• Report: #33753
Complaint Review:

U-Haul

  • Submitted: Tue, October 29, 2002
  • Updated: Mon, July 23, 2007

  • Reported By:Calgary AB
U-Haul
1341 Regent West Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

U-Haul unaccountable bastards cowards don't care about customers Winnipeg Manitoba home office in Phoenix Arizona

*Consumer Comment: Person driving the truck was me - My rebuttal

*Consumer Comment: My experience in regards to this report

*Consumer Comment: oh boy!!

*Consumer Comment: A U-Haul Great Move

*Consumer Comment: Never had problems once

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Uhaul Sucks, BUT....

*Consumer Comment: past U-Haul experiences

*Consumer Comment: Soon to find out

*Consumer Comment: editting of last response ..have yet to find anyone with a good experience

*Consumer Comment: bigger isn't always better

*Consumer Comment: many stories of U-haul renting junk, and poor customer service. That said there is more than one side to a story

*Consumer Comment: many stories of U-haul renting junk, and poor customer service. That said there is more than one side to a story

*Consumer Comment: many stories of U-haul renting junk, and poor customer service. That said there is more than one side to a story

*Consumer Comment: many stories of U-haul renting junk, and poor customer service. That said there is more than one side to a story

*UPDATE Employee: I think your creditability was mislaid

*UPDATE Employee: OK, where do I begin...?

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I'm writing this story as a warning to anyone who intends to do any moving in the future. My story is long, but it is worthy of telling because of the implications for anyone who is planning on moving and has not yet chosen which moving company they shall use. Before I begin, I must ask you this pivotal question: when it comes time to move your worldly possessions across town or across country, will you get off your wallet and let a company take all of the responsibility from start to finish in order to avoid a headache? Or will you rent from U-Haul and try to save a few bucks by moving your own stuff? I chose the migraine.

Now perhaps the moral of the story should be to heed the warnings of others. However, that would imply that I am mostly at fault. While I do admit that I was told not to rent from U-Haul by former disgruntled customers and I did anyways, I was still utterly shocked and dismayed by the horrendous service I received from U-Haul. It was absolutely absurd! It just boggles my mind. Thus, I have decided the moral of the story will be, "Do not rent from U-Haul." Here is my story...

My friend Nick, his girlfriend Marge, my girlfriend Shaine, and I moved from Winnipeg to Calgary at the end of August to go to school. Being university students, we don't have a lot of money so we decided to try to save a few bucks by renting a 17 foot truck from U-Haul. We reserved this truck in late July and we were promised by U-Haul that we would have a truck on August 30 no later than 12:00 noon. August 30 comes and we call U-Haul at 9:00 am to see if the truck is ready. It is not. As a matter of fact, U-Haul claims to have double-booked our truck and it is possible that we will not have a truck until 7:00 pm!! Wow. So after several calls to U-Haul they finally get the hint that we will not stop harassing them until we get a truck.

So, they say they will have a truck ready for us at 4:00 pm. However, when they said they would have a truck ready for us, what they actually should have said was that they would have a friggin' warehouse on wheels ready for us. They gave us a standard transmission, 26 foot, diesel truck in lieu of the 17 foot truck we originally reserved. For some reason I wasn't totally convinced that I should be driving this vehicle with a class 5 license. I looked like an ant behind the wheel of a Tonka truck.

The surly U-Haul worker at the service counter seemed almost too apathetic to be human (a trait that we have found to be quite common amongst U-Haul workers). She did not seem to care that we were already upset customers and we hadn't even left the compound yet. She simply shrugged off our complaints and suggested that someone else might be better able to resolve our problems. Her defense was that she only takes down reservations. "Yes!" I exclaimed. "You guys are certainly skilled in 'taking' the reservation; you're just not very good at 'holding' the reservation. Which, by the way, is probably the most important aspect of the reservation." Her reply to my Seinfeldian observation? She slid the key to our truck across the counter. Next please.

Whatever. We were finally on our way so we were partially happy. Unfortunately, by this time it had started to rain and we were forced to move our scant belongings into a truck that was about 9 feet too long. (Funny, it wasn't raining during the day -- when we should have had our truck ... a 17 foot truck that is). Note to the reader: at this point, I'm not even registering on the bitterness meter -- read on.

So the next morning we get on our way. Everything is going smoothly. We move out of Manitoba without any problems. The truck is driving fairly nicely until we stop for fuel in Morse, Saskatchewan. We go to start it and it nothing happens. So I go up to a truck driver in the parking lot and ask him for some assistance. As it turns out he used to work for U-Haul so he is happy to oblige. It also turns out that there is no love loss between him and U-Haul. He explains how he left his job with the company over personal disputes with management.

While Nick is on a payphone with the 1-800 U-Haul breakdown hotline (a resource which we quickly found to consist of people who know nothing putting us on hold, transferring us to other people who know nothing, who then transfer us to someone who puts us on a never-ending hold intended to frustrate the caller, thus compelling the caller to hang up and not bother the people who know nothing) the Trucker tells me that our starter is shot and we must jump start the U-Haul. After getting the okay from a U-Haul phone person, we pop in the clutch, get the truck going, and decide that our only option at this point is to never shut off the engine ever again.

We continue on our merry way until we get about a half an hour outside of Swift Current when the truck starts to severly overheat. We pull over, keep the engine running, and call the 1-800 hotline again. More holding, more people who know nothing, and the inevitable perpetual hold. Suddenly, our hero -- the Trucker -- shows up again. He suggests a quick fix -- put water in the radiator. Once again, we get the okay from a U-Haul phone person, we do it and it works! Hooray. Before the Trucker bids us adieu this time he cheekily says, "I'll see you guys in a bit, eh!" Oh the irony. As you'll soon see it is so thick this situation is worthy of Webster's.

