The Uhaul saga has come to an end. Thanks to Lacy, who happens to occasionally handle their Twitter account, Uhaul has at least partially appeased me. They got the truck being checked in on the wrong day issue resolved, and even refunded my parents half the rental fee. Overall they came through in the end to try and make things right. They didn't quite go to the extent I would have liked for the amount of frustration they caused, but I'm dropping it, after this post.
I thought I would do something other than complain about the service I received, and throw out some ideas and suggestions that would have led to a quicker and happier resolution to the complaints. I copied the time line from my previous post and noted what I think should have happened under each event.
- Monday, my mother calls and reserves a 17' truck from Uhaul in Belgrade, MT.
- 1 or 2 days later they call and ask if we would accept a 26' truck. My mom says yes because they were going to give it to us for the same price.
They should have known at this moment that they were going to be very busy and might not have a truck available. Why not allow incoming renters to pay a deposit to hold the truck? That way if they don't show you at least get something out of it. Just let them cancel 24 hours prior to the time they are scheduled to pick it to get the deposit refunded. If they are later than that they lose their deposit. Again, make it optional, but then you can guarantee the rental.
- Friday, my mom stops by to verify that a truck is reserved, she was told no trucks were available. But, they stated they would let Bozeman know they had messed up and they would give us a deal.
My mother should not have had to stop by to find out we didn't have a truck. The second there wasn't a truck available we should have received a phone call letting us know. It's terrible service to promise something and not deliver. It's even worse when you don't deliver without a warning. I still don't know what my parents would have done had we not been able to move out the day we did. They had renters moving in the next day and had to be out of the house.
- We call Bozeman's Uhaul. They offer us a 17' truck at the normal daily price price and mileage at 1/2 price. With one caveat, we have to bring it back to Bozeman.
Don't pretend you're giving someone a deal when you aren't. 1/2 of the mileage with twice the miles to drive does not equal a discount. It's insulting to your customers to pretend it is.
- I heard this and said, "No!" that meant we were paying the same price for the truck but someone was spending 3 hours(Bozeman is 100 miles from Helena) driving a truck back.
Again, I shouldn't need to call you to raise a stink to get a deal to remedy your mistake. We didn't fail to reserve a truck, Uhaul failed to keep it's promise.
- I tweeted about Uhaul, they responded saying they would be in touch.
This was a comedy of errors in social media. First they should have followed me the second they contacted me so I could direct message them if I wanted to. Second, they continually asked for my phone number to be emailed to them. They should have given me a choice of how I wanted to communicate, especially once their phones went down the afternoon I first got a response.
- I talked to the GM at the Uhaul in Bozeman and told him we would pay 3/4 of the price initially quoted plus they needed to pay for the gas we used. They came back with a quote that I was ok with.
Again, I shouldn't need to negotiate an acceptable rate due to your mistake.
- Uhaul on Twitter asks me to send them an email with my phone number, I did this.
I realized a few days later that this email got stuck in my outbox. My mistake, but still their was no follow up after this until I tweeted again. They should have contacted me 12 hour later to check why I didn't email them.
- We pick up the truck. It's been 24 hours and I haven't heard from Uhaul so I tweeted again, they responded asking me to email my phone number again. I got busy and forgot
Again, my mistake on thinking I had emailed them, still as mentioned above, they should have followed up with me.
- We use the truck, bring it back on Sunday and dropped it off.
- Tuesday morning my mom gets a text message saying the truck was overdue. I immediately found the email address which was sent on Twitter and sent my phone number, Tweeted about it, and my mother called the Uhaul store who said someone would be calling us in 2-3 hours.
Here is where things went from bad to terrible. They are claiming we still have a very expensive truck and instead of showing a sense of urgency they make us wait.
- 24 hours later we had received no phone calls. I hunted down and called Uhaul's customer service line. Spoke to a nice girl named Lacy, she said she had let someone named Donna (I believe I was told this was the regional manager) know about our problem and I would receive a phone call in 2-3 hours. Apparently the store had checked in part of the truck but not everything on Monday.
Again, why was it my responsibility to follow up? I understand the local store was very busy, but when a customer thinks you lost a truck that they dropped off two days ago, it's a pretty big deal. This had some large financial repercussions if they continued to argue we didn't drop it off when we actually did.
- 5 hours later I had received no phone call from anyone at Uhaul.
And again, no follow up. I didn't call Donna the next day, which I meant to do. It took me sending out another tweet, getting that message retweeted by four other people until Lacy called me. To be honest she seemed to be the only one working for Uhaul that I spoke to that cared one bit about the situation. And though she was very polite and took action immediately after our phone call, she did make excuses for the local store during most of our conversation. Being busy is not an excuse for the service we received throughout the entire life of this rental.
I was really hoping, once Uhaul responded to my first tweet, that this story would be about a company leveraging social media to provide great customer service. Instead it became a story of a company in dire need of a customer service overhaul regardless of the platform.