Uhaul CEO's Cellphone Number

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.

(Thanks to le-garce!)

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  1. char says:

    Could have used it 4 years ago when they switched my location to 40 minutes away from the original (which was right around the corner from where I’m was moving from/to). They then charged me for the extra miles on top of it. At the time I didn’t have time to fight it, but I was pretty pissed.

  2. m4ximusprim3 says:

    Man, thats a ballsy move. Respect to him for doing it, but he better have a freakin big voicemail box or a lot of secretaries :)

  3. yesteryear says:

    somehow it makes sense to see the guy who runs uhaul in a room that was last redecorated in 1971.

  4. Yep says:

    They lost me several years ago after the upteenth time they neglected to honor my reservation. Haven’t looked back since, and never will.

  5. kublaconsumer says:

    @yesteryear: I caught this on live TV and thought the same thing. What corporation has a conference room with 1970′s paneling?

  6. plustax says:

    @Yep:

    JERRY: I don’t understand, I made a reservation, do you have my reservation?
    RENTAL CAR AGENT: Yes, we do, unfortunately we ran out of cars.
    JERRY: But the reservation keeps the car here. That’s why you have the reservation.
    RENTAL CAR AGENT: I know why we have reservations.
    JERRY: I don’t think you do. If you did, I’d have a car. See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don’t know how to *hold* the reservation and that’s really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them.

  7. Snarkysnake says:

    I call metaphysical bullshit. U-Hell is one of the worst “service” companies in the business.No, Joe , you can’t get your organization to behave because they don’t give a flying shit.Everybody has a U-Hell horror story. Thats no accident. When these company mugwumps stare into that camera and promise that things are gonna be different,don’t you believe it until you see it.Talk is cheap,Joe.

  8. parad0x360 says:

    This is what happens when Cell companies start offering unlimited calling for one flat fee…

  9. miles85 says:

    This is an interesting approach to improving customer service. I wonder how many calls he’s going to receive as a result of this — it seems like it might be more than he could handle, even with help from a secretary. I think that this tactic could easily backfire for the company if it isn’t handled very carefully.

  10. AbsoluteIrrelevance says:

    There is no way that number is going to be active for more than 48 hours.

  11. bohemian says:

    I thought about calling this guy. But either the phone will no longer be working due to call volume or he will be so glazed over from hearing the same horror stories millions of times it just won’t matter.

    I hate U-haul with a passion and they don’t give a rip and won’t do anything to compensate you. “Lost” our truck, asked us to drive 3 hours one way to another location to pick one up, finally “found” us a truck when I pitched a fit, truck was a death trap with no parking brake and a leaky windshield. Between the truck almost rolling away at a truck stop and the rainshower in the cab that blinded both people driving it you would think they might give a rip. Nope, they kept our $100 cash deposit they demanded up front and then charged us an extra day because there was no drop box at the drop off site for keys and they were closed.

    Their solution was to send me some coupons for $50 off our next move. WTF?!? Nope. Never again.

  12. Karl says:

    I checked that area code and prefix, and sure enough, it’s (probably) a cell phone:

    Area Code: 602

    Prefix: 390

    Location: PHOENIX

    Type of service: cellular/PCS

    The only thing that might complicate this is if they ported a cell number to a landline. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they tried to give out some executive relations call center number as his cell.

  13. nuton2wheels says:

    u haul hires some of the biggest idiots… I clearly remember the issues I encountered while trying to secure a motorcycle compatible trailer in 2003, heh

  14. chrispiss says:

    I had a good experience there. It was a bunch of highschool/college kids running the place. They didn’t check for damage, gas, or anything. They charged me the base fee and didn’t charge for mileage or anything. I guess it’s a bad way to run a business…but it was awesome for me.

  15. DrUnKtAnK says:

    U haul is a nightmare. U Haul installed a hitch on my wife’s van and it’s caught fire once, and shorted the tail lights twice. Actually the rear lights are out now due to 6th grade splicing wiring job. What a joke. Talk to you soon Joe!

