Is @UHaul_Cares a Mask for Terrible Service?

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Toronto, Ontario

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

 

Uh…okay?

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:

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 3.52.28 PM

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:

 

uhaul complaint

 

 

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.

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.04.32 PM

 

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?

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.08.28 PM

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.

No.

 

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.

 

u-haul

 

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.

 

me on laptop

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.

 

 

Join the Conversation

  1. I was in a U-Haul about a year ago, where 10+ people were waiting in like for half an hour all because the guy working the counter refused to help a couple attach a trailer to their car. He was the only person working, and it was a SATURDAY morning at the end of the month.

    I got the impression that while they often offer the best prices, it must be because they scrimp on attention to detail and customer service. Using them is rolling the dice, if everything goes well, great — but if something happens to go wrong… don’t expect anything.

    Sorry about your experience.

  2. MIt stared with me calling them yesterday to turn down an offer and to confirm that the truck was going to be available in my area because I don’t have a car.the lady I talked to said she will make a note in the account and she said that I couldn’t have any issues with getting one in my town or the close neighboring town.

    I get a call today telling me that the truck will now be picked up an hour and a half drive with 45min ferry ride away. This would have forced me to take a greyhound bus just to pick up the truck, when I asked if I would have been reimbursed for the bus ticket the lady rudly responded no. she tried tracking down a truck in my area and she said rudly “there is only one 14′ truck availble in (the neighboring town)”…

    My reservation was for that kind of truck so why were they sending me off to a town that I can get to? After questioning why i cant have that one. She reserved it in my name. I was then told to call the pick up location and set up a time. I called the location, which was understandable closed as it clearly stated on the website.

    But after I left a message I noticed on my email that the lady from the phone changed my rental dates. So I called back and someone answered and he was nothing but short and rude with me. In the end I hope everything works out because I was dicked around so much today that I am worried someone dropped the ball and canceled my reservation.

  3. I’m confused a little. Was the fuse for the trailer or for his truck?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It turned out to be a fuse on the truck, which wasn’t their fault at all. My issue was that Lucas identified himself as someone who deals with these things, he was at the office and refused to help. He could have just said hey go buy this fuse and put it here. Instead he said it was his day off so he couldn’t help.

  4. U-Haul in NYC is no better. Those trucks are death machines and the service is HORRID. I get why people use them, they are cheaper than higher movers, but honestly, renting a large van from a car rental is safer and you get better service than ever using U-Haul ANYWHERE. So sorry you went through this.

  5. Normally I’m a little against naming and shaming but this is certainly well-deserved. Perhaps they feel they can treat their customers like sh*t because they don’t have much competition?
    Shocking treatment though, they really should be on this… a few days pass and that could be ok, but a month? What a joke.

  6. Nothing bothers me more than rude people, especially when it comes to customer service. I experience it a lot as a sales representative for the company I work for.
    But this takes the cake for worst service!
    Things like this can just ruin what should be an exciting, and if not intimidating, experience of moving to a new home.
    Lazy and simple ignorance is all it can be.

  7. Jonathan Look, Jr. says:

    Unfortunately it seems anytime someone put “cares”, or “honest” in their name, they usually don’t or aren’t.

  8. Adam @ SitDownDisco says:

    Yeah definitely sounds like terrible service. It’s probably a cultural difference more than anything, but we normally wouldn’t try and get a refund in Oz. We’d just slam them and then never use them again.

  9. Just goes to show that screening and hiring properly for customer service jobs really makes a difference in business … sorry to hear about what you went through Ayngelina!

  10. Wow, that’s quite an ordeal. I’ve never really liked Uhaul as I’ve had issues with them before too. It seems that unfortunately they are the only option in a lot of places.

  11. Rashad Pharaon says:

    Ugh, so frustrating!! I’m really glad you posted this and that you shared via social media – that can be a really powerful way to communicate with big companies (or at least big companies that understand the meaning of customer service). Boo, U-haul!

  12. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says:

    Social media is the best tool I’ve come across for unsatisfactory customer service, but in your situation, it doesn’t seem like anything will work :/ I had a similar experience with IKEA. My resolution, I will NEVER shop there again.

  13. Yikes Ayngelina & glad you at least got a little back to have a nice meal out… hopefully with Chef Rouge! The saddest part of the above to me was hearing how he had to deal with his pet so abruptly, and no time to grieve, take a day off, etc. That in itself is pretty horrible, hope he has had time to heal.

  14. What a frustrating experience!
    I hate it when people are rude and just can’t believe that you’re doing a customer service job when you clearly can’t be of service…

  15. Chris @ One Weird Globe says:

    Not sure if you’ve ever heard of the Consumerist, but they prescribe an Executive E-mail Carpet Bomb (EECB) – basically an e-mail to all the e-mail address you can find with a polite, simple letter…

    On another note, if they’re that disorganized, they may not *know* what a fair ‘partial’ refund is, or however much profit the center made off of the incident.

  16. Arianwen says:

    I could write a few stories like this. Sometimes it’s amazing how poorly a company is run. But every now and then, you get a gem of a response from a customer services team. As my sister and I are both overseas, we bought a hamper from Waitrose, which we assumed would be filled with all of the items we purchased simultaneously. Instead, there was a hamper in cellophane and two plastic bags of food and wine, plus a very random slab of meat that we definitely did not order. When we contacted them, they refunded the hamper, sent a gift voucher and wrote a very witty email about the meat. Problem averted and everyone still loves Waitrose!

  17. Jesse Urbano says:

    I`ve used U-Haul`s services a few times and didn`t had any problems with them. I guess it depends on your luck as well in some way.

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