U-Haul’s Voodoo Reservation System

Shrink a head in a pot, rub your skeletally-painted hands together and evoke ancient jungle spirits for their gris gris: exactly what sort of voodoo do you have to perform to get U-Haul to give you the right truck?

Generally speaking, U-Haul seems to run a significant side business charging you to make reservations for the wrong truck, for the wrong hours, “subjected to availability.” It costs David M. $10 to hear from U-Haul, twice, that U-Haul had thoughtfully made him a reservation for a vehicle that wouldn’t suit his needs.

Of course, even if David had accepted that reservation, past experience dictates he would have shown up and the truck wouldn’t have been there. David’s email, after the jump.

Before I begin, let me set the dates: I had to move yesterday (Sunday, October 1)…this was a one-day window for me, as my old apartment was paid through the first.

Here’s the story:

– About two weeks before I moved, I went to U-Haul’s website and made an on-line reservation for a 17′ truck for a 24-hour period (we wanted to pre-pack a lot on Saturday evening (9/30) before the move. I was told by the website that someone would be contacting me in the next day to confirm the reservation. No one contacted me the next day, but my reservation on U-Haul’s website switched to “confirmed” status, and I also received an e-mail confirming the reservation (which I only glanced at), so all seemed okay.

– I should mention this here: U-Haul charges you $5.00 just to make a reservation (which, presumably, will be applied toward your future rental). You have to enter your CC# on the website…

– A few days later, someone from U-Haul called me to tell me that actually, there were no 17′ trucks available for “the time period I had specified”…would a 14′ truck be okay? I told him that I had asked for a 17′ truck, but it was all right if there were no such trucks available.

– Friday evening, when my girlfriend’s parents were helping us pack, her father (thankfully) asked me to double-check the time to pick up the truck, so I check the confirmation e-mail (reservation #21937022)…

…and saw that the pick-up time was 9:00am Saturday (9/30), with a drop-off time of 4:00pm the same day. Just to be clear, I had specified a pick-up time of 4:00pm on Saturday and a 24-hour rental.

– Vexed, I called U-Haul and asked why my reservation was for only seven hours when I had specified 24 hours in my original request. The phone call went something like this:

Me: I can’t just rent the truck on Saturday for six hours…I’m moving on SUNDAY…it’s totally useless to me on Saturday.

Customer Service Rep: Sir…the website says “subject to availability” when you make the reservation.

Me: That’s fine…I understand that it’s “subject to availability”. That said, when you determined that the services were UNAVAILABLE during the period I requested, why was I sent a CONFIRMATION? Why wasn’t I sent an e-mail stating “sorry…your reservation time is unavailable, here are some available times…”? If you had told me that, I would have been fine with it and rented with another comapny.

CSR: …the website says subject to availability…

Me: Then I want to cancel my reservation because it isn’t what I wanted and I can’t move that day.

CSR: …your reservation has been cancelled *click* <---that was her hanging up on me.

It was already 8:00pm, so I decided to wait until tomorrow (Saturday) to find another moving truck.

– Saturday morning, I call a few local U-Haul locations and no one has trucks available. Finally, I decide to call their national number, figuring that they’ll have access to inventory all over the Bay Area…I understand that we may have to drive a ways to pick up another U-Haul, but thems the breaks. So I have the following interaction:

Me: I would like to rent a U-Haul this afternoon and keep it for 24 hours, as I’m moving tomorrow. I need a 14′ or a 17′ truck, and I need it for 24 hours.

CSR: I need to get your CC# because there is a $5.00 reservation fee…

Me: I know there’s a $5.00 fee, and I’m totally willing to pay it, but I don’t want to pay it, then get a call in an hour telling me that there is a 14′ truck available for 5 hours this afternoon. If I pay this, can you confirm that there is a reservation available for the time period I’ve requested?

CSR: Sir, I wouldn’t even be able to select these truck sizes if they weren’t available. Someone will be calling you in an hour to confirm a location to pick up the truck you want to reserve.

Me: (Grudgingly) Fine…but my understanding is that there is a truck somewhere available that fits my requested parameters.

I take a shower, still without a concrete reservation. While I’m doing that, my girlfriend calls Penske, another rental comany, gets a nice woman on the phone, and reserves a 15′ truck for pick-up only three miles from our apartment. All of this is done in the span of one phone conversation…no waiting for a CSR to call back and (not) confirm the reservation. All is good.

