U-Haul Keel-Hauled Over Gas Charges

Everyone hates U-Haul lately. From booking appointments and then not honoring them to charging you for canceling bookings that you didn’t want, the company tops our long list of scummy corporations.

So we’re always happy to see someone bring the bastards to court. That lone avatar of a just cause? Leonard Aron, who bravely fights against U-Haul’s outrageous top-up fee, where they charge you for not filling the tank… even if you have. Class action lawsuit time.

Here’s an example sent to Consumer Affairs: “I used the truck for 20 miles … On the way to returning the truck I have filled up $9.37 worth of gas, which equates to more than 3 gallons of gas. When I returned the truck (the manager) claimed that I have not filled up the gas and charged me an extra $50 — $20 for gas (4 gallons at $5), and $30 service fee.”

Of course, U-Haul’s right to bilk you is in your contract, so it must be legal!

U-Haul Gets Hauled Into Court [Consumer Affairs]

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  1. jacques says:

    Is it really that difficult to get a receipt when you fill up? That probably would have solved all of this fellow’s problems.

  2. formergr says:

    I’m going to guess that he has documentation from the gas station that he’s using in his suit, whether in the form of a receipt or the credit card charge.

    U-Haul does suck. I rented one of their trucks on one of the big moving days in Chicago, and when I went to return it there was a line of 35 people picking up trucks. They actually expected me to wait in the same line just to return my invoice (confirming that the guy outside had checked for damage, refueling, etc and had signed off) and key to them. The line wasn’t moving at all, so I just walked to the front and put the invoice and key down in front of the guy, told him what I was doing, and walked away.

    6 months of past due notices from U-Haul, collections threats, etc ensued before I finally convinced them that I returned the truck and paid for it on time.

  3. Anonymously says:

    A receipt doesn’t realy prove that he filled up the U-Haul, only that he bought gas. The only thing that can provate that is an accurate gas gauge. Having anything mechancial that’s accurate or working properly on a U-Haul is improbable at best, so he’s screwed.

  4. I wrote an “I Hate U-Haul” post back in August of ’05 when I moved my girlfriend and her roommate from NJ to MD and it’s one of my most commented posts. People far and wide HATE this company and it’s amazing that they’re still in business!

  5. Henrythoreau says:

    The company’s slogan used to be “Adventures in Moving”–but I guess this isn’t the sort of adventure he had in mind.

    In San Francisco, you fill out the rental forms in an office several miles from the parking lot where the trucks are kept. I had to wait 45 minutes for the shuttle from the counter to the truck.

    By the way, all of the pithy slogans trademarked by U-haul are at:
    http://www.uhaul.com/legal/trademarks.aspx
    and they include

    “MOM’S ATTIC”
    and
    “SUPER MOVER”

    So this nixes anyone’s plan to create a superhero that helps the unfortunate move to another city.

    Henry

  6. Brian says:

    I had a decent enough experience with Budget truck rental. They were less than half the price of Ryder and U-haul for my 600-mile move.

    Though I imagine the experience is hugely variable, seeing as how anyone with a chunk of empty asphalt or gravel can open a franchise.

  7. magic8ball says:

    Oddly enough, my experiences with U-Haul locally (in Utah) have been really good. They haven’t messed up my reservations, and last time when I went to return the truck, the person behind the counter stayed a few minutes past closing so I could get the return done on time. Not a huge big deal, but nice. If I hadn’t read Consumerist I would have had no idea that every other U-Haul office in the nation is staffed by jerks, losers, and weasels.

  8. Mar says:

    I had always been pleased with U-Haul until a couple of years ago, a friend’s vehicle broke down a couple of hundred miles away. My husband rented a tow dolly from U-Haul and went to pick it up. As you probably know they always recommend the additional insurance. He bought it. The clerk hooked the dolly and lights and away they went. As the car was driven on to the dolly the tongue flipped off the hitch and left a huge scrape and dent on the tail gate of my brand new truck. Did the U-Haul insurance pay for the damages? No our insurance paid, even when the clerk admitted it was her fault! Turns out the insurance is only for damages to their equipment-also covered by your own policy.