My UHaul Story
Rent U-Haul, almost die, hung out to dry…
The following is essentially the exact contents of a demand letter I sent to U-HAUL seeking reimbursement of my expenses caused by U-HAUL’S truck breakdown and subsequent failure to make good on the truck rental:
On 9/22/03 I made a reservation by telephone for a 17 foot U-HAUL TRUCK for a one-way rental from Vermont to New Jersey.
In the evening of Saturday, 9/27/03 I accepted delivery of said truck from the U-HAUL CENTER at 460 Riverside Avenue, Burlington, VT. It required two strong men to load the truck to full capacity with my cargo.
At 1 P.M. on Sunday, 9/28/03, while driving southbound on Rt. 87 though Glens Falls, NY, the truck’s steering mechanism completely failed, resulting in the truck veering from the extreme right lane to the extreme left lane, entering the grass median, slamming into the guard rail, and finally coming to a stop against the guard rail. I had to exit the truck on the passenger side because the driver side of the truck was pinned against the guard rail.
I set up an emergency triangle behind the truck, secured the truck, crossed the guardrail, and then crossed the northbound lanes of Rt. 87 to Exit 18, where I found a U-HAUL CENTER near the exit ramp.
Jason, the MANAGER at U-HAUL’S GLENS FALLS CENTER, put me in telephone contact with your emergency hotline. After finally getting through to a representative, I was advised that a local wrecker would be sent to pick me up to retrieve the truck. Jason assured me that if the truck could not be repaired immediately, he would do whatever it takes to put me in another truck that day.
Up to this point, I felt that U-HAUL was treating me properly.
After retrieving the truck, however, I spoke with Jason by telephone from the local wrecker’s garage. At that time, Jason reneged on his earlier promise to provide another truck for me to resume my move that day, despite the fact that a compatible truck was on the GLENS FALLS U-HAUL LOT. Jason ultimately hung up the phone on me.
This put me in a very bad situation, because I had two men standing by to unload me in New Jersey. It was also necessary for me to complete my move that day (Sunday, 9/28/03) because I had to be back to my job on Monday morning, 9/29/03.
At around 5:30 P.M. on Sunday, 9/28/03, pursuant to U-HAUL’S instructions, the local wrecker dropped me off at a motel in Glens Falls, NY, and gave me a claim number to use in connection with this matter. I was advised to save my receipts for reimbursement. After checking in at the motel, I called U-HAUL and provided them with my room and telephone numbers. At that time, U-HAUL advised me that I would be contacted first thing the next morning by their Albany facility.
In the morning of Monday, 9/29/03, U-HAUL ultimately advised me to call the local wrecker, who advised me that he was picking me up and towing me and the undriveable truck to U-HAUL’S ALBANY REPAIR FACILITY (2043 Central Ave., Colonie, NY. phone: 1-518-456-7514).
We arrived at U-HAUL’S ALBANY/COLONIE REPAIR FACILITY ON CENTRAL AVENUE at around 11 A.M. Elmer (the mechanic) determined that the truck could not be fixed that day, and advised me that he would advise Jeff (the ALBANY/COLONIE, NY U-HAUL CENTER REPRESENTATIVE) of that fact so that Jeff could provide me with another truck. Elmer advised me, however, that Jeff was presently indisposed. At 12:15 P.M. I telephoned Scott at U-HAUL’S ALBANY REGIONAL OFFICE (phone: 1-800-451-1577) and appealed for help. Scott advised me that he was uncertain about how he could locate a truck, and that I would have to speak with Jeff.
By 12:30 P.M., Jeff was still indisposed and nobody was helping me. I finally demanded to speak with Jeff directly. Jeff advised me that he could not help me, and that I should speak with Scott at U-HAUL’S ALBANY REGIONAL OFFICE. I then telephoned Scott for the second time, and again pleaded for some assistance. Scott advised me to “stop whining” and hung up the phone on me. This was the second time in two days that U-HAUL’S people hung up the phone on me and refused to help me.
In short, U-HAUL’S organization treated me in an unreasonably shabby and outrageous manner, and refused to honor the promises it made to me and to my father.
At that point, I was forced to telephone one of U-HAUL’S competitors, take a taxi to their location, rent a replacement truck, return to U-HAUL’S ALBANY REPAIR FACILITY, and transload my entire cargo to the replacement truck — by myself.
My out of pocket damages, caused by U-HAUL’S TRUCK breakdown and U-HAUL’S subsequent failures to transload me to another one of its trucks as promised, are as follows:
$ 32.43 ($43.23 fuel to fill truck less $10.80 fuel used)
5.00 (calling card for phone calls resulting from accident)
69.86 (motel bill including phone calls)
22.00 (dinner 9/28/03)
8.00 (breakfast 9/29/03)
8.00 (taxi to rent replacement truck)
226.61 (replacement truck rental)
$371.90 Total out-of-pocket expenses
In addition, I was unable to get to my job on Monday, 9/29/03, and suffered various cuts and bruises to my face, arms and legs in the process of transloading my cargo to a replacement truck unassisted. This was essentially a job requiring two strong men.
See what happens next with my U-HAUL complaint . . .
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