Report: #884156

Complaint Review: ubox

  • Submitted: Thu, May 17, 2012
  • Updated: Tue, January 01, 2013
  • Reported By: Edward — Albuquerque New Mexico United States of America
  • ubox

    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Wife and I moved from Albuquerque, NM to Daytona Beach, FL in late December 2011. We opted to store the stuff we weren't taking in our car in a UBox in Albuquerque, figuring it would cost less to have it shipped later than to rent a U-Haul truck and drive it over at the same time as we moved... and we'd be able to relax and enjoy the road trip together rather than driving separate, and avoid feeling hurried to deliver the truck at the destination ASAP. Good deal right?

In December 2011 the price for shipping a UBox was a little over $1,000.00, by late January 2012 it had increased to about $1,200.00; which was still cheaper than renting a truck large enough and paying for the gas to transport the goods ourselves.

At this point my wife hurt her wrist at work so I decided to hold off a little before shipping the UBox to FL: just in case we needed the money because she couldn't work.

After a couple months went by, and lots of tests and doctors visits, I decided it was no longer worth it to wait. My wife was working still, and we had enough dough saved up that I felt secure having our UBox shipped over. But what? The price had jumped up to over $1,400.00 for no apparent reason. $1400.00 was almost exactly what it would have cost to rent a truck and pay for gas back in December 2011. Gas prices were basically the same, so I found myself wondering "what gives?"

I also decided, at this point, to wait a bit to see if the price went down at all.

Today, May 17th 2012, about a month after I encountered the unreasonable $1,400.00 estimate for shipping, my wife decided it had been long enough, that she wanted the UBox shipped. So she called UHaul, and was quoted $1,971.00 for shipping... THAT'S A $500 DOLLAR INCREASE FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON!! And it's also $400 dollars more expensive than it would be to just rent a truck and pay for gas; and that's with today's cost for rental and gas... not the prices from last December.

NOTE: $1,900.00 is also about $400.00 more the the estimated worth of the belongings in our packed full UBox.

UHaul's explanation: they use a third party service for shipping and can't control the costs.

But if they can't control the cost of shipping enough to make the service viable in comparison to the more complex services the provide, why provide the service at all. After all a UBox is just a cheap plywood box nailed to a pallet that they often toss around with forklifts, and occasionally strap to a flatbed that gets towed by a semi. A UBox is not a rental van or truck that requires regular maintenance, it's not a heated and highly secured storage space... UBoxes are often left  outside with little but specialised tarps and a lock to protect them. These price increases appear completely baseless or otherwise simply ridiculous. Buyer please beware!
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/17/2012 12:03 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

not storage fee related increases

AUTHOR: hellure - ()

for those who have foolishly commented above as though they have any idea what they are talking about.

the near $900 increase, or the near doubling of the cost to provide the service requested, has nothing to do with an inclusion of storage costs. we paid monthly storage costs from the get-go, as we were not sure where we were moving. we chose to store our belongings in a u-box because their prices were reasonable at the time, and using the u-box would save us from having to return to get our belongings later (in the end returning and renting a truck would have cost less).

and no, at no point of time were we deliquent on any payments for the storage of our u-box.

as quoted previously, the increase in price was attributed to the third party agencies that u-haul contracts with to deliver the u-boxes. u-haul said nothing about just marking up prices cause they could. they said: sorry, but it wasn't us, and there's nothing we can do.

the whole system was and is still wonky; read unrealiable or sketchy. i've heard a half dozen reports about their service that leaves me questioning why they would even offer such a service, considering their inability to provide the service with any reasonably level of quality.

it seems that if all you want is to easily load up and move your own stuff in a u-box, or have one shipped within town, then using u-box might save you some cash.

but if you're relying on them to get your stuff more than a state away and still have it be in good shape (our more valuable items, which were coverd and protected, got absolutely trashed, the u-box itself was DROPPED, and the door/lock was broken off in transit), delivered to the right location (i've read reports of them getting lost or shipped elsewhere), delivered on the day they said they would or within the same period (sure we can deliver sunday, but the destination u-haul doesn't deliver on sundays), or heck--not require you to replenish their u-boxes at the u-haul you got your from (read above), or somehow find a way to pile on excessive charges (they intentionally overcharged us for our rental of a truck to move our belongings to our home from the local u-haul location, saying any excess would be refunded, but it never was).

i'm still not happy, and no argument here has managed to counter or disqualify either the complaints of others or my compliants of unreasonable charge increases or poor service. so please, if you've read this far... stop and think before you act. my complaint was meant to be a warning to the wise, not an opportunity for uninformed arguments!

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#2 Consumer Comment

My experience with UBOX was far worse.

AUTHOR: 0vertoyed - ()


The people who work at the shipping end and receiving end of my uBox ordeal went far above and beyond the call of duty to overcome the awful circumstance inflicted by the UHaul company.  They did their very best, but they can only compensate for so much.

