It all started with a Twitter conversation:
Heather: U-Haul is officially the devil. They’re not getting my money.
Me: @baronessheather I have rarely had good experiences with u-haul. Good call.
Heather: @melissaoyler They just more than doubled the quoted price I got yesterday by inventing all kinds of extra charges and fees. Hell with them.
UHaul: @melissaoyler Whatever the issues have been, let us fix it. A Customer Advocate can contact you directly, or call us at 800-789-3638. ^RG
Me: @UHaul_Cares there have been many. Most impressive was when my deposit was refused because truck was stolen out of UHaul’s lot AFTER I returned it. I wasn’t being blamed for missing truck, yet my deposit = gone. I was broke college student – that was not cool. … other organization issues over the years too. But talk to @BaronessHeather. She’s the one that needs a truck right now.
Heather: @melissaoyler HA! Thanks. Actually wanted a trailer, but without a bunch of hidden fees!
UHaul: @melissaoyler That’s clearly not how we want to do business. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll follow-up. ^RG
UHaul: @BaronessHeather Sorry I missed the news about your move. Just let us know how we can help. ^RG.
Heather: @UHaul_Cares I don’t know that you can. I was quoted one price, then called back with a ridiculous amount of hidden fees that price me out.
UHaul: @BaronessHeather You’re right. All costs should have been discussed with the first person who quoted you a rate. ^RG
Heather: @UHaul_Cares I just think it all costs should be on the table up front and NOT in fine print.
UHaul: @BaronessHeather Please e-mail Lacie_Boltis@uhaul.com with a number to reach you at, so we can see what we can do. ^RG
Heather: @UHaul_Cares Is that person empowered to give me any incentive to give UHaul my business? Read: hefty discount. If not, I’d rather not.
Heather: @melissaoyler I’ll be interested too. I told ’em I didn’t want to talk to them unless they were prepared to give me a discount!
Me:@BaronessHeather I saw that! Did you get any response?
Heather: @melissaoyler Not a peep!
Then an email conversation:
Hi Allison, how are you?
I was speaking on Twitter yesterday regarding a negative U-Haul experience I had several years ago in Rock Hill, S.C. Basically, I rented a U-Haul trailer in order to move some belongings from one apartment to another, and I returned the truck at the end of the day. I was a broke college student and my deposit was very important to me. Being somewhat naive, I assumed U-Haul had credited me the money as they had said they would, and several weeks later I wrote a check for another bill. Well, that check ended up bouncing because U-Haul had not, in fact, given me my deposit back.
When I called the Rock Hill branch to ask why the deposit had not been credited, the answer I was given was because the trailer had been stolen. I clarified that U-Haul was aware I had, in fact, returned the trailer and that if it had been stolen it was in their possession when this happened. All parties agreed that the theft had occurred while the trailer was in U-Haul’s possession. So, why, then, was my deposit not refunded? I felt like either a) I was not to blame for the theft, and the money should have been returned to me, or b) I was to blame for the theft, in which case, why weren’t the police at my door asking me questions?
After many, many hours on the phone with U-Haul representatives, I finally got my deposit back. But of course, that did not even begin to cover the bounced check fees that I had incurred or the fact that I realized that U-Haul was a terribly unorganized place of business.
Over the years I have tried giving U-Haul another chance. I assumed the problem was with the Rock Hill branch, not U-Haul in general. However, I have seen negative experience after negative experience that has led me to realize that if you want a truck/trailer you can actually depend on, U-Haul is not the place to be.
When I mentioned this on Twitter, @UHaul_Cares responded back and asked me to contact you, as U-Haul clearly does not like to do business this way. I will say that I was very pleasantly surprised to see U-Haul making an effort this way, and I look forward to seeing a response to this. So, props on the Twitter customer service; I look forward to the follow-up.
Thanks very much.
I apologize for the previous experience that you had encountered with U-Haul & I just wanted to send you a quick message in regards to your email as well as your twitter that you had sent. I will be glad to work on your complaint. Although would it be possible to speak with you directly as well?
Thanks for the note – you can call if you want.
Then a phone call:
Allison did call me. And she was very apologetic about my situation with U-Haul, a situation which happened 9 years ago and although I had put it past me, I had not forgotten about U-Haul and its horrible customer service during that situation. There have been other instances with them throughout the years, none nearly as dramatic as the stolen trailer I described, but other annoyances. So Allison apologized for the poor customer service and she even emailed me a $50 gift certificate to U-Haul – a gesture I thought was not necessary but was much appreciated.
Am I happier with U-Haul? Generally, yes. Does $50 9 years later help make it all better? Well, it certainly doesn’t hurt. I believe that Twitter has enabled many companies to work more directly with their clients, and I believe U-Haul is using this in a positive way. Props to them for looking to see who is talking about them and talking back. I do wish they’d taken one more step with Heather, and asked to contact her directly. Maybe they couldn’t give her a discount, but they could at least work on keeping the sour taste out of her mouth.Will I rent a U-Haul again? Yes, but never from the Rock Hill branch on Cherry Road – that experience was terrible.
Too bad I didn’t get the gift certificate before Heather started her move; I could have passed it along to her!