So, currently in the process of moving a houseful of stuff from Point A to Point B. Went online at http://www.uhaul.com to reserve a truck. Easy! Found a location 15min away, booked everything out with their website, and printed out my confirmation.
Here ends the chipper part of our story.
So, first, the confirmation page says “if you have not received a call from your local office by 5pm tomorrow, please call our regional office to schedule pickup of your vehicle.”
The next day arrives and departs, no call from “my local office.” So I call the regional office.
20 minutes of hold spiel. Wieux-hieux. Finally get through to a person.
“You need to call the local office directly, they’re now in charge of your reservation.” Grrr.
I call the local office. “No, sir, sorry…we don’t have a 24′ truck available. Here’s the number for [the next town over] that might have one.”
I call the U-haul in the next town over. I get someone on the phone who “transfers the reservation” to their office. They think they’ll have a 24′ truck available on the date it’s needed. Cool. “So, we’re all confirmed?” I ask, innocently.
“Um, no sir. We’ll call you back by 5pm tomorrow to confirm pickup.” Can’t you confirm it now? “No.”
Okay. At this point, my confidence is flagging, and I call two other companies in the area to put a backup in place, as U-Haul is not filling me with the warm fuzzies. A backup reservation is made, just in case UHaul doesn’t come through.
The next day, U-haul calls, they leave a message and…surprise!…they have no trucks available for the date I have a reservation for. Backup is confirmed at this point.
To ensure that I’m not charged for the non-existent reservation for the non-existent truck with UHaul, I call up again, this time to cancel. 30 minutes on hold, and NEVER get a person to pick up the phone. I hang up, and will be checking next month’s credit card statements even more diligently than normal to ensure that they didn’t charge anything for the non-existent truck on the non-existent reservation.
On the other hand, if you’re in the Bay Area and need a truck, I highly recommend either:
Condon and Sons (Penske rentals) in San Mateo
Hengehold Trucks in Palo Alto
BTW, talk about identifying a market, getting inside of it, and showing that you understand a customer…while most truck rental outfits in the Bay Area seem to have a strict “we will not rent to you” policy for that thing in the desert, check out what Hengehold does instead. How much incremental revenue do you think Hengehold gets each year because they trust their customers?