The construction of the ubox is terrible.  To keep the door shut tight in shipping, they drilled two holes through the door and jamb, affixed T nuts inside the door, and ran the bolts through it all.  The problem is they made the interior door jamb from very soft wood and the little teeth on the T nuts just tear out the wood and spin freely, making it impossible to remove the bolts and open the door.

When I picked up the UBox and took it to my house in Portland Oregon, the T nuts were stripped and I couldn't open the door.  I had a sawzall and a generator and I just cut the bolt heads off.  I called the UHaul guy and he came over with replacement bolts and T nuts.  Each time he installed new T nuts through new holes, however, the T nuts would strip and we would again have to cut the bolt heads off. After 4.5 hours and a trip to the hardware store (he ran out of nuts and bolts at the UHaul shop) we found a different T nut that worked better.

After I loaded it I had to tow the UBox to a different Uhaul place, 15 miles farther away.  They don't tell you that though you can pick up a UBox at any UHaul, not all UHaul stores can ship them.  They accepted the box and said it would be in Denver Colorado in 4 to 6 days where I would pay for the shipping.  Then I had to take an empty UBox back to the place I originally rented from to replenish their inventory.  That's right; you get to pay for a trailer to haul empty uboxs around for the UHaul company!

I waited a month and heard nothing, so I called UHaul.  My box had not moved since I dropped it off.  They said they were wrong and I had to pay before it would ship, but they never called me to tell me.  So I paid over the phone and four days later my box was in Denver.

I called the Denver UHaul to arrange to pick up my box but their phones are permanently forwarded to the corporate office so you can't actually call them.  I had to wait 2.5 hours to get my ubox onto a trailer, and yes, you have to pay to rent the trailer AGAIN.

Next, I noticed that someone at UHaul had placed a padlock on my Ubox.  It was a UHaul labeled lock, but there was no key.  The Denver UHaul people said they hadn't put the lock on it so I would have to drive the box to a lock smith and pay to have it removed.  After 15 minutes of arguing they agreed to remove the lock (and I believe them - they didn't put the lock on the box).  Another 45 minutes later the lock was off and I could take my UBox to my apartment to unload it.

When I got to my apartment one bolt came out but the other T nut was stripped.  Unfortunately my sawzall was inside the box so I couldn't saw the bolt head off like I had done in Oregon.  I towed the UBox back to the Denver dealer.  Since it was now 5:00pm and UHaul was closing I'll have to have them saw the bolt off and will try again next weekend to unload my UBox.

I called UHaul customer service and they dumped the problem back on the Portland UHaul guy who tried so hard to help me.  He contacted the president of marketing about getting me a partial refund.  The president of marketing at UHaul offered to refund me the 2.5% profit margin he says UHaul makes on their transactions.  Since I spent about $1,000 on this ordeal, not including the money spent on moving people who were idle because the door wouldn't open, my refund offer from UHaul for over 8 hours of frustration and a month late delivery is a whopping $25.00.

Let's see if anyone can come up with a worse example of customer service than UHaul and their UBox! 

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#3 UPDATE Employee

U Box's

AUTHOR: Matt at Uhual - (United States of America)

U-Haul adjusts all prices monthly in acordance to demand, and marketing prices nationaly. If you have a gander at your Ubox contract it will state that the originaly quote may change if you do not ship your box's at the listed time.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Striderq and Ashley

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

Thanks for pretty much confirming what I suspected from the beginning that this increase had something to do with storage fees. 

Now, before the OP comes back and tries to point out that they state the quote is the "final price", they have to remember that THEY delayed the actual shipping.  So if the quote was for a fixed time at a fixed price the quote is no longer valid because they have extended the time.

Also, it has now been 6 months and it does not appear that they are paying storage.  There is a good possibility that there was something in the agreement about "abandoned property".  So if he doesn't be careful and get his items shipped he may be seeing them up for sale on a reality show in the near future.

Oh and one more thing for the OP.   There is not really any "review" of any posts on this site so don't think that once it gets posted that gives you some validation of your claim.  If you read some of the other posts on this site you would realize this.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Storage fees

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

"" What is included in my quote?

Cost for delivery to and from your home (trailer rental or truck delivery fee).
Cost for shipping (transportation charges).
Cost for storage (monthly fee to store your U-Boxes in our secure facility).
The low cost rate is guaranteed to be the FINAL price. You won't have to worry about unexpected costs like fuel, hotel stays, extra driving time etc. Using U-Haul U-Box provides the convenience of knowing you can leave your items with us until you're ready. "

I gauruntee a good chunk of your cost increases are long term storage fees. it clearly states on their website that there will be a monthly storage fee for your items. I requested a quote from them and on 1 box it states a 80$ a month fee from them. They've had it for 5 months now, going on 6. So your fee would be 400-480$ depending on your time. There's your unexplained 500$ increase, storage fees.
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#6 General Comment


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

Taken from AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report: Average Price for Regular

State's Graph

So according to AAA the average price increased from December 2011 from approximately $3.30 per gallon to April 2011 to approximately $3.90 per gallon. With prices dropping in May. Since the price of gas was going up, the price of UHaul delivering the UBox would go up. The only time the price would be locked in would be after you had contracted with UHaul to deliver your furniture. If you had called in January for them to deliver in February, the price would have been established and then any change in cost due to gas prices would come out of their profit. Since you haven't set a delivery date, any change in price is not a rip off, it's just natural fluctuations due to cost of business.

