Sunday, July 3, 2005

Uhaul, they stink

I was planning to move from Austin to Dallas over the memorial weekend. Once I decided my dates, on my friends advice I immediately dropped down to a near by U-haul dealer and did the booking to pickup the truck on the Friday. I was very happy when the dealer said; I was lucky to get the reservation confirmed during the memorial weekend. The contract paper printed to me said that, it confirmed the availability of the equipment for pickup on Friday, however some one from UHaul would call me one day before to give me the location of the dealer from where and when I can pick it up on Friday.

But no body called on Thursday, as they promised. On Friday morning around 11AM, I calledu-haul and told them that they were supposed to call me a day before. The agent sound polite and said that within in next 30 minutes some body would give me a call and give that information. I was very happy with the response and the 30 minutes target they set themselves to respond to a customer. I was busy for almost next 2 hours and there was no call. I called them again, I explained everything, and the agent repeated the same thing, as if the same message was played again. Some body would call me in within next 30 minutes. From that moment, we called U haul almost every 45 minutes or so till 5PM. Any one who ever called a customer service 1800 number would know that one had to wait painfully longer times to get to talk to the agents. It was really tedious and horrible. I had waited once for 32 minutes to get to the agent.

I got frustrated and when I called them next time around 5:30, I refused to accept that 30 minutes answer. I told them that I had been receiving the same response from 11 am that day and I wanted a definite time frame to get the truck. It was their responsibility in the first place to give me a call. She told me that she couldnt give me a time frame. Some body would call me when there is a truck available. What? I asked her if I could talk to her manager or someone who can really look in to my order and tell me why I had to wait any longer. She told me point blank, every body would tell the same answer, as they do not have trucks available that time. Oh my god! This was the least expected answer. I told her I made all my plans to move out next day morning and I could not afford to wait any longer. She offered me a nice choice a moment later. If I wanted that real bad at that time, I can pick up a truck in Fortworth or Arlington. I got really mad. I was planning to move from Austin to Dallas and she was offering me to pickup the truck in Fortworth or Arlington. She might be real poor kid in geography or she might be making fun out of my situation. She told me that she couldnt guarantee anything but some one would call once they had a truck available. I asked her then what does the contract mean to them. The contract says the truck availability is confirmed only the location and pickup time will be informed a day before. She told, she doesnt know what that mean and asked me when I did the reservation. I told her I did it on the Tuesday. She then revealed that they could not accommodate for customers who did the reservations two weeks before that Tuesday. And on insisting she told me that there were still 30 more customers in queue waiting for a similar truck in the neighborhood. I knew it by that time that I would not get a truck on Friday. And I had no choice but to wait till next morning to see if they can pull up some thing, as it was too late to book a truck from a different company. Next morning I called them up and there was no change in their story, within in next 30 minutes some body would call. I got fed up with this, and I cancelled the reservation.

U haul cheated me at point blank and never seemed to be aware of and honor their commitment, leave alone my interests and satisfaction.
· If they had so many people waiting when I did the reservation, U-Haul reservation system should have alerted me that there were already people on waiting list and I had to be on a waiting list. Instead, they cheated me by saying that the availability of equipment is confirmed for the given date to lock me in with U-haul. The reservation system and their management failed to estimate and honor the reservation they confirmed.
· They were supposed to call me a day before to inform me about the location of the dealer and time to pickup the truck. They should have called me a day before and should have explained the situation. They never seemed to care about their promise. No body had called even after I called 7/8 times the next day.
· At least, when I called on the day of pickup, they should have told me the situation and the waiting list. In stead they kept on bluffing me by saying that some one would call within next 30 minutes and give me the location, when they had clear idea that it was just not possible as there were 30 more in the waiting list at 5PM in the evening. There must be a larger number in the morning when I called first time.

And there seems to be a serious problem of coordination between U-haul and its local dealers. They could not honor my reservation done through a u-haul authorized agent, but my friend who went to the local dealer and did the booking, got a truck within an hour. The same worked for me later too. May be it will work for you too. Never go to U-haul web site or their 1800 number to reserve your truck but call directly a local dealer or go to the local dealer

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