On February 12, 2008 at approximately 1:30 pm I reserved a 24-foot U-Haul Truck. I reserved the truck for pick-up on February 13, 2008 around 10 am for 24 hours, until 10 am, February 14, 2008.
I placed a $100.00 deposit (my sisters money) and my car title down for security as my sister, (who was moving), did not have a credit card. (She was homeless, in between moving from one home on January 31, 2008 to moving into the new home on February 13, 2008)
When I reserved the U-Haul Truck the odometer reading they entered in the computer the day we picked up the truck was: 195543.6 and we were told the gas gauge was at tank and must be returned at tank or there would be extra charges.
On February 13, 2008 at approximately 10am, when we picked up the truck, we wrote down the odometer reading at: 195592.5 and the gas tank was a little more than full. Because we trusted the U-Haul Company, we did not immediately verify the difference in the odometer and gas gauge with what we recorded in our notebook and what was on the original receipt.
After picking up the truck on February 13, 2008 at approximately 10 am, we drove to my sister's storage Unit at 849 Terrace Ct, St Paul, approximately 4.8 miles (I have a map verifying the distance). We loaded the property from storage into the U-haul truck and then proceeded to my sister's new home at 951 Marion Street, approximately 1.9 miles (I have a map verifying the distance). After unloading the truck, we prepared to go to a second location, where she had more property. This was at approximately 2 pm. (At this point, we have used the truck for 4 hours and driven 6.7 miles) The truck would not start. We attempted to jump the truck and were unsuccessful. We tried starting the truck in neutral and we were also unsuccessful. We checked to see if the headlights had been on. They were not. We called U-Haul at 2:45 pm to request help. We also wrote down the odometer reading: 195600.2. (We had driven approximately 7.7 miles if you allow for any extra mileage for turning the truck around, etc)
On February 13, 2008, at 2:45 pm, I spoke to a woman by the name of Geraldine at their 1-800-528-0355 phone number and she gave me a call ID number of : 2984385 for truck number GH 5337B. I next spoke to a woman by the name of Jenni at the U-Haul shop number: 1-888-346-5554 and she told me we could expect someone to come to fix the truck around 3:30 pm. By 4:30 pm, no one had arrived, so I then called Jenni at the second shop number: 763-421-2022. She said someone was on the way. All Hours Towing (a subcontracted company with U-Haul) was suppose to come to the residence (951 Marion Street, St Paul), but never arrived. Instead, someone from the U-Haul shop arrived around 4:40 pm, and attempted to start the truck. He was unable to start the truck, so he told us he was going to have it towed to Coon Rapids, where their repair facility is located. As a result of this defective truck, we had to make alternative arrangements and pay others to move the remainder of my sister's property, as some of our help had to leave by 5pm. U-Haul never picked up the truck on February 13, 2002. We attempted to call U-Haul from 6 pm until 8 pm and they never answered their phones at any of the numbers we tried. U-Haul had instructed us to leave the keys in the truck and to leave the truck unlocked. Due to the truck being unsecured, at 8pm, we took the keys into the house and left a note on the truck for anyone who may come in the night, to knock on the door for the keys. On February 14, 2008, at 7:00 am, I again called the U-Haul's 1-888-346-5554 phone number and again requested that someone come to get the truck at 951 Marion, St Paul. A man from the shop said someone would be right out there to get the truck.
I left my sister's home around 7:30 am, Thursday, February 14, 2008, and no one had yet arrived to get the truck.
I ran errands and then arrived at 9:00 am to meet with the manager at the U-Haul at 883 University. I was told that was when the manager would be in. He was not. I was told he left to go to the bank and would be back shortly. I waited until 10 am and was told he was not back yet. However, a man from the shop arrived and told me he had replaced the battery in the truck. He had just driven the truck up to the door. I was then told I had to pay for 61.8 miles and to fill the gas tank to full, or pay an additional $155.00 to get my car title back. I disagreed with the customer service person saying we should only be responsible for a total of 13 miles at the most (if they were going to charge us for the truck's return from my sister's home to U-haul in addition to the 7.7 miles we had already driven see map for return trip from my sister's to the U-haul 2.3 miles we were willing to concede an additional 3 miles if they had driven the truck back to U-haul on the freeway). It was then, that I realized they had fraudulently entered incorrect odometer readings.