Two hours later, my cell phone rings:

CSR: This is ***** from U-haul calling to confirm your reservation today. Unfortunately, all the larger trucks are reserved, but we have a moving VAN available in Oakland…

Me: I already have a truck from another company…thanks for taking my $5.00, though, and not adhering to the reservation parameters I requested. <*click*>

Yeah…so now U-haul has at least $10.00 of my money and may, for all I know, tack on another cancellation fee for the “reservation” I cancelled on Friday evening.

Now I know that I should have looked more closely at the confirmation e-mail that U-Haul sent me, but when I see “U-Haul Reservation: Confirmed” in the subject line, I feel that it’s safe to assume that the reservation I made was confirmed (as opposed to a completely different reservation subject to the whims of U-Haul’s “subject to availability” policy). I wonder how many other people are bilked by U-Haul in the same manner, and whether their shady-ass business practice is even legal. To me, it smacks of “class-action lawsuit”.

Needless to say, I won’t be using U-Haul again.


Edit Your Comment

  1. olegna says:

    I had a bad experience, too. I reserved a medium-sized truck for a drive across two states. When I arrived all they had was the king-sized monster. Not only did it cost me $150 extra in gas , but it was hell to drive on the highway. All my stuff barely covered the floor of the storage cabin. I could have fit a car in the remaining space. Bastards.

  2. Two things:

    1.) You specified parameters to the CSR upon which you were willing to accept the $5.00 credit-card fee, and she charged your card anyway in direct violation of those parameters. At the bare minimum you should contact your credit card company to have the transaction reversed. If you’re feeling particularly vindictive, since she did this fraudulently over the telephone, it’s a violation of the Wire Fraud Act, and if you had a particularly litigious State Attorney General (e.g., Spitzer), you could try to pursue that angle as well.

    2.) I had my own, similar, experiences with U-Haul that led me to believe that, hands down, Budget is the truck rental place to deal with forever and in perpetuity: http://blog.megacity.org/archives/002104.php

  3. homerjay says:

    I don’t even have to read the email to know what he’s going through. I have two experiences like this with UHaul.
    The first time, I went there at 7am (the time they open) to pick up my truck and nobody was there. When they arrived at 8:30 I was told that he decided to sleep in. Nice… So after I was done with my move I ‘decided’ to keep 12 of their blue furniture moving blankets. Those things will soak up ANYTHING.

    The second time, I kid you not, when I showed up at the place they actually had my reservation written on a napkin. It was totally wrong and they wouldn’t make it right because the other trailers were ‘reserved.’

  4. North of 49 says:

    It cost us over 200$ in gas and ferry because we had ordered a 17 footer and ended up with a 26 footer. We got told at the pick up point that there were nothing under 20 feet anywhere on the island we were on and that we were stuck with what we were stuck with.

    To top it off, they charged us an extra 200$ too because we didn’t fill up the gas tank. Uh.. if we had been told that the size we had wanted wasn’t available, we would have not rented from them in the first place!

    The other time, their odometer and speedometer weren’t working. Charge again? Over 200$ more than what we had planned on paying for the rental. Yet the driver was almost killed because they didn’t know how fast they were going!

    After reading horror stories about U-Haul on Marketplace (cbc.ca/consumer/market) and the Anti-U-Haul websites, we are NEVER going to move with them again!

  5. katre says:

    UHaul’s national reservation system blows. And the $5 does _not_ apply towards your rental. At this point if I go insane and want UHaul, I just start calling each individual location separately, since they usually actually know what their inventory is. But it’s usually not worth it, like the time I went and they declared that I needed a Driver’s License, a Credit Card, and an Itemized Long-Distance Phone Bill (not a local or cell phone bill) to rent. I, of course, don’t have long-distance because my cell phone is cheaper. After raising a stink in front of 20 other customers for 10 minutes they finally gave me a van that day.

  6. It’s been said before on Consumerist: if U-Haul had been in that worst-company-ever tournament last year, it would have won by a landslide.

