I rarely complain, you never really know what’s going on in the life of someone who gives you bad service. But sometimes things are so ridiculous you have to share it with everyone you know.
So hang on, it’s a wild ride!
I joined Chef Rouge in Prince Edward Island as driving half-way across the country is a daunting road trip. He booked weeks in advance and two days beforehand called to ensure everything was on track. There is when we discovered:
unless you show up first thing in the morning or end of day, no one will help you attach the U-Haul
We should have known that would foreshadow the rest of our experience with U-Haul. Chef Rouge intended to get the U-Haul first thing in the morning but had the devastating experience of discovering he needed to put his dog down. As he was dealing with this emergency at the vet I was on the phone with U-Haul customer service who assured me it was fine he could pick it up at the end of the day.
Or could he?
At noon, shortly after leaving the vet and beginning to deal with his grief Brandy from U-Haul called to say she was leaving so he would need to get the U-Haul now. Still in shock, in auto-pilot he drove immediate to U-Haul. Although he tested the lights beforehand they were no longer working.
It gets worse.
Lucas from U-Haul says it’s burnt fuse, he should know as he is the person who deals with these issues but as it’s a Sunday and his day off he refuses to help. Chef Rouge is exhausted and furious at the appalling lack of service, fortunately Google tells him what fuse he needs and where it goes. And if you’re wondering if they helped attach the U-Haul – they did not, because despite calling him in 4 hours early, it wasn’t first thing in the morning or end of day.
I remain calm. I know where to go – Twitter. It saved me from the aftermath of an ash cloud in South America. But again I’m not one of those people hell bent on slamming businesses. I just want this issue to be resolved, how it was handled was unacceptable. And so I tweet this:
I really did believe that. I really believed that Brandy and Lucas were rude, lazy employees and I wanted the franchise to know that about this outlet and for it to be penalized for it. And so I didn’t ask for a full refund. I wasn’t looking to score big money. I sent a calm, thoughtful email outlining what had happened and in the end I requested this:
I think this is pretty fair, don’t you?
I got the standard email back letting me know my complaint number and someone would contact me within 48 hours or less. So we drove to Quebec City and then stayed another night in Ottawa and when we arrived in Toronto I thought I would receive an email shortly.
7 days later nothing from U-Haul
So I tweeted again.
Shortly thereafter Chef Rouge received a call from them. He explained he was in the post office and wouldn’t be home for 20 minutes the caller rudely said she was leaving in 10 minutes (it was 2pm) and wouldn’t be available.
Uh…okay…back to social media. So this time Chef Rouge tweets.
Again great response from social media, which I appreciate as it seems to be the only way to reach U-Haul. I still have hope that someone responsible will reach us to have a discussion over what has happened. Instead the next day I get this?
No salutations. Nothing to identify who this person was within U-Haul. No spell check on the email.
At this point I’m starting to lose patience. As someone with a blog I had actually contemplated writing a post about how you shouldn’t write off an entire company just because of poor service at one location. But it had been 2.5 weeks and the customer service after the occurrence was actually beginning to be worse than what happened that day.
But it wasn’t over.
I ask Ken, I’m assuming that’s his name from his email as he didn’t identify himself, if he considers this matter closed. He does and obviously I do not. Again I have to go to Twitter where Alison from U-Haul social media takes the discussion to email where they offer me a $50 VIP gift certificate.
I don’t want a gift certificate that is basically the equivalent of a promo code. I outlined what I wanted – I want to be reimbursed for the financial gain of the Charlottetown office. Whatever profit they made I want. I want them to understand that the level of service they provided was unacceptable on many levels.
And at this point it’s getting ridiculous. I haven’t asked for a full refund. I have calmly addressed each person I have dealt with even though most people would have lost it by this point. So I state my case yet again, outlining everything that has happened to date and finish with this.
And I get an immediate response saying that I’ll get a response from upper management in 72 hours or less.
5 days pass
I email again asking if anyone is going to email.
3 more days
I get another weird email from Ken Roy asking what I want for compensation even though I’ve outlined it several times. I email Alison asking if this is supposed to be the resolution – more abrupt emails asking what I want.
She assures me she’s going to escalate the issue but sees notes that people want to know what I am seeking for a resolution.
Is this a practical joke?
How many times do I have to say I want a partial refund??? Yet I say it one more time.
Two more days pass.
At this point it’s ten days since I was told that upper management would contact me in 72 hours or less. It’s been more than a month since my original email of complaint and in the process I’m starting to think it’s not the Charlottetown office, it really is all of U-Haul that is a mess. Brandy and Lucas were just the tip of terrible service.
The only person that seems to be somewhat redeeming is Alison who is stuck in a terrible social media job where she’s the only one who seems to understand customer service.
Two more days pass.
I’m passed onto Roberto who seems to be the only one who understands that I don’t want to deal with rude, abrupt Ken. Unfortunately there seems to be no one in upper management who wants to deal with me so I need to wait while they find someone.
Three days later they offer me a $40 refund.
I take it.
I just couldn’t do it any longer. It had been a month. It was clear no one was ever really going to address the issue. It was clear that U-Haul so many problems that no one even realize what happened to Chef Rouge was appalling or that the resolution of this was embarrassing for a corporation.
But I can tell you this. I’ll never use U-Haul again, and I’m telling everyone I know about what happened.