    Thanks Consumerist!

  16. moore850 says:

    @m4ximusprim3: can you imagine the cellphone budget you have to have to give out your actual cell number on TV as the CEO of a company and volunteer to take complaint calls? The extra balls move is to see how many he can reply to and create change.

  17. consumerd says:

    me and the parents have used them a few times for trailers. No problems whatsoever, lucky I guess.

  18. camille_javal says:

    “Thank you for calling, this is Joe. I check my voicemail frequently. Please leave your name and number and I will give you a call.”

    Ballsy move indeed. Ballsier would be to visit U-Hauls and drive the *real* trucks they rent to people. The ones with the broken A/C in Alabama in August, or broken heater in Massachusetts in February, that haven’t been aligned since the Ford administration.

  19. edrebber says:

    I hope Joe goes way over on his cell phone minutes and causes Uhaul to miss their earnings estimate.

  20. uberbucket says:

    I’m not alone!

    My own personal U-Hall tale of terror also began with the “Where the hell is the truck I reserved and payed for a week ago?” as well. They finally found one that was just coming out of the shop but obviously was not fixed. No stereo or even a radio, leaky rear air shocks and on the very first hill the dashboard lit up like a x-mas tree with lights and buzzers a-plenty. The brake pedal was just for show as well.

    I’ve never been more afraid in my life.

  21. SaveMeJeebus says:

    I’ll be impressed if he can rap it out like 281-334-8004.

  22. davere says:

    They lost me as a customer as well about 6 years ago when they closed the location where we were supposed to pick up the truck. They never notified us, we just went there and it was closed. A call to customer service got us another location that was further away and could only give us a truck half the size we had requested and not until the end of the business day.

    We called Penske and they had us up and running in no time. I have never looked back either. In fact, I don’t mind paying more with another company if that means that I get to avoid u-haul.

  23. tequilajunction says:

    6 years ago I reserved a truck one month in advance to move on a Saturday. I got a call on Friday at 4:45pm telling me I could pick up the truck Sat at 7AM and had to have it back by noon. I was told that if I held it past noon they would report is as stolen.

    To add insult to injury, when I told them to cancel my reservation, they refused to refund the deposit, since I was the one who cancelled.

    Since then I’ve convinced dozens of friends not to use U-Haul when they move. I used to tell people that I wouldn’t help them move if they were using U-Haul.

  24. burgundyyears says:

    Just a little suggestion for people planning to use U-Haul:

    The reservation system is a sham. It’s first come first serve – period. I have this on very good authority.

  25. timsgm1418 says:

    hate to be the bad guy here, but I’ve had nothing but great service from UHaul. The last time I used them 16 months ago, the little gas station I rented from was terrific. Not only did they have my truck, they gave me a discount of $20 when I brought it back because it was such a slow time. I told them I’m not comfortable with backing the truck into their space, and they willingly did it for me. I did have one bad experience with them, but then found out if was actually my fault (I was at the wrong location, duh)The only real complaint I have is their wanting to move me up to the next size truck. I’m not comfortable driving even the little one and I don’t want a bigger truck. I would quickly choose them again. It might just be because where I live (Baltimore suburb) there are tons of U Haul locations, so if one doesn’t have what you need drive 2 miles and get it from the next one…

  26. timsgm1418 says:

    @burgundyyears: I believe that to be true…so I always get there early

  27. jwissick says:

    Dude.. go to your local commercial truck bobtail renter… You will get a kick ass truck that is well maintained, a power lift and save your back. It’s well worth it. U-haul trucks are all death traps. If you drive one, you should expect to die. No one maintains them.

  28. sprocket79 says:

    I’ve had the whole meaningless reservation thing with U-Haul so I’m never renting from them again.

