Rental Truck Reviews (Penske and Budget are good)

View reviews of moving companies that our visitors have used, and came back to tell us about it.
Diane
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Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby Diane » Thu Jun 23, 2005 12:01 pm

UPDATE on Penske discounts discussed above:

"bronson" posted this on 6/20/05 about a reservation he had from Boston to Durham, NC:
I spoke to a rep on the phone to see about the 30% discount that is allegedly given upon request. That discount (or similar ones) are only available for moves that correspond with how Penske wants to move it's trucks. (If they were short trucks in Durham and/or had an overstock in Boston, I probably could have got the 30% off). So, while it's always worth a try, the "phone discount" is far from a sure thing.

For me it was better to do online (by the way: for those with AAA membership, it makes more sense to reserve online but NOT using movingorbit. You are given a 10% online discount plus a 12% AAA discount, as compared to a 20% total discount using movingorbit--Penske will not to "triple discounts," so if you use movingorbit, the AAA option will not even appear).
- http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4823

So it seems as if the 30% discount isn't available everywhere, and the "movingorbit" option may not be the best deal.

Diane
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Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby Diane » Thu Jun 23, 2005 12:26 pm

I am re-posting this entire exchange about Penske between "bronson" and "blue" (posted on 6/21/05) because it contains so much useful information:

blue wrote:
bronson wrote:1) Being that prices fluctuate, and could conceivably go down, I know that I am entitled to a lower rate, should one become available. But I can't imagine that Penske will be phoning me every time the rates go down. Do I have to get a quote every day and keep up so as not to miss out on a possible discount? Or is there an e-mail service of some sort...anything?


First, be sure to make a reservation. Ask for written confirmation of the reservation. It's summer; trucks (and prices) are at a premium. You can certainly call as often as you like checking for any price decreases, but don't expect a call from Penske. If, on the day of pickup, the actual rate is lower than the original qoute, you will receive the better rate.

2) Is it possible with any of these companies to book a move that takes a detour through a third city? Would this likely be cheaper than just adding on miles for the additional cost?


With Penske you get unlimited miles for any 'one way' move; that's any rental where the pickup site is different from the drop site. You can stop in any number of cities you like, detour as many miles as you like, but keep in mind you only have a certain number of days until the truck must be turned in. You can purchase additional days up front for $50.00 per day, or be charged $100.00 per day at check in for every day late.

3) Does Penske have any secret fees that I missed but should be aware of (e.g. driver must be 25, etc.).


No secret fees. Every thing will be stated on your rental agreement. Drivers must be minimum 18 years old.

4) Are the taxes the same for all the companies? Only Penske included taxes in its quote. The total for the Environmental Protection Fee and Estimated Rental Tax was $65.76. When doing my calculations comparing the other companies, who did not include taxes, I just presumed that the tax would be the same, being that the Environmental Protection Fee is likely federal and the trucks were all being rented in the same state. Is this a fair assumption or is there a chance that one of the other companies charges less in taxes?


Taxes are computed based on the applicable state tax rate where you rent the truck. The environmental fee is a standard $5.00.

Also, when allocating expenses, keep in mind Boston to Durham is 700 miles. Rental trucks will get no better than 5-7 miles to the gallon. Plan on spending $200 - $300 on fuel; add meals, hotel, tolls, etc....

The truck should be full of fuel when you pick it up. Be sure to return it full. Penske will charge $5.00 per gallon to fuel for you.

And finally, read your options regarding insurance carefully. Personally, I would recommend the liability coverage. Worth a phone call to your auto/homeowner agent to talk about.

http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4823

Diane
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Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby Diane » Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:08 pm

Re-posting this post from 6/28/05 about the importance of knowing what size van to reserve:
jguimond wrote:I've had quite a moving saga in part due to underestimating the amount of space I needed. We have a relatively small apartment--2 bedrooms, about 650 sq ft, no appliances to move. Based on all the info we looked at, we reserved a 15 ft truck from budget.

The first problem was that my curio cabinet turned out to be taller than the inside of the truck by about 1.5 inches. It never occured to me that I would have to check that. Also, my sofa was too long to stand on its end, which would have saved us some space. That leads me to the other problem: a significant portion of our stuff didn't fit into the truck.

