U-Haul, the home name that everyone knows to use when doing any type of move. The company that’s supposed to make your life easier when life is at its most stressful. The company that boasts about all this money back, all this amazing customer support, and especially, all their amazing equipment to choose from.
That, however, is far far far from the truth. U-Haul is a company built on the premise of an amazing business model, you rent hassle-free and return when you’re done – all at a low cost. Seems pretty reasonable if you ask me. However, after this move, U-Haul is anything but the budget-friendly rent-to-haul company they make themselves out to be.
You’re probably wondering why we even had to rent a U-Haul and tow dolly, to begin with. Well, apparently 30 days out from a PCS isn’t enough time to have movers scheduled and ready for your requested date. We went to schedule May 30th, and the military had 0 movers available until July 2nd – we were set to move into our new home on July 1st. So we had to do a do-it-yourself move and what better option than U-Haul.
We selected the U-Haul location closest to our home and went ahead with making our reservation for both our U-Haul 15′ and tow dolly on the 4th of June for pickup on Jun 29th. Confirmation in tow, we continued about our move plans the best we could. Little did we know, our reservation was anything but “reserved” and that it was a guesstimate and that when the time came – nothing was on time, and it created a headache that wasn’t necessary.
U-Haul Business Practice In a Nutshell
So June 29th came rolling along, and I received a phone call that the U-Haul I had reserved weeks prior, was not available at the location of my choosing, but a toll and 40 minutes away. That’s when I found out how U-Haul operates.
When you make a reservation with U-Haul for a specific location/time, you’re not guaranteed your U-Haul equipment or your reserved time. I found that out the day of all the unnecessary hell.
When you make a reservation for a U-Haul item, they reserve your equipment based on when the equipment is expected back if was rented out or reserved at a different time. Now, if the equipment isn’t returned on time, or even returned at all, you don’t get your equipment. The best part about this whole contract, there’s no guarantee you’ll even get your equipment – and there’s nothing you can do about it.
So if you didn’t have any backup plans, you’re literally up shits creek without a paddle and the only thing U-Haul will do for you, give you 50$ for your trouble. And in order to get that, you have to wait on hold anywhere from 30 minutes to in upwards of well over an hour, just to speak to a customer representative.
A Horrible, Yet Very Typical, U-Haul Day
The morning of the 29th came rolling fast and it had already started off absolutely horrible. Our original scheduled pickup time for our 15′ U-Haul was 9 am. We received a phone call that no trucks would be available till 11 am.
Not that big of a deal I assumed, and I agreed to the time change and we left the house at 10 am in order to make it on time to pick up our truck.
Well, let me tell you…
We get there at 10:45 am and I walk in because “punctuality” and the woman at the desk tells me my truck isn’t in yet. I politely acknowledge what she said to me, and I walk back out to my car. Waiting for 11 am to roll around so we can get our truck and pick up our dolly.
My children are cranky, throwing fits of Jesus and just plain out onery while we’re waiting for our truck to become available. 11 am comes rolling around and once again I find my super pregnant self walking back to the woman at the desk to pick up my truck.
I didn’t even make it all the way to her, when she immediately said, “Ma’am, unfortunately, the people who were supposed to return the truck at 11 am have not returned the truck yet.” I just stood there flabbergasted as we’ve had the reservation sine June 4th, why do I not have my truck yet?
I smiled politely, even though I’m more than positive my face said I was fuming, and quite physically at that, and told her I would be back in 10 minutes. She nodded in agreement and we parted ways temporarily. I remember it was hot as satans ass that day and that made me incredibly surly, I digress, 11:20 am came rolling around and just as I was about to open the door, a 15′ U-Haul truck pulls into the parking lot.
I was relieved, even though only briefly, just to watch my truck drive all the way around the back of the storage building and park. Absolutely fucking nowhere near the front door for turn-in.
To say I was beyond pissed is an understatement at this point, as it’s pushing past 11:30 am and I have no truck yet, and we’re supposed to go pick up our tow dolly at 1 pm – an hour away.
Fumingly, I sat phone glued to my ear, listening to horrible elevator music for 36 minutes, waiting for a U-Haul customer service representative to answer the phone.
Finally, a human spoke through the stale elevator music and I calmly pushed our tow dolly pick up time to 2 pm, completely under the assumption that we would have our truck in the next few minutes. I couldn’t have been any more mistaken than I was at that moment.