I was forced to purchase $57.66 in gas and then return the truck to U-Haul in order to get my car title back.
U-Haul's Fraudulent Odometer reading: 195543.6
My Initial Odometer reading: 195592.5
Our final Odometer reading when truck wouldn't start: 195600.2
Odometer reading when I got in truck to get gas: 195604.9
U-Haul's Fraudulent 2nd Odometer reading: 195605.4
we were only able to use the truck for 4 hours, drove it only 7.7 miles total, had to pay others to move the remainder of our belongings because U-Haul did not fix nor replace the truck, and were forced to pay for mileage and gas we never used.
We should only have been charged the following:
$39.95 (truck rental)
$7.00 (use of dolly)
$4.54 (7.7 miles at $.59)
$8.00 (2.5 gallons of gas used)
$74.44 Total charges
I should have received $25.56 back from our initial $100.00 deposit !!!!
U-haul charged us the following:
$39.95 (truck rental)
$7.00 (use of dolly)
$36.46 (61.8 miles at $.59)
$6.83 ( Tax)
$104.24 Total charges at U-haul
$57.66 (amount I had to pay to fill their tank to full)
$161.90 Total charges for a move that should only have cost $74.44
THIS IS FRAUD.
I should be refunded at minimum: $87.47 ($25.56 on the $100.00 deposit and $57.66 for the overage of gas I was forced to purchase.)
This may not seem like much to some people, but to those who are living in poverty, it is a lot of money.
These are the Facts of this case:
1.)The mileage was entered fraudulently on February 12, 2008, or U-Haul rented the truck to someone else during the 24 hours before we were to pick up the truck and did not change the odometer reading on my receipt.
2.)The amount of gas in the truck was entered fraudulently on February 12, 2008, or U-Haul used the truck for someone else during the 24 hours before we were to pick up the truck and did not change the gas gauge reading on my receipt.
3.)The truck broke down after our use of only 7.7 miles and 4 hours.
4.)U-Haul did not repair the truck on February 13, 2008, nor did they tow the truck on February 13, 2008, nor were we given a replacement truck.
5.)U-Haul told me to come in at 9:00 am on February 14, 2008 to meet with the manager to work out the bill, and the manager was not in, and did not perform any customer service or satisfaction to remedy the situation.
6.)The return of the truck from 951 Marion to 883 University, the U-Haul lot should only have been 2.3 miles. Instead I was charged for 5.2 miles (I have maps verifying the distance) from 951 Marion to 883 University and 43.6 unknown miles put on the truck before we even picked the truck up.
7.)In order for me to obtain my car title back, U-Haul charged me $104.24 for the truck rental, dolly, insurance and 61.8 miles in mileage and forced me to purchase $57.66 in gas. This is theft by fraud.
8.)I should have been charged a TOTAL of $74.44.
9.)U-Haul, through theft, fraud and incompetent customer service stole at total of $87.47 from my sister and myself. (My sister is a low-income single mother trying to live on $400.00 a month and I am on disability and also low income.)
When we rented the U-Haul Truck the distance we drove it: 7.7 actual Miles we were willing to concede 13 Miles (for the return of the truck to U-haul) U-Haul charged us for 61.8 Miles and we were forced to pay to re-fill the gas tank we had not emptied.
I have copies of the original reservation print-out, the second print-out and the final reservation print-out, the gas receipts, andmaps showing the actual mileage. I can provide notarized sworn statements by those who were present during our move if they are necessary. I can provide verification that we only drove to the Storage facility at 849 Terrace Ct, St Paul, MN from the U-haul at 883 University, as an employee at the storage facility saw us there.
I expect to hear from U-Haul. I expect, at minimum, a refund of $87.47 from U-Haul. I hope to hear from the Minnesota County Attorney's Office and I hope to get a response from the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission regarding this matter.
I am interested in a possible Class-Action suit, as I have read on the Internet that U-Haul is now known for fraudulent practices and negligent customer service, and I expect you have already received numerous consumer complaints about U-Haul.
I have used U-Haul in the past. The last time I used them in 2005, I had good service. However, after this experience, I not only plan to file anything necessary to hold U-Haul accountable, I plan to let other consumers know not to use U-Haul, due to this type of fraud
Saint Paul, Minnesota
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