Wow, I do not normally write journal entries in my blog, but in this case, I feel compelled to do so. Uhaul ruined my memorial day weekend by making what should have been an easy move on way move from Berkeley to Los Angeles into an epic disaster. The story is complex, here it goes:
I placed a reservation with Uhaul for a small trailer three weeks before I needed to use it. I received a confirmed reservation at the time of the reservations, and a call from their traffic office the day before the move, telling me where to pick up the trailer. I was driving up to Oakland from Los Angeles so I wanted to be sure the trailer would be where is was supposed to be in Oakland so I could pick up the trailer and then continue on to Berkeley for the planned move. I needed to move on my son out of his apartment the next morning or face some stiff financial penalties.
When I arrived to pick up my trailer, the local Uhaul yard acted as if they had never heard of me before. I showed them my reservation number, they responded that they did not have my trailer nor could they offer any other help resolving the issued other than a lame “Sorry – you need to call the traffic office”. Hobart, the CSR in Oakland, was decent, he actually tired to help resolve the problem by calling the traffic office for me. The best Hobart could do was a promise that somebody would call me back the next day by 5:00 pm because no trailers were available anyplace in the bay area. I asked Hobart about my reservation, the whole Uhaul team actually laughed.
Being assured that somebody from the traffic office would call me “maybe”. And, that the call would come a full day after my reservation was scheduled for pickup, set off numerous alarms. I anticipated a major screwing coming down the pipe: I was right.
I called the traffic office, they referred me to the 1-800 customer service number; the lady who answered rudely told me that the problem was my own fault and that I should have handled it the local Uhaul center in Oakland. She gave me the name of a “big boss” at the main traffic office in Oakland to call. I called this new number, asked for the big boss, and the was placed on hold until after 5:00 p.m., when they dropped my call. I called back, but everybody at Uhaul had left for the day.
The next morning I stopped by a Berkeley based Uhaul retal office because it was close to my hotel and they had a trailer in their yard. I had driven past the day before and spoke to a yard worker who refused to help me because “he had a hot date and I needed to get out of his parking lot or he was going to lock me in.” He eventually told me to stop by the next day and he would get us some help. So… the next morning (the day of the move) I showed up, waited in line, asked for the trailer, and was subjected to downright hostility by the local employees. The “General Manager”, who could barely formulate a proper English sentence, was at least willing to tell me that I could not have the trailer because I did not have a reservation for the trailer in her yard and that somebody else did. My reservation needed to be filled in Oakland (where they did not have a trailer). The GM was rude, insensitive, and actually told me to get out of line so she could help customers with reservations. She even told me there was nothing I could do about the situation. I needed to “deal with it and find a trailer on my own.” What is the penalty for manslaughter?
I spoke with Uhaul traffic again – they found a trailer. It would not be ready until 3:00 and it was an hour south of Oakland. I needed to drive and pick it up myself. I called the place to confirm my reservation; they had my trailer, only it was much bigger and only available NOW. They would give it away if I did not pick it up with 2 hours. I drove right out and picked it up. They were nice, of course it was not a Uhual company store! So, by Noon of the following day I have a trailer – my worries are over right? No, not really – now I must drive to LA in Memorial Day traffic instead of the day before. What a pain in the ass, it was nine hours of torture.
BTW – I passed the Berkeley Uhaul yard later in the day. My trailer sat unused in the yard. Reservation my ass! I asked the traffic office about it, it seems Uhaul does not have an inventory tracking system. The company is based on tracking and renting inventory, how do you say U-idiot?
I called Uhaul the next morning to arrange for a return of their trailer; they asked me to return the trailer to a yard in Laguna Beach. Now not that I have anything against Laguna Beach, but it is about an hour (or more) from my home on a good. After a long argument, the controller agreed to let me return it to my local Fullerton Uhaul Yard. In Fullerton, they wanted to assess me higher fees because I had different trailer that I had originally arranged to rent and it was not returned to Laguna Beach. They also claimed I had damaged the trailer. I popped a cork, yelled quite a bit, and got them to drop all additional charges.
A promise: I will never rent from Uhaul again. I will go out of my way to make sure my family, friends, and coworkers do not experience the same problems that I did. Uhaul will never get another penny from me. Uhaul SUCKS.
New names for uhaul. Uhell, udonthaul, Usuck, noUhaul.
Don't use uhaul
Planet feedback Story
The Peters Bad Experience
a miserable and stressful experience
UHAUL BOYCOTT PAGE