U-Haul: Do Not Use Them

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:

Don’t Use Uhaul.com

Consumers Against Uhaul Negligence

Uhaul rating at eopinion.com


Report Uhaul

Uhaul rentals and the problems we had.

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
Phone: 775-688-6300
Fax: 775-688-6338

Let them know your frustrations whenever you have them using their terrible product.


About Daniel

Life is grand. This is the story of a new family, a recently married couple and their honeymoon baby girl. Life throws at you some fastballs, and then some curveballs.
This entry was posted in Moving, New York City, Travel, U-haul problems. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to U-Haul: Do Not Use Them

  1. John Taber says:

    The fact that I wasn’t able to easily get a local truck through their website last time around (for 24 June 2006) showed me it was time to look elsewhere first.

    The time before (24 December 2002) I dropped the truck off after their closing time (which was noon that day, because it was Christmas Eve.) The next business day I went in during my lunch to settle up. They claimed that the dolly that had been in the truck when I picked it up wasn’t there when they opened up again. Since I hadn’t actually closed the truck myself (my father and brother-in-law had) I called my father to verify that the dolly was in there. They wouldn’t take his word for it and I had to eat the cost of the dolly. (That place went out of business a year or two later, and so I assumed then it was just a problem with that franchise. But it wasn’t like I was going to rent from them again.)

  2. chellie says:

    I hate U-Haul. I’ve had one bad experience after another.

  3. Oh let me add to this rant!
    Parents purchased their retirement home and are moving. They rented the U-Haul tag-along from a Maryland location, to pull to their new home in North Carolina. They would be returning the trailer to Maryland.

    However once arriving in North Carolina, they discovered the tags on the trailer were expired. They had pulled the UHaul trailer all the way to NC on expired tags.

    Called MD location with said info. MD location said ok to drop off at NC location. NC location charges parents the additional fee for not returning the trailer back to Maryland!

    What was supposed to be $90+ turned into a $500 fiasco!

    Uhaul said that they first had to prove via their systems that the tags were expired, yadi yadi yadi…. I’m like – w-a-l-k outside and look at your #$%^&* tag!

    We took pics of the Local Newspaper next to the expired tag. We won 🙂

  4. Paige says:

    Sounds just like airlines – overbook to ensure maximum profit. I worked two different Delta flights at SLC where we couldn’t get volunteers to step off the flight and had to deny boarding to passengers whose only problem was *Delta* overbooked the flight, and they happened to check in last (nevermind they checked in with plenty of time before takeoff). It’s inconvenient to the customer and should be unlawful (in my opinion).

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Dan. We’ll be moving in about a month and I won’t give UHaul a second thought when we look for a moving truck.

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