We hired people from emove to load the truck and they did an excellent job of maximizing space and figuring out how to secure my curio cabinet, so there's not much else we could have done there. We had to drive the truck to our new home (800 miles away), unload it, turn it in, and have returned to pack our cars, sell what we can, and donate the rest.

Moral of the story: go with the bigger truck!

I hope your move goes better than mine :)

http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4992

Diane
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Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby Diane » Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:37 am

Re-posting an exchange from June 2005 about whether to purchase LDW (Limited Damage Waiver) and PAI (Personal Accident Insurance) coverage from Penske:
willow wrote:Im moving soon along the east coast from NY to FL. I am renting a Penske truck but i am not sure if its worth it to pay extra money for the LDW and PAI insurances. Below is a descriptions of them:

Limited Damage Waiver (LDW)
LDW relieves you of your financial responsibility should any loss or damage occur to the truck or towing equipment, no matter who's at fault. If you decline the LDW and an accident occurs, you will be billed for the full amount of damage.

This is a synopsis of the coverage and is subject to all provisions, limitations and exceptions of the LDW Protection Plan. For more details, contact your local Penske representative or call (888) 996-5415.

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)
Personal Accident Insurance offers Accidental Death and Medical Expense coverage to Penske renters and their passengers. Personal Accident Insurance could save out-of-pocket expenses for the renter and passengers.

Benefits
$100,000 Renter Accidental Death
$15,000 Passengers Accidental Death
Up to $1,000 Renter and each passenger Accident Medical Expense
Up to $250 Renter and each passenger Ambulance Expense

The total benefits payable for any one accident is limited to $125,000.

This is a synopsis of the coverage and is subject to all provisions, limitations and exceptions of the PAI Protection Plan. For more details, contact your local Penske representative or call (888) 996-5415.

Do you think its worth it to pay extra money for these insurances? LDW is about $132 extra and PAI is about $55 extra.

. . . [Insurance coverages available through] credit cards do not cover trucks only rental cars up to a SUV or so. I did call Amex and ask them if they cover trucks and they said no. Where would i find out if my auto insurance would cover the rental truck? what do i have to look for in my policy? also what do you think about the PAI? Is it worth it? My 2 brothers are going to be driving the truck, its the 22' truck. I just want to make the trip as safe as possible and get the insurance if its worth it but i have no clue if it is or not.

blue wrote:I couldn't find a specific provision in my auto policy if my life depended on it.......call your agent. Be sure to let them know there will be other drivers for the truck. I'm guessing your auto policy probably won't cover truck rental, especially with drivers other than yourself. And I don't know of any credit card company that will cover rental trucks.

Since you're loading the truck with family members, cargo insurance and personal accident insurance wouldn't seem to be necessary. My opinion only. You must make the best educated decision for your circumstances. However, me personally, I would definitely take advantage of the liability damage waiver and the supplemental liability insurance. This relieves you of any responsibility for damage to the truck that might be your responsibility and/or provides excess liability insurance coverage. It increases, or supplements the state minimums provided by Penske. The total available in an accident would be $1,000,000.00. It also helps protect your assets in the event of an at fault accident.

Talk to your auto policy holder AND the local Penske agent where you're renting the truck. This stuff is important and is taken for granted way to much.

Diane wrote:I agree with "blue" - I would pay for the LDW for peace of mind. Although your auto insurance may provide limited coverage, it would still be a big hassle for you if anything happened. You would likely be involved in time-consuming negotiations between your company and Penske.

http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4717

Diane
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Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 04, 2005 7:16 pm

Re-posting this important post today by "Fred0844" on unsafe U-Haul equipment -
In a report in the July 4, 2005 Toronto Star, there was an article regarding U-haul. In this report 50% of U-haul vehicles, inspected by the Ontario Ministry of Transport between 2003 and 2005, failed to meet safety requirements and were removed from service. In an seperate study, 75% of U-haul vehicles did not meet safety requirements. A loophole in the laws allows truck rental companies, who lease their vehicles for periods less than 30 days, to escape the testing for commercial vehicles. People are under the assumption that the truck is mechanically safe. Although U-haul states that it is the responsibility of their agents to check each truck before each rental, most do not understand the truck's operating systems. - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5071

