Consumerist reader Dave says he hasn’t rented anything from U-Haul in around two years, so he was surprised this morning to receive a text from the company. Even more alarming: The message said he owed U-Haul money for a speeding ticket from three years ago. [More]
If you’ve ever thought U-Haul’s ads touting rates as low as $19.95/day plus mileage sounded too good to be true, you may be right. In fact, for some screwed-over customers, their final bill could end up being much, much, much larger than originally expected. [More]
Remember the U-Haul customer who was locked in at a self-storage unit in Wisconsin? Something similar, but possibly more dangerous, happened over the weekend at an indoor U-Haul facility in Philadelphia.
Jesse, who wrote to us last week to complain about Ryder’s broken guarantee, has contacted us again with a follow up. We also spoke with Ryder directly to ask how their “Guaranteed Availability” promise actually works, so that future customers know what to expect.
U-Haul apparently knows about Ryder’s initiative to outdo it on suckage, so they’ve introduced a whole new class of customer abuse: false imprisonment. Best of all, the employee who was sent to let Jessica and her friend out of U-Haul Prison told them that if they hadn’t wanted to get locked in after 5pm, they should have paid for 24 hour access. (They were taking advantage of a complimentary offer from the company.)
If you saw this image on the Ryder website, you might think that it means two things: that they guarantee some sort of vehicle availability to customers, and that they will make sure you are satisfied with your experience. You would be wrong. Update: Ryder has responded to Jesse’s complaint.
Chris and his wife moved recently. To do so, they rented a truck from U-Haul. They planned ahead, booked their truck in advance, and did everything correctly. They just had the audacity to request a truck that wasn’t located an hour away from their new home. This was apparently too much for the U-Haul infrastructure to handle.
U-Haul Forgets Customer, Forgets Guarantee, Then Forgets Extra Day Agreement And Threatens Criminal Charges
Consumerist reader Dionicious and his brother tried to rent a trailer from U-Haul over the weekend. First they were faced with a closed location, then they had to ask before the company followed through on its $50 “Right Time, Right Location” guarantee. They hoped that was the end of the screw-ups, but the next day an angry employee called and threatened to file criminal charges against the brothers. Too bad there’s not some sort of $50 “We Threaten You, We Pay” guarantee.
Look, we know gas is expensive, but don’t save a couple bucks by topping off your U-Haul’s gas tank with water. We won’t pretend to care about U-Haul—not even U-Haul cares about their vehicles—but the next renter will want to bludgeon you with a rusty ice pick when their truck breaks down because you hosed the engine.
Now that it’s summer, many people are doing the moving thing. For some, this might mean renting a truck or trailer from U-Haul, like reader Ryan. He reserved a truck from U-Haul online well in advance of his move, but when he went in for pickup was told none were available. Ryan called corporate, who called the store and convinced the surly manager to give Ryan a truck. Three days after Ryan returned the truck, he got this voicemail from from U-Haul: “This is Alexandria U-Haul Rentals. Your rental truck was due three days ago and you haven’t returned it. If you don’t return our truck today I will call the police.” See how Ryan handled the situation, inside.
A Dallas court found U-Haul guilty of negligence for failing to maintain its vehicles properly, and awarded 74-year-old Talmadge Waldrip $84 million in damages, $63 million of which are punitive. “The truck’s parking brake did not work at all,” said the man’s lawyer. “He stepped out of the truck and it rolled right over him.”
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.”
We’re going to say something positive about U-Haul! No, not about the company (it has a rich history of complaints on our blog), but about the community trading service they’ve enabled on their “U-Haul Box Exchange” forum where people give away or sell their boxes after they’ve moved—although hopefully you won’t find an unpacked baby in any used boxes you get your hands on.
Central pieces of evidence have gone go missing when U-Haul gets sued, LAT reports in the 3rd part of its investigation into the do-it-yourself moving company. In 11 out of 10,000 lawsuits filed against the company since 1998, items such as faulty tires and rims at the core of the cases have vanished before or during trial.
Part 2 in a LA Times investigation into U-Haul’s business practices and safety record isn’t any less bleak than part 1. The LA Times investigation has uncovered that U-Haul fails to properly maintain their aging fleet of vehicles while mechanics “hang paper” (forge safety inspections and repairs) to keep the trucks and the money rolling.
During a yearlong investigation, Times journalists surveyed more than 200 U-Haul trucks and trailers in California and other states and found that more than half were overdue for a company-mandated “safety certification,” a check of brakes, tires and other parts typically required every 30 days.
U-Haul knowingly rents unsafe tow trailers that have the potential to kill customers. A yearlong investigation by the L.A. Times found that U-Haul’s practices unnecessarily expose customers to the dangers of trailer sway.
Traveling downhill or shaken by a sharp turn or a gust of wind, a trailer can begin swinging so violently that only the most experienced — or fortunate — drivers can regain control and avoid catastrophe.
Trailers can sway when towed by vehicles lighter than the trailer. U-Haul regulations allows trailers to outweigh the tow-vehicle by up to 25%, openly flouting guidelines set by automakers. For instance, U-Haul allows a 2007 Crown Victoria to haul 4,400 pounds, even though Ford suggests that the 4,100 pound vehicle tow no more than 1,500 pounds. “Two U-Haul competitors, Penske and Budget only rent trailers to customers renting trucks heavier than the trailers. Safety is the reason.”
After examining the Lil’ Hauler Plush Toy Trailer (left, $9.95), reader Matt found that its proboscis bore an unmistakable reference to something he hadn’t been able to find among his fat folds in some time.