    U-Haul’s biggest logistical problem is that it’s a franchise company. There’s almost no centralization whatsoever; thus, they can’t keep track of anything beyond the franchise-level. Anyone who’s wasted hours at a U-Haul knows the drill of an employee calling another location to see if they have any trucks. Calling. If one Barnes and Noble can check online to see if another B&N has one of a million books, then U-Haul should be able to see if a location has one of a dozen trucks. But, of course, they can’t, because they don’t share systems.

  7. vannsant says:

    UHaul is a scam and always has been. I’ve had nothing but horrible experiences with them. Unfortunately, in some ares they’re the only option.

    I’ve never gotten the truck I wanted and for local moves, the trucks are always barely functional. I had one that you had to hold the steering wheel all the way to the right to get it to go straight. I told the person about it when I brought it back and he just nodded. The next weeks, the truck sat in their lot waiting to rented.

    They’re a dispicable company and will never get my busines again.

  8. VentMan says:

    Seriously, I have never found a reservation system that works. I get so angry whenever I deal with these people or any other reservation people.

  9. lemur says:

    Like other commenters here, my wife and I also had the surprise of getting to the U-Haul location only to find that we were being given a “free upgrade” because the small truck we wanted to rent was not available. Never mind the extra gas costs and the fact that we did not ask for a darn sperm whale!

    Given that we usually only need a small cargo van anyway, we’ve been doing all of our rentals through Enterprise lately. (The cargo van is their biggest size.) We’ve had 4 or 5 rentals with them so far and not one bad experience. The cargo van we request is always available, they are well organized and their people are pleasant to deal with.

  10. I might be able to top this-

    I request a truck for 24 hours, like David. I get a call asking me if I can pick up the truck at 2am for some reason, and return it by 6am the next day. Grudgingly, I agree, and I go in the middle of the night to pick up the truck. I won’t even bother you with the details of this particular U-Haul location, which is a gas station in a very seedy part of Brooklyn, but lets just say it was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had. The guy at the counter was incompetent, and told me he was unable to find my reservation if I didn’t have the number. I told him I didn’t have the email printed with me, and that non one told me I would be unable to get the truck without the number. He told me tough luck. So I ask him if ther is any way to contact U-Haul HQ or something to get the number, and he says, “no.”
    So I grab a brochure off the counter, find the U-Haul number on there, and call them. Guess what? They give me my number in seconds. So I get the truck, and go home. This transaction took about an hour from the time I came in the door, as he was busy running the gas station while working. It’s now close to 4am when I get home.

    So imagine my surprise when, at (yes, 2 hours later) 6:15am, I get a call from the next employee at the U-Haul place demanding I get the truck back because I am late for my drop-off. He demands I bring the truck back immediately. I informed him that I just picjed the truck up 2 hours ago, had reserved it for 24 hours, and would be doing no such thing. He yelled at me a bunch, and started yelling that it said right on my reciept that I had to return it today at 6am. I pick my reciept up, look at it, and it is correct, saying I drop it off the following day by 6am. I inform the employee to read the reservation more carefully, and to note the date of the drop off. He then informs he that he doesn’t care and still wants me to bring the truck back now. I instead opt to hang up on him and go back to sleep. He leaves me an angry message (riddled with foul language) a few moments later informing me there will be an extra charge for failing to turn in the truck on time.

    I moved the next day as planned, and went to drop the truck off. Luckily, lazy guy was there again and not angry guy, and he seemed to know nothing about what had transpired in the morning. Lazy guy made me move the truck twice in the parking lot, didn’t even inspect it, and didn’t charge me any extra. And that was that.

  11. RumorsDaily says:

    U-Haul is an unbelievably bad company to deal with. I, like everyone else, have gone through the charade of them giving you whatever damned truck they feel like. In my case it was one that was WAY the hell too big and nearly impossible for unskilled newbies to drive.

    When I called corporate to complain about being given a truck we didn’t request or even want, their official corporate response was:

    “Well, I don’t care about that!”

    I just started laughing at that point. It’s hard to imagine having that attitude and maintaining any customers. Budget rental for me.

  12. Sheik says:

    I rented from Uhaul about 4 or 5 months ago. I had the opposite experience. The reservation I had was honored, getting the right size truck for the duration I requested, though I was suprised to find about $60 in hidden costs. The $20 rental fee listed on the sides of their trucks soon was an $80 rental fee, after insurance, and charging $20 to borrow those blankets. Needless to say I was reluctant to ever consider using Uhaul again. Now that I know there are problems that frequently occur that I was not even subject to I am adamant that I will never use the rental company again.

