This was my email to the manager at the local U-haul depot. I sent it on Nov 29, 07. Almost a month has passed; the email has been ignored.
Re: contract number --------; date or rental 11/1/2007.
U-Haul Ctr. Bladensburg Rd.
I live in the neighborhood and I rented a 14' truck at the beginning of November. Regina at the time gave me an estimate of what was likely to be my charges for the day's rental. That ran at or around 80 dollars, which was fair and acceptable. Yet, it was only when looking over my bank statement recently (for this past month) that I became confused by the various charges on the debitcard that eminated from the U-Haul rental. The other day, I popped in to see if anyone in the office could shed some light on it, as I was thinking that there had merely been a mistake. On the day of the rental, I had tried to book my truck online but ended up coming to your depot to get fixed up. Therefore, I was suspicious that perhaps there had been some error or duplication of charges - connected to the online booking that didn't seem to be working.
However, after regenerating the paperwork, ------ told me that there had been a 50 dollar charge for truck "detailing.". And I was told that this was policy - that trucks have to be cleaned and detailed.
My truck - and I emphasize truck here as opposed to rental car or sedan - was swept out before the keys were dropped in on that evening (after-hours) drop off. So I can only think, then, that whether it be dust or debri or what have you - that the back of the box-truck wasn't swept out enough. Is that the case? If so, this is very troublesome to me, notwithstanding the fact that penalties and then charges were levvied and then made my visa/debit card without my presence or without the benefit of a telephone call to me. Of course, I imagine that that is not policy.
But it's smacks of being preyed upon. I took an opportunistic hit - by not being there. After-hours drop-off is a service provision that provided for and is among the conditions of your business that lets you sell truck rentals (that could be taken up by customers elsewhere). To use that to take such advantage is dubious practice at least.
And the charge in this case? It is 250% of the advertised rental charge itself! I'd say that was unbelievable, but to be honest, I'm not much surprises me anymore. I genuinely feel that I have been taken here and I am (respectfully) requesting several things. Please revise your policy as such to have this "cleaning," "detailing," or "return truck condition" verbally and explicitly stated in representatives' protocols at time of rental. Moreover, you should have what you intend or expect - in regard to these working and hauling vehicles - well- defined in such statements. 'Detailing' or 'cleaning' are arbitrary and/or abstract concepts in almost any context. And I'd say that this is even more so the case when we're dealing with U-Hauls of all things. There's still something bordering on the ridiculous about it - and I know, from my memory (and next time by digital picture) how I returned that particular truck.
Please try to think about this whole issue, and this surrupticious and exhorbitant charging - from the point of view of yourself as a customer, and not as internal associate, manager, or franchise agent or your organisation. The whole thing reeks and it's exploitative. And finally, I'd very much like (you to consider) a complete a complete refund of my fifty dollars.
For that, the credit card's obviously still on record - and you won't need my permission on it. Thank you.
Washington, District of Columbia