On August 26, 2007, I reserved a truck rental (a medium size truck) for a range of time between 11-( and I specifically stated to the representative that I would return between 3-5). I didnt give him a specific due time and neither did he state. I returned to pick up the truck after 11, he completed the necessary paper work sometime after 12. I got the medium size truck, and I realized that the truck was too big for my move. I then went back to the office and requested a smaller size truck, and he of course had to complete the necessary paperwork for the change and I left with that truck after 12:30-12:45. The medium size truck was 29.95 plus $.69/mile plus $14 for insurance. I was given an estimate quote given the estimated mileage of 50 miles of around $85.
I questioned the representative about this and he stated that of course it was only an estimate, which would change if I came back to the office and used less or more mileage and filled the truck with the appropriate fuel. I then complied with that agreement no more no less. After I got in the smaller truck, I called the representative and told him that the fuel gage was not exactly on full. He told me that he was aware of this and that it would be okay as long as I filled it back up to that point and brought back the receipt. I agreed.
I made sure that I filled up the gas tank, I was very strict with the mileage usage and I returned 15 minutes before 5pm. (Now remember I left after 12:30-12:45, when I originally expected to have the rental at least 4-6 hours).
He told me that he would give me a $35 discount. I at first thought he was being funny until he told me that he would not charge me a $35 late charge for being late in returning the truck. He then gave me a final price total for $67 and asked for my debit card to charge this. No problem! As I was retrieving my card from my purse, I questioned him about not specifying about a late charge upon reserving the truck. I also questioned him about the disception of a late charge when its not quoted in the contract and neither did he say "if you do not come back by 3 p.m. you will be charged a late fee." He then started in a rage with his verbage and then took back on his word because of my curiousity in questions and stated "Now I will charge you $35, no discount for you." Without taking my card that I had in my hand, he charged me $102.77.
That is sooooo illegal! Never have I dealt with a company or a business that charges based on a customers inquiry of questions. Never have I dealt with a company who does not give its policy of extra charges in verbal or in writing, and expects that its customer will comply. Never have I dealt with a company who does not give agree on "the customer being right." I would not have tried so hard for $35 if I was actually wrong in this situation. But this is not the case, the Uhaul co-independent dealer (or authorized dealer, since he is not at the Uhaul location) was rude, obnoxious, and charged me illegally.
I contacted Customer Service about this issue, and received a call back from someone on Wednesday morning, August 29, 2007 (Please keep in mind that I received a call from someone from the same phone number of branch aux dealer location). The representative led the conversation the whole 20 minutes on the phone call. Since he heard one side of the story from the original rep, he gave me little opportunity to state what really occurred. What new information I received was that I was NOT charged a LATE FEE of $35. However, I was charged for two trucks: 1 truck fee for -$19.95 and the other fee-$29.95 including the 37 miles that I used on one truck, sales taxes for both, and 2x times the $14 insurance fee for $28. Wow! This is even more illegal! So now this is more of an even total different story. They charged me for two trucks, instead of charging me for a deceptive late fee, because I was late?????? Okay so what happened to the first estimated price quote that I was charged, and/or what happened to the final price total of $67 that he gave me after I returned the truck!
The last representative who contacted me on Aug. 29th was of no help and he led the conversation with only understanding the original Uhaul reps rage of the situation. He emphasized continuously throughout the phone call with the sarcasm that I should take this company to court. He must believe that I wouldn't take you to court and that I would waive the fact that the charges were very minimal. No! I will go to the next level for the grace of justice, and companies like this situation taking advantage of its customers. You messed with the wrong customer, I am a law student, and understand the law fully within the printed lines. There are no printed terms of late charges, and no printed terms of being charged twice because of lateness!!
Elmont, New York
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