer did not hook it up properly and the dolly rammed into the back of my truck. The dealer file a claim and the claims department said I had to file claim. I did and guess what? Because I did not double check the dealer agent that installed the dolly to my truck, they denied my claim saying it is my fault, but, they will give me back the $10 I paid for the insurance coverage. I called the number of the CEO as stated in another comment and his phone mail is so full it will not take anymore calls. So, make sure you double check all U-Haul hook-ups or you will be sorry. I rented on 07-30-2013

  6. Thomas Ozechoski says:

    Well I am going to call him today, we got a trailer and a dolly for our car yesterday, the truck was suppose to be ready at 8.00 am never got it until 11.00 am no dolly in the truck nothing to wrap or stuff in ect. Called them that day and asked why, their responce was we didnt ask them about it. They then told my wife that she had to load the car onto the dolly by herself and hook it up because they didnt have th manpower to do it. They gave her a manual and told her to do it herself.Paid 1500 dollars to move and called them the next day to complain, was told that they would contact a manager and get back to us never got a call back, this company sucks dont use them

  7. Max says:

    I had the U haul trip from hell, 1,000 miles in a 26 footer, “I asked for a 17 ft” with NO AC in the middle of the summer. U-Haul rep said to keep the windows down 🙁
    I called Joe’s number just now and the mail box is full.
    I will never use u-haul again.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Uhaul is the worst company I ever dealt with. They stalked me for weeks while I had the truck and I was paying for it. The manager of a different location (different than the one I was returning the truck to) called me every day cause he said I was costing him money by having the only 26′ truck. I was suppose to drop the truck off an hour away but this guy wanted my truck. They came to my hotel and took the uhaul and unloaded it into a storage unit without my consent. I am sooo mad cause now I don’t have a key to the unit cause I haven’t paid yet. Now my stuff is held hostage until I pay. I don’t think I should have to pay. Now I just had a baby and can’t get any of her stuff in storage. Uhaul ruined my life and I am very upset and unhappy!!!

    • Jennifer says:

      I also called Mr Shoen and his mailbox is full someone else said it was full on the 13th and here it is on the 15th and its still full. He says the messages are checked regularly but clearly they aren’t. He doesn’t want to hear what we have to say. Maybe the Better Business Bureau will!!!! This company really does SUCK!!! They are all liars and the business is ran poorly!! IM SOOOOO FREAKIN PISSED OFF!!!!!

      • Kay says:

        Maybe you should look into getting a lawyer and suing them for stilling your belongings. After all you were still renting the truck and they came and took it back without your permission and locked your property away.

  9. Ellie says:

    I work for UHaul ,I’ve been a sales agent for 3 years. Let me clear up some misconceptions to possibly help any customer wanting to reserve in the future.

    1. Don’t make your reservation online, call 1-800 GOUHAUL. If you make your reservation understand that the location and time you are selecting is just your preference. We will try our very best to get the location you prefer and/or the closest one from your address.

    2. Going one way? Call the 800 number and ask for a discount. We can ALWAYS discount one way rentals(never local ones).

    3. A common reason a truck is not ready for a customer at the time they reserved for is because the customer who rented the truck previously does not return it on time. I hate it when this happens because it screws up other family’s moves and UHaul takes the blame.

    4. Try to avoid UHaul dealers(the mom and pop type places). I’m sure there are lots of great dealers out there but lots of them are dingy places. Dealers aren’t as concerned about keeping the trucks as maintained as they should be.

    5. Your “area” is dependent on where you live. If you live in a rural area you may have to drive 40 miles to pick up. If there is a location 5 miles away and they don’t have a truck you will have to drive to the next closest location. We may include extra miles if it’s a one way rental(not for local moves).

    6. We do not deliver trucks to UHaul locations, you must go to where the last truck was dropped off.

    7. UHaul made 4 BILLION dollars in 2012. Profits are higher than ever. UHaul really does care about its customers. There are going to be mistakes made just like with any business out there but we really do try to do things right.

    • Kay says:

      We have used Uhal on a 1 way rental and once on an in town rental ( from Lubbock , Texas to San Antonio , Texas) on the one way and the 2 different Uhaul places we used 1 for the truck and the 1 I used for packing supplies were always very helpful and polite. The return rental Uhal in San Antonio was also very polite. The in town move I used 2 different sites again and never had any trouble with either here in San Antonio , Texas. They offered me the box of apartment moving kit with a discount because the outer box was faded and a little water damaged and they always helped carry items to my car if I needed help. Yes we had to use another company once because we forgot to reserve a truck, but they were not helpful and did not have the power lift tail gate. I will always use Uhaul. They have been straight about prices on rentals, when the truck can be picked up and returned and always polite and helpful.

  10. Cackalacky says:

    We’ve had nothing but good experiences with U-Haul. In the last 8 years my husband and I have done 3 DIY moves for our entire household, plus several smaller moves for our college-age kids. One tip, always pick up the truck THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR LOADING DAY. This way, you’ll get the truck you want and you’re ready to go start loading bright and early in the morning.

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