Oct. 24th, 2006

ciroccoj: (Default)
Dear U-Haul:

::hugs & kisses::

I love you guys :) :) :)

Once upon a time, I wanted to move a bunch of things out of my mom's house. I looked in the phone book and found two U-Haul outlets pretty close to where I lived. Drove out there, only to find they were gone, vamoosed, KO'd. One had turned into a shawarma shack. I was sad.

A few days later, I decided to let my fingers do the walking. Called around to a bunch of places and got a surprising number of messages saying "this number is no longer in service" or "Bill, I don't have your money and I've left the country, so stop threatening my neighbours." I also talked to many nice people who quoted hours ranging from 24/7 to "3:31pm-4:43pm, every seventh Tuesday, when the moon is waxing and so is my wife."

One place was open! And was going to be open until 4! Joy! It was 1pm. I drove right out there.

I got there at 1:30. They were closed. Padlocked, lights off, banjo sounds in the background. The oldtimer next door, in grey coveralls with a straw between his teeth gave me the evil eye and spat some tobacco at his yeller dog, urging me to Move along, little Missy, we don't serve your kind round here.

Scratch that last. It wasn't an oldtimer in grey coveralls. It was a shawarma shack guy in grey coveralls.

I was sadder. Called back the next day and was told, "Oh, yeah, the hours. Well, see, we're really only open by appointment, so if you'd like to come in and set up a rental, we'll make sure to send someone out there, but no, otherwise we're usually not there."

Let my fingers walk some more. Finally found a place on Catherine St that was (gasp!) open! Drove out there, dodging one-way streets and shawarma shacks, bought some nifty bubblewrap and boxes, and booked a van for today (Tuesday) 9:00. The nice lady there said, "OK, six-hour rental, 9-3pm, for that size it's $14.99-19.99, plus the mileage of course... thirty or so?"

I was happy.

Showed up today, dodging bad traffic and construction all the way, bounced up the steps to claim my lovely van, gave them my driver's licence and credit card, went to sign the dotted line... and blanched at the estimate. $74 before tax, $84 after tax. Which, my fourth grade son informs me, is not the same as $30. And he should know. He's home schooled, you know.

? I said.

"That's $19.99 for the van, $15 insurance, and the rest is your mileage."

"But... I'm not - I wasn't-"

"It's what you're allotted."

"Um... I was told it would be about $30?"

"Don't know who told you that. The rental and insurance alone is more than that."

"But, but-"

Anyway, long story short, I finally said, "Um... never mind" and walked out. Very sad again. Not the dude's fault, he wasn't the one who did the bait'n'switch, but still.

Almost cried when I saw Chris, who for some reason had expected me to be driving a rental van, because I can't move all this stuff on my own and he's only able to help me on Tuesdays and I also have 5 hours of class on Tuesdays starting at 1 and the renters are coming in a week and I'm so tired of calling and calling and driving and driving and getting nothing done and boo hoo hoo.

Realized I was just going to have to lump it. Slunk back to U-Haul, low in spirit and with mournful mien, and waited for a man who was apparently going to marry the van he was renting, because he went over every. single. detail. of the truck and contract with a fine tooth comb and a legal scholar. Frequent customer, I'd guess.

Finally re-did the contract thing, and told the guy, "Look, I know it's not your fault, you didn't give me the wrong information, but... this isn't a good way to run a business."

"Well, what can I say, ma'am, U-Haul doesn't run a good business, not much I can do about it," said the apparent recipient of U-Haul's Most Satisfied Employee Award. "Now, if there's anything you'd like me to do about it, fine."

"Um... could you tell the other people who work here that this isn't a good way to run a business?"

"Sure, ma'am, I'll be sure to do that," he said earnestly and wow, I believed him from the bottom of my heart, because he was just so earnest like that.

"Thanks," I said, almost as enthusiastically (and earnestly) as he.

Went to sign the form, where he very helpfully highlighted the many little pitfalls waiting to nab the unwary U-Haul customer, and balked again when he rattled off, "Make sure it's back before 3pm or you pay twice the fee."

"Wait, what?! It's a six-hour rental!"

"Starting at nine, ma'am."

"But - but it's 11:00!"

"We had the van ready for you at 9 ma'am. If you chose not to take it then, it's not our fault. And it's double the cost if you bring it in late."

"But - but I went away because I had been quoted the wrong price to begin with-"

"That's not my concern, ma'am. We had the van ready. Look, it's not like it's the end of the world here, you just have to bring it in at 3-"

(At this juncture I should add that there were about four customers waiting to sign out vehicles, looking like they'd come in out of the rain (probably because they had) and smelling suspiciously of shawarmas.)

"But - no, wait a minute, this isn't-"

"Listen, if you can't be bothered to abide by the rules, then you know what? You don't need this van!" and at this point Happy Fun Employee grabbed the contract out of my hand and gave me a real good glarin' while I kinda gaped at him. I may have looked like a guppy. I put the key down and carefully backed away from the crazy, and called Chris.

Who called around to other places, and got us a van, for $60, from Discount rentals, for a 24-hour rental.

"Are there any other hidden fees? 'Cause we just got screwed by U-Haul," said Chris, "so we'd just like to know what we're going to be paying here."

Discount laughed, all kindly-like, and said, "Oh, yeah, you wouldn't believe how many customers we get from them. No, no hidden anything, it's $X for rental, $Y for insurance, $Z for mileage blah blah fine printcakes."

So: all's well that ends well! Thanks so much! I know y'all are really concerned about customer satisfaction, as amply demonstrated by your setting up surprise shawarma shacks at random locations, quaint hours, thrilling safety record (failure rate four times the industry average! impressive!) and scintillating customer service, so I know you'll be tickled to know that this particular customer had a great move, is very happy you were all complete incompetents and pushed us to look elsewhere, and will never ever ever call you again!

::hugs and kisses::

No Longer Yours,

A Very Satisfied Customer

November 2012

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