I would advise anyone needing to move in a timely manner away from using UHaul and their worthless reservation system. Less than 20 hours before I needed to move (my family was coming to town to help, but could only come that day) I was told that I should make alternate plans because of "high demand." It was a complete waste of time to ever deal with UHaul, hold times when I called were around absolutely unacceptable, calls got dropped after lengthy holds, extremely rude customer service. I've pasted a copy of my complaint I sent to UHaul a couple of days ago for details:
"I am writing regarding my horrible experience with your company. On Monday, July 28, 2003 I was called the 1-800-GO-UHAUL number to reserve a 6 x 12 enclosed trailer for 8/2/03 in Minneapolis, MN. The reservation went smoothly, I gave the representative my credit card number, and was told only that UHaul may substitute larger equipment if the availability was limited. I was then given an 800 number for the regional office and was told they were now in charge of my reservation and they would contact me within 24 hours to explain the scheduling and get my requested pick up time.
Two days later, I still had not heard from the regional office, so I called them. After 20 minutes on hold, someone finally answered with the only explanation for not contacting me being we were busy. He then told me that they dont normally rent enclosed trailers for in-town moves. I explained that I reserved an enclosed trailer and that was what I expected, and that I was not told that I may end up with an open trailer when I made that reservation. He did some typing and then said that for August 2nd there shouldnt be much of a problem and that I would get a call by 5:00 PM the day before pick-up to tell me the time and place of pick up. He said I couldnt request a pick up time, even though the 1-800-GO-UHAUL representative said I could.
Today, August 1st, I called shortly after the lunch hour to check my home answering machine because I had a bad feeling. Sure enough, even though I had given UHaul my work number, there was a message left at home from a man named Charlie who didnt leave a contact number. He said that due to high demand he couldnt assign a trailer to me and that I should make alternate plans for moving. I immediately called a local company and was luckily able to reserve their last trailer for my move tomorrow.
I then called the regional office that was in charge of my reservation. After 30 minutes on hold, a representative finally answered. I explained the message that I had gotten, that I had made my alternate plans, and that I wanted to ensure my UHaul reservation was cancelled and that my credit card would be credited back the $5.00 deposit that had already been charged to it. I was told by the very unsympathetic and unhelpful representative that I would have to call the 1-800-GO-UHAUL number to accomplish this.
I hung up and called the GO-UHAUL number again. After fifteen minutes, a representative answered. I told her the basics of the story and that I just wanted to make sure that my reservation was cancelled and that I would have the $5.00 fee credited back to my card. She was very sympathetic (the only one out of all of your reps I spoke with whoever that woman was she deserves a raise) and said I would have to talk to customer service. She then transferred me to that line. Ten minutes later, a rep answered. I explained what was going on, that I had now been on hold for about an hour, and that all I wanted, once again, was to make sure that the reservation was cancelled and for my $5.00 back. He quickly said that I would have to go back to the regional office, and I explained that I had spoken with them and they said I had to talk to the 1-800-GO-UHAUL people. He said that the regional office was the only one that could help me and transferred me back to the beginning menu of the regional office before I could get another word in.
I was then on hold for another 30 minutes at the regional office. Twice during this hold, an actual person picked up the phone to ask if I could hold longer. The first person put me back on hold before I could answer. I told the second one that I could only hold for another minute. Six minutes later, I suddenly got a busy tone, the call had been dropped. During this time, I had found the direct number for national customer service on uhaul.com. After my call was dropped by Regional, I called the customer service number. After only ten minutes or so, a representative there answered. I quickly explained that I had now been on hold with UHaul for well over an hour, about the message I had received, and that all I wanted was those two little things, to ensure the reservation was cancelled and my deposit back. I gave her the confirmation number, she asked me to hold, and promptly dropped the call. I called back immediately and the same rep answered. She apologized for dropping that call and asked for the confirmation number again. She said that only the regional office could help me. I explained that I had already spoken with them, and in the middle of my sentence, she transferred me back to the regional number.
I was then on hold for fifteen more minutes at the regional office. Finally a gentleman named John answered. He said the reservation had been cancelled an hour early by one of the other representatives I spoke with, who never told me that he or she actually did it and that the deposit refund would be done by some department with whom I could not contact and that if I didnt see the credit in four days to call back. You can be assured that if I do not see the credit to my account for the deposit in four days, I will be back on the phone, probably wasting my entire afternoon again, demanding the refund. It is only $5.00, but now it is about the principle of it, and I say to you, as well, it is only $5.00, why must I waste hours on hold to get it back.
I simply dont understand how a business could be run in this manner. First, the most obvious question, what is the purpose of making a reservation if your company can call less than 24 hours before pick-up to essentially cancel the reservation at their whim? Secondly, why do you say the regional office will call within a day, when the customer actually has to initiate that contact? The regional office made no indication that they ever planned to call me prior to the day before pick up was scheduled. Why doesnt your reservation agent explain that you could end up with an open trailer even if you reserve an enclosed trailer and that if the regional office decides they are overbooked, they can tell you that youre out of luck? I understand high demand times for truck and trailer rentals, these occur every month end/beginning. How can a company that deals solely in truck and trailer rentals not plan for these predictably high demand times and overbook? Why do you ask for a daytime phone number if you have no intention of using it? By leaving the message telling me that UHaul couldnt fulfill my reservation on a home answering machine, it was highly likely that I would not have gotten the message until after 5:00 this afternoon, giving me about 12 hours to figure out how to move my life from one apartment to the next even though I thought it was taken care of a week ago.
Lastly, the customer service I encountered was atrocious. All but one, perhaps two, of the representatives I spoke to this afternoon were downright rude, only upsetting me more and more. I have wasted an entire afternoon of work on hold, being bounced between your regional and national offices, only to be told at the end that the last hour of my hold time was an entire waste since someone had already done what I asked but didnt tell me that. You may think to yourself that writing this letter only wasted more of my time, but I wrote the vast majority of it while waiting for someone to answer the phone. Any wait time in excess of five minutes is frustrating, thirty minutes is unacceptable.
You can be assured that I will never use UHaul again. There are other companies out there that offer the same services and have not actively discouraged me from using their company. "
UPDATE: I called today, have not yet been refunded the $5.00 deposit. The "manager" I spoke with said that I just didn't understand that their reservations were subject to availability. It's hard to know that when I'm never told that their reservations actually mean nothing. I am an intelligent woman, but I am not a mind reader. She also claimed there was no record of my previous conversations with the various people I spoke with on 8/1/03 and that no one would ever have said that the $5 would be refunded. The rude manager said there was nothing she could do, refused to let me talk to a supervisor, and was completely indifferent to my complaint. I have disputed the charge with the credit card company, and will be reporting to the Better Business Bureau. What an absolutely horrible way to do business and I can see from this board that many others have gone through the same thing. I hear Penske is much better... next time I'll know better.
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