  13. misskaz says:

    UHaul is the worst company in the history of the universe.

    Oh, and don’t /ever/ have UHaul install a trailer hitch on your car. Ever.

  14. RumorsDaily says:

    Actually, as a side note, I’m actually impressed that they called back at all to confirm your reservation. The only other time I tried to get in touch with them they said they’d call back, wouldn’t tell me when, got angry when I asked when, and then never called.

  15. DeeJayQueue says:

    I had the same issue as Sheik. The truck I rented cost $29, but they charged $39 for some reason. Then there was like $25 for insurance, then another $25 for mileage. I paid for the blankets, so i kept them.

    The seal on the hand truck was broken when I inspected the truck, and I told them this, and even though nobody wrote it down I wasn’t charged for it when I returned it, though I’d certainly used it.

    All in all the rental cost me like $90. Even with the mileage that I figured out (I moved 18 miles round trip) it was still expensive. OH, and they were very specific about the fact that Full meant “Fill it till it shuts off” not “Fill it till the needle says F”, and yet when I went to fill the tank, I put about $15 in gas in it before I realized that the tank was nowhere near full when they gave it to me, and that they were trying to scam me for the last person not filling it up.

    I would have rented with budget but the closest site wanted $150 for the same truck, before any hidden fees.

  16. Yep says:

    I’ve gotta pile on here. I hate them with a capital 8. I finally banned them several years ago and have never looked back. U-Haul is like an ugly, evil girlfriend that’s not even good in the sack, and yet you keep ending up at her apartment late night, bemusedly shaking your head. At some point you come to your senses.

    The final straw for me was going to pick up a truck in a sketchy location. The smelly guy in the office handed me the keys, told me the truck was in the lot (which was remarkable, in and of itself). I go out there and open the cab of the truck only to find soiled shipping blankets, bags and other detritus of homelessness – clearly someone had been living in the cab of the truck. For a while . I went in to complain, and the guy wanted to send his even smellier cohort out there to “clear it out” so I could rent it anyway. Try fumigating, buddy. They are the WORST company ever..

  17. U-Haul is the WORST. COMPANY. EVER.

    We made the error of renting with them because Budget gave us a truck that lit on fire on the freeway during our prior move and when we called their emergency number, didn’t see why this should be considered a problem. (It took several hours before Budget would get off their sorry asses about it.) So the next move we rented U-Haul.

    But after our experience with U-Haul, bursting into flames on the freeway and waiting for six hours for roadside assistance actually does seem like the better customer service choice.

  18. kerry says:

    It’s precisely stories like this that made my convince my boyfriend *not* to trust U-Haul for his most recent move. We went to Budget, instead, and paid quite a premium for it, but they gave us the exact terms of our reservation when we made it, made their late and cancellation fees very clear, and had the truck we’d requested ready for us at the time we requested it.
    I used U-Haul a couple years ago and had no problems, but I felt lucky then because I could tell the system sucked and I was probably in the minority for having things worked out as I wanted.
    For the love of god, people, stay away from U-Haul!

  19. cooper says:

    I now feel extremely lucky to have had two great moving experiences (in separate cities) with U-Haul. I didn’t consider them to be anything above average at the time, but compared to these horror stories they were truly exemplary. Apparently their Austin and College Station, Texas, operations are a bit ahead of the game. Easy online reservations, correct truck available at the correct time, CSRs who didn’t bitch me out for no reason, no hidden fees… not sure how I lucked into the VIP treatment!

  20. Jeff says:

    U-Haul is the devil. Since I discovered Penske, U-Haul is out of my life for good.

    Oh, and a little tip for all future Penske truck renters: Ask for a 30% discount when booking and you’ll get 30% off. For real.

    I read about it on some forum before I moved from Minneapolis to New York last year, and tried it out. There was an initial “let me check..” pause, but then CHA-CHING! My bill miraculously dropped from $700 to $500.

    Ask and you shall receive.

