Our U-Haul U-Box Saga Finally Comes to a Satisfactory End
Last week, I wrote about our dramas and dilemmas with U-Haul’s newest product/service, U-Box, which we decided employ for our move from Nova Scotia to Ontario.
I tweeted out the link and made sure to mention the U-Haul Customer Service Twitter account.
This is what happened.
As I mentioned in the original piece, which you can read here, our experience with U-Haul was fraught with failure almost from the beginning. However, two egregious parts of the ordeal stuck out above all others:
- Customer service was pitiful, at least at the beginning. The red-headed fellow I mentioned in the beginning of that story felt horrible after I pointed out his indiscretion, and he ended up being our biggest champion in the store from that point forward.
- In the end, even with the discounted truck rental, we ended up paying more than what we would have if the U-Box had been shipped as promised. The difference: $136. Not a massive amount, but still enough to justify a complaint. I don’t know many people who can throw $136 into the wind and not go running after it because it isn’t worth the effort.
I tweeted the link at U-Haul because I assumed it didn’t monitor the web for all mentions of its name (though, it probably does). With that assumption, I goaded the moving company in public. It didn’t take long to receive a reply from the wonderful people manning the @UHaul_Cares account.
@MarkTTAC I apologize, can you please DM us your contract/reservation number? ^NG
— U-Haul Cares (@UHaul_Cares) August 12, 2016
I sent the U-Haul Customer Service team my contract number via Twitter’s direct message system. U-Haul, in turn, told me to expect a call from “management.”
The next business day, I received a phone call from the general manager of the location from which I rented the U-Box and the subsequent truck. I had my hands full at the time, so I called back the day after.
The conversation went thusly, paraphrasing:
GM: We are sorry for the customer service you experienced, and we’ve made changes at the location so this never happens again.
MS: Thank you. However, the solution provided to me — the discounted truck — actually ended up being $136 more than the initial cost of the U-Box.
GM: We can offer you a refund of $130.
And so they did. The GM put through a refund in the amount of $130, which brought the total cost of the move down to almost equal that of the U-Box.
But should I have to pay full price for the cost of a product or service that I did not receive?
Sure, U-Haul offered to bring down the price of the more expensive truck that I had to drive for 18 hours to Ontario. However, I didn’t want to drive 18 hours in a truck with 100,000 miles on the clock; I wanted to put my stuff in a box, have someone else deliver it, and split driving duties in my own car with my significant other during the journey to Ontario.
So, back to the @UHaul_Cares account I went, not paraphrasing:
MS: The GM has given me a refund of $130 to make up the difference in cost between the U-Box and U-Haul truck. She also offered an apology multiple times and told me some corrective action has been taken at the store.
UH: Thanks for the update and glad you were able to reach them.
MS: Not entirely satisfied, but not entirely dissatisfied either. The solution offered equates to only paying what I was supposed to pay in the first place, which hardly seems like an apology. It comes off as just doing the bare minimum to keep a repeat customer.
UH: I apologize, if you would like we can re-open the file and management will review and contact you back again.
MS: That’s up to U-Haul. I appreciate the effort made by you folks in corporate. The local store didn’t ask if I was satisfied; simply made the offer and did the refund while giving an apology. If U-Haul wants me to tell others I had a positive experience, then U-Haul will have to do more than what it has done. If U-Haul doesn’t want that, it needn’t do more than it has done.
UH: I have updated the file and management will review and contact you back.
I made no demands. I expected nothing. I simply stated the corrective action felt like a half measure, and that I was not completely satisfied. At this point, it was up to U-Haul to make it right and do what they thought was necessary.
The next day, the same general manager called from the original rental location. She apologized again. I could tell she wanted to be done with this case as much as I did, and I actually felt bad for her at this point. Yet, this is money we’re talking about — specifically, my money.
In the end, U-Haul offered an additional $150 refund for, what I call, consumer pain and suffering.
I am happy.
Would another person who doesn’t have the ability to blast out a personal experience to thousands of people have the same luck? I’m not sure, but I hope so. At least you now know that U-Haul will attempt to keep a customer. After all, the chances of you living in the same place for the rest of your life is pretty slim. We are a fairly mobile species at this point, and U-Haul is still the Kleenex of moving companies. U-Haul’s alternatives are also quite expensive, and sometimes you have to go with the cheaper option while grinning and bearing with it.
There’s one thing I’ve learned from this though: if you aren’t satisfied, say so. Most companies will bend over backwards to keep a customer satisfied, or at least placated. When money is on the line, there’s no room for feelings. If you’ve been wronged, say so, and make the person or company who’s wronged you pay for its lack of service or its unsatisfactory product.
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