Ryder's "Guaranteed Availability" Does Not Guarantee Availability

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.

Jesse had his reservation canceled on him the day before his move because all of the trucks at his local Ryder location had been swooped up by another location. When he asked what they could do to help, they told him he should call around and see if anyone else had a truck. When Jesse then asked if they’d reimburse him for any extra money he’d have to spend on a last-minute rental, they told him no.

Jesse sent in the following last Friday:

I’m moving tomorrow (8/15), so about a month ago, I wanted to make rental reservations for the moving truck. I’ve been a U-Haul customer in the past for in-town moves, but you pay by the mile with them, so I shopped around. I found Ryder was having a special online. For $38, I get a 16′ box truck for 500 miles. Great deal, I thought! They have a 100% availability guarantee pasted all over their website, and they all answer their phones touting it. So I made my reservation and went on with my life.

I was expecting a phone call about a week prior to my move to confirm my reservation (this is protocol for U-Haul, as far as I know). I hadn’t received a call by the end of the day Monday, so I called to make sure everything was alright. The rental coordinator at my branch was very nice to me. She told me that they might not have the 16′ truck I ordered, but that they’d have something smaller at reduced cost or bigger at the same price.

This morning (8/14) at 8:30am, the rental coordinator called me saying that they won’t have anything for me to pick up at their rental center tomorrow. A new renter is moving into my unit shortly after I leave, so I need to be out of there tomorrow as I’ve agreed. I asked what I should do. She said that her best advice would be for me to call a few other local Ryder centers, but that I would most likely have the same luck that I was having at her branch because the Allentown, PA branch had sucked up all of New Jersey’s rental trucks for tomorrow. Even Philadelphia branches are tapped.

I asked for a Customer Service number, and she didn’t know if they had one. I asked if it was likely that they would refund the difference between the truck I had reserved and whatever I would have to pay at another company. She said she didn’t know, but that she didn’t think Ryder did that kind of thing. I asked what the 100% availability guarantee was for, and she said she wasn’t sure in this case.

I was unable to get to a corporate customer service representative by calling Ryder’s main number. Hitting 0 sent me to the closest rental coordinator to my area code, who happens to be the coordinator I’d been working with.

She gave me the district manager’s number and extension, but he is out of the office.

I ended up calling U-Haul, and fortunately, they have a truck available tomorrow.

I think it’s reasonable for Ryder to reimburse me for the difference I’m having to pay with U-Haul (about $120 bucks with the miles I’m driving). The problem is I can’t get in touch with anyone at Ryder who would be able to answer to that request.

What do you think? Do I have a shot at getting the $120?

Let me know if you need any more information. I’d love to see Ryder make good on this unfortunate situation. I’m one of seven people who is being displaced from my local rental center alone. I can only wonder how many are in my same situation.

Jesse followed up with us this morning to note that the district manager is apparently still out of the office, and—in the true spirit of zero availability—nobody seems to be taking his calls for him in his absence.

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