    I just moved and went with Budget. I had a fairly good experience when it could have ended with disaster. I reserved a cargo van one weekend and then a 10′ truck the next weekend (I’ve been moving the past 2 weeks, did boxes first and furniture last). I reserved both online and I didn’t get my email confirmation for the second truck. I called Budget and they sent it to me. The first weekend I get my cargo van, everything is as planned. The next weekend I called the day before to get my 10′ truck and the place doesn’t have a record of my reservation at all. They don’t have a 10′ truck available either! I was pissed to I called Budget corporate again and asked what they were going to do about it. They managed to get me a reservation at the next closest Budget, which was actually closer to my new house, so I wasn’t that put out about it. The owner of the place called me about an hour later and said that he didn’t have a 10′ truck either and would I accept a cargo van! I was like… uh Budget corporate promised me you had a 10′ available! I *had* to have the truck because all we had left to move was furniture! So instead the guy gave me the 16′ truck for the same price as the 10′ truck. In the end it was a blessing in disguise because we managed to fit all our crap in the bigger truck in one move. There is no way it would have fit in the smaller truck in one move.

  29. CaliforniaCajun says:

    Jeez…he looks like he’s sitting in the typical dark wood-paneled, cigarette and motor oil stained U-Haul office.

    Whatta great picture. You can’t see the dirty tile floor, but you know it’s there!

  30. Piloter says:

    We moved across the country in a Uhaul once–Washington to Ohio–and had quite the mixed experience. On the one hand we got a little old Toyota truck that couldn’t handle the highway, much less the Continental Divide in the summer (and not even a full load) without overheating…we literally were blasting the heat in 90-degree weather and full sunshine so we could limp uphill at 35 MPH on the shoulder, and pulling over every 30 minutes (on the highway) to fill cups of water from no-name rest stops, eateries, and gas stations to THROW ON THE SMOKING ENGINE. Several Big Gulps worth of water straight on the block and a few minutes in the shade was usually enough to get us back on the road for a few miles more. We finally made contact with a Uhaul place in the next night’s stop and they took the poor little truck in, discovered that some putz had filled the radiator with nothing but tap water, and gave us a free upgrade to the next size bigger truck. On top of that, they actually got a couple of movers to their location and had them move all our stuff between trucks, gratis. Company-wise, it may be a bit of a hassle, but the people can be good.

  31. gfinakoma says:

    I’m curious if anyone got through. Anyone?

  32. feesbag says:

    Well, since everyone seems to be tossing out their U-Haul horror stories, I might as well give it a shot, eh? My friend and I were moving and wanted to get a decently small sized U-Haul. Understandably so, since we didn’t really have a lot of furniture. So we wanted to get a nice 14′ unit, and reserved one. Since my friend had driven smaller trucks of the type before, we opted out of the insurance. Well, AFTER all is said and done and we rent the thing, the salesperson politely informs us that the desired truck is “missing”. So, instead, we get the max-size monstrosity. This thing was very, very similar to a semi, and was showing its age poorly (my guess is that it was manufactured in the late 70′s or perhaps the early 80′s). This was the most strenuous, annoying, dangerous experience of my life. We ended up wasting a LOT of gas money on this thing (my share was 40USD for about 20 miles), which was a big issue at the time because my income was limited, so to speak (well below the poverty line). I would like to call this man and inform him to have his rental locations actually ensure that the vehicles are 1) there, and 2) in something remotely close to working order. Especially if the location is DIRECTLY off of a highway.

  33. allstarecho says:

    He must have just switched to one of those new Verizon/Sprint/ATT unlimited calling plans.

  34. crapple says:

    @CaliforniaCajun: I thought I was going to be the only one to comment on the fitting office he has…I’ve never used U-Haul, but of the 3 or 4 people I know that have, it was a horrible experience.

  35. beavis88 says:

    I have only one thing to say:

    PEN-SKE, PEN-SKE, PEN-SKE!

  36. Beerad says:

    Seriously, unless this dude offers to pay me $500 to compensate for wasted time, phony charges, and piss-poor customer service I’ve experienced in the past, I’m still never using U-Haul ever again.