Nick and Marge were in the truck at this point and Shaine and I were following close behind in Shaine's car. Everything is fine once again until we hit Medicine Hat. We get to the first set of lights in Medicine Hat and we notice that Nick isn't slowing down for the red light. As the truck enters the intersection the light turns green and Nick and Marge go barrelling through, swerving around two semi-trucks and eventually coasting to a stop on the shoulder of the road several hundred metres from the set of lights. A very pale Nick and Marge emerge from the truck amazed that they are still alive. "The brakes failed!" decares a very shaken Nick. "The brakes stopped working!" cries a sobbing Marge. Now, I'm no mechanic, but I'm almost positive that that's not supposed to happen to a vehicle.

I certainly wouldn't classify the equipment that U-Haul rented us as "well serviced." Perhaps this is where myself and the U-Haul mechanic who serviced our truck disagree, but I rank the ability to stop very high on my priority list when travelling at high speeds in a truck. But that's just me.

For the next few minutes, the four of us stand bewildered on the side of the road, unsure of what to do but listen to the calming sounds of the elevator music while holding on U-Haul's 1-800 hotline number. "Help! I need somebody, not just anybody ..."

Here's where the irony comes in. Guess who shows up? Yes, our hero the Trucker! The same trucker who earlier had jokingly suggested that he would "see us soon." However, this time he cannot save us. Nothing can save us. The truck is completely dead. It has no power. The only thing that he can do is suggest an array of swear words and threats that might help us in getting some assistance from one of the mindless peons of the 1-800 hotline.

We stood on the side of the TransCanada Highway for about two hours before we talked to the vice-president of U-Haul traffic that we no one could look at the truck until the next day. He tells us to stay in a hotel in Medicine Hat and that he will call us back the next morning to get someone to look at the truck. (Note to reader: when a U-Haul employee says that he or she will call you back, they actually mean to say that they will definitely NOT call you back.)

So we stay in the Days Inn across the street. The next morning we receive no phone call. So I phone several independent U-Haul dealers in Medicine Hat until I find one who will actually help us. He comes down, takes one look at the U-Haul and says that we need a tow truck. He calls the vice-prez who was supposed to call us that morning and tells him to get a tow. So what does he do naturally? He calls another mechanic to come look at it. The next mechanic comes and says that the two batteries got so overheated that they melted together. Additionally, there are problems with the alternator and an array of other parts. He calls the vice-prez and tells him that we need a tow truck.

So finally, he concedes (so we thought) and the vice-prez tells us that a tow truck is on its way. Two hours later the tow truck is still not there. So I call the vice-prez and I ask him where the tow truck is. He says that he has decided not to get a tow truck and instead to try to fix the problem. Meanwhile, fights are breaking out between couples, there's a nervous breakdown, and our two little dogs are going stir crazy in a compact Honda. That's it. I lose it.

Now I'm not a fan of confrontation and I don't normally get angry, but I phone the vice-prez and rip into this guy for a solid five minutes. I explain to him that even if they did fix the truck, there was no way any of us were going to drive it. Not only did it almost kill us, but we were positive that it would break down again and quite frankly, I was sick of seeing our hero the Trucker. I tell him to get a tow truck. He tells me to call him back and he hangs up on me. So I tell Nick, who becomes furious and immediately calls him back. Nick tells him to get a tow truck. The tone in Nick's voice frightens me and several small children in the vicinity. A tow truck was on its way.

At this point I have fashioned a sign on the back of the truck so that U-Haul's slogan which once read "Moving made easier," now reads "Moving made HARDER."

A half an hour later the tow truck shows up (in the pouring rain). The U-Haul is towed the rest of the way to Nick's apartment in Calgary. As soon as it arrives at Nick's apartment, the tow truck driver claims that he doesn't have the authority to tow it to my apartment. He says that U-Haul told him to tow it to the first apartment, but not the second. So he leaves us there, stranded. Once again we try the hotline and they tell us that they will phone us back (or in U-Haul lingo, they will NOT phone us back). So we have to call our own tow truck to take the truck with my stuff in it from Nick's apartment to my place.

When we finally got the truck to my apartment ($100 and two hours later) it was 11:00 at night. We got that hunk of junk unloaded and the truck sat there for the next three days in a fire lane before U-Haul finally got the urge to come tow it away. What a disaster, eh? From start to freakin' finish it was a colossal mess.

Everything from the customer service to the equipment was complete crap. Now, you're probably thinking, once you explain to U-Haul what has happened they are bound to give you a reimbursement for your troubles. Possibly even a few hundred extra dollars to avoid a lawsuit. After all, people almost died right?

Well, first of all, it was a runaround trying to find out how to begin these negotiations. Finally we were directed to JIM NORBERRY of Winnipeg's U-Haul outlet on Regent. Now JIM NORBERRY might sound very courteous and friendly on the phone, but as it turns out, JIM NORBERRY probably has no soul. (JIM, by the way, can be reached at 1-800-387-9771). He offered to reimburse our out-of-pocket expenses (hotel, tow truck) and nothing more. Oh wait, I'm sorry, he did offer us $100 worth of U-Haul GIFT CERTIFICATES. Can you believe that? What an insult. Why would we be so eager to move again, let alone with U-Haul? That's like being offered a coupon for 'buy one, get one free s**t Sandwich.' So JIM NORBERRY made his final offer. It is completely obscene. We've tried phoning other U-Haul rep's but they all say we have to deal with JIM NORBERRY and there is nothing else we can do.

As a last resort I emailed the U-Haul website via a customer complaint form. I received an email back from a U-Haul representative named Sparcle Taylor who explained that a man named REAL FAUCHER, Marketing Company President for U-Haul in Winnipeg, would get in contact with me to discuss the matter. Taylor also explained that Mr. Faucher "has responsibility for the final resolution of (my) concern."

