U-Haul Gets Mad If You Follow Their Directions, Park In A Ghetto

Willie wasn’t sure why U-Haul told him to park his rental truck in a poorly lit, fenced-off gas station lot that was clearly under construction, but he figured he had the right place when he saw several other U-Haul trucks in a closed pen nearby; Willie parked next to the pen, locked his rental, and got the hell out of there; when Willie told U-Haul he returned their truck as per their instructions, “they try to tell us it is our fault and we would be charged for this….for what? For doing exactly what they said. Exactly.” Now U-Haul wants $1,700:

I get a call from my bank on August 1 and they tell me that UHaul has just tried to charge $700 to my account and then $1000+…The first charge goes through but the second one is stopped. So now they are trying to charge me for their incompetence. I can’t believe this. I contacted the bank and they understood, credited me back my money, filed a dispute, and issued me a new card. Thanks Wachovia.

U-Haul has a penchant for inconvenient, dangerous drop-off locations that are cheap to acquire, and don’t require full-time staff. If U-Haul won’t stop harping you to make amends for following their directions, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and send a copy to U-Haul’s corporate office. That usually gets their attention.

UHaul: Go Fuck Yourself [More Willie]
(Photo: blmurch)

Comments

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  1. snazz says:

    why did they charge him $1700? did the truck get stolen from the ghetto gas station? or was the charges because they claim he never dropped off the van? the article doesnt say what the problem was…

  2. yahonza says:

    I don’t understand…what happened to the truck? Stolen? UHaul claims it is lost? There is something missing from the story.

  3. m.ravian says:

    man. SO glad i went with Penske. i had such an awesome experience with them when i moved this past weekend.

    U-Haul is shady.

  4. mopar_man says:

    I’m going to need to move a good amount of stuff some 900 miles. U-Haul? Fuck you. Penske? Yes please!

  5. cryrevolution says:

    It appears perhaps the vehicle was stolen, thus leading UHaul to believe he never returned it. What the article doesn’t state is where did he turn in the keys? Did nobody atleast get the keys from him and document the truck was there? I don’t understand how he just parked it there, locked it and put the keys…..hmmm…

    If he didn’t atleast tell someone “Uh, here’s your truck, here’s your keys, I’m gone” then perhaps there is some liability on his part.

    But U Haul suckas anyway so who knows.

  6. cryrevolution says:

    *sucks not suckas.

    Errm…yep.

  7. cryrevolution says:

    Okay, actually read his blog…he left the keys in the truck. I guess okay. I have to say though, although U Haul sucks big and he should definitely despute SOME of the charge, how is U Haul supposed to know he DID IN FACT leave the truck? I mean, you just park it anywhere on the lot, leave it there, don’t let anyone know its there…its going to look a bit suspicious.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this one turns out.

  8. homerjay says:

    @cryrevolution: That would be the case if they didn’t expressly tell him to do that. I didn’t read his blog and we only know one side of the story but we do know uhauls track record and that leads me to believe their at fault.

  9. cryrevolution says:

    @homerjay: True. U Haul’s track record speaks for itself. Although, I don’t know why U Haul would expressly tell him to just leave the truck in the middle of the lot, and leave, not telling anyone its there at all. But who knows…we need more info really.

  10. sewrig01 says:

    I really want to hear U-Haul’s version of this story

  11. LizS says:

    I’ve done UHaul before and they have after-hours drop boxes for keys. No one needs to be there to check in the truck. If there are other UHaul trucks there but the associated garage/bldg is closed, as in not in business, I can see why he would think to lock the doors, leave the keys in the truck and high-tail it out of there.

    I’m sure UHaul’s version of the story is that the truck was never returned or returned to the wrong location and is now MIA.

    Seriously, I bet you the location he dropped it off at was a recently in business location and UHaul didn’t know or update their records that it was closed, thus the other UHaul trucks.

    UHaul sucks. I wouldn’t give them the benefit of the doubt, like, ever.

  12. bigvicproton says:

    yeah UHAUL probably stole it back themselves when they found the keys in it, obviously somewhere there likes the move Cyclo…

  13. bohemian says:

    This sounds typical. We rented Uhaul about four years ago (we didn’t have Penske or Budget yet).

    The drop off location in our new town was at a storage unit business. There was no key drop box and nobody there on Sunday. So we left the truck, locked it up and took the keys with. I went in the next morning to drop off the keys and get a receipt. Uhaul tried to charge us for another day. What were we supposed to do? I didn’t want to lock the keys in the truck, how would they get them out? I had nowhere else to put the keys. Oh, and the location obviously knew I dropped of the truck before Monday morning since it was in their lot when they got there.
    But this was they least aggrivating and dangerous part of our Uhaul experience.

  14. OKH says:

    Would it be possible that he locked the keys in the truck rather than drop the keys in the after hours safebox? It could explain, though not excuse, the extra charges.

  15. [sarcasm]
    Ah yes, $1700 to jimmy open a car door. That sounds reasonable.
    [/sarcasm]

    Seriously, I’m willing to bet money that any one of us here could go break into a UHaul truck right now. Half of them probably aren’t locked, and the other half probably don’t have working locks.

  16. North of 49 says:

    if there wasn’t a safebox, where was he supposed to put the keys?

    honestly, we will never use uhaul again. the horror stories about them just get worse and worse.

  17. lincolnparadox says:


    I just hope that Willie has a copy of the printed directions to the drop-off center, and that he followed those directions exactly.

    For example, I used Penske to move out to Iowa (wonderful experience, they made everything easy and inexpensive). The drop-off slip said XXXX 3rd Avenue. Well, there was an XXXX West 3rd, which was a fraternity house. So, I called them, and they told me that it was XXXX East 3rd. Had I dropped off the truck at the ATO house, things might have gone poorly, AND I would be held liable. But the ATO guys seemed really nice. They even offered me a beer.

    Tangent, sorry. Always hang onto your paperwork. If Uhaul screwed up and sent you to the ghetto, all you have to do is show up to court with that slip and maybe a photo of the drop-off site, and you shouldn’t have any problems.

  18. WhatsMyNameAgain says:

    Oh Iowa… Frat house? Hm. Moved to Iowa City?

    I don’t know what’s better. Your good experience with Penske, or moving to beautiful, wonderful, friendly Iowa! :)

  19. TechnoDestructo says:

    If you’re going from the middle of nowhere to the center of nowhere, you’ve got either two choices: Uhaul, or have someone drive you dozens or hundreds of miles to pick up and drop off the truck; or just Uhaul.

  20. arcticJKL says:

    I found the best way to rent a U-haul is to skip the national company and go to the guy who runs the local shop.

    National didnt have a truck for me and wanted me to rent from location X whereas I went to location Y and they had a truck for me and had access to all the information that the big company had regarding when trucks were due etc.

  21. Crazytree says:

    This story has a HUGE GAPING HOLE in the middle of it.

    I’ll call it a GIANT DONUT STORY.

  22. Shadowfire says:

    I may be the only one here who finds the talk of the truck being stolen hilarious.

    $1700 for a truck? I mean, U-Hauls are bad, but -that- bad? ;)

  23. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I’d like to know what happened to the truck as well; without that, we’re kind of in the dark. My guess is that it got stolen or vandalized. Of course, they may just have a little deal going with some body in the neighborhood…”We’ll give you $200 to smash the windows out” and then they charge the customer $1700. Given U-Haul’s track record, I wouldn’t put it beyond them.

  24. asherchang says:

    When the Consumerist fixes the criteria for the worst company in America next year, I think U Haul will at least make the top 4.

  25. hop says:

    u-haul should make the lousy company list…..my son in law and me spent 2 hours leasing a truck from a u-haul spot….the clerk was busy selling lottery tickets and cigarettes at the store…..when we we came to the store to pick-up the truck the next morning, the clerk on duty had no record of our rental…..after a long argument we got a rental ,but not the one we signed for…..

  26. winnabago says:

    Go Penske, it’s worth the extra money.

