Former U-Haul Employee Story‏

January 23rd, 2009

As a former U-Haul employee, I would like to share my experiences with unsuspecting customers.
I was employed at the Morse Road U-Haul Center in Columbus, Ohio for 2 years as a temporary college job.  First of all, let’s talk about safety.  My first 6 months on the job, I was a “Service Tech” which meant I did safety inspections and minor repairs to Truck Engines and bodies as well as trailer repair. 

I was CONSTANTLY finding major issues with the trucks.  Management refused to “down” the trucks (meaning to put out of commission until fixed) and told me to do what I had to to get the truck back out into circulation. 

For example, fuel system problems in 3 locally assigned trucks, in particular, caused them to break down at least once a week during customer use.  One of our old International 26ft trucks had a broken hinge on the hood, so it was ordered to be wired shut preventing us from checking oil levels.  Mid-winter, the bailing wire broke while a customer was driving the truck sending the MASSIVE semi-truck-style hood flying across the road to strike a parked car.
Once I transitioned into “counter” duties, the problems with the trucks became even more evident as I had to deal with the customer complaints.  I personally did everything I could to try to prevent problems as well as rectify any that occurred, however upper management made this impossible. 

One particular situation that stands out in my mind…one of the infamous “problem trucks” was rented to a customer.  Big surprise, they called when the truck broke down on the side of I-71.  They called the breakdown hotline several times over the course of 6 hours just to be told that a computer problem was preventing them from being able to verify that the truck had even been rented to her although I had called personally to verify it myself, meanwhile, the poor woman was stranded on a busy freeway.  I volunteered to take another truck and transload the truck for the customer, however our GM, who we will call Mr. Knappy, felt that my time would be better spent mopping the floor.
As for trailers, if I tried to deny a trailer rental to a customer due to safety reasons, I would be reprimanded.  For instance, one customer wanted to pull a tandem axle trailer with a chevy s-10, which was stupid to begin with because once loaded, the trailer would weigh more than the truck, but furthermore, he was using a bumper-mounted tow-ball on a severely rusted bumper with one of the 2 bumper mounts GONE.  When brought to Mr Knappy’s attention, he said, it’s not our problem, rent the trailer to him.  As you can imagine, the trailer AND bumper ended up in a ditch 2 miles down the road.  It’s amazing that no-one was hurt or killed.  And then the CUSTOMER was charged for damage to the trailer.
As for the charging of credit cards… wow… Mr Knappy was acclaimed as the best manager in Columbus due to the exemplary numbers his store generated.  His method for generating said numbers were charging customers credit cards for damage that already existed, putting miscellaneous charges of over $100 on customers cards to “get their attention” if a truck was not returned on time, and putting defective merchandise and damaged boxes back on the display racks.  Charging fuel fees knowing damn well that some of the trucks had malfunctioning fuel gauges was a common practice as well. 
*Renters BEWARE*


Inside Edition Investigates U-Haul Trailer Safety in NJ.

February 27th, 2008

Trailer safety is discussed in this video.  It states that safety pamphlets are supposed to be distributed with all U-Haul trailer rentals; but only one out of 14 rental agents randomly visited in the Bergen County, New Jersey area gave out the safety booklet with a trailer rental.  This booklet contains critical information about properly loading a trailer. 

This video segment demonstrates that most of the weight should be loaded toward the front of a trailer, and that disasterous consequences could result from most of the weight being loaded toward the back of the trailer.

Traffic safety officers with the Bergen County Police Department inspected the 14 trailers randomly rented and found that four of the 14 trailers had directional or hazard lights that didn’t work, as well as numerous other safety violations such as rusted chains, frayed wire, no brake fluid and vital safety info worn off.

Joe Shoen (U-Haul’s CEO) invites you to call his cell phone if you feel unsafe when renting a U-Haul trailer: 602-390-6525.

Illinois U-Haul Reservation Nightmare & Online Order Problem.