One week later Mr. Faucher had not yet contacted me. So, I gave him a call at which time he claimed that he had not looked over my information that Taylor had sent him. He said that he would get in contact with me as soon as he got to it. One week later Mr. Faucher still hadn't contacted me so I phoned him back. At that point, a very indifferent Faucher told me that there would be no other offer made by U-Haul to compensate us for our troubles. He stated that we would not get any more money from U-Haul. He did not offer so much as an apology or his own personal sympathy. In short, Faucher did not care one bit about what we had gone through and he's expecting us to just take it lying down.

According to Sparcle Taylor, we are out of resources in dealing with this matter. Thus, this is my only redemption -- to tell my story and urge others not to deal with U-Haul in the future. I think they are complete cowards. It is one thing to provide awful service, it is another to fail to take responsibility for that service. JIM NORBERRY's excuse for not offering a full reimbursement was that our move was completed in the end. But that does not make up for the fact that we were put through hell for several days.

They rented us a piece of s**t truck that not only was a terrible inconvenience, it almost killed us. And the saddest part of this whole ordeal is that I don't believe that anyone from U-Haul ever said that they were sorry for what happened to us. Sparcle Taylor offered us an apology, only after I wrote in my email that no one from U-Haul had said sorry. When an organization makes a mistake, any reasonable individual expects it to hold itself accountable and to rectify the situation.

U-Haul is an anomoly in that it won't take full responsibility. Why deal with them when you can deal with someone who will provide high quality, guaranteed service? There are many companies out there who value their customers. U-Haul is not one of them. So do me a favour, in the future, don't even give U-Haul the time of day. If you asked for the time from them, they'd probably put you on hold.

Will
Calgary, Alberta

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/29/2002 03:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/u-haul/winnipeg-manitoba-r2c-3b2/u-haul-unaccountable-bastards-cowards-dont-care-about-customers-winnipeg-manitoba-home-o-33753. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Person driving the truck was me - My rebuttal

AUTHOR: Naturegoulet - (Canada)

I am the Nick in question in this report and after reading some people's responses, I have the following to say:

- When I rented my truck (almost two months in advance), I rented it for a Friday in order to leave Saturday morning. I explained this situation to the employee at the U-Haul office (not a third party office). I asked if I rented it on Friday, would I have enough time to pack it to leave on Saturday morning. Her reply was yes because they would have a truck ready by noon because 17 foot trucks are widely available. I understand this was not a guarantee, but at any point in the conversation if she said, "Well, you might not get it until 7 pm, then I would have booked it for Thursday." Regardless of the guarantee, they told me on the day of that they had double booked their trucks. This is why mine was not available when I needed it.

- I did not want a 26 foot truck. I ordered a 17 foot, automatic truck. Not only is the 26 foot larger than I needed, but it uses more gas and is a standard. The drivingo on the trip was to be shared between 4 people. Because it was a standard, it was now down to 2 of us to drive. Although not a huge inconvenience, it was not what I wanted when I ordered the 17 foot. Although people seem to be confused why someone would complain about getting a bigger truck, it was an inconvenience that I did not want. The bigger truck added no value to my move.

- I am not a mechanic, neither was any one else on the move. It should not be my responsibility to check fluid levels, etc. This is U-Haul's job before they rent their truck, not mine. Everything I did with the truck (push start it, add water to the rad) were all okay'ed by U-Haul representatives on the phone (when I was actually able to speak with someone). Therefore, everything I did was within their regulations and at their suggestion. To blame me for a failure is ludicruous given that it suggested and okay'ed by U-Haul. If the problem is mechanical, maybe they should have mechanics available on the phone to help us?

- As for the brakes, I did not slam them or do anything to cause them not to work. The problem was caused because the brakes are powered by the battery (according to the U-Haul mechanic) and when the batteries MELTED together, the electrical stopped working. The mechanic who inspected said he had never seen anything like it before and suspected that the problem had been on-going for sometime and was probably not isolated to our trip. When the truck slid to a halt, there was no power, the truck did not start again, and nothing could be done with it. The cause of the brakes failing was mechanical, not driver error. This problem needed to be compensated, especially given the fact that without a little luck we probably would have died. U-Haul rents equipment, when it fails, it is their responsibility. When that failure involves a situation as serious as brakes failing, there needs to be added consideration. It wasn't like the windshiled wipers failed, we are talking about the brakes. To say that the brakes failing and nearly being involved in a serious collision because of it is worth $100 of our rental (on top of the other problems we had) was ludicruous. Imagine being on a plane and an engine goes out and you have to make an emergency landing, how much should you be compensated for the near trauma?

- As for the VP who helped us after the breakdown, he was a complete d****e. No excuses. Our truck broke down three times in one 10 hour trip, the third being the brakes. Rather than having the trucked towed the remaing 3 hours, he expected us to wait another day to have the truck fixed and drive it on top of that. After the incident with the brakes, none of us were willing to drive the death trap on wheels. He should have understood this. The mechanic who came out to look at the truck told us it was unlikely it would have been fixed for the next day anyway.

I could go on, but the moral of this story is that U-Haul has terrible customer service. I don't care how much crap people on the phones have to deal with, it is their job. They are CSR. They are supposed to help the customer. To say that they deal with crap and it is justifiable that they are rude or in a bad mood is like saying that a doctor should be mad at patients for getting sick. This is their job to deal with customers, if they don't like it, get another job. To lump this situation, which according to other posts is rare, means that it should have been treated as rare and should have been given the proper consideration it deserved.

I will never rent from U-Haul again and have made sure that friends, family, colleagues do not do so either. Putting their equipment aside, any company that is so poor at providing customer service obviously does not need customers.
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#2 Consumer Comment

My experience in regards to this report

AUTHOR: Chris - (U.S.A.)

Hello,

While I can empathize in part to your plight, I have to say that U-Haul as a whole offered good service in the end to me. I do say however, that the 1-800 number they give you to call is WORTHLESS. The people that work at that number, at least the ones I had the displeasure to speak too, are utter idiots.