Fred posted this update on 8/2/05 -
During the last long weekend (July1/July4) 50% of U-haul trucks pulled over for inspection by the Ontario Provincial Police and Ministry of transport failed safety. I am glad to report that U-haul has improved its record. During the past long weekend (great to be Canadian) 75% failed.
There will probably be no U-hauls on Ontario roads for Labour Day
- http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5488
Last edited by Diane on Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Diane
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Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby Diane » Sat Jul 09, 2005 12:35 pm

Re-posting this recent exchange on another moving forum on gas mileage and whether to purchase the LDW -
I'm doing a do-it-yourself move and will be renting a budget truck, driving it about 1500 miles. Has anyone recently rented a budget 16' or 24' truck, and if so, what was the ACTUAL gas mileage?

Also, any advice on whether to get the addon insurance (probably around $80)? I called my cc company and they confirmed no coverage for truck rental
.

Jeff Dickson wrote:Depends GREATLY upon if you are going over mountains:

15' gasoline trucks: count on 8.5 mpg average (flat land, speed limit)
24' gasoline trucks: count on 4.5 mpg average (flat, max 65 mph)
24' diesel trucks: count on 7.8 mpg average (flat, max 65 mph)

I drove a 25' gasoline over mountains and into a west Wyoming wind, and got 3.3 mpg. With the wind at my back, I got 8 mpg. Otherwise, in Texas, where I drive these trucks daily, I get the above averages.

I HIGHLY recommend the Loss Damage Waiver, especially if you are driving the larger truck. You would be amazed at the cost of repairs should you damage a roof on that truck. The other insurance they sell is usually not worth the paper it is written on, but the LDW should be a required insurance (though then they could raise the price.). Highly recommend Loss Damage Waiver Insurance!!!!!!
-

Moving_Advice@yahoogroups.com&YY=25131

Guest

Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:52 am

I highly recommend Penske. I ordered a truck online to have just in case United started messing with me. I have about 2500lbs. UNited Van Lnes wanted $2700 for the move from Las Vegas to Myrtle Beach.

I put a 12" Penske on hold. The more I thought about it the more uncomfortable I was giving my load to a Van Line. So I cancelled and went to pick up my $1200 Penske Truck. When I got there I realized 12' was too small.

They told me they did not have any 16's. But went out of their way to get one for me AT THE SAME PRICE!!! It was a new Ford with onnly 7K miles on it. I tipped her $40 and am on my way. She went above and beyond based on my mis judgement.

I boughht the LDW and am leaving tomorrow. I have all the confidence in the world in the vehicle and Penske.

Move yourself if you can and I have to say after reading this forum Penske is yes way better then Budget and U Haul. Less expensive as well.

Diane
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Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby Diane » Wed Jul 20, 2005 11:32 am

Tips from "Don't Shoot" about loading time for a 10-foot truck and how to load sofas:
Re: loading the truck; a 10' truck should hold about 3500-4000# - given this it should take about three hours for two guys who hussle provided your apartment isn't a mile from where the truck parks.

One of the problems you find with small trucks is loading a sofa, that you can't stand it up on end so it chews up the linear space of the truck and makes it difficult to load around it. If you can, build up a wide tier with sturdy items and then set the sofa atop of that.
- http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5237

Note that someone posted earlier that he couldn't fit his sofa in the van vertically.

Diane
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Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby Diane » Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:15 am

Re-posting this recent post as Review #26 (Penske). Note also the very helpful information in the last paragraph regarding what's available at highway exits nationwide.

addfellow wrote:My bro and I recently drove a 26 ft Penske diesel from Putnam cty., NY to Morganton, NC. Route was I-84 to Scranton, I-81 all the way down to I-77, then I-40 West to Morganton, NC. A few comments:

I-81 doesn't have gas stations, etc in roadside rest stops (like the NYS Thruway, for example), but food and diesel was available all the way down at locations right off the highway. I was concerned about tight spots with the big truck, but it was not a problem at all. Just be aware that some signs on the highway that tell you about upcoming gas stations don't tell you if it's open 24 hrs. or not. Some weren't.

Even with a full load, we averaged almost 10 mpg despite the fact that we disengaed the "Econo" setting (you'll see the Econo light on the dashboard.) Econo saves a bit of gas, but causes the truck to labor going up hilly sections of I-81, of which there were MANY.

