Local News

Problems With U-Haul Send Chapel Hill Man To Five On Your Side For Help

Posted January 31, 2003

— When a Chapel Hill man did not get the U-Haul truck he reserved, he said he was mad and wanted the company to do something about it. When he could not get any answers, he looked to Five On Your Side for help.

U-Haul trucks are loaded and unloaded every day of the week by people who move themselves. Mark Peters wanted to use one to move furniture from Morganton to his home in Chapel Hill last November. He used the company's Web site to reserve a truck four days before he planned to pick it up. The cost was $105. He immediately received an online confirmation.

"[Well] to me, confirmed means we will have you a truck," Peters said.

But when Peters got to Morganton, there was no truck. He called U-Haul and a representative promised to call him back, but no one did. Peters said he called every 30 minutes.

"At 7 o'clock they said, 'Well, we don't have a truck and guess what? Everybody's closed,'" he said.

Peters said he was furious.

"That was very frustrating. I mean to spend four or five hours on the phone having made this trip for the explicit purpose three hours away to pick up this furniture. It was very frustrating," he said.

U-Haul told Peters it could not even guarantee him a truck the next day. He finally hired a truck owner to haul the furniture for him, which almost cost him $290. Afterward, he wrote U-Haul, asking the company to pay the $185 difference. The company refused, but it sent him a $20 coupon for a "future rental."

Peters called Five on Your Side, who then called U-Haul. The company agreed to pay Peters the entire $290. Spokeswoman Jennifer Flachman said she's "embarrased," and called the situation "unfortunate" and a "fluke."

Peters said he is satisfied, but he thinks the company has problems.

"I was appalled basically that a company this large that has a bunch of dealers would not better manage its inventory," he said.

U-Haul is now looking into two more complaints that Five On Your Side sent them on this same issue.

If you are renting a truck, it may be best to either call directly or at least call to confirm your online reservation.

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