We had an issue with an old 26" that broke down on us in our driveway in the winter after it had been half-way loaded. We called the 1-800 # and they said they'd get a mechanic for us. We gave them our address and they said they'd call us back. We got several calls over the next few hours with updates... one person would say they found someone, then another person would call later with conflicting info. Eventually they called at the end of the day and stated they could find no one and would have to resume the search the next day. I was incensed. We finally rangled the # to the Regional Office from them and the Regional Office exclaimed surprise at the ineptitude of the 1-800 center becuase the 1-800 center had been looking for a mechanic in a city 100 MILES SOUTH OF US!!! The regional office had a towed a brand new truck out to us THAT NIGHT. We loaded up the rest of our stuff and then drove to our new location. They also had the old truck towed to the new location as well so we could offload everything before towing it off again. After all this, we got everything moved and U-Haul DID NOT CHARGE US ONE SINGLE DIME.

So, while I admit the 1-800 service center is a major cluster-F#$%, the Regional HQ provided excellent service to me.

So... if you ever have any issues, ask to speak to the Regional Center. Don't waste your time with the un-trained idiots at the 1-800 center. I have a feeling they are simply a contract call center anyway. That is my only beef with U-Haul. They need to find a better Call Center company.
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#3 Consumer Comment

oh boy!!

AUTHOR: Cecilia - (U.S.A.)

I deff. understand where your coming from im sure it was very frustrating but as human beings we tend to think about ourselves and our own needs and wants and so on... anyways what im trying to say is that i think your making it to be worse than it really is i moved with u-haul about 6times and never had a single problem. had they offerd me a larger truck i would have doubted my ability in driving it but would have been greatful in there intentions. did you ever stop to think what a pain in the a*s you were being for them? did you ever think how busy they might be? im not saying their actions should be justified b/c you were a pain in the a*s customer but c'mon seriously you need to think about the fact that in the end they did try to help you. I'm vice president of customer service at a department store and i know how annoying a customer can be and ridiculously dramatic!!
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#4 Consumer Comment

A U-Haul Great Move

AUTHOR: Lars - (U.S.A.)

My recent move, using U-haul rented equipment was the most pleasant experience I've ever had with ANY truck rental agency. I solely used the internet for reservation and email for their confirmation of my request. Everything went along like perfect clockwork - the day before the rental, the agent called to confirm the time I was coming in ... and the equipment WAS ready to drive off the lot when I arrived.

Everything on the truck was in superb condition and very very clean inside and out. No road problems, no break-downs, just a great clean wonderful rental.

I got the move done a day ahead of schedule and the receiving U-Haul dealer was quite elated to get a truck back early for a change instead of later, as I gather is the usual case most of the time.

All the employees of the rental and receiving end were courteous, timely and knowledgeable about their products. I commend them all. Thanks for a wonderful moving experience U-Haul! Keep up the great work!!
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#5 Consumer Comment

Never had problems once

AUTHOR: Tony - (Canada)

I have used them many many times, never have had a problem, yes I have had to get one or two trucks towed at one time or another, but they re paid me for that and I also got a free day from the rental or some compensation.
Hell the company is going to have older junk and you pay accordingly.

If you acted like a jerk and I'm not saying you did, jumping up and down at the fist sign of trouble and screaming RIP OFF! then I would make your experience difficult too.

I find if you respect people you can usually work out the problem.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Uhaul Sucks, BUT....

AUTHOR: Ashley - (U.S.A.)

This comment is coming from a former employee of their customer service call center in AZ. I worked there for about a year and the money was amazing, but, their policies are awful. I remember having so many upset customers because their truck wasn't held even though they paid a fee for the sole purpose of holding the truck. Such was one of their stupid policies that I, as well as no one else, agreed with.

What I want to tell you, as well as anyone mad at U-Haul (which is practically everyone) is to not be mad at the lower level employees, customer service reps, for they are only doing their job. Be mad at the people that actually MAKE the policies, the higher-up guys. All customer service people do is what they're told, which is enforcing a stupid nonsense policy. Most of them were high school and college kids who got yelled at all day and started failing out of school from the stress. The turnover rate was astronomical, because no one likes being yelled at all day. I hated doing it and I remember we were NOT allowed to use the word "guaranteed" for legal reasons (i.e. "This reservation fee guarantees the availability of your truck") so we had to dance around it very carefully. I would have figured that the hold fee which really wasn't even guaranteed would have been gone by now but I see it's still there and still pissing people off.

Don't get mad at customer service. Write letters, call, and email the upper management decision makers. Getting mad at the person on the other end of the phone is pointless, and only makes an innocent person's day that much worse.

Thanks.
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#7 Consumer Comment

past U-Haul experiences

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

I have used U-Haul several times over the last 15 or 20 years. I have used them for local and one-way interstate moves. I have rented just about everything from trailers to vans and trucks both large and small. I also had them install a hitch on my vehicle.

U-Haul is what it is. By that I mean you save a few bucks, and in exchange for that, you tolerate a few things. Mostly customer service, or lack thereof. Everytime I have gone to one of their stores they are understaffed. Long lines and long waits with only one or two people behind the counter. Although when it finally is your turn, they seem professional enough. I did have an issue once with a deposit refund- they were very slow to credit my card, but they did eventually after a few phone calls.

As far as equipment, they have a spotless record with me. Everything has been clean and in good working order. No issues, hassles, or problems mechanically or otherwise. In fact, I will using them again next month to move my daughter to med school.

I chose to post this because a previous post said they have never met a customer of U-Haul that had a positive experience. That is probably because people tend to be more vocal of poor experiences than of good ones, and I don't think there is a popular website people can go to and report positive experiences with companies. lol

P.S. I only rent from company owned U-Haul centers. Not agents or 3rd parties. Maybe that's the difference?
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#8 Consumer Comment

Soon to find out

AUTHOR: Chad - (Canada)

To quote from the Inside Information response:

"The 'surly' U-Haul employee you dealt with has probably heard complaints like yours a million times." ...Could that be because there are a million problems that would force customers to complain?

