U-Haul has settled a class-action suit by agreeing to pay customers $50 each time they fail to honor a confirmed reservation. The settlement comes after an appeals court agreed that the rental giant had “engaged in fraudulent practices.”
San Francisco lawyer Thomas A. Cohen, an attorney for the class, called the settlement “a terrific resolution” and said plaintiffs had a right to return to court to bring a contempt motion if U-Haul was “somehow using words in a way . . . confusing to a customer.”
The case involved U-Haul’s practice of accepting all advance reservations booked online or with telephone reservation agents. Under the company policy, customers were to be told their reservation was “confirmed” and that they would be called the day before their move with instructions on where and when to pick up their equipment. According to the suit, many customers were forced to wait hours or days and travel long distances for the pickup.
In his ruling, Stevens said U-Haul had used “the words ‘confirmed reservation’ in order to lock up customers as soon as possible and minimize the chances that customers are going to shop around.”
U-Haul will now call customers the day before a scheduled move and confirm the pickup time and location. If U-Haul then fails to honor the confirmed reservation, the customer gets $50. We hear that using a moving company other than U-Haul saves vastly more than a Grant‘s worth of grief and suffering.