Tuesday, April 16, 2019

UHAUL BOSS JOE SHOEN EXPOSED: UGLY KID JOE GAINS CONTROL

Edward Joseph Shoen is a billionaire from Arizona who runs the parent company of UHAUL, and the way he acquired control of the company in the first place may surprise you. Joe didn't buy the company or officially inherit it from his father, who was the original founder. Joe instead took advantage of the fact that his mother and father both gave the majority of their shares in the operation to their children, obviously never thinking that move would lead to the disastrous family feud that started with Joe arranging a cowardly hostile takeover in 1986, erupted into mayhem with a fistfight at a shareholders' meeting in 1989 and temporarily ended with a $1.47 billion judgment in favor of Joe's Dad and some of his siblings in 1994. Many more ugly family squabbles would follow. 

Let's take a moment to explore the basic history of the company before we go into the gritty details of that epic lawsuit with that amazingly high judgment.

Leonard Sam Shoen created UHAUL in 1945 with his wife Anna Mary Carty, and the initial investment of $5,000 set in motion the scattered model of the company that still exists today. Leonard began working with gas stations around the country to provide them with sturdy, affordable trailers that could be rented by regular people. Over 10,000 UHaul trailers were traveling American roads by 1955. The brand quickly became a national household name. 

Over the years, Leonard had 12 children with different wives. He made them each stock holders, whittling down his own interest in the company to around 2-8% (depending on which news report you read) at the time of the lawsuit that changed UHaul forever. Though some of those children have criticized their father's ability to run the company in his later years, it's hard to ignore his extreme generosity and his hope for the next generation to carry his legacy. Some of his sons chose to attack their father personally and professionally, and Mark Shoen justified his actions in one newspaper article by pointing out Leonard was not "a storybook father" and had "demons." Sounds like any father would have demons with sons who could take the harsh and cruel steps to engage in a planned corporate exorcism of their own father from the company HE BUILT. 

Leonard sunk into a clinical depression after sons Mark V Shoen and Edward Joseph Shoen manipulated the stock numbers to wrest control of the company away from the man that literally was responsible for bringing them into the world. The spurned father attempted to start a casino after moving to Las Vegas, but ultimately he took his own life by crashing his car into a telephone pole not far from his home. He died at the age of 83, survived by all his children. The official cause of death was suicide, but the real fatal blow was likely struck to his psyche after his sons ruthlessly swept his dream right out from under him and their other siblings.

"Doc" Sam Shoen, one of his father's staunchest supporters, told the Las Vegas Sun shortly after his Dad's death that, "Some of his [Leonard's] children threw him out of the company and pursued him with litigation until the day he died. It was relentless, remorseless and inexcusable behavior." He added in no uncertain terms that his brothers would pay for their cruelty by way of the all too powerful concept of Karma. "They've been attempting to cause his destruction for years," Sam explained. "And now they've got what they wanted. It's an object lesson in what happens when you fail to honor your father, and they will reap the consequences."

Paul Rubin of the Phoenix New Times had perhaps the most poignant description of Leonard Sam Shoen. The reporter included the following poetic lines about the founding father in one of the most comprehensive and accurate written accounts of the ugly takeover orchestrated by the Joe and Mark Shoen faction of the family:


Years later, in an episode of Power, Privilege and Justice, related to a murder that ignited the family feud yet again, Samuel Shoen described his brothers Joe and Mark in even more unflattering terms. He told the show his brothers "were people whose father gave them everything they ever had. When they got the opportunity, they did everything in their power to destroy their father both professionally, financially and every other way. And they did it in a completely ruthless fashion." Even when the murder turned out to be unrelated to the feud, the warring family factions fought over false allegations and published media comments about that tragedy. It was Mark who smugly offered to bury the hatchet with the rest of his family after the man guilty of the murder confessed in open court. Unfortunately his choice of words was not very poetic. He told reporters if the rest of the family wanted to end the fight, "I will extend my hand to these people." He extended his hand alright, right into UHaul's deep pockets.