Anyone I know that has dealt with U-Haul has the same "Don't even ask" look on their face when I ask about it.

I have not yet had the "privelage" of dealing with this company, but that may soon change. Due to a lack of funds and an upcoming move(from Winnipeg to Vancouver), I may have to call U-Haul. After reading reviews and reports such as this, I can't help but cringe at the fact that there is virtually no cheaper route(if there is, let me know) to take when moving yourself, unless you personally own a vehicle large enough to fit the contents of a house.

If I run out of options and take the plunge, I'll be sure to let everyone here know how it went. My expectations will be at an all-time low, and caution VERY high.

Thanks for the heads-up!
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#9 Consumer Comment

editting of last response ..have yet to find anyone with a good experience

AUTHOR: Steven - (U.S.A.)

this is just to fix an editing mistake of my last post. I said i have yet to find anyone that had a bad experience, when i meant that i have yet to find anyone with a good experience. everyone i have met has had something bad happen when dealing with uhaul.
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#10 Consumer Comment

bigger isn't always better

AUTHOR: Steven - (U.S.A.)

The company rebuttals sound good, but they may be mere misplaced company pride. Promises may not be made, but reservations are and when a consumer shows up in the store, then they expect that to be honored. a bigger truck isn't always better when the operater can't operate it and they onkly need the truck to move a couch. not everyone wants to drive a semi, especially when they reserve a pick-up. Also, maybe the rental store could assure the consumer is aware of all the particulars of operation, like the start light. and it seems like the major problem is just the service or response from uhaul after the fact. Sure they have so many similar complaints to deal with it all sounds the same. but isn't that indicative of a problem? consumers are only worried about themselves and in order to retain business and uphold a higher standard, a company should recognize that consumers are individuals and they aren't aware of your past dealings. finally, it was stated that for every one complaint there are a hundred satisfied customers. I disagree, with uhaul, i have yet to find anyone that didn't have a bad experience. they just don't take the time to try to put a dent in an established company. Uhaul will always have new customers, people grow up and need to move out, but i am sure that there repeat business doesn't grow. And i would like to point out that if every truck was checked before going out then i would not have fallen victim to corroded battery cables. that truck hadn't been checked in awhile. certain stores may, and i applaud them for having the standard they should, but i know for a fact that every store doesn't.
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#11 Consumer Comment

many stories of U-haul renting junk, and poor customer service. That said there is more than one side to a story

AUTHOR: Mike - (Canada)

I know there are many stories of U-haul renting junk, and poor customer service. That said there is more than one side to a story and there may be facts that the original author left out.

I would have to say that I would not complain if I got a free upgrade to a bigger truck. Yes it will cost more for fuel, and be harder to drive, but it is better than having no truck or trying to cram your belongings into a smaller truck. This industry has a few very busy peaks and a lot of low business times. They can't afford to have tons of idle equipment sitting around. And yes you can legally drive it with your license. Otherwise U-haul would not rent out trucks that the general public couldn't drive. If you were moving a house full of belongings for a family I'm sure you'd appreciate the 26' truck

The problem was obviously the starter (or other mechanical problems), not operator error. I'm sure that the hero truck driver knows that the clutch must be depressed when starting the truck, and that the glow plug light must go out first (after all, he does drive a diesel truck himself). The original poster was talking about jump starting, AKA push starting. You turn the ignition on, put it in gear with the clutch depressed, gain speed, and pop the clutch (release it) to get the engine turning. This had to be done because the battery powered starter system was non functional.

However, the engine overheat was avoidable. Before renting the truck, inspect it, make sure all fluid levels are OK, inspect tires, tire pressure, etc. If you see anything is low (like the coolant) add it before you go.

As well, during the journey you should keep an eye on everything. Coolant doesn't normally get consumed or disappear, so a low level to begin with could indicate a leak or other problem. If you check the coolant again a few hundred kilometers down the road, you'd see it's down again, and top it back up before it gives you a problem. It is especially important to keep an eye on these things if the truck is older, because an older vehicle is more likely to have problems.

It is also very dangerous to keep the truck running while it is overheating. The engine could seize and that would be your fault. Diesel engines are particularly susceptible to this because they are high pressure engines running hot to begin with. If you see the temperature gauge climb extremely high, or you see the oil light come on (or oil pressure gauge drop) you stop and shut off the engine before there is permanent damage. However if in this case if I saw the temperature gauge start to rise, I'd pull over and idle with the heat on to see if perhaps I was overworking it and if it just needed to cool down. I'd also check the coolant level before it climbed into extreme. If I couldn't solve the problem before it got to extreme, I'd shut it off. Also, how could you get the okay to add water if you were on perpetual hold?


As for the brake failure, it is possible that the brakes were running hot (brake fade) and lost effectiveness. It is a big truck, and I don't know if you were driving through a hilly area, but if you were, they could easily overheat and fail. Remember it's a big truck and that you have to brake gradually, and downshift on long hills. If the brakes start to feel like they are loosing effectiveness, stop while you still can and let everything cool down.

If the brake lines broke, that would trouble me. They should be able to withstand the pressure that the pedal delivers; it is not normal for them to pop.

When the brakes failed, did the driver downshift? Did he try pumping the brakes? Try the parking brake? Since we don't know the true nature of the brake failure, no one can fully comment. Although I don't understand how a brake failure could cause the alternator to fail, and the batteries to melt together.

You also seem to want something for nothing. U-haul did offer to pay your out of pocket expenses, what more do you want? Free money for pain and suffering? What will that do? The best thing for you to do is take their gift certificates, and the next time you move, buy boxes & packing tape from them, and just rent a truck from someone else.

Lessons that can be learned:

Check the equipment before you leave. Check all tires, fluids, brakes, etc. Bring someone along technically minded to show you how if you don't know how to do it yourself.

Check fluids and mechanical condition while you are on the road. If you need to top anything up, keep the receipts so the company can reimburse you.

Take your time. Plan ahead so you have an extra couple days incase something goes wrong. It might not be a mechanical failure, you might get storm stayed somewhere. If you are late getting somewhere, you will be stressed. If you are stressed, any problems you run into will get worse.

Be easy on the trucks. They don't drive like a car, and don't go as fast. If you push them too hard, they will break. They need more space to stop and you have to be careful on long hills.

Bring along a cell phone and if you are traveling with someone in another car, have them follow you. This will greatly increase your options if you run into problems.

Don't always go with the cheapest bidder. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Research the BEST company and rent from them.

If any of the above advice scares you, pay someone to move you.
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#12 Consumer Comment

many stories of U-haul renting junk, and poor customer service. That said there is more than one side to a story

AUTHOR: Mike - (Canada)

I know there are many stories of U-haul renting junk, and poor customer service. That said there is more than one side to a story and there may be facts that the original author left out.

I would have to say that I would not complain if I got a free upgrade to a bigger truck. Yes it will cost more for fuel, and be harder to drive, but it is better than having no truck or trying to cram your belongings into a smaller truck. This industry has a few very busy peaks and a lot of low business times. They can't afford to have tons of idle equipment sitting around. And yes you can legally drive it with your license. Otherwise U-haul would not rent out trucks that the general public couldn't drive. If you were moving a house full of belongings for a family I'm sure you'd appreciate the 26' truck

The problem was obviously the starter (or other mechanical problems), not operator error. I'm sure that the hero truck driver knows that the clutch must be depressed when starting the truck, and that the glow plug light must go out first (after all, he does drive a diesel truck himself). The original poster was talking about jump starting, AKA push starting. You turn the ignition on, put it in gear with the clutch depressed, gain speed, and pop the clutch (release it) to get the engine turning. This had to be done because the battery powered starter system was non functional.

However, the engine overheat was avoidable. Before renting the truck, inspect it, make sure all fluid levels are OK, inspect tires, tire pressure, etc. If you see anything is low (like the coolant) add it before you go.

As well, during the journey you should keep an eye on everything. Coolant doesn't normally get consumed or disappear, so a low level to begin with could indicate a leak or other problem. If you check the coolant again a few hundred kilometers down the road, you'd see it's down again, and top it back up before it gives you a problem. It is especially important to keep an eye on these things if the truck is older, because an older vehicle is more likely to have problems.

It is also very dangerous to keep the truck running while it is overheating. The engine could seize and that would be your fault. Diesel engines are particularly susceptible to this because they are high pressure engines running hot to begin with. If you see the temperature gauge climb extremely high, or you see the oil light come on (or oil pressure gauge drop) you stop and shut off the engine before there is permanent damage. However if in this case if I saw the temperature gauge start to rise, I'd pull over and idle with the heat on to see if perhaps I was overworking it and if it just needed to cool down. I'd also check the coolant level before it climbed into extreme. If I couldn't solve the problem before it got to extreme, I'd shut it off. Also, how could you get the okay to add water if you were on perpetual hold?


As for the brake failure, it is possible that the brakes were running hot (brake fade) and lost effectiveness. It is a big truck, and I don't know if you were driving through a hilly area, but if you were, they could easily overheat and fail. Remember it's a big truck and that you have to brake gradually, and downshift on long hills. If the brakes start to feel like they are loosing effectiveness, stop while you still can and let everything cool down.

If the brake lines broke, that would trouble me. They should be able to withstand the pressure that the pedal delivers; it is not normal for them to pop.

When the brakes failed, did the driver downshift? Did he try pumping the brakes? Try the parking brake? Since we don't know the true nature of the brake failure, no one can fully comment. Although I don't understand how a brake failure could cause the alternator to fail, and the batteries to melt together.

You also seem to want something for nothing. U-haul did offer to pay your out of pocket expenses, what more do you want? Free money for pain and suffering? What will that do? The best thing for you to do is take their gift certificates, and the next time you move, buy boxes & packing tape from them, and just rent a truck from someone else.

Lessons that can be learned:

Check the equipment before you leave. Check all tires, fluids, brakes, etc. Bring someone along technically minded to show you how if you don't know how to do it yourself.

Check fluids and mechanical condition while you are on the road. If you need to top anything up, keep the receipts so the company can reimburse you.

Take your time. Plan ahead so you have an extra couple days incase something goes wrong. It might not be a mechanical failure, you might get storm stayed somewhere. If you are late getting somewhere, you will be stressed. If you are stressed, any problems you run into will get worse.

Be easy on the trucks. They don't drive like a car, and don't go as fast. If you push them too hard, they will break. They need more space to stop and you have to be careful on long hills.

Bring along a cell phone and if you are traveling with someone in another car, have them follow you. This will greatly increase your options if you run into problems.

Don't always go with the cheapest bidder. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Research the BEST company and rent from them.

If any of the above advice scares you, pay someone to move you.
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#13 Consumer Comment

many stories of U-haul renting junk, and poor customer service. That said there is more than one side to a story

AUTHOR: Mike - (Canada)

I know there are many stories of U-haul renting junk, and poor customer service. That said there is more than one side to a story and there may be facts that the original author left out.

I would have to say that I would not complain if I got a free upgrade to a bigger truck. Yes it will cost more for fuel, and be harder to drive, but it is better than having no truck or trying to cram your belongings into a smaller truck. This industry has a few very busy peaks and a lot of low business times. They can't afford to have tons of idle equipment sitting around. And yes you can legally drive it with your license. Otherwise U-haul would not rent out trucks that the general public couldn't drive. If you were moving a house full of belongings for a family I'm sure you'd appreciate the 26' truck

The problem was obviously the starter (or other mechanical problems), not operator error. I'm sure that the hero truck driver knows that the clutch must be depressed when starting the truck, and that the glow plug light must go out first (after all, he does drive a diesel truck himself). The original poster was talking about jump starting, AKA push starting. You turn the ignition on, put it in gear with the clutch depressed, gain speed, and pop the clutch (release it) to get the engine turning. This had to be done because the battery powered starter system was non functional.

