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Book by Ronald J. Watkins: Birthright: Murder, Greed and Power in the U-Haul Family DynastyBirthright: Murder, Greed, and Power in the U-Haul Family Dynasty by Ronald J. Watkins

During this move, the engine in their U-Haul truck caught on fire and their entire cargo burned to a crisp.

Where was U-Haul during all this?
See this at YouTube.
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Your Stories

(The following stories are from real people who've had bad experiences with U-Haul Trucks)

Krys C, February 12, 2009
"I recently found out some poor history about Uhaul and thought I'd share my own experience. It's nothing like crashing, death or anything, but in the 3 or 4 times I rented last year I only was satisfied once. On one occasion I showed up to rent a 6x12 CLOSED trailer only to learn they had an open on. That’s great but when your transporting your stuff in early April when it’s snowing for an hour’s drive, the solution of a tarp and cheap rope that broke is not enough. The next rental I found that whoever returned the last trailer left their personal lock on the door, stainless steel reinforced of course. That took about 45 minutes to get off using various saws and drills supplied by U-Haul. Another time was a rental on 4th of July, a day they claimed to be open for regular hours, something I confirmed 3 times the day of, and even said I would show up early. Well to my surprise the only person there to greet me was the local drunk who wanted to ask them to shut off their night running lights cause he wouldn’t be able to see the fireworks. Overall only 1 rental for me has gone well w/them. Hope this helps your cause."

Nicole, Santa Rosa, CA

"Every time I (or my family) has used Uhaul we have had major problems. First, the uhaul truck unexpectedly died, luckily we got off the highway before the truck stopped dead with no warning (rented in Monterey, CA  problems occurred in Santa Rosa CA). Second, towing a trailer from central Oregon to just north of San Francisco, we drove for 2 hours and when we stopped to get gas we found the tread of the trailer tires peeling off in large chunks. When we went to a nearby uhaul dealer they said we would have to unload and then reload a new trailer. Two hours later, after several confrontations, we got the tires changed. And the third is the scariest... In mid September, I was towing a trailer from Austin, TX to Sonoma County, CA. No more than 45 minutes outside of Austin the trailer detached from the hitch (hitch not installed by uhaul but the trailer was attached by Uhaul) on the car and I managed to come to a safe stop but the trailer wedged itself under the car and I was unable to move forward to get off the road (to a safer place). I had bought the insurance with the trailer and as I left the uhaul store I was given a brochure that said call this uhaul hotline if you have problems and we'll help you get back on the road. Of course, when I called the hotline they put us on hold and then said we'll call you back in 30 minutes. They called right back to test the phone number and then never called back. I got a call two days later from the insurance company with a claim number. The positive side of the story is that some very kind men stopped and helped us. With their help we were back on the road within the hour. Thankfully strangers stopped to help because uhaul and their help hotline were useless. I know there are few companies to choose from when you need to move your belongings, but I would warn against renting from uhual. In my experience, there is a good chance the uhaul vehicle you would be driving or towing is barely road worthy and in the event you need assistance you cannot count on uhaul in my experience. After encountering problems three times I will not risk my life again because I could easily have died the last time."

Complaints.com, June 26, 2008

"I rented a 14 foot uhaul truck on 6/14/2008. Equipment Number DC7005B. I picked up the truck and everything appeared to be going fine. They were so generous to give me 3/8 of a tank of gas. So first thing I did was to fill it up with gas, which cost me $75. I then proceeded to the storage unit we had to load it up. We got it all loaded and drove about 10 miles to our destination. Just before we got there smoke started coming from under the hood of the truck, since we were less than 1 minute away from where we needed to be we drove and parked it there. As I turned the truck off more smoke started pouring out from under the hood of the truck. We opened the hood to find a fire on the drivers side, we quickly got some water and started dowsing the fire. As we thought we were getting it all put out we learned that the fire has spread to the inside of the truck on the drivers side, we then put the fire out inside the truck also. We then dowsed the entire engine and inside to ensure that the fire was out. Finally it was. We then called the Roadside Assistance who said they would be by to tow the truck in less than 1 hour, after 6 hours they finally showed up and towed the truck. The next morning I went to talk to the General Manager of the Torrance Store(Carl Arnold). I wanted to ensure that my contract was closed out and that I would not be charged anything because the truck caught on fire. I was assured by him that I would not be charged for this. He also told me that there was nothing he could do for me at all at that time to close out the contract. He stated that someone would call me the following day to close the contract out and make sure I was satisfied. Still after 14 days I have not received one single call back about this and have called and talked to many people about it that just keep running me in circles. To this day and to my knowledge my contract is still open and well what do you know I just received a charge on my credit card from U-Haul for this truck.

I am still waiting to get this solved, I would like to not be charged for this rental, get my $75 in gas money I spent and did not use and also find out why U-Haul thought it was a good thing to rent out a truck that caught on fire and risked mine and my family's lives when these trucks are supposed to go through normal maintenance."

Complaints.com, August 1, 2008

"My daughter rented a UHaul truck in Washington state for a move. Everything was fine, until she returned the truck. Strong vibrations indicated that the cab was separating from the bed of the truck. She was only several blocks from the drop off location and was able to slowly get the truck to that place. The drop off location was closed for a company picnic so she phoned the national UHaul customer number she had been given. After spending 2 hours (and at least 4 conversations) on the phone, she was first told to wait with the truck for a mechanic. Since this was a Sunday afternoon, they could not tell how long that would take; only that they would call back within 2 hours to give her a time of arrival. Being a 22 year old female, she did not want to wait in downtown Seattle for a mechanic who may not even show up. Then she was told that the truck rental would be free and to leave the truck unlocked in the parking lot with the keys in the cab. Thinking that this was unsafe, she was able to find another UHaul location 2 blocks away. They agreed to move the truck into their locked area for the night. We have spent over 2 weeks dealing the different UHaul representatives trying to get our refund. They can only find one "taped" phone conversation. I was told that the claim number she was given is not a valid UHaul claim number...but somehow they were able to find it after searching their sytem. I was transferred to their insurance reimbursement department and then told that they have no way to reimburse us since the truck was not involved in an accident. I was called by a customer service advocate who was no help at all and then she told me that I would have to wait for another call from the district office. I was called 3 days later and offered a $50 coupon for a future rental (which we will NEVER use). The last call was from this person's supervisor who told me they have gone "out of their way" to fix this problem. Since I paid for the rental I have been talking with these people for over 2 weeks. Now they will only talk to my daughter...since this suddenly has become "confidential" information. And they still have not produced the 4 "recorded" phone conversations from the day of the rental. (Of course, my daughter did ask for the recordings on that Sunday, but was told that their computers had "suddenly" broken down and the rep had to "hand write" everything....how convenient). This is the worst case of customer "non-service" I have ever encountered. We never even considered a refund of the rental...the only reason we have pursued it is because we were told by 2 different reps that we would get a complete refund. If they can give us a $50 coupon, then they can take $50 off of our rental bill."

My3cents.com, June 2, 2007

"What a joke this company is, they really should be put out of business. I started off my stressful experience by a Uhaul service rep calling me less than 24 hrs in advance to tell me there were no trucks or car trailers in my area, even though I had made reservations for them with my credit card. The location they sent me to was no different than the movie Deliverance.
This place had no sign and it was in a run down gas station. The truck they gave me was 10 years old and was a piece of garbage. It had lights out, an exhaust leak, mirrors that would not stay in place and worn out suspension. It was very dangerous and stressful to drive. The trailer tires were worn out and had flat spots on them that lead to a blowout on the highway and a flat tire. They needed to be filled with air every 100 miles. The service also sucks, they told me they would not change the tire unless the truck was driven off the highway 3 mi on a bare rim. I took a total of two hours before it was fixed. I am very unhappy and will never live down this terrible experience I had. Do not make the mistake of renting from uhaul."