Having previously rented at U-Haul with no issues, reader Robert was surprised when a U-Haul agent wouldn’t rent him a truck unless he had a land line phone number. Robert tried giving him his work number but agent promptly dialed and when he realized it wasn’t Robert’s personal phone number, he hung up and said, “Land line!” Not having an actual land line number Robert was in a bit of a jam. Robert’s letter, inside….
I rented a van from U-Haul in Jersey City, NJ on Sunday 5/11 and had a bit of a run-in with the rental agent. He looked up my reservation and they demanded a land line phone number. I don’t have a land line number and figured it was for marketing purposes. I resist giving extra information so I just gave my employer’s main number. He immediately picked up the phone and dialed the number. When it was clear this wasn’t a private line he hung up and demanded a “LAND LINE” I was a little startled and started asking why he wanted a land line to call. He was clearly irritated and kept saying things like “it’s policy” or “it’s 9am, don’t start with me!”, and finally, “so I know you are who you say you are.” He already had my driver’s license and it matched the info in the reservation so this step seemed unnecessary but I wasn’t getting anywhere.
Luckily my brother was with me and has a work line that has his voice saying his name on voice mail. Having called and been satisfied the rental agent then asked for a SECOND credit card. I didn’t have a second card with me other than the one used to reserve the truck. When I protested things got heated again. A second agent tried to step in and explain that the second card was because I was renting a truck and was a very expensive piece of equipment. The first agent tried to keep her from talking to me and appeared to be the manager. Requesting a manager wasn’t going to work and I needed the truck. My brother used his card as the secondary card.
Now, I have rented trucks from this location in the past and never needed anything other than 1 credit card and a driver’s license. Apparently one now needs a land line with your voice on voice mail or a land line where someone will vouch for you, two credit cards and a driver’s license. I don’t see these requirements anywhere on the web site or rental paperwork. I even asked what I needed to get the truck when I called to make the reservation and was told I needed nothing more than the credit card used to hold the truck and license. Consumerist readers might want to keep this story in mind if they ever consider renting a truck from U-Haul.
In the end Robert needed a driver’s license, 2 credit cards and a land line phone call in which his name was spoken on the recording to rent a truck. Our quick research didn’t reveal anything about a land line either. We’re guessing that this is the local agent’s not-so-brilliant way of deterring vehicle theft. But just because he has good intentions doesn’t mean he has the right to do it. We wonder if U-Haul corporate is on board with this policy. We’re guessing there is no shortage of truck rental places in New Jersey. Maybe it’s time to start looking elsewhere.