However, the engine overheat was avoidable. Before renting the truck, inspect it, make sure all fluid levels are OK, inspect tires, tire pressure, etc. If you see anything is low (like the coolant) add it before you go.

As well, during the journey you should keep an eye on everything. Coolant doesn't normally get consumed or disappear, so a low level to begin with could indicate a leak or other problem. If you check the coolant again a few hundred kilometers down the road, you'd see it's down again, and top it back up before it gives you a problem. It is especially important to keep an eye on these things if the truck is older, because an older vehicle is more likely to have problems.

It is also very dangerous to keep the truck running while it is overheating. The engine could seize and that would be your fault. Diesel engines are particularly susceptible to this because they are high pressure engines running hot to begin with. If you see the temperature gauge climb extremely high, or you see the oil light come on (or oil pressure gauge drop) you stop and shut off the engine before there is permanent damage. However if in this case if I saw the temperature gauge start to rise, I'd pull over and idle with the heat on to see if perhaps I was overworking it and if it just needed to cool down. I'd also check the coolant level before it climbed into extreme. If I couldn't solve the problem before it got to extreme, I'd shut it off. Also, how could you get the okay to add water if you were on perpetual hold?


As for the brake failure, it is possible that the brakes were running hot (brake fade) and lost effectiveness. It is a big truck, and I don't know if you were driving through a hilly area, but if you were, they could easily overheat and fail. Remember it's a big truck and that you have to brake gradually, and downshift on long hills. If the brakes start to feel like they are loosing effectiveness, stop while you still can and let everything cool down.

If the brake lines broke, that would trouble me. They should be able to withstand the pressure that the pedal delivers; it is not normal for them to pop.

When the brakes failed, did the driver downshift? Did he try pumping the brakes? Try the parking brake? Since we don't know the true nature of the brake failure, no one can fully comment. Although I don't understand how a brake failure could cause the alternator to fail, and the batteries to melt together.

You also seem to want something for nothing. U-haul did offer to pay your out of pocket expenses, what more do you want? Free money for pain and suffering? What will that do? The best thing for you to do is take their gift certificates, and the next time you move, buy boxes & packing tape from them, and just rent a truck from someone else.

Lessons that can be learned:

Check the equipment before you leave. Check all tires, fluids, brakes, etc. Bring someone along technically minded to show you how if you don't know how to do it yourself.

Check fluids and mechanical condition while you are on the road. If you need to top anything up, keep the receipts so the company can reimburse you.

Take your time. Plan ahead so you have an extra couple days incase something goes wrong. It might not be a mechanical failure, you might get storm stayed somewhere. If you are late getting somewhere, you will be stressed. If you are stressed, any problems you run into will get worse.

Be easy on the trucks. They don't drive like a car, and don't go as fast. If you push them too hard, they will break. They need more space to stop and you have to be careful on long hills.

Bring along a cell phone and if you are traveling with someone in another car, have them follow you. This will greatly increase your options if you run into problems.

Don't always go with the cheapest bidder. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Research the BEST company and rent from them.

If any of the above advice scares you, pay someone to move you.
Respond to this report!
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#14 Consumer Comment

many stories of U-haul renting junk, and poor customer service. That said there is more than one side to a story

AUTHOR: Mike - (Canada)

I know there are many stories of U-haul renting junk, and poor customer service. That said there is more than one side to a story and there may be facts that the original author left out.

I would have to say that I would not complain if I got a free upgrade to a bigger truck. Yes it will cost more for fuel, and be harder to drive, but it is better than having no truck or trying to cram your belongings into a smaller truck. This industry has a few very busy peaks and a lot of low business times. They can't afford to have tons of idle equipment sitting around. And yes you can legally drive it with your license. Otherwise U-haul would not rent out trucks that the general public couldn't drive. If you were moving a house full of belongings for a family I'm sure you'd appreciate the 26' truck

The problem was obviously the starter (or other mechanical problems), not operator error. I'm sure that the hero truck driver knows that the clutch must be depressed when starting the truck, and that the glow plug light must go out first (after all, he does drive a diesel truck himself). The original poster was talking about jump starting, AKA push starting. You turn the ignition on, put it in gear with the clutch depressed, gain speed, and pop the clutch (release it) to get the engine turning. This had to be done because the battery powered starter system was non functional.

However, the engine overheat was avoidable. Before renting the truck, inspect it, make sure all fluid levels are OK, inspect tires, tire pressure, etc. If you see anything is low (like the coolant) add it before you go.

As well, during the journey you should keep an eye on everything. Coolant doesn't normally get consumed or disappear, so a low level to begin with could indicate a leak or other problem. If you check the coolant again a few hundred kilometers down the road, you'd see it's down again, and top it back up before it gives you a problem. It is especially important to keep an eye on these things if the truck is older, because an older vehicle is more likely to have problems.

It is also very dangerous to keep the truck running while it is overheating. The engine could seize and that would be your fault. Diesel engines are particularly susceptible to this because they are high pressure engines running hot to begin with. If you see the temperature gauge climb extremely high, or you see the oil light come on (or oil pressure gauge drop) you stop and shut off the engine before there is permanent damage. However if in this case if I saw the temperature gauge start to rise, I'd pull over and idle with the heat on to see if perhaps I was overworking it and if it just needed to cool down. I'd also check the coolant level before it climbed into extreme. If I couldn't solve the problem before it got to extreme, I'd shut it off. Also, how could you get the okay to add water if you were on perpetual hold?


