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Reasons I Won’t Rent from U-Haul Ever Again

I promised you a post about an incident that happened en-route to taking Chicky back to school, so here goes.

The Monday before we left, I called to secure a 10′ truck from U-Haul.  My original intent had been to rent from Budget, but a truck was not available, so I had to go with my second choice.   Boy, do I wish the Budget truck had been available because what followed was an unpleasant experience for several reasons.

  • Disorganization – My experience simply securing the truck was fraught with missed calls, missed confirmation emails, and wrong location information.  I was not called back to confirm a time and location to pick up the 10′ truck I’d been promised.  I had to be pro-active to call a second time and was, at that time, given a location and a time of 12pm to pick up the truck.  I was told that an email had been sent out.  The representative never confirmed an email address with me.  Tuesday morning, I received a call very early.  The U-Haul representative seemed confused because he was showing that I was supposed to pick up the truck at 12am.  Really?  I don’t think so.  The rep confirmed the address I was supposed to pick up the truck and mentioned that an email would be sent out.  I never received it.  I checked my spam folder.  Nothing came through.  When Rooster took me to to pick up the truck, I was told that it was, in fact, at a location across town…that this location was what had been recorded in the computer.  We had to drive over fifteen minutes out of our way.  Disorganization abounded.
  • Safety – When I arrived at the correct facility to pick up the truck, I was handed a picture of things to look over and inspected the truck, noting several dings that had not been labeled.  Those were the only things wrong with the truck.  I drove the truck home, and we packed it that evening.  We left by 7am the next morning.


The truck drove fairly well until I hit 70mph, the speed limit on the interstate, and then it began to shake quite noticeably.  I figured I was in for a very long seven-hour drive.We stopped two hours into the trip to pick up furniture that was being held at Chicky’s grandparents’ house.  Good thing because when I got out of the truck, Chicky told me that as she had followed behind me on the highway and later the interstate, she had noticed that my back tires looked loose.We took a closer look at the outside rear tire on the driver’s side and saw this…


This was very bad news.  Grand Pooba had come outside by this time and told me that it looked as though I had been very close to having a blowout.  In fact, you can see in the next picture where there were cracks in the tire…


This was very, very bad.  I called the 800 number for Roadside Assistance, which was printed on the U-Haul brochure I’d been given, and a very nice fellow by the name of Catarino assured me that he would send someone out quickly.  He was one of the bright spots of this entire U-Haul experience.  He called me back an hour later to check that the technician had arrived.  He hadn’t.  Catarino called the technician again and called me back to inform me that he was still a good twenty minutes out.  Meanwhile, Chicky and I waited, extremely annoyed but more frightened at the near blowout I’d almost had.The tire technician finally arrived and pulled off the tire.



You can see from the picture below that the tire’s treads were gone…


He confirmed that I had been very fortunate.  In no time flat (pun intended), he changed the tire.  He was the second bright spot in my day.  I asked him to look over the rest of the tires, and lo and behold…the inner rear tire on the passenger side was completely flat.

This is where I got very angry.  I had driven over two hours on a tire that had nearly blown out and a flat tire.  This is why the truck had been shaking so violently.

The tire technician did not have another tire with him, and it was going to be another hour before he could return to the grandparent’ house.  This was terrible news.

About this time, Catarino called me back to see how things were progressing.  He took his job quite seriously, let me tell you.  That man should get a raise.  I explained the current situation, and he tried hard to find a technician who wasn’t located too far away but was unsuccessful.  To save time, Chicky and I followed the technician back to his shop, which was 30 minutes in the direction we had originally come from.  In effect, we were backtracking….using more fuel and time.  Although he quickly changed out the second tire, by that time, we had been delayed three hours.

I was extremely nervous as I climbed back into the truck to resume the drive.  I had no confidence whatsoever that there wouldn’t be further problems, after all, I’d had issues from the onset of this entire truck experience.

Ten hours after we began our drive that morning (it should have only taken seven hours), and $145 of gas later, we were at Chicky’s rental house.

  • Security of Private Information – Wednesday evening, after unloading the truck, Chicky followed me as I drove the truck to turn it in.  By this time, I was more than ready to let someone else take it off of my hands.  The gentleman, an independent contractor working out of a convenience store, was very kind as he listened to my story.  He apologized on behalf of the U-Haul company (he was the third bright spot in this saga).  When he finished the paperwork, he told me that he had sent it to my email address.  I explained that I had not received any of the previous emails sent out by U-Haul, and it was then that he read the email address in my file.  The address was wrong.  In fact, not one single person had, to that point, read it to confirm it.  What does this matter, you might ask?  Well, for starters, the last four digits of my credit card number were on the documents.  Second, my home address, dates of my trip, and final destination were also documented.  Anyone with evil intent could have used this information in a less than honorable way.

Is it any wonder that after everything detailed above, I would be more than a tiny bit upset about my experience renting from U-Haul?  Is it any wonder that I called Customer Support Thursday afternoon after I’d left Chicky and returned home?  Kristi Dansby was the representative I spoke with, and she was very sweet and patiently listened to all of my concerns.  She’s left the call open as “Unresolved” so a local manager can call me back to discuss the issues.

What it boils down to is that I could have been seriously injured or killed while driving this truck.  Yes, I realize that simply driving on the road is a risk; however, it is very obvious that the truck had not been properly inspected.  I’d like to think that if it had been, it would have stayed parked for a while longer until those tires had been changed.  Tires do not lose that much tread in a two-hour drive.  Tires do not begin to pull away from their rims in a two-hour period of time.  The fact that the truck was difficult to manage early into my drive speaks to the unsafe conditions I was forced to endure BEFORE I had put many miles behind me.

Not only could I have been seriously injured or killed, but others would have been as well.  It’s summertime.  Many people are traveling right now…especially down Interstate 75, which takes you straight to Disney World.

In addition, my sweet Chicky would have been seriously affected.  If not involved in the accident because she followed me in her car the entire way to Lakeland, she would have witnessed a horrible accident and would have had to deal with the emotional ramifications for years to come.

I am very disappointed that something like this happened.  It scares me how close I came to being seriously injured.  All because someone did not inspect that truck carefully.

I plan on returning to the location where I rented this truck and speaking with a supervisor.  It’s a shame that, despite the positive experiences I had with the Catarino, the man at the dropoff location, and Kristi, my overall impression of this huge company is negative.

Kristi offered me a $75 voucher toward any U-Haul goods or services.  I declined.  I don’t want to use U-Haul again.

Can you blame me?

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4 Responses

  1. I don’t blame you a BIT. They should refund your money. Did you call the Better Business Bureau, too?

  2. My daughter had a bad experience with UHaul too. She wanted to rent a small open trailer from them for her Jeep. Since she didn’t have a trailer hitch on her car, she had them install one. After it was installed, she was told that they couldn’t rent her a trailer because her vehicle was too small for the trailer. So she went somewhere else and bought the trailer she wanted.

  3. I’m glad your guardian angel worked overtime that day!

  4. I can’t get over that… that’s ridiculous. Why would they even let that truck out on the road without checking it first? Those tires are insane. I don’t know squat, but even I can see that tread ain’t right….
    Thank GOD you all were safe & nothing horrible happened.

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