The company, led by Joe after the takeover, ended a lifetime consulting contract with Leonard Shoen in 1989, blaming bipolar disorder for the founder's mismanagement of the company. Joe's stock manipulation did more than put him in charge of the operation his Dad built with $5,000 and a dream. Taking over the company also meant saving it from being sold to the highest bidder, and it gave Joe the opportunity to use UHaul for everything it's worth. Joe's father, meanwhile, later sought psychological counseling, which resulted in a diagnosis of situational depression. It's hard not to feel depressed FOR Leonard and his tortured soul when you consider what happened to him at the hands of his own flesh and blood. 

Jurors in the litigation Leonard Schoen filed against his ruthless sons in 1988 also did not take kindly to the brothers treating their own father with such disrespect and disdain. One juror spoke out about the verdict when the 1994 judgment came down after a contentious 7-week trial. "We all felt what Joe and the boys had done was pretty offensive," said Juror Kevin Lunceford. "We just wanted to send a message so this kind of thing would not happen to someone else." That Jury's collective mindset in awarding that astronomical sum is the same as this author's mindset in creating this very site. 

Though Samuel Shoen has kept quiet about all the family drama over the more recent years, he told the LA Times in June of 2007 that Joe was "very good at manipulating facts." Although some investment sites claim all the family issues and backstory have nothing to do with how the company operates today, this author begs to differ. 

Before all the drama that gave rise to the 1988 lawsuit, it appeared that UHaul was not Joe's first love. During his early years with the company, he often had to work as a subordinate of his older brother. He was also convinced the outfit was moving away from what made it a success: their rentals of trucks and trailers. He quit the company in 1978. During his absence, he attended law school at Arizona State and opened up his own business a year later. He created Space Age Auto Paint, which he still owns today and utilizes for UHaul's fleet of vehicles and trailers. Joe and his brother Mark also created another customer for UHaul, a printing company called Form Builders Incorporated (F.B.I.). This is also a closely held secret to their own individual net worth being so amazingly high. They have both leveraged their leadership and stock options in the company in addition to running business operations which depend on UHaul as a primary customer.

Just 8 years after he left UHaul, Joe was back on board and determined to be in charge. It was obvious he and his brother Mark had a plan that would capitalize on making the decisions for UHaul, which would include making sure UHaul did tons of business with their own privately owned entities. 

UHaul pays their bills and provides Mark and Joe exponential wealth they would prefer you didn't even know about. They hide their assets behind countless "holding companies" and "limited partnerships" to scatter the ashes of the corporate villages they burned to get where they are today. There's even a company designed to hold a large volume of Mark Shoen's stock options that is called "Blackwater Investments, Inc." Blackwater has offices in Arizona that used to be occupied by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Suffice it to say that security around the building is extremely tight. 

Though the 1994 jury award of 1.47 billion was drastically reduced to under $500 million in the long run, the debt still saddled the company with enough trouble that bankruptcy had to be declared within the following decade. Yet, Mark and Joe made bankruptcy work for them, too

If they were willing and able to take out their own father, how do you think they approached their competitors and their creditors in the bankruptcy? The more intriguing story turned out to be how the brothers ended up bankrupting UHaul. This appeals case lays out what happened next:

Incorporated in Nevada in 1969, AMERCO operates as the holding company for business dealings that involve U-Haul International, Inc. U-Haul was founded by Leonard Samuel Shoen in 1945, and its business concerns include wholly owned U-Haul centers and a network of independent dealers that sell moving products and rent trucks, trailers, and self-storage units to “do-it-yourself” movers.   In addition to its U-Haul concerns, AMERCO acquires and develops real property for self-storage facilities through a subsidiary called AMERCO Real Estate Corporation (AREC).   Ultimately, Leonard transferred most of his AMERCO stock to his thirteen children, including sons Paul, Edward J. (Joe), James, and Mark, which led, in the 1980s, to an unfortunate and well-documented family feud between shifting factions for corporate control.

The derivative suits allege that, in addition to owning AMERCO stock, each of the four sons is or has at relevant times served as an AMERCO director and/or officer.   Joe and James have served on AMERCO's board of directors since 1986.   Mark served as a director between 1990 and 1997 and is also employed as an AMERCO executive officer.   While Paul no longer participates as an AMERCO officer or director, he served on the board of directors for several years before 1991, and from 1997 to 1998.
In the 1990s, Joe, James, and Mark formed SAC Holding Corporation and various SAC Self-Storage Corporations and partnerships to operate as real estate holding companies (the SAC entities).   In 1994, however, before filing for personal bankruptcy, Joe and James transferred their shares in the SAC entities to Mark. Ever since that time, Mark has been the SAC entities' sole shareholder.
According to appellants, Joe, James, and Mark have formed an “insider group.”   Through board domination, appellants claim, the “insider group” brothers have engaged in acts to further their own interests, to the detriment of AMERCO shareholders, by building a competing business in the SAC entities.   This operation was accomplished, they assert, through the transfer of AMERCO's self-storage business and assets to the SAC entities at unfair terms.

Consequently, appellants filed derivative suits seeking, among other things, to “halt and unwind” the AMERCO-SAC entities transactions.   But none of the appellants made any pre-suit demand on the AMERCO board of directors or the other shareholders to obtain the corrective action.   Instead, appellants alleged in their complaints that any such demand would be futile, in large part because several board members, while not voting for the challenged transactions, participated in the wrongdoing and because the board is dominated and controlled by the interested “insider group”-and in particular, by Joe.

Mark V. Shoen literally used UHaul to finance his purchase of his own little storage empire, with UHaul managing most of the facilities on extremely favorable terms to Mark. The financing and partnership agreements hatched between UHaul and Mark were extremely beneficial to Mark but not so much for UHaul. The manipulative moves by Mark and Joe to make this all happen saddled UHaul with 600 million dollars in debt. The resulting lawsuit over that little fiasco cost UHaul almost ten years of legal headaches before an undisclosed settlement ended the litigation. The settlement finally came at the end of the long and winding legal road after the above appeals court gave the plaintiffs an opportunity to amend their complaint. 
  
It's no wonder these brothers initiated such a vicious takeover. It was all about the Benjamins, and today UHaul customers basically pay these brothers twice when they engage in most transactions with UHaul. 

Billionaires like these simply don't care about the little people they have to crush to get to the top. 

A little guy like me who contributed $50,000 hard-earned dollars to UHaul from a business I actually created from the ground up means nothing to Joe. As an Air Force veteran myself I am absolutely disgusted when I see twitter posts like this of UHaul pretending to care about veterans when their boss treated his own Navy veteran father so horribly toward the end of that man's life.  



The gall of Joe Shoen to pretend as if he appreciates veterans after what he put his father through makes me think of the following quote I memorized at The Air Force Academy: "The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." JOHN STUART MILL

Edward "Joe" Schoen may have a ton of money and pretend to be the only guy who can fix the horrible behavior of his underlings at UHaul, but he is a man of minimal moral character. And I haven't even mentioned the real sick puppy aspect of Joe's past. He should not be trusted to truly fix your problems or any other concerned customer's, which is why so many people have taken UHaul to court over the years. I will be the next one to seek a legal judgment against Joe personally, two of his executives, and the parent company of UHaul.

The battle I wage here on this site started as my attempt to make this company honest in only my individual case. My research and outreach to burned UHaul customers and pissed off consumers in the same boat as me led me to dig deeper. What I found begged to be written about and exposed, and I'm not one to shy away from a genuine story like this. On the contrary, to borrow a phrase from another famous American Patriot, "I have not yet begun to fight." 

Friday, April 12, 2019

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER!

 FUCKYOUHAUL.COM TWITTER PAGE


This long and winding road trip with UHaul executives is not going to be over anytime soon, so I created a Twitter page last night for this crusade to make this company accountable for their failures. Click on the image above to check us out and follow our page. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

UHAUL WANTS TO RENT TO ME AGAIN

Wow!  Talk about a UHAUL TURN!

So, today a funny thing happened. Apparently Joe Shoen has someone reviewing his emails, because I sent one to him last night. It was short and sweet:


"Your company turned me away from a rental situation where I was spending nearly $500 every single week to rent one of your pick up trucks.


