Having just recently landed myself an awesome job that has the one drawback of being 600km away, I'm preparing to move to a new city. One of the great "joys" of moving is the acquisition of a vehicle that is large enough to port all of your worldly goods across significant tracts of land. This is a quick review of just how terrible "U-Haul" is, and why you should never bring them your business.
I've made the mistake of using their service before. Two and a half years ago, I moved in to the apartment that I am now preparing to leave. It should have been a quick and simple move, as I had everything packed and ready, and was only moving about eight kilometres.
I started by going to the "U-Haul" web site, where they give you a convenient online form to reserve the truck you need when you need it. Thinking that was just dandy, I went ahead and made just such a reservation. Being somewhat anxious though, and wanting to cover all my bases, I also called the phone number they provided, to confirm that the reservation was indeed successfully placed. I was assured that yes, a truck would be ready for me and I could go pick it up at 08h00 on the morning move.
Fast-forward a couple of weeks to the time of my move. I was all set. One friend, who would be driving the truck for me, joined me first thing in the morning and we went to pick up the truck I had reserved. When we got to the local "U-Haul" outlet, there was already a long and very slow moving queue of people waiting to be served at their desk. After waiting in line for over an hour, we finally got to the desk where we were told that no trucks were available. When I mentioned that I had a reservation, the lady behind the desk explained that such reservations don't actually get reported to the local office, and so they could not honour it. The best they could do is have a truck ready for me after another customer returns it that afternoon.
Disgruntled but without any other options, we went back to my old place and waited for the arrival of other people who would be joining. Once everyone arrived, we went out and grabbed lunch at a local restaraunt, killing time until the truck could be acquired. Unfortunately, some of the people who were there to help were only available in the early afternoon, as I was expecting to be finished the move by then. As a result, by the time we could go back to pick up the truck (going through the same lineup and even more waiting after that), the only assistance some of them could offer was in loading the truck. The unloading would be handled by myself and two others, one of whom was - although an awesome person - not the most muscular in the world and hence not able to do the heavy lifting.
In the end, a move for which I was well prepared on my end, which should have taken only two or three hours, wound up consuming the entire day. We returned the truck to their after-hours drop-off, late in the evening.
Now fast-forward to the present day. Once again I am preparing to move. Having more or less learned from "U-Haul"'s mistakes, I had already sworn that I would never again bring them my business. Being a bit of a penny pincher though, I thought I'd take a look at their prices to compare with the companies I'd checked out so far.
Having already been bitten in the ass by using their online forms, I decided I would call their local yard and inquire verbally. The lady I spoke to asked me to hold, at which point the call dropped. That's no big deal. Mistakes happen and I've made that one several times myself. I called back and she promptly apologized and successfully transferred me to another desk.
Where that other desk is though, I will never know, and really don't give a rat's ass at this point. After waiting on hold for about 20 minutes, listening repeatedly to recordings that invite me to use their web site for reservations (while failing to mention that their web site sucks the hind tit of a dead yak, and that by "reservations" they actually mean "bullshit"), I was once again cut off, left listening to a fast busy signal.At that point, it became quite clear to me that they are still the same half-assed operation being run by the incompentent goons that cocked up the show two years ago. "U-Haul" is by far and away the worst-run slipshod operation on this side of the planet. Their service is atrocious, their vehicles are often not roadworthy, and they do not belong in the rental business. There are far better, properly run companies out there, and I very strongly recommend you seek them out. I will be renting from Hertz truck and van rentals this time around. I called their local office today and received excellent, immediate service from a polite gentleman who clearly knew what he was doing, and was very helpful in giving me detailed information on pricing and availablillity.