On 8/10 I reserved and rented a U-Haul truck from Reviva!, a consignment store located in NE Portland on MLK. As per the rental agreement, I filled the truck full of gas before returning it the following day at 10am. The gas station used to fill the vehicle was located one block from Reviva. My wife and I noted that after filling the vehicle (with ten dollars in gas), that the needle on the gauge did not sit flush with the full indicator even though the mileage versus the fuel purchased indicated a full tank. We expressed our concern that the gauge may be broken to Amanda Frye, an employee at Reviva. We were then told that if the truck was not returned with the gauge reading 100% full, we would be charged a $30 fee, plus inflated fuel expenses. We agreed that I would return to the gas station to ensure the vehicle was indeed full of fuel.
The attendant at the gas station was the same individual as when we had previously filled not more than ten minutes prior to our second visit. On returning I was told that it was against Oregon law to top-off the tank and he was certain the tank was at capacity after our first fill. I explained the situation to the attendant and he reluctantly agreed to put more fuel in the vehicle. With gasoline literally spilling down the side of the truck, I was charged $2.00 for half a gallon of gas and was reassured the tank was full. The gauge still did not read 100% nor had it moved.
We drove the short distance back to Reviva and with now two receipts in hand and attempted to explain now to the owner of the shop, Andree Culpepper, my position in that the gauge was most likely broken. Before I could finish even my sentence, I was irately told to leave the store and meet Andree out by the truck. On walking out again, any attempts in my trying to discuss the matter she cut short. Andree got in the truck, started it, backed it up two feet and then forward again, parked it, and then exited the vehicle letting me know I could take it up with U-Haul and that she would be charging me for violating the contract in not returning the vehicle full of fuel as agreed. She then went back inside and we left the lot.
Thirty minutes later I received an email receipt for the transaction in which Reviva charged to my credit card not only the $73.91 we had agreed upon, but a $30 Fuel Fill-Up Service Fee plus fuel sales of $10 and now totaling $113.91.
I then called U-Haul directly to inquire and was told I would be receiving a call back from a supervisor, Cody Reed, within 48 hours. I received no call.
As Reviva is located a couple of blocks from my home, we were able to note that this truck was gone and returned at least once during the day and not more than thirty minutes after we dropped it off. We are curious to know if Reviva is also charging these renters for fuel as the gauge is most certainly broken. One would think if there was a question about the gauge, that the truck would be at least be looked at by a mechanic before renting it again. We are curious to know if other renters of trucks at this location have also had to pay for these fuel charges.
It was entirely obvious that I had done what was required in fulfilling my end of the contract in renting this truck. Not being allowed to, in the very least, hold a discussion about a possible broken gauge leads me to believe that Reviva is abusing a trucks broken fuel gauge to their benefit and in effect stealing from U-Haul customers. I have taken the matter up with the Oregon Better Business Bureau as well as the Portland Chamber of Commerce and believe that the business practices of Reviva should be looked into as I feel this should be regarded as a theft.