Sadly, March 27th, 2019 marked the end of my contractual and working relationship with Uhaul as the main supplier of my firewood company's rental truck.
As a regular and religious renter at the Tilton, NH Uhaul location, I spent around $500 per week on average to rent their pick-up truck. I also rented a few of their box trucks and a trailer in the past. I always took out the insurance on every rental, even trucks that were beaten to Hell before I got in them.
Employees constantly told me how smart I was to always take insurance, and I only ever paid two deductible payments of $150 in over two years of renting through this location.
During the bulk of the time I rented from the Tilton Uhaul, the staff running the shop were top notch with customer service. I became fairly friendly with everyone working there, and they always made sure all my needs and concerns were addressed. I also tried to take the best care of the vehicle as possible, and I often would get it back after one use from someone else, and it would have a new x on it (indicating a vehicle damage report was done) from someone else damaging it. I even took it to the car wash about once a week when I had to bring it back clean. Even when it didn't have to be clean and I was taking it right out again, I cleaned the interior, the bed, and took it through the car wash. So, eventually because of weathering, road use and the car washes, the uhaul decals began peeling.
You can imagine my surprise when I brought it in after a typical week of renting and was first told I could not rent anymore and then given a bill of over $1300 for one week's rental fees and over $750 in damages they tried to claim, even docking me for the decals which only began to come off because I was trying to do a favor for Uhaul in keeping their vehicle clean. Those car washes also have a special polymer blend that is applied to the car that protects it from the paint getting surface scratches. So I did them a real favor applying that stuff week after week to protect the vehicle's finish.
The part of this story that really grinds my gears is WHY the nice folks at that Uhaul location suddenly turned into my worst nightmare. They talked to me all the time when I went in there, and they informed me the bosses were there that day and were very angry with the amount of damage all the vehicles were taking. These perfectly good people did not want to do this. They were basically preparing me for bad news as soon as I came in, before they even checked the vehicle out. They were forced to change their policies and procedures in the middle of a contract to screw me over just to please their bosses.
I don't blame those good people who had to be the messengers. I blame the bosses who put the pressure on to make me a test case for experimentation of a new policy to shaft loyal renters. I blame corporate greed and bad business practices. I've watched Uhaul try to impose their will on the shopkeepers at this location, and the employees shared all their frustrations with me regarding constantly changing modes of doing business being forced upon them by higher ups.
The two bosses who set upon those employees and intimidated them enough for them to come after me and charge me through the roof will answer for their actions in a court of law in time. For now, I will let the court of public opinion take over as well. If you're reading this, I would advise against doing business with this kind of operation that would alienate their best customer in such a vile manner. Over the course of my rental experience with the company I paid at least $6,000 in insurance premiums, and they want to nickel and dime me the last time they say they're going to rent to me? They want to nail me for everything including decals that deteriorated due to weather and taking the truck dutifully to a car wash every week?????? How is that fair at all???
I had to go back and forth with UHaul through the Better Business Bureau first, and then I finally received this official message from UHAUL CEO Edward Joseph Shoen:
On Tue, Apr 16, 2019 at 4:50 PM Joe Shoen <Joe@uhaul.com> wrote:
Mr. Bergeron,If someone from U-Haul suggested that you use our Box trucks instead of our Pickup trucks to haul firewood, they were in error. Not one single truck U-Haul rents is built to carry a full load of firewood without it being overloaded or causing damage to the body. That sort of use is not our business, our primary business is self moving of people’s personal possessions.Am told you are in the wood business, if so you would be helping everyone by not renting from U-Haul. There are several companies that may have equipment suitable to hauling firewood. Penske Truck Rental, Ryder Truck Rental may have such equipment. As a person who routinely transports wood you are likely very familiar with the weights involved, and the tremendous differences between the type of logs and the manner of stacking has on the load’s final weight.Obviously this is very personal to you. It is to me also. There is no way U-Haul going to rent trucks to users who are almost certain to cause damage in the ordinary course of their use and then consider that covered by “Collision Damage Waiver”. CDW is for accidental damage. Wood hauling damage is not accidental. If in your mind that is fraud on U-Haul’s part, then we just disagree.Of course I try to have customer emails responded to quickly and by someone who can resolve the matter. Usually that is a local person. No I am not familiar with the goings on at any given store at all times. Of course local U-Haul people from New Hampshire would be the best responders.I am sorry we have to disagree, but that is where we are. There are many organizations in New Hampshire who may rent the type of equipment you require. U-Haul does not.
So, there you have it. UHAUL Trucks are not for anything else other than moving your personal belongings. Insurance can't cover you using trucks or trailers for any other business related purposes. So it must be against their company policy for them to rent to FEDEx and UPS and all the other companies who have to rent UHauls to get business other than moving accomplished.
Also, someone needs to alert General Motors and Ford as well and tell them the pickup trucks they sell to UHaul are not capable of hauling firewood without sustaining regular damage.