  27. ExecutorElassus says:

    Penske is extra? It wasn’t for me; you just have to find the right city, usually the suburban/satellite cities are way cheaper. And both are cheaper AND better than UHaul.

    Example:
    UHaul, DC –> Buffalo in 2002 = $1100 for a piece of shit truck that blew a smoke plume out its ass the whole way up the PA turnpike.
    Penske, Buffalo –> DC in 2007 = $500 for a totally sweet brand-new truck that I used to pick up chicks on the Jersey Turnpike. Less than half price for a much longer drive.

    Lesson: UHaul is for suckas.

  28. ThomFabian says:

    @ExecutorElassus:
    I’ve noticed when I’ve used Penske in the past (and love their service by the way) that their rates vary wildly. They price their trucks depending on their need / desire for their trucks to be in spacific locations. My trip from DC down to NC was 900 or so because it was during a peak time and their was no incentive for their trucks to be in NC. Then last December my trip from NC to TX was 500 because it was off-peak timing and they evidently wanted their trucks in TX.

  29. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    I have absolutely no problem believing that nothing happened to the truck, and that U-Hell tried to get the extra $1700 just because they thought that they could. Note that they gave him a much bigger truck than what he had originally arranged for; U-Hell did that to me the last three times that I used them, and tried to charge me the rental price for the larger truck. Fuck ‘em.

  30. alicetheowl says:

    I went with Budget the last time I moved, and wound up paying about $50 less than I would’ve with UHaul. The location was way more convenient, and the guy who owned the rental place actually dashed out a town away to get me one of the things I’d asked for in my rental. (A hand truck, for reference – which UHaul had failed to provide me 2/3 times I’ve rented one of their rustbuckets.)

    Given any choice in the matter, I’m avoiding UHaul like the frickin’ PLAGUE.

  31. E-Bell says:

    I hate U-Haul.

    No, I don’t want an enormously-huge truck. I can’t fucking park that thing. I want the truck I reserved.

    I don’t give a shit if their system can’t keep track of the trucks.

  32. d1u says:

    Sorry, this is rather long, but given my experiences, I wouldn’t trust Uhaul. On my list of villains they rank right up there with Hitler, Pol Pot and the Wicked Witch of the West.

    Back in June, after finishing college in San Diego, I decided I’d donate my furniture to my sister. Having dealt with Uhaul before, I was a little wary because I didn’t feel like letting them kick me again. Although there was a nice Uhaul facility two blocks away from my final destination in Irvine, the national office assigned my drop off to another location… a location that does not exist. I circled around several times, actually arousing the interest of some police officers patrolling John Wayne Airport. Finally I parked the truck in a hotel parking lot and physically stood at the spot where the street address should have been. Thoroughly convinced that neither the night club or savings and loan in front of me were a Uhaul location in disguise, I called Uhaul since the phone number for the location was disconnected. After spending 38 minutes on hold at 10 pm on the west coast (ridiculous if you ask me), an employee, seemingly shocked that the drop-off site did not exist, directed me to another location 10 miles away. I argued to return to the site near the storage facility, but they insisted they would charge me for improper return, amongst other things if I didn’t comply.

  33. ShanW says:

    I’ve had one terrible U-Haul experience, and I’m never putting myself in that situation again.

    We were told we could return the truck, after hours, to the location near where we were moving, and just park the truck in the lot and leave the keys in the “lock box” that was in front of the office. After spending a day moving, my boyfriend and I drove to drop off the truck at 1:30am, exhausted and glad to be able to sleep in the next day (Sat.) and start organizing the new apartment. Instead, when we reached the location, the “lot” was completely locked up. No worries, there were trucks parked in the spaces in front of the lot, we’d leave it there and return the keys to the “lock box.” Except there was no box. None. We took a look at our contract, and saw that if we didn’t get the truck back before 7am, we’d be charged a large fee. So much for sleeping. The next morning, we asked what the hell was up, and they told us that the lock box had been stolen (!) and they hadn’t replaced it. Nice.