Why I Hate U-Haul

The one year anniversary of my move is coming up, so it is time to share this.

If you Google “Why I hate U-Haul”, you will get over 180,000 hits.  (Warning; most of them are told with a lot of profanity.)  My story is one of the tamer ones.

Early in June of 2006, we knew we would be making a local move, so I called U-Haul to reserve a truck.  I would have preferred to rent from someone else, because 0f a previous bad experience with U-Haul, but a truck of the right size was not available locally.  Anyhow, my reservation was confirmed and I thought we were all ready to pick the truck up on a Saturday morning. 

The day before the move, U-Haul called and told me that I could pick up the truck on Saturday afternoon.  They also acted as if they had never told us before that the truck was available on Saturday morning.  After some fruitless arguing, I told them we didn’t need their truck, in fact I think I told them where they could park their truck, and I asked all of my volunteer helpers to bring their pickup trucks, SUVs, minivans, etc.  My stepdad brought his trailer as well, so we did the move without a van.  It was rather like the Dunkirk evacuation, but our movers were a highly talented bunch, including a doctor, several engineers, other highly-skilled people, and a redneck with a trailer.  We were done by lunch time.

My previous U-haul experience, from 10 years before, was a bit more colorful.  We rented a truck, got it back to my house, and then it wouldn’t start.  We discovered that the fuse box was badly jury-rigged, and the ignition would only work if you reached into the fuse box and held it just right.  I called them and told them to come fix the problem.  They sent me another truck late that night, and I signed for it in the dark without making a full inspection of it.

A few weeks after the move (a local move of about 3 miles), they sent me a bill, claiming that I had done $1200 of damage to the truck.  Since I had seven people who saw every move I made with the truck, and knew that I had not wrecked it, I told them that most likley the truck was a worn out piece of junk when I got it, and I would not pay the bill.  I never heard from them again.  They may have tried to damage my credit rating, but since I wasn’t planning to borrow any money in the near future, that didn’t hurt me. 


5 thoughts on “Why I Hate U-Haul

  1. Wow, sounds like U-Haul really blows. We actually thought of using U-Haul until they told us it would cost us like 2500 dollars to drive one of their vans 300 miles to Scranton.
    **** that, basically.

  2. Wow, that is a lot. When I last tried to rent a van, it was something like $29.99 a day, plus a mileage price.

    That was for a local move, where we returned the van to the same place that we got it from. Since we were moving 3 miles, it seemed like a good deal.

    Except that they never gave us the van…

  3. whats wrong with people! why would you sighn in the dark with out reading what you sighned. ecspecially with your credit card on file it didnt occur to you to check the truck out your self for existing damages.

    • Well, at midnight my inspection was ineffective. Also, since the first truck I got was a POS, I probably figured they knew that the second truck they sent would not be in pristine condition. I was just glad that the fuse box wasn’t held together with rubber bands.

  4. Because THEIR faulty truck had to be replaced at 11:30 pm so we could move the next day. What were we supposed to do, turn on the sun? Install street lights in our neighborhood? Or not move on the only day we could?

    Under normal circumstances, yes, you shouldn’t sign something without inspecting what you’re signing for. But it’s lousy business practice of U-Haul to stick someone with a non-functional truck that has to be replaced in the middle of the night, and then accuse someone of inflicting previously existing damages just because they’d maneuvered us into accepting a truck in the dark. Maybe we could have handled it more perfectly if we hadn’t been freezing, exhausted, and furious, but there’s no excuse for U-Haul conducting themselves that way.

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