  21. kerry says:

    Oh, I should note something I’ve realized — U-Haul is completely swamped and cannot fill reservations correctly on the last weekend of the month, because there are simply too many movers and their system has no good way of keeping track of trucks. If you must use U-Haul, try to move in the middle of the month. You’re more likely to get what you want, when you want it. When the bf was looking into U-Haul this summer, none of them were willing to give him a truck for more than 4 hours because it was the last weekend of the month and even if he did make a reservation they couldn’t really guarantee it. Not worth the risk, if you ask me.

  22. phrygian says:

    The last time I used U-Haul (8 years ago), they gave me a truck with both a broken spedometer and a broken gas gauge for a 200mi trip. There was also a fist-sized hole in the floor of the trailer.

    Never again.

  23. etinterrapax says:

    Nothing new to add about U-Haul–I’ve never had these kinds of problems, but their people and lots and trucks are invariably so sketchy that I breathe a sigh of relief when it’s over. We used Penske for our long-distance move, and they were great.

  24. saikofish says:

    Man. My own horror story comes from not filling up the gas tank to where they wanted me to. Well, the receipt printed out saying, fill it up to 1/4 of the way. The clerk makes a mark on the receipt at 1/2, which meant, don’t do what the system says, but do what he wanted instead, yet failed to explain to me that’s what he wanted. So like a dutiful customer I fill it up to 1/4 because that’s what the receipt said. Guess what? He wouldn’t take it back without a charging me a gas fee, even though the system itself probably would have said 1/4 was okay.

    Any respectable company by now would have understood the miscommunication and let the customer slide. But nope, not U-Haul.

    So the guy finally lets me drive the truck back out and fill the gas tank to 1/2 so I could avoid the fee. I go back out to the lot, only to be told by the lot attendant that he’d already put the truck away behind a bunch of other trucks (it was closing time), but if I give him $20 he’d let me take another truck out, drive it around the block and come back, and he’d report it has having been filled properly. I just wanted to get out of there so badly so I agreed. As I sat in the “replacement” truck I realized I’d been duped; that was my original truck! So now I’m out $20 and the gas tank wouldn’t even be filled for the next customer.

    The entire company is made up of liars and cheats. My friend used another location and didn’t have it much better. I’m not sure what it is about their company policy that encourages this kind of behavior…

  25. acambras says:

    It’s amazing that U-Haul is still in business. Unbelievable!

  26. ikes says:

    Never never never never rent from Uhaul.
    I used Pennske for a one-way cross-country move and there were no hitches whatsoever. The online reservation process worked like a charm, and i even got a lower price by checking closer to my date and seeing the price had dropped. i just called and they gave me the new price. The guys at the Pennske place in Queens were super nice and gave me a couple of free boxes. The truck had less than a thousand miles on it. I returned the truck in San Diego with no problems at all.

    Two years later i used Uhaul for a cross-city move and it was horrible. I used their online reservation system, but when i showed up, hey! no reservation existed. Thankfully some other schlub was late showing up for his reservation so the manager gave me that one (or so he said). The truck they gave me should NOT have been on the road. I could turn the steering wheel 40 degrees with no movement of the wheels. The cab actually had WOOD PANELING. I think it was from 1954. Somehow i managed to not kill myself or anyone else on the freeway that day…

  27. AcilletaM says:

    The only problem with U-Haul in the 3 times I’ve used them was the higher bill at the end than I thought when making the reservation though I came close this past time to having bigger problems. I moved last June and reserved a truck with U-Haul. I received a call from the place I reserved the truck from stating they wished to talk to me about my reservation. I went to the office (I had other business with them, my storage unit was there) and they had their own set of trucks and when confirming my appointment, they asked if I wanted to switch to one of their trucks. It was a bigger truck in cubic feet, in a lot better condition than the U-Haul trucks, and I didn’t have to worry about some truck arriving from another part of the country on time. They canceled the U-Haul reservation with my permission and I was set. I go to pick up my truck and have no issues but there was a couple people there trying to get other trucks because the U-Haul trucks that were scheduled to be dropped off the day before did not show up.

    The moral of my story? If you are moving locally, check for local truck companies. They are more likely to have guaranteed trucks. Also if you have a storage unit or are going to get one, sometimes these companies have at least one truck you can rent or use in a package deal with renting a storage unit.

    I always used U-Haul because it was way cheaper than Budget or Penske (especially Penske though 30% would help that). That’s probably how they stay in business. Well, that and they’re everywhere unlike Budget and Penske which may have one rental place to U-Haul’s 10-12 (and yes I am counting the mom and pop store with the one truck).