    It’s a nice effort, but after you’ve been kicked in the balls once, the offer that “oh, uh, that wasn’t supposed to happen, but try us again and let me know what happens” doesn’t seem that appealing.

  37. northernplateguy says:

    My U-Haul story: My mom reserved a U-Haul to pick up some furniture from her friends house. The truck was mechanicly sound (probably because it was still fairly new and U-Haul hasn’t had much of a chance to _not_ maintain it yet) but the latch for the drivers seatbelt was broken. The only other trucks that I could have used were larger sizes (higher prices).

  38. econobiker says:

    REnt@jwissick: Yeah, rent Penske. Especially if you will rent on the weekend and even better if you can drive a manual transmission on a non-CDL (non-commercial drivers license) required truck. You won’t get low deck heights but you’ll get a good truck for the money.

  39. WayDownRiver says:

    Looks like all of these horror stories are about renting a truck/van, but don’t think you’ll escape U-Haul hell if you rent one of their storage rooms.

    I did, and can say it was the absolutely worst-run business I’ve ever dealt with. Utterly inefficient to the extent that it seemed like management philosophy to make things harder for everybody.

    By the way, this was the storage building on Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn. God, I am so glad those people are out of my life forever.

  40. Mike8813 says:

    @beavis88: My family is planning a cross-country move in April, and we were set on choosing Uhaul. All of these stories have scared me silly, and I’ll be going with Penske now! They seem very reasonable.

  41. speer320 says:

    It an alltel phone lol

    ALLTEL COMMUNICATIONS OF THE SOUTHWEST, LP – AZ

    to be exact

  42. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    @beavis88:
    I agree. I rented from Penske for my last move and I will for my next. I got free mileage since it was a “one-way” rental — all I had to do was pick up the truck in one town and return it in another (adjacent) town. The truck was immaculate, and everything with the reservation went very smoothly.
    Oh, and full disclosure: I don’t get any kind of special consumerist moderator kitteh consideration for saying nice stuff about Penske.

  43. RumorsDaily says:

    I called UHaul corporate to complain about their inability to provide a reserved truck (like everyone else), and was told by the corporate staff woman “Well I don’t care about that.”

    That conversation was the end of my UHaul renting. It was seven years ago.

  44. BMRFILE says:

    U-Haul always had the crappiest trucks. Would you believe they still have manual trucks? I didn’t mind that so much as the battery that died on me when I went to return the truck. I had to wait 2 hours for the repair guy to come out, dicked around to swap out teh battery after testing it for 30 minutes to make sure that it’s dead. That’s two hours I could’ve used to unpack and settle into my new house.

    I have since switched to Penske. For a little bit more, Penske trucks are new, clean and easy to drive. U-Haul has a lot to do to catch up to them.

  45. dweebster says:

    @BMRFILE: It’s a little hard to “catch up to them” when your vehicles have dead batteries, eh?

  46. dweebster says:

    @RumorsDaily: Refreshing honesty from that woman. Good for her, saves you the trouble of pretending that the company has any other attitude toward their product quality.

  47. JuliaPirithous says:

    He never returns calls. I left several messages in April 2008.
    Today 5/31/08 i called again and it says mail box full.

  48. ArlenTubero says:

    I had a run in with Uhual last week. My weekend ended with squirrels
    chewing threw the fuel line on my truck and rendering it unfit to drive.
    So, I called Uhaul the next day and asked about getting a tow dolly. I
    played twenty questions with three people before they would even tell me
    they had one and that it would work to tow my truck. I left work early
    (at 3:30) to go and pick it up with my buddy. We got to the location and
    the manager has to tell an employee to help me. The employee then asks
    the same twenty questions even after I gave him my name and the quote
    for the tow dolly. The ensuing conversation went like this.

    Uhaul employee: “we don’t have any tow dollies.”