[Editor's Note by Diane: Penske itself estimated that a loaded 22 ft diesel truck with car carrier would get 6-7 mpg.]

The Penske truck was fine overall (2 tiny leaks in the upper front corners of the cargo area, inconsequential) altho it did have a stale tobacco smoke odor (big surprise, huh?), and the leg room for the passenger is almost non-existent (got a nasty leg cramp outside Staunton, VA because of it) so stretching legs is essential a few times during your voyage. Wooden floors and 2 wooden cleats running parallel to the floor for the whole length of both walls made securing load with makeshift bulkhead a breeze.

PS We found a good website that, for a $10 membership, gives you a printable list of services available off every exit on most major highways in the US. Best part was that the list specifies which places are 24 hrs, and was very accurate overall - www.thenextexit.com

Steve O'C.
- http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5474

Diane
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Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby Diane » Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:25 am

Re-posting this recent post as Review #27 (U-Haul).
Gideon wrote: I called UHaul reservations to rent a truck for a local move [from a storage facility in Kansas City, MO to my apartment]. They took my payment information and reserved the truck for a Saturday. The next day I got a message that the truck would be ready at 2:30 pm. That is not a day's rental and when I reserved it no one told me that they might not have a day's rental available. The message came late in the day - about 4 pm.

The move had been scheduled for the weekend. I tried to call the 800 number where I made the reservation and the local number where the truck had been reserved. I spent an hour holding and was given another number. I called that number and they said they couldn't help me. Finally all offices were closed and I was unable to reach anyone, after spending 2 hours trying.

The next day (I did not have a phone at this time except my out of area cell phone and was racking up charges holding) I called all these numbers back and the 800 number that took my reservation said scheduling was subject to the local office and they could do nothing. The local UHaul office (Grandview, MO) number was busy constantly. I did finally get through to them and said I reserved the truck for an entire day but they said sorry that was all they had and that customers were told that when they reserved the truck.

I was not told that however I was told "truck rentals are subject to availability." I guess that is their way of saying that you can rent the truck for a full day and pay a full day's price but you wont always get it for a full day.

When I got to the rental place Saturday, the truck was not there. Since I was paying for a full day (plus .89 per mile) and only getting half a day and the truck was not even there at the scheduled time, I asked for some compensation. They were pretty rude to me. I finally got the truck at 3:30, an hour late. Meanwhile I had movers waiting since 2:30. Since my time was so limited we ended up moving only the large furniture and I moved the rest in my car over time.

I do not feel UHaul's policies are fair bacause they are misleading. The UHaul's I used earlier when I moved in Tampa were very nice and seemed fair. The UHaul I used in Grandview was not so nice. The 800 number takes your reservation but doesnt handle any scheduling or problems. However there are not a lot of options when you need a truck at the last minute so the best advice is to reserve EARLY and get the rental times in writing. - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5859

Diane
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Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby Diane » Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:45 pm

Re-posting this recent review as Review #28 (U-Haul):
debbienanny wrote:We had to pay . . . $2800.00 to U-Haul to rent [a] truck, only to have it break down 2 1/2 hrs after departing from San diego. The U-Haul truck failed in Yuma, Az. on the side of a freeway in 112 degree heat . The U-Haul Company left us stranded from 11:00am till 6:30pm, for 7 1/2 hours in the horrendous heat, due to the fact that it was the fourth of July, and the tow truck company was charging triple, as it was a federal holiday. We learned this from the tow truck driver himself, as he stated to us that he was on a three way call with U-Haul 2 hrs into our ordeal. Apparently, "Nobody wanted to make a decision" due to the absorbedant cost to tow the truck. The only reason U-haul sent anyone at all, was due to our small daughter vomiting from the heat. We know that their intentions were to leave us stranded untill after midnight when the cost to tow went down..... - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5931

Diane
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Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby Diane » Thu Sep 15, 2005 10:32 pm

Re-posting this recent comment on U-Haul:
ggg wrote:5/2/05 - Hi, I 'm an affiliate on emove.com, a U-haul company. I'm one of the most succesful affiliates in my region. We provide loading and packing labor to people in the process of moving. Most of my customers rent U-haul trucks ( a good 90%). I have seen everything from broken down trucks, dissapearing reservations, to ones that don't start, to ones that have leaks and ruined boxes and boxes of rare and first edition books. - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=209

Diane
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Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby Diane » Wed Nov 02, 2005 2:08 pm

Re-posting this comment on Penske:
aguest wrote:11/2/05 - . . . they are by far the best truck rental company. I have rented trucks of increasing size over the past 10-15 years, as I've amassed more things and moved to progressively larger places. The trucks have ALWAYS been less than a year old, ALWAYS had air conditioning, the price with a AAA discount is usually competitive with Ryder and UHaul, and the service is outstanding and professional (with the notable exception of the young man who couldn't get out of bed and get to work on a saturday, keeping everyone waiting for 2 hours while the national office tried to find some way to locate him and/or wake him up! -- that was in Fairfax, VA, and I'm sure that young man no longer works for Penske!).

After the terrible experiences I have had TRYING to hire moving companies (see, e.g., my post re: Starving Students), I think I will always move myself in Penske trucks. Next time I move, I probably need to hire a few people to help me. But if I can get a good truck and control the move myself, the rest is easy. -
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3543

Diane
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Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby Diane » Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:28 am

Re-posting a couple of recent posts about U-Haul:
gdog01 wrote:1/10/06 - I love U-haul. No complaints here. You see .... I own a moving company in Ottawa.

I can't even come close to estimating the vast number of people that hired our crews as a result of U-Hauls pathetic display of incompetence.
So many of our customers have had to hire us because the truck they had rented broke down and couldn't be replaced or because they arrived at 8 am to pick up their rental truck only to find several other people with reservations for the same truck.

It's so bad and so common, that we actually had special signs made up.
If we ever have a last minute cancellation for a crew (from about May to October), we just park the truck out front of the main U-Haul location and put up the signs (....Truck and movers for hire ....). The last time I recall, we booked 3 jobs in less than half an hour.

In my earlier days, (when I wasn't as experienced in the industry) I actually used to rent trucks from U-haul to use for a moving company. Guaranteed, I've driven U-Haul trucks more times than anyone on this board (with the possible exception of past long-term employees). I've done more emergeny truck to truck transfers, waiting in the freezing cold on the side of the highway and jump starting then I'd care to admit.

I've driven trucks from every rental company in the city and many outside the city many, many times. I can honestly say that I've never driven trucks as badly abused, neglected, inefficient and unsafe as those belonging to U-Haul.

Long live U-Haul !! I'll retire sooner.
:D

It's not over yet wrote:1/11/06 - We rented a Uhaul in Yucca Valley, Ca and drove it to Tempe, AZ where we returned it 7 days later on Christmas Eve at 3pm (closing time) we were told to put the key in the box and leave the truck. We did just that 10 days later a charge of $1027 was charged to our credit card, because they said that the truck was abandoned about 20 miles away from the drop off point with no damage.

We asked them to review the security cameras...get this, they said we were never there. Another Uhaul employee saw us there and remembered us and talked to corporate and still they say to bad.

Uhaul is made up of socially unacceptable theives.

http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=209

goldminegutted
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Re: Reviews of rental van companies (June 2003 to present)

Postby goldminegutted » Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:50 am

Ohhhhhhhhhh boy. Well, here is my review on my rental with Budget. I thought I was making a good decision but nothing, NOTHING could have been worse than this. At some points, I wished our furniture (and every problem Budget brought us) would just vanish into nothingness.

It all started when we rented the truck out of Falmouth, Mass. The office was an absolute mess- it was a tiny little backroom rented out of a car shop that had nothing to do with Budget. The girl who helped us knew absolutely nothing and was taking care of her child on the job- making us wait a good extra 30 minutes because she stopped the transaction midway many times to go take care of her child who kept breaking Budget merchandise (opening matress covers, etc...). There were children's toys everywhere and I nearly broke a leg stepping over one as it started rolling. Anyhow, if that was all that had happened, I wouldn't have cared, but looking back, this was just a very tiny sign of things to come.

When we rented this truck (16' truck with car carrier in the back, which was attached before our arrival), I asked if the truck had been inspected upon return and I was assured that it was. It was not until we hit Tenesee that I noticed that on the wall behind the seats inside the trucks were the inspection dates (I think it said 8,000 miles and then 16,000 miles, but I'm not positive, but those were printed as milestones for which the truck HAD to be inspected) and one had a little check mark done in permanent marker (not sure if there shouldn't have been an inspection sticker??) but the other one was left blank, even though our truck had passed the mileage on the required milestone before we even got on the road. Great start.

The lady told us she could not show us how to remove the car carrier (so that we could load our furniture easier on the ramp that could only come down once the carrier was removed) due to insurance liability in case we put the carrier back on wrong (we were assured it was put on properly) but that we could call roadside assistance and that they could help us out with it. With this, off we went to our home to load up our stuff.

First of all, the directions were absolutely impossible to understand. It was freezing cold and it took us forever to figure out how to tighten the straps that went around the car's wheels because the information manual says "push down" but what you were really supposed to do was pull up. Real helpful. We could not even begin to figure out how to unhook the car carrier, and all of the knobs were rusted so we didn't even touch it. We called roadside assistance who said that since this was not an emergency, we were on our own. We decided to just lift the furniture over the carrier and to not use the "easy" load ramp. We were two strong women, it was fine, whatever.

When everything was loaded onto the truck, and we were getting ready to go, we tried to close the sliding door on the back of the truck and to put on the lock we had purchased at the location. No such luck, the door would not close. We tried for about 30 minutes (it wouldn't even come near to being shut), we sprayed some WD-40, did everything we could, to no avail. We called roadside assistance back and told them that this time it WAS an emergency because we had to leave and the truck would not close and that we could not ride with the door to our belongings half open. The woman's answer after 30+ minutes of waiting on hold? "Use a rope or something to pull it shut, this is not an emergency and we cannot come out to help you". By this point we were ready to scream. We went back in the truck, half unloaded it, noticed something inside the mechanism had come loose, retightened it, reloaded, and miraculously closed the door. We were on our way.

At our first stop (at a nearby coffee shop), a kind state trooper told us that our car had been loaded on wrong, laughed when he read the directions on the budget "manual" (i use the term loosely as it was really just two small pages), and helped us ACTUALLY secure our car to the carrier so that it wouldn't fall off. Without him we most likely would have been doomed. Budget could try and understand that if we are renting these trucks, we are most likely lay people, and that if they cannot teach us how to use their high-priced equipment, they could at least write a decent instruction guide. The trooper showed real concern when we told him we were taking this accross the country as the carrier looked rusty and old, but we went on our way regardless, as it was now way too late to do *anything* about it. Not like roadside assistance was going to...assist anyone.

We made it to Tennessee before our first major problem. We were alerted by a very kind truck driver that the chains on the car carrier had snapped off. We stopped at a nearby truck stop and repair center to call our dear friends at roadside assistance. See, upon inspection, the truck repair shop had shown us that the chains holding the car carrier to the truck were SO old and rusted that they had just corroded into nothingness and come off. They had been dragging on the ground, unconnected to the carrier, for quite sometime. The only thing holding the carrier to the truck was a giant bolt...which I'll talk about in a moment.

We called roadside assistance and were on hold for about an hour and a half total- we called 4 different times. Apparently, the manager was not "around" any of the times we called, and we just had to wait for him to get back because roadside assistance could not "make a decision like that" (aka send us help) without approval from the manager, who apparently enjoyed extremely lengthy lunches and did not have any reachable phone numbers for his staff to consult with him on anything. My bet is they just did not want to spend the money to send anyone out. We had even offered to have the truck repairshop we were waiting at fix it for them and then have them bill it to Budget (even though the truckstop did not have the required chains and would have to attempt to MAKE them from scratch which was not very re-assuring) and this, also, needed approval from the manager, who by the way was still out at lunch.