  28. brokenboy says:

    Just another Penske lover here. On-line reservations (real ones, where they actually hold a truck for you), better locations, better trucks, cheaper rates in many cases.

    I don’t work for them, I promise. Do a little searching and you’ll see that they are way better than Uhaul.

  29. Triteon says:

    Maybe I’ve incorrectly looked up the U-Haul and Penske reports from the Better Business Bureau (BBB.org) but U-Haul under “all locations” has nearly 4000 complaints over the past 36 months; Penske “HQ-Consumer Truck Rental” has 6 complaints in the past 11 months.

  30. erichs48 says:

    Uhaul is the worst, for sure. The only good experience I had with them (after moving every year for eight years!) was when I discovered that a small Uhaul lot was only a couple of blocks from my apartment. I went directly there (forget that national reservation stuff – it NEVER works and you always have to drive to the middle of nowhere to get your truck), and made my reservation at the store. It worked great – no problems or hassle

  31. Kornkob says:

    I, too, must have lucked into the VIP section of UHaul. Never had a problem renting one here in Madison, WI.

    Of course, It’s unlikely I’ll ever rent one again if I can help it. Hiring movers is my planfrom now on. The stress reduction of having someone else manage the moving process is definately worth the few hundred bucks.

  32. Ishmael says:

    The few times I’ve ever even tried to rent a U-Haul truck, I had to give up because I couldn’t find one. We ended up running our pickup back and forth for a 45-mile move.

    Our pickup’s gasoline cost = U-Haul’s rental fee, not including insurance or putting gas in the monster.

    My m-i-l did manage to have a good experience with them, however. She used to live outside of town near a state park. There is one gas station right across the street from the park. Since she would go in there just about every day and buy a soda on the way to work, she made friends with the owner. About a month before she was ready to move, he started a U-Haul franchise out of his station. He made sure there was a truck for her, and let her keep it as long as she needed. If she hadn’t had been friends with him, however, I doubt she would have gotten such nice service, and I would’ve gotten another several hundred miles on my pickup.

  33. Mr. Gunn says:

    You can’t cheat an honest man, saikofish.

  34. billhelm says:

    I have similar things to add. Multiple times, I’ve had reservations at one Uhaul that ended up at another. We’ve also gotten the bigger truck… and even had a bigger truck that we got a nice crash course in driving a manual diesel (it ended up ok, the gears are huge on those things!!)

    My wife and I use Budget exclusively now. A reservation is actually a reservation there.

  35. Demingite says:

    I can’t resist chiming in on U-Haul, which I used for the last time about 3 years ago. Some of their employees were probably decent people before U-Haul beat all of the joy out of them. Wanna see a depressed person? Meet your local U-Haul manager. U-Haul is a fantastic example of a profoundly messed up company. It has succeeded despite, not because, of its practices. Such as:
    — A non-system for reservations. It’s like they’ve never bothered to actually figure out how to intelligently run their business. The modern age of information technology has somehow not been of benefit to U-Haul. A truck rental business certainly has all kinds of variability and uncertainty built into it (and safety always has to be paramount), but U-Haul has not figured out a smart way to handle that variability and uncertainty — while Penske and others have.
    — A non-system for assuring the quality of their vehicles through aggressive maintenance, etc. In my last (as in final) experience with U-Haul, I could have gotten killed because the trunk lid latch was broken.
    — A non-system for training clerks (fits the other non-systems).
    — Dirty — and I mean dirty — stores. I give them credit for having their front-end image match everything else. They don’t put on any window dressings — they really don’t care.
    — Teaser rates. They paint “$19.99” in large type on their trucks which practically no one is ever going to pay. It doesn’t include insurance, for one. A propensity to tease and a propensity to screw (customers) are closely related.

    Consumerist would be doing a great service by advocating that all consumers avoid U-Haul 100%.

  36. homerjay says:

    Wow, If they’re watching I would LOVE to see the corporate UHaul response to THIS!

  37. misskaz says:

    homerjay, I was thinking the same thing. After my disasterous UHaul experience, I did write to corporate to express my disappointment. I got a call back from corporate and eventually they gave me some UHaul gift certs. Unfortunately, not the refund in real money I was looking for. It appeared that was the extent of corporate’s solution.