    Me: “Can you check at the other location in the city” there are 6 or 7

    Uhaul employee: “I can’t do that” after staring at me for a couple of
    minutes

    Me: “Can you find the phone number for the other locations”

    Uhaul employee: “I don’t know them”

    Me: “Can you find out” stares at me for a couple of minutes, again

    Uhaul employee: “I can look them up online, hang on a minute” types for
    30 seconds, stops, waits…

    10 minutes later… all of it staring at me with no additional typing

    I notice that his screen is still blank because the security monitor has
    shifted to the camera pointing at the computers.

    Me: “Is it almost done?”

    Uhaul employee: “Computer is slow hang on a minute.” At this point the
    manager leaves the other computer (yes, he was standing there the whole
    time)

    Uhaul employee: “Let me try this computer” types for 30 seconds, stops,
    waits…

    10 minutes later… all of it staring at me with no additional typing

    Me: “Is there a way we can do this faster?”

    Uhaul employee: “You could make a reservation.”

    Me: “okay let’s do that then”

    Uhaul employee: “They will call you before 5 and tell you where you can
    pick up the tow dolly.”

    Uhaul employee: types for 30 seconds, “your phone number is 526″

    Me: “No it is 256-xxx-xxxx”

    Uhaul employee: “ok”

    Me: “Can you read it back to me”

    Uhaul employee: “It is the same one you gave me on the phone” (yes,
    apparently this is the same guy that I talked to earlier. Who gave me
    the quote and played twenty questions twice)

    At this point I started becoming upset. My friend had already gone
    outside, come back inside, and then started pacing the store. I just
    want out at this point. I take the reservation and leave. As I pull out
    I notice 4 tow dollies neatly parked in row right behind the parking
    area. I get the phone list from another friend who looks it up with 30
    seconds call three places who all say they have no tow dollies. Then the
    one shining point I get a text message saying we have a tow dolly for
    you to pick up before 5. No address or phone numbers, I pick the list
    back up and start calling people again trying to get the one that texted
    me. It turns out that location is across town at rush hour. I got the
    god forsaken dolly and had no further problems. I do want to add that
    the employee and manager were African American and that in the time
    frame that the employee was “helping me” the manager helped 3 or 4 other
    African Americans with out any comment to the employee. I am pretty sure
    that the employee saw a white, middle class, mid twenties, young man and
    decided to shaft me, all the while the manager watched in silent
    approval. Thanks Uhual

    Jsmithee

    Network Support Engineer

  49. LorettaDuge says:

    Wow! It is incredible to read the number of bad experiences that customers have had with Uhaul. Many of these stories show Uhaul’s disregard for customer service, but a lot of them are downright dangerous. The fact is, Uhaul’s careless safety practices have put many lives in jeopardy, and have even resulted in death for their customers! I encourage everyone who has posted here to learn more about this issue and to post your own Uhaul horror story at http://www.uhaulsafetyalert.org. We need to get the word out so that others don’t go through the same thing.

  50. Anonymous says:

    I rented a 14 moving truck from the UHAUL location at approvimately University & County Line Road (Littleton, Colorado). The truck was in good condition and everything worked well. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I give this location an A+.

    Sincerely,

    Tom Kennedy

  51. shelly says:

    i called joe on the cell phone that i found on this site for all the problems we were having and he picked up on the first ring..listened to what i had to say…let me tell you that man kicked some ass and got the ball rolling and we are now on our way to oregon! he apologized for all we have been through and that it was unacceptable and that he talked to the manufactures of the truck and found that we are not overweight as uhaul had previously told us..we still have a fight with uhaul coming at the end of our journey but happy that joe got us on our way..he did his job and now since we have spoken with joe we have had 3 phone calls from uhaul and they are kissing our butts now and are yes sir no sir kinda thing…amazing!

  52. eagleman10926 says:

    As a customer service representative at uhaul, I would like to apologize to all of these bad experiences. However, we take pride in our Uhaul center in Tennessee and have had very minimal complaints such as these. I guess it just depends on how much the place cares about their customers. We, here at my center, take care of customers as much as we can. That is how i came across this blog. I want to see the bad experiences of other people with our company so we can improve on our mmistakes. Once again, I apologize.