I am going to file extensive litigation if this matter is not solved soon, and I consider you and Mr. Daniel Guilmette personally responsible. I have taken on billionaires in court before and won.




So, today I received a call from a Massachusetts-based UHaul Executive name Matthew Pepin, referencing last night's email. He talks about conversations with The Tilton Store Manager, has the same argument as Guilmette, and he tries to bullshit me all over the place about the insurance not covering any of the damage. But, he has a BIG SOLUTION FOR ME!!!


He was offering TO LET ME RENT AGAIN...


But I can only rent their box trucks now, he says. Those are more durable and can take the damage I will do to them, he says. He seems to forget these cost a ton of extra money to rent. Also, they are not practical for the residential backyard firewood processing I do. I reminded him of UHaul's position previously, that they weren't allowed to rent to loggers at all.


It couldn't have been a more convenient coincidence that I registered http://www.fuckyouhaul.com this morning just in time to respond to his first post-call email to me by sharing the link with Matthew. Also, I stumbled across the Tilton location's UHAUL Better Business Bureau report.




Here's my theory: Based on my prior messages, I believe UHaul (via Joe's people) already knew what happened all along here when he got my message last night. I already talked to one guy who intimidated the manager at the Tilton store, and that went nowhere. Big Bossman Joe must have realized that I wanted and needed this solved, so he knew one of the people responsible already got nowhere with me. This time I am making the educated guess that CEO-minded Joe made the other guy responsible call me and explain himself today. It was probably Joe's idea to make him offer to rent to me again, too. Sounds like the out of touch CEO thing to do when you don't know what really happened. Speculation alone there, granted, but I'm good at sniffing stuff like this right out.


It sounds like the company itself just saved me from discovery. So now I have my legal claims locked up, and Joe is in the mix as well. I'd be waiting for another response from the Better Business Bureau if it wasn't for my email. I do believe Bob Dylan can tell you what I will be doing next with my lawsuit paperwork: 





 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

GUESS WHO OWNS FUCKUHAUL.COM???



Domain Name: fuckuhaul.com
Registry Domain ID: 1688515653_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.corporatedomains.com
Registrar URL: www.cscprotectsbrands.com
Updated Date: 2018-01-04T22:45:32Z
Creation Date: 2011-11-23T00:06:26Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2019-11-23T00:06:26Z
Registrar: CSC CORPORATE DOMAINS, INC.
Registrar IANA ID: 299
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: domainabuse@cscglobal.com
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: 1.8887802723
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited http://www.icann.org/eppclientTransferProhibited
Registry Registrant ID: 
Registrant Name: Domain Administrator
Registrant Organization: U-Haul International, Inc.
Registrant Street: 2727 N. Central Ave.
Registrant City: Phoenix
Registrant State/Province: AZ
Registrant Postal Code: 85004
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: 1.6022636840
Registrant Phone Ext: 
Registrant Fax: 1.6022636840
Registrant Fax Ext: 
Registrant Email: domains@uhaul.com
Registry Admin ID: 
Admin Name: Domain Administrator
Admin Organization: U-Haul International, Inc.
Admin Street: 2727 N. Central Ave.
Admin City: Phoenix
Admin State/Province: AZ
Admin Postal Code: 85004
Admin Country: US
Admin Phone: 1.6022636840
Admin Phone Ext: 
Admin Fax: 1.6022636840
Admin Fax Ext: 
Admin Email: domains@uhaul.com
Registry Tech ID: 
Tech Name: Domain Administrator
Tech Organization: U-Haul International, Inc.
Tech Street: 2727 N. Central Ave.
Tech City: Phoenix
Tech State/Province: AZ
Tech Postal Code: 85004
Tech Country: US
Tech Phone: 1.6022636840
Tech Phone Ext: 
Tech Fax: 1.6022636840
Tech Fax Ext: 
Tech Email: domains@uhaul.com
Name Server: dns2.cscdns.net
Name Server: dns1.cscdns.net
DNSSEC: unsigned
URL of the ICANN WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System: http://wdprs.internic.net/
Last update of WHOIS database: 2018-01-04T22:45:32Z 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

HYPOCRISY FROM THE TOP DOWN AT UHAUL



This video features UHaul Heir and UberBoss Joe Shoen. Joe is one of the richest men in Arizona.

"People just want to be treated decently and fairly, get value for their money.... Most people who have a problem don't want to complain, they just want it solved."

Thanks, Joe. Thanks for the heaping helping of hypocrisy. How about solving my problems, Joe?

I think you got more value for my money than I did, Joe.

CALL JOE AT: 602-390-6525

EMAIL JOE AT: joe@uhaul.com

Monday, April 1, 2019

UHAUL NOT LIVING UP TO THEIR OWN IDEALS



Since the incident where UHaul executives stepped in to destroy my working relationship with my local UHaul outlet, I've done some important digging on their history. 2,000+ complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau, and their account with the BBB was actually shut down once already for the volume of issues the company had clogging up the BBB's systems.

My treatment doesn't appear to be the exception. This is the normal way it goes for many of the disgruntled customers who don't get their issues resolved. They typically take their concerns online and hope others avoid doing business with this company.

UHaul thinks they can point to the fine print and tell you this and that are excluded, but they forget what they've called acceptable damage and billed me the deductible for before. They pretend to be all about wanting to take care of their customers, but in this situation they took a good customer and made the managers of an outlet treat that customer like the scum of the Earth.

Here is a little note from one of UHAUL'S OWN SHAREHOLDER REPORTS (2004 Annual Report):
======
It is our intent to be a medium-size company with an entrepreneurial, aggressive management team, relatively immune to the potholes of corporate bureaucracy.

Our plans include the following.

• Operating in a specialty niche, where our success is dependent more on how we treat our customers than on competitive or market conditions

• Developing a self-funding balance sheet. Expand by using our own profits.

• Maintaining substantial insider ownership. This includes Shoen interests, ESOP and individual ownership by directors, employees, dealers and vendors.

• Continuing with a North American orientation. Remain relatively insulated from political changes and currency valuations.

• Maintaining constructive labor relations. Management free to make decisions independent of outside groups. Encourage a coincidence of interest between ownership, management, operative U-Haul System members and dealers.

• Maintaining a reasonable price/earnings ratio on our common stock. Emphasize the strength of the company, not the strength of the stock price.

Employing people who are high in integrity. Successful companies are composed of people with integrity at all levels of the company
======

     The top and bottom items on that list are being thrown out the window in my situation. There's no integrity at all in your system when it comes to my case, and you showed you are willing to take one of your best customers, run the bill up on him and then tell him he can no longer rent from you. The executive who made this happen lied through his teeth to me and the Better Business Bureau about why they had me ambushed on the day of my rental return and are now forbidding me from renting from them ever again. The actual managers of the store did not decide to run the bill up and refuse further rentals to me. An "outside group" of two executives ran my bill up and tried to run me out of business and inflate the bill on me at the same time.

     Also, it's pretty damn ridiculous that UHAUL can't figure out a good insurance plan for their vehicles to avoid all this kind of hassle being so regularly passed on to the consumer. What's worse is one of UHaul's parent companies actually OWNS an insurance company.

    Sunlight is truly the best disinfectant, and I hope everyone who follows this site knows that this is not a blind crusade built by anger and spite. This is nothing like that. I am taking this stand for the multitude of people with complaints about this company that are never resolved. People who feel like they couldn't take that stand and didn't have the resources to put into such a fight can count on my efforts to make UHaul accountable here. I will hopefully inspire them to fix/stop what they are doing to over-exert executive influence on store managers across the country. Many of these people are in managerial positions because they are good leaders, are excellent with people and know how to operate all your existing systems flawlessly.

An executive of a company like UHaul should not be able to come in from some other area of the country, spend a few minutes looking around and arbitrarily decide that manager can't rent to the outlet's best customer. This is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Customers and consumers have rights, and so do these store managers. Executive level a-holes come in, kick stuff around and try to act like they know what's best, but they really don't. These executives turned a good working relationship to what will end up being a living Hell for the company when this case goes to court.