As for the brake failure, it is possible that the brakes were running hot (brake fade) and lost effectiveness. It is a big truck, and I don't know if you were driving through a hilly area, but if you were, they could easily overheat and fail. Remember it's a big truck and that you have to brake gradually, and downshift on long hills. If the brakes start to feel like they are loosing effectiveness, stop while you still can and let everything cool down.

If the brake lines broke, that would trouble me. They should be able to withstand the pressure that the pedal delivers; it is not normal for them to pop.

When the brakes failed, did the driver downshift? Did he try pumping the brakes? Try the parking brake? Since we don't know the true nature of the brake failure, no one can fully comment. Although I don't understand how a brake failure could cause the alternator to fail, and the batteries to melt together.

You also seem to want something for nothing. U-haul did offer to pay your out of pocket expenses, what more do you want? Free money for pain and suffering? What will that do? The best thing for you to do is take their gift certificates, and the next time you move, buy boxes & packing tape from them, and just rent a truck from someone else.

Lessons that can be learned:

Check the equipment before you leave. Check all tires, fluids, brakes, etc. Bring someone along technically minded to show you how if you don't know how to do it yourself.

Check fluids and mechanical condition while you are on the road. If you need to top anything up, keep the receipts so the company can reimburse you.

Take your time. Plan ahead so you have an extra couple days incase something goes wrong. It might not be a mechanical failure, you might get storm stayed somewhere. If you are late getting somewhere, you will be stressed. If you are stressed, any problems you run into will get worse.

Be easy on the trucks. They don't drive like a car, and don't go as fast. If you push them too hard, they will break. They need more space to stop and you have to be careful on long hills.

Bring along a cell phone and if you are traveling with someone in another car, have them follow you. This will greatly increase your options if you run into problems.

Don't always go with the cheapest bidder. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Research the BEST company and rent from them.

If any of the above advice scares you, pay someone to move you.
Respond to this report!
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#15 UPDATE Employee

I think your creditability was mislaid

AUTHOR: Susan - (U.S.A.)

I will attempt to touch on a few key issues' you selectivly told only parts of as well as exploiting the truth. I think your creditability was mislaid in the 3rd paragraph. You said, and I quote " We were promised by U-Haul that we would have a truck on Aug. 30th, no later than noon." U-Haul NEVER, I repeat NEVER promises anything close to that. And to make a promise on that weekend-- you have got to be joking. U-Haul works feverishly to try and fill all customers reservations. It makes their jobs far more stressful when unable to do so. U-Haul is dependant on our customer's to abide by their contracts and return their equipment on or before the time it is due. U-Haul also depends on that customer to take the equipment where it is due. Now if that all happens, everything runs smoothly. But, that is not the case all the time.

Issue #2: As for the female employee that showed no empathy, with the disrespect and down right offensiveness treatment she had to endure from you, I extol her.
Per U-Hauls breakdown line. I do agree it is frustrating to be on hold and passed from one person to another, but take a step back & look at the part you & your buddies played in this. Your buddy was told that if he could get the truck started & then drove to the nearest location for repairs, it would be quicker than waiting for a mechanic to respond. That's not what transpired, you all took it upon yourselves to just continue driving. And let's discuss the battery problem. I am limited on knowledge when it comes to mechanic's but, in order for the 2 batteries to get so hot they melted together, you either have less knowledge on mechanics that I or you and your buddies abused U-Hauls equipment. On 1 of the busiest times of the year for U-Haul, you whine that everyone didn't drop everything they were doing to wipe your tears.

So, if someone hears your side of the story, it does sound bad, but let the truth be told and things don't look so 1 sided anymore. I am sorry you had problems with your move, but stop thinking the world revolves around poor innocent Will. It was you and your "buddies" action and abuse that cost you a refund.
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#16 UPDATE Employee

OK, where do I begin...?

AUTHOR: Dustman The - (U.S.A.)

You people are idiots. If you had any idea what hell it is to try to maintain the equipment we get at U-Haul, you'd understand my unending frustration.

First of all, why are you complaining about getting a BIGGER truck than the one you asked for? Would you have preferred a SMALLER truck, and not had your things fit? Yes, it is legal to drive a 26' U-Haul truck with a class 5(US class A) license. Diesel trucks emit smoke no matter what. ANY vehicle with a manual transmission must be started with the clutch "popped in", or did you forget that you were not driving your Honda? Also, did you forget about the WAIT TO START light? The truck cannot be started until that light is out. This preheats the engine, making the diesel combustion process possible. Or were you too busy freaking out? It isn't complicated. Detailed instructions are posted all over the cab of the truck. As far as the brakes failing, look, I don't know exactly where you are, but with any big truck, you must give it a lot of room to stop. If you slam the brakes too hard, you can either pop a brake line (probably what happened) or overheat the brakes, causing a "failure". This applies to your 17-footer also.

Look, yes, SOME of our equipment is ancient, and yes, it can break down. Anything mechanical can break down. It happens. We do our best to try and get these old trucks we get ready for the road, and when they leave a U-Haul location, they ARE ready for the road. Things happen. A truck isn't going to exhibit problems sitting on our lot. We don't drive them around for fun, looking for problems. We rely on customers to tell us. I'm sure that when that truck was returned, it was reconditioned, and is probably still out on the road somewhere in fine running condition.

It is policy to reimburse any and all expenses resulting from a breakdown, provided you keep your reciepts. Without those, we have no idea if you really did have a problem or are just making it up! We also forgive charges for extra days/mileage from said breakdown. What else were you expecting?! I also like how you vandalized the truck. Now someone has to remove the sign/ink/whatever you used from the truck.

For every customer that has problems like you, there are 100 happy customers who had a great rental. Pity they don't write letters like this. The "surly" U-Haul employee you dealt with has probably heard complaints like yours a million times. And was probably thinking the same things I am writing here. You obviously were unwilling to work with U-Haul about your problems, impatient, and understand nothing about what it was you rented. Lighten up.
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