Friday, November 7, 2008

If You Can Avoid it, Do Not Ever Rent From UHAUL Again


Today was the first day of a small landscape job I am doing on the side. Concrete pad, soil amendments and so on. I rented a UHAUL van from 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. I've used them before because they are convenient to my subway. Each time though, there is always something. I mean ALWAYS. It starts with their frustrating policy of having to call a second landline at 8 in the morning. First, I do not have a landline. Second, at 8 am, everyone I know is either traveling to work, at work, or sleeping. But they won't rent without that phone call. Of course, all the numbers I am giving him are not being answered or messages. He's looking at me like I am doing something wrong now. He tells me I SHOULD have family with land lines. Now the UHAUL jerk is telling me how my family should live?! Finally I give him my brother's number. My brother answers and is like, who the fuck is this. I have to yell to the speaker phone that it is his brother, Osama Bin Laden, trying to rent a van to blow something up!  By this point the UHAUL jerk decides this is satisfactory. Yippee, now I am on my way.

Now I need the van to haul concrete bags, soil bags. On my way out the truck checker tells me to make sure it is clean on its return. I see now that they are doing things a little differently at this branch of UHELL, and make note to clean van.  Of course some bags leak soil onto the ribbed rubber matting in the van. So when we were all done with our four trips, we take the rubber mat out and hose it down. We hold it up to drain the water and put it back in the van. All better now. We drove to my house, my helper had a beer and we ate some sopressata, talked for about an hour. 

Then I went to return the van. I dropped it off, gas topped off, clean.
The checker opens the back doors and says-is this wet?

I said, well we hosed off the mat so that it would be clean as UHAUL requests. I look at the back and I see that the rear 18 inches of the mat are damp, no standing water here, damp!

I look at my receipt and I see he has checked the DIRTY box which entails paying 25 extra dollars. Fuck no, I am pissed off now.

So I go inside and the lady at the counter says that this is dirty and I must pay. I said it is clean, not dirty. She says it is wet and we cannot rent a wet van. I say it is 6 pm and who you going to rent to now before you close? Many people she says, so pay the fee. I say no, I will go outside and dry it off with my shirt  before I pay this bullshit extortion. 

Now I know, its only 25 dollars, but if there is one thing I hate, its money scams.

So I go outside and I see there is a man cleaning the van. I say, hey-your cleaning the van with liquid and making it wet. He says this is not water, but a CLEANING SOLUTION. I say the little bit of dampness is going to dry pretty soon, so how bout checking the not dirty box on my slip. At my prodding he admits that it is probably a way UHELL makes extra money. He then leaves me a rag so I can scrub the rubber matting to soak up the dampness. This takes 10 minutes. 
He changes me receipt to say clean.

My question is this: Why did it have to go this way? Why couldn't they be reasonable? To scam extra money off their rentals. Thats what they do. They are one of the worst companies out there. I see they are trying to make the 4th Avenue branch better, they have some new employees, they are visibly cleaning vans. But this kind of customer treatment makes them one of the worst companies. You can smile and wave all you want, but it isn't courteous to be ridiculous about cleaning standards. Its simply absurd. Go to Budget or elsewhere even if you have to pay more because its always something at the UHELL. Read these stories.

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