February 14th, 2008

Hello u-haul rep

24 to 29 phone calls to your co. and many hours on the phone, I guess most people would have given up.

It starts out like this: I order I tow hitch online for delivery.

After 9 days I see no tracking number on my order.  I call, I get hung up on 4 times, and it takes 2 hrs to finally get a answer on my order.  A person said it was on back order, then I call the next day and that person said whoever told you that is wrong, the warehouse was taking inventory.

So now I am delayed badly in moving what I needed moved.

Then it snows were I had to move and tow this item, so I had to rent a truck because I did not want salt and snow on the item I was towing.

So, I called your co. to rent a truck, I said I was stopping at Deerfield first and the guy asked were I was moving this item to.  I said 30 miles one way.  Deerfield is were it needs to be dropped off and picked up in Waukegan and tow back to Deerfield.  So, your worker said there is a truck in Northbrook. I then asked how do I know that there in a truck there, your worker got  short with me and said “sir, it would not let me make the reservation if the truck was not available in Northbrook, do you want the truck, Northbrook’s four  miles from Deerfield.”

I get to Deerfield the very next morning and call and they said the truck’s not there, but he said there’s one in Niles and that is 60 miles away round trip, and the sad point is that from traveling to get to Deerfield I take 90 and I went thru Niles so I backtrack 60 miles, I get there and tell the guy about the nightmare about the hitch and ordering this. The guy in Niles was very professional and represented your co. in a great way.

This guy in Niles said heck I can have that hitch on your car by the time you get back I said great lets do it and he discounted the install.

So I go get the truck, and the driver’s side outside door handle is broke, the fan for the heater only worked on low (and it was cold outside), the clutch slipped bad (there was no free play in the pedal).   I called the guy in Niles and told him, because I did not want to burn that clutch out.  He said if you can’t use it bring it back.  I said I think I can use it but drive slowly, 37 using that truck used 47 in gas lol.

Then I get back to Niles and the guy is very nice in trying to install my hitch because he had to go somewhere else to get the hitch but someone took the hard ware out of the box that the hitch he picked up from another U-haul shop.  He worked very hard and I was impressed.  Next thing after he was finished he said they also took the receiver out of that box for my hitch and the closest place was 120 miles round trip to get that receiver so I drove to get it. 

The bottom line is that Russell Levy me had to drive 700 to 750 miles round trip over these actions from your co., and now dealing with Maggie Tarus telling her all this she said give me your c.c. and will be a refund.  Well that never happened.  Then I call and finally talk to Al and told him all this and he said he will work on it.  Then almost 2 weeks go by and I call back and he’s gone for a week and Jose said he was going to be in on Sat.  I called Sat.,  he was not there, then I ask for a supervisor.  The lady switched the call and rang for 15 mins then, I call back and no one answers my call, then on Monday today I call and Al said the manager of the place in Niles was going to call me.  He never said that to me before.  

Have talked to so many people about this and most said to try calling you and tell you about what happened to me, and for what I am still going thru is kind of sad.

I really don’t know why the guy in Niles has to lose and refund some of the money I have lost over your co. when it was not his fault.

Then the  extended mirrors I bought from Niles, are failing badly and they were bought on 12/8/07.  The chrome is coming off theses  mirrors around the edges.  Heck it bad already because the mirrors vibrate so badly at times I can’t see out of them at normal speeds and road conditions.  So here I sit looking at the list of people I have called and the time on this and truly wonder about what happened. 

I try to advise anyone about your web site that when a part is back ordered tell me or show it on that site on the net.  Noone knows how to contact someone that has control of your online site that you order stuff on.

Thank you Russell Levy

Does any one care at U-haul, because after talking to Al 5 days ago, he said someone is going to call me and  not one person has called me.

U-Haul Truck Burns to the Ground.

January 14th, 2008

What happens when you take a U-Haul truck on a really long trip: