Thursday, June 16, 2011


An ode to the joy and sorrow of renting from U-Haul.

On June 12, I reserved a 10' truck via, to be picked up at 11am from my local U-Haul store and returned within the standard four-hour rental period. Stated rate: $19.95 plus mileage.

Upon arrival, I was told that my truck was going out with "about a quarter tank" of gas, but if I returned it with at least a quarter tank, they would discount the rental charge from $19.95 to $9.95. (Sounded good, but in retrospect, not so. The truck actually had about one eighth of a tank of gas. This particular model of truck has a fuel capacity of 31 gallons. An eighth of that tank is 3.875 gallons, which at the current local price of $3.85/gallon comes to $14.92. So I lost a mere $4.92 in exchange for the minor inconvenience of partially refilling the tank. Meh.)

So I did my U-Hauling, no problems, driving 28.2 miles in total, and returned the truck (with a quarter tank of gas) well within the 4-hour time limit. The lot was chaos, and the place seemed severely understaffed. Once I found an attendant, she told me to just leave the keys in the vehicle, and I could be on my way. Done and done.

A few days later, I checked recent activities on my credit card, and discovered that U-Haul had charged me $68 instead of the anticipated $35 ($9.95 rental fee plus about $25 for mileage, at .89/mile). I called U-Haul and eventually found my way to the store manager in Concord. He said they had recorded the mileage from the WRONG truck, and over-charged me. Oops. He calculated the correct charge based on 29 miles, and said he would refund the difference to my credit card ASAP.

(Interestingly, he never apologized. He seemed vaguely interested, "Oh, I see what happened. Yeah… OK. We can fix that." - but never said he was sorry. I ended the call with, "Thanks for your help," to which he replied "No problem." Whatever…)

A couple of days later, I checked my credit card statement again, and lo and behold, not only was the refund NOT posted, but there was now a NEW charge of $21.79, in addition to the previous charge of $66.41! WTF!!!

I called U-Haul again, and after waiting over 10 minutes on hold, I spoke to a not-very-helpful CSR who offered some truly vague and incomprehensible reasoning behind the additional charge. She said a partial refund would be applied, but that it would take a few more days to post to my credit card account.

So I waited five more days, then checked my credit card statement again. This time, I saw a refund of $37.92 from U-Haul.

Hm, let's see: $66.41 + $21.79 = $88.20 - $37.92 = $50.28. I'm no math wiz, but I don't think $50.28 is the same as $35.

So I called U-Haul again. I got a first line phone rep, who listened to my tale of woe and then forwarded me to Customer Service. I waited on hold for 10 minutes, and then the call was dropped. WTF?

I called again, and explained to another first line rep what had just happend ("Call dropped, please get me to someone who can help.") She apologized, then forwarded me to Customer Service again. This time I only had to wait 7 minutes before the call was dropped. I guess that's an improvement.

At this point, I've invested about 45 minutes of my time, between calling, researching, and just plain pacing/fuming. So I'm out about $20 ($5 for the cost of extra gas and $15 for the what-have-you charges on my credit card) and nearly an hour of my life. I think I'll cut my losses and move on.

Wait... Let me first post this to Yelp and Twitter. There. OK, now I'm done.

1 comment:

  1. Well, don't forget that @Uhaul_Cares! But only after you make your story public. It's sad it has to get to that point.


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