But, hey, your attempt at ramming $755 in charges down my throat for something that should have been covered by insurance was worth the resulting turmoil, right? No damage done, right, we'll just get the next guy for what he owes us.

WRONG!

This author intends to get a judgment that will deter UHaul from ever engaging in this type of abusive behavior again. Stay Tuned.



Friday, March 29, 2019

Daniel Guilmette LIES: Better Business Bureau Results

My complaint to the Better Business Bureau resulted in Uhaul immediately offering to cover my final bill (with expenses padded by staff at the instruction of management shown in the photo below). As much as this might seem like a fair and equitable gesture, it's not. Mr. Guilmette was told when he contacted me to call me back with his lawyer on the phone with him. He refused to accomplish that and then tried to appease me by not coming after me for the final rental charge.



Also within the statement from Uhaul is a pile of blatant and disgusting lies, which I highlighted in bold print below. I don't take the truck off-road, I use boards and tarps in the bed to prevent damage from loading. I have never provided any police reports because the damage to the truck has never been from any collision with any other vehicle (except for the bumper being dented while I was parked one day, and I did not see the dent until UHaul personnel pointed it out). I have always been honest about the damage sustained during my rental periods. Nearly every time the truck was damaged, the dents on the truck happened because of the truck lacking 4-wheel drive and being unable to maneuver effectively in the snow during the winter months, and the damages they claim I did were not any more significant than any careless mover could cause. Also, they act as if I caused some extensive vehicle damage when we are talking about a few dents and dings. I've only ever paid TWO deductible payments over more than 2 years of renting with them. The kicker is they say I can't use the truck for logging and their trucks were not meant for that. I wore company shirts almost every time I came into the office and told employees about how my firewood business was going, and they KNEW what I used the truck for at all times. NOW they want to CRY FOUL? This is not covered by the over $6,000 in insurance premiums I've paid over the years????

NO, NOT TODAY! UHAUL WILL NOT GET AWAY WITH THIS!

Here is the official response from Uhaul, delivered by the BBB:

Thank you for your concern for our customer Mr. Bergeron.

Dan Guilmette, our Executive Assistant for our Los Angeles West Regional Office, followed up on the information Mr. Bergeron provided.  He informed our office he has talked to Mr. Bergeron on two separate occasions but has been unsuccessful in addressing all his concerns.  Mr. Guilmette relayed, the recent Promissory Note Mr. Bergeron incurred in the amount of $1,274.50, will be forgiven for the amount of business he has given us over the years, however, we have chosen not to do any further business with Mr. Bergeron in the future.  The amount of damages he is doing to our equipment due to his off-road travels and improper loading and use of the U-Haul equipment is not covered by Collision Damage Waiver (CDW).  CDW is not a license to do damage to the equipment.  Mr. Bergeron has never provided us with any police reports indicating collision or accident during his rental when he returns our equipment damaged.  U-Haul does not rent equipment for the purposes he is using it for with his logging business.  Mr. Guilmette, unfortunately, has never had the opportunity to explain this information to him. 

Our customers are very important to us and we regret to hear of situations that cause problems for them. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and allowing us to offer a response.

Sincerely,
Maria Palmisano
Executive Assistant
U-Haul International



MY RESPONSE:

The fact is, there is NOTHING exclusionary in their insurance agreement about the damage to that truck they are claiming. I also know the company's regular policies and practices, and they changed them on a dime specifically to target ME. If they matched up my truck with any other vehicle in their fleet rented by multiple users instead of just one, for the same amount of time, mine would be the jewel of the fleet. I've seen the damage other people do to the trucks. I've heard the horror stories of people who don't take the insurance and take off to another state or hole up in a Walmart parking lot towing a camper behind them. I've even had to deal with running the truck they gave me for weeks while it needed an oil change badly. I was more concerned about that truck getting maintenance than they were. One employee even told me not to worry about the oil change light at all and actually gave me instructions on how to reset the computer to shut it off!!!!!  

Half of the dents on the above list of damages (they are claiming all happened in one week), were already taken care of in other prior vehicle damage reports. They were dents caused by other customers in at least two cases,and one that I already paid for in a previous incident. TOTAL BS!