  38. Corporate wouldn’t even talk to me. “That’s a franchise issue.” Husband: “Well, your franchisee refused to honor his contract, stole my money, and made my wife cry.” “Sorry, that’s a franchise issue.” “So who exactly do I sue then, you or the franchise?” aaaaaaand cue the click of the hangup on corporate’s end.

  39. Jennifer42 says:

    I’d get a charge-back…you didn’t get the service you paid for.

  40. DaveJohnston says:

    EVERY SINGLE TIME I’ve rented with U-Haul (three times, but not since 2003), I’ve reserved the 17 footer and when I arrived at said location (different locations all three times) I’ve been given the 26 foot Super McMansion Mover, “because that’s all we have left.”

    Each time I’ve felt like Jerry Seinfeld in the car rental episode where he says, “But the reservation KEEPS THE CAR HERE! That’s why you have reservations.” The CSR responds with, “I know why we have reservations.” Jerry comes back with, “I don’t think you do.”

    And the best part about getting the 26 foot Super Monster House Mover “for the same price as the 17” is that 84.2% of the time it’s going to be a 1974 GMC truck, four-speed manual with third gear missing. Top speed: 38 mph. Miles per gallon: 4.


  41. econobiker says:

    I have rented only once from Uhaul and I’ve heard enough horror stories. Another issue is that the francisee’s don’t want good equipment going one way across country so they inevitably give the beaters/ on-their-last-legs trucks out for those moves.

    For me, Penske has always been good . They’re especially for moving on weekends and getting the truck back 1st thing Monday morning since Penske’s rental marketing is geared more toward commercial renters. I’ve also scored hydraulic lift trucks which can be a bonus for larger heavy items or for moving in a city so you don’t have to have a long ramp out in confined city streets. Other friends have had good luck with packing a shipping container for an across country move.

  42. Carmen says:

    I was glad to read that I am not alone. I too know what it is like to be duped by U-Haul. I moved in July and attempted to make the reservation for a truck two weeks in advance as well. I was sent a confirmation e-mail. I reserved a 17′ truck. I never received a call like the e-mail said would happen.

    Something told me to call U-Haul a couple of days before the move just to be certain. After all, I didn’t get that call and that made me feel uneasy. Sure enough, I had every right to feel that way. The truck wasn’t available and as a matter of fact, they had no record of my reservation. Even though I paid the “$5.00” reservation fee.

    The woman whom I spoke with at the 800# apparently “fixed” the problem and all was set. Although, I did end up with a larger truck because the one I wanted wasn’t available.

    It was a terrible experience and not one that I intend to repeat.

    In the end it cost more, it made the move difficult, and I didn’t even get an apology let alone a refund for their mistake.

    U-Haul lost myself as well as my friends as a customer.

  43. dover514 says:

    Based on previous comments some choose Budget truck rental as the way to go, I just recently rented a one way move 15′ truck from Budget, and while the reservation portion was smooth, they were running a special gas rebate, based on minimum amount and mileage, I was informed that i was eligible for the rebate since i reserved in their specified time range for the special, after completing the contract and filing for the rebate i received a status notification it was being denied due to out of date range. Also the Equipment they put me in was in very poor maintenance, 45 m.p.h. and you couldn’t hold the steering wheel it shook so bad, not to mention the car carrier i was pulling broke down approx half way into a 750 mile trip, budget sent a tow truck to pull my tow vehicle along with their carrier, with me following in the truck and my son following in his car over 70 miles out of our way to swap carriers, I had to eat the total amount for fuel for both vehicles (approx 240 extra miles) with fuel at 2.19 a gallon and average truck mileage between 3-8 miles per gallon along with approx 8 hours of lost time, at which Budget done nothing to reimburse for the imposition, the only comment I received was a Sorry by the $7.00 an hour lot attendant when i returned the truck, and that was when the attendant was going over the truck with a fine tooth comb for any form of damage he could possibly find. For anyone who reads this Budget has its own pitfalls. (BUYER BEWARE)
    NOTE: I also encountered some negative comments from a Budget Rep at the location i was towed to switch out the carrier,regarding how lazy and bad their company can be with rental eqipment. That really gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling all over.