Additionally, going to UHual's site & getting prices for UBox from NM to FL gets a quote of "$1,971.00

plus $79.95 per month". So the original quote was if they had delivered the UBox in December for you. Each month you delay adds $79.95 in storage fees. This fee for the 5 month delay (December to May) works out to $399.75. What was the quote you were given in December for the per month storage fee? Not a rip off, just not figuring in the additional storage fee you're costing yourself by delaying the delivery of your furniture.
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#7 Author of original report

it's a rippoff because of the unreasonable price increase

AUTHOR: hellure - (United States of America)

it's a rippoff because U-Haul dramatically increased the price for a service that many people have invested in because of the reasonable pricing they encountered upon choosing to order the service initially. In most circumstances many customers would simple choose to do business elsewhere, but in these circumstances they are literally locked in.

Some of the information I included in the original report was included specifically to aid in the readers ability to empathise with our decision to rent a UBox, or otherwise understand why we made that decision, rather than utilising the alternative services available at the time; and understand that doing so was reasonable then, but has become unreasonable due to the unethical behaviours of the service provider after initially obtaining our business: namely hiking up prices dramatically.

People order UBoxes instead of simply renting storage units because they are mobile and can often be delivered from door to door when necessary... and at a reasonable price. Whether they can be delivered from one location to the next and it's cost can generally be determined ahead of time. But I've read that people have been informed after purchasing the service that what they were promised can not be delivered (after they are locked in; packed up, moved, and waiting on delivery).

In our case, the rippoff is simply the massive increase in cost, so much so that the service no longer becomes a cost effective option at all; not even in comparison to the other services that U-Haul provides that require more work for them and should thus cost them more to provide.

It's simple math really: If in December 2011 the Cost Of Shipping (COS) a U-Box is say $1,100.00, and in May 2012 the cost of fuel has increased by n amount, than the COS in May 2012 should be approximately Decembers COS+n... but it's not, it's Decembers COS+n+$800... and they won't explain the inclusion of the $800, they refuse, they place responsibility on a third party (which is irresponsible behaviour in and of itself), then refuse to refer their customers to that third party so they can obtain an explanation.

It sounds like a ripoff to me... I'm not so sure why you're having trouble seeing it. Apparently the person who reviewed my report was able to, or it wouldn't have qualified for posting.

Please also note my other update where they charged us for the price of shipping without us authorising them to do so. U-Haul customers and those contemplating utilising their services have a right to be aware of these behaviours and protect themselves from becoming victims of them.
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#8 Author of original report

Update: more info

AUTHOR: hellure - (United States of America)

Not only was the $1,971,00 way too expensive for the service... the manager at the Albuquerque U-Haul location where our U-Box was being stored apparently didn't understand the meaning of, "Um, I'll have to call you back." when she asked my wife if it was okay to charge our account with the shipping fee of $1,971.00.

So despite my wife not ordering the service, and certainly not authorising the charge to our account, and myself obviously not authorising the charge to my credit card (with a $2,000.00 limit and a $600.00 balance), my credit card was immediately charged for the total $1,971.00... and now I have to deal with the possibility of either an overdraft charge from American Express, or insisting on a refund from U-Haul despite our U-Box possibly being shipped already...

I suppose unreasonably hiking up prices just isn't enough for these people, they've had to start processing charges against customers without their permission too... perhaps just hoping the customers will just roll over and take it?
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#9 Consumer Comment

How is this a RipOff?

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

If you had it shipped in December it would have cost you a little over $1,000...but you didn't.
If you had it shipped in January it would have cost you about $1,200...but you didn't.
If you had it shipped in March/April it would have cost you about $1,400...but you didn't.
At no time do you say that told you they couldn't ship it, it was because of your situation that you decided to hold off.  

Is there anything in your agreement about the costs?

NOTE: $1,900.00 is also about $400.00 more the the estimated worth of the belongings in our packed full UBox.
- So what you are saying is that even from the very beginning you were willing to take the time to pack and store items that are worth only about $500 more than it would cost you to ship them?

As a thought, are you paying them separately for storage?  Most of these types of places will charge you for storage while they wait to have it shipped.  If so I would not be surprised if the increase in cost you are seeing is for the storage fees.  If that is the case you can expect the cost to increase every month until you have it shipped.
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