11:45 am comes rolling around…
12:00 pm soon follows…
Still no truck. We didn’t actually start doing our inspection, keys to the U-Haul in hand, until 12:37 pm. A full hour and a half after our original reservation date.
I was fucking hot, livid and wishing nothing but ill things on the previous renter. I mean, I guess it’s okay because in the long run we received our U-Haul, but it wasn’t okay.
It was nowhere near okay.
Everything had to be pushed back and we were still late due to the fact we had to weigh the U-Haul as it was a DIY move.
We made it to the weigh-in at 1:45 pm, got to the U-Haul location of our tow dolly at exactly 2:01 pm. The huge sigh of relief I had cannot be put into words. Finally, we were going to start packing – we were going to finally get this all day escapade put behind us and move on.
I walk into the location and approach the front desk. The lady was nice and asked if I was there to pick up or reserve. I stated pick up, and she asked for all the typical information.
Her response, “Sorry but your tow dolly isn’t in and we don’t have another one for you.”
“Oh no, no, no, you will have another tow dolly for me period! You didn’t even attempt to call me to let me know that the dolly that was supposed to be returned, hadn’t been returned yet so that I could adjust and get on the phone with U-Haul support for the second time today!”
By the time I finished that statement and all the anger that could come out came out, the entire inside of the U-Haul location was quiet and staring at me.
I didn’t care.
Not one single bit.
I was hormonal, hungry and pissed to high heaven. This wasn’t something we could just “put off”. We had two vehicles and were supposed to be out of our apartment on the 30th of June. We, at the time, had no way to get the second vehicle to New Jersey, and I wasn’t about to sit there and let a company who can’t even keep track of their own equipment ruin my move.
So I said it.
“I’m going to sue your company,” and I had every intention to start the process. I even contacted an attorney while in the shop, in front of the staff. I guess that’s when they realized I wasn’t playing anymore.
What appeared to be calm at first very quickly turned into panic as they began calling their manager, their district manager and U-Haul customer service to find me another tow dolly.
After about an hour and a half of waiting, fuming, and on the phone with multiple people – the woman who rented out the tow dolly finally brought it back. The best part, when we finally got it, it was broken.
I wasn’t relieved at all, because at this point U-Haul had been nothing but a huge brick wall in the middle of our move. I was just plum dog tired of dealing with the company who at this point, were just miserable excuses of a business.
Both my husband and I walk very calmly outside to inspect the dolly and get it connected to our current U-Haul rental. By this time, it’s already almost 4 pm. The kids were incredibly moody because they were hungry, I was infuriated and my husband, well he was just trying to stay calm so I wouldn’t fly off the hormonal handle.
Dolly connected, U-Haul on, I was finally breathing a little less evil now. But that serene scene very quickly faded into immense anger and disappointment. The dolly didn’t even work. The best part about the dolly not working, we were told to take it anyway.
My neck immediately went crooked and I made sure to state, “NO! One, that’s illegal, and two; you aren’t paying any tickets we may receive due to your equipment negligence. So do not recommend we take your broken equipment like it’s okay.”
Both U-Haul employees looked at me as if I spoke sideways out of my neck, and once again I found myself on hold with U-Haul customer support. The catch, I had to sit on hold for 45 minutes before I even got in touch with someone.
I’ll admit it. I was angry and beyond surly with the customer service representative. However, I had been pushed and pulled and run over all day with U-Haul. So in my mind, even though the CS representative was just doing her job, my surly mouth was beyond justified.
As I was in the process of having a pre-mature aneurysm, one of the employees came running out of the store.
“We found you a dolly!”
The relief I felt was overwhelming. Finally, we were making progress. I grabbed the address and put it into my GPS, and we were off.
6 pm was when we finally got our tow dolly.
7 pm was when we were able to start packing.
Our day started at 9 am.
After this hell, I would never ever recommend U-Haul. They don’t manage their equipment well, and sure they may be super cheap and affordable, but I cannot with sane conscious agree with not knowing if I’ll have the equipment I reserved.
I cannot with sane conscious agree with, in the event that they do not have the equipment I reserved, that I’m up shit creek without a paddle and 50$ is supposed to make it all better.
I just can’t with sane conscious recommend U-Haul under any situation, and the worse part is knowing that I’m not alone in this experience and that U-Haul has done nothing to rectify their broken business model.