So we finally are getting settled in at our new place. I’ll blog about the whole move, but I wanted to write a separate post solely to criticize U-Haul and what they made me endure last Saturday, something which apparently from many we’ve talked to is a normal occurrence with U-Haul.
About two weeks before our move, we reserved a 20′ truck online. We were told that the truck would be available on Saturday, June 30 at 7:00am at their Bloomsburg, PA location. Everything is dandy to this point. We arrive at 7am that Saturday morning ready to move. At 8am we were to have about fifteen guys help us load up the truck. When we arrived at the U-haul location, the worker did not have a truck for us. His story (which I cannot anymore believe) is that the previous person decided Friday night to keep the truck until Sunday. Okay, so that’s alright. The worker did not have another truck, but he did say that his manager who lived close to Williamsport supposedly picked up one of their 20′ trucks and was going to drive it down. Okay, that’s fine. So there will be a slight delay.
The worker called the Williamsport office and learned that the truck left before 7am. That basically meant that the truck would be in Bloomsburg in one hour. So I waited around. Being a believer in “trust but verify”, I ask the worker to try and contact his boss to see where he was. For some odd reason, he could not get a hold of his boss, supposedly driving this truck from a location an hour away. I felt the tinge of concern inside me. If you cannot get a hold of someone, then something is up. I waited, however, until 8am.
No truck at 8am. I waited some more. No truck by 8:30am. By this time, with other customers coming in, I start venting. It doesn’t take an hour and a half to get a truck from Williamsport to Bloomsburg. Something was up. By 9am, Jaime and I start working on an alternative. It is obvious these guys are crooks who are wasting my time. I had fifteen people at 8am starting to empty the contents of my home on our front lawn. At 9:20am I left the idiot worker, got a ride to Budget in Hazleton (30 miles from Bloomsburg) to get a truck that was $200 more. But let me tell you, how refreshing it was to have good customer service.
And apparently I wasn’t alone. The old man at Budget (who was not nearly as busy as the U-haul guy was, I note) told me that he wasn’t surprised. He said this was very common.
My friend who came with me on the drive to New York City related an experience that he had while he worked at State College. He talked with a manager of a local U-haul who said that they typically overbook their trucks, especially at his location with college students, because it would ensure that U-haul would always have trucks out. The way it works apparently is that U-haul is a franchise, and local stores own their own local trucks meant for In-Town moves. Corporate (including online) book the One Way trucks, and they constantly overbook. It is a way for them to ensure constant use of their trucks. My friend and I agreed that the most likely reason for this behavior is that Americans use moving trucks so infrequently that they would forget a minor inconvenience years later when they need to move again, and still use the cheaper option out there, i.e. U-haul.
It is a pretty despicable business model, but it works, because apparently enough Americans still use U-haul.
However, if you want good service, do not use U-haul. Their workers will lie to you and their trucks are of poor quality. In doing a google search for “uhaul problems” I found the following search results all on the first page:
Perhaps U-Haul needs some assistance in what the concept of organizational culture has to say about their business practice. I recommend they read the following:
Organizational Culture and Leadership from Amazon.com
And the following on good customer service. Note #7: “Greed Will Get You Nowhere.”
U-haul is owned by AMERCO and can be reached at their corporate headquarters here:
1325 Airmotive Way, Ste. 100
Reno, NV 89502-3239
Let them know your frustrations whenever you have them using their terrible product.