After the very long wait and a lot of heated words, we were actually in bussiness about MAYBE having someone come out. But the incredibly moronic lady we were dealing with could not find any Budget centers "within 15 minutes" of us, and so she didn't think she could send anyone out. She would only agree to look EAST of us, even though there was a Budget center about 20 miles West. Why? I do not know. Apparently she wanted someone to come from somewhere we had already driven through. I do not know why, and I do not think she did, either. Eventually she agreed to send someone out from this service center, even though she kindly reminded me that "she did not have to". THREE hours later, the service man came. We asked him to bring several chains so that he could change all the chains on the carrier and not just the one that broke so that this would not happen again, but alas, he only had one "in stock" (probably because this happens often...) and couldn't scrounge up any more. He replaced the broken chain with a relatively new one, and then inspected the rest of the carrier. He narrowed down to that bolt I talked about earlier- the only thing holding the car carrier to the truck, and mentioned that it was loose and was not the bolt that was supposed to go on that car carrier. It caused him concern, however, not enough concern to go back to his shop and come back to fix it, and since he didn't bring any equipment with him, it would just have to be okay the way that it was. Hah.

We finally went on our way after losing 5 valuable hours (and ultimately making me late and forcing me to cancel a very important job interview by a mere 2 hours). We had relatively few problems until we hit Eastern California. In Eastern California, about 50 miles from our destination, one of the tires from our dearly beloved car carrier went flat. We called our super good buddies at roadside assistance who let us know that really, this was not an emergency and to just drive to our destination that way, but to just do it slowly so we didn't bend their equipment. Fed up, we did exactly that. It took us an extra 3 hours, goind 25 mph on the freeway, which was terrifying in and of itself, because even in the slow lane with our hazards on, we were horribly in the way. It was hell.

But, the hellish part had really not even begun. We arrived at our new home late, and decided to unload in the morning. We had the okay to park on the street, so we did. Incredibly late in the night, I was woken up by the noise of walkie talkies and conversation outside my window (which gives on the street). I looked outside to see the police congregated outside of our truck and carrier. They were talking back and forth in their walkie talkies and acting really agitated like something serious was going on. I went downstairs and was questioned for a good 25 minutes (at 3 in the morning) and then was told to wait and would be informed of the "situation. The situation, you see, was that the car carrier we had been using this entire time was not only a worthless piece of crap, it had also been reported as stolen, back in April of 2005. And apparently, we had stolen it alllll that time back! Lucky us!!! They took down all of our information, statements, and ordered the car carrier AND the truck which was still attached to it be TOWED away. We were not allowed to take our belongings. We were not allowed to try and secure our belongings which were now loose in the truck because while we did not unload the furniture, we did unload most of the boxes that were holding them all in their respective spots (and for the record, absolutely nothing had been broken or even damaged by this point). The police told us that if they had caught us while driving, they would've thrown us in jail while trying to straighten this thing out, and that they still could, but wouldn't. I thought they were bluffing, but it turns out, they really had the right to do that. I wonder if roadside assistance would've considered it an emergency. I doubt it.

The truck and car carrier (minus my car, which I had thankfully taken down earlier by cutting the straps which held the wheels to the carrier, because see, the straps had gotten stuck because the handle with which to loosen them had gotten even more rusted during the trip, a little piece had broken off, and they were now stuck. I called roadside assistance who said that Los Angeles must not be a very industrial area because she could not find a Budget service center within driveable distance and that all she could offer me was a tow, but that even if it was towed to a Budget center, they could not help me loosen the straps because it was not their responsability, whether the handle was broken or not. I told her I needed my car that night and that if she couldn't send anyone, I'd cut the straps- she put me on hold for- I kid you not- another 37 minutes, I hung up, and cut up the straps.) were loaded onto a tow truck that would only lift up the FRONT of the truck, while everything else would drag and bounce off the road. Our stuff was taken away to an undisclosed location.

Three days later, we hear back from the "truck recovery center" in Denver, CO. They must be used to this because they actually have a department for it, how nice! The man was less than helpful, telling us that he could get us the truck back but that he would need us to go get it over 45 minutes away drive (traffic factored in...actual mileage about 20 miles each way) and that he would not pay for the gas nor fix the flat tire. After I told him that was unacceptable and pointed him to the Budget center where I planned on returning the truck in the first place, he got incredibly rude with me, but still agreed to get it dropped off there.

Meanwhile, my mother spent an entire day on the phone with customer service trying to explain why they wouldn't be getting their car back on time, telling them it was impounded and that we were dealing with Truck Recovery for it.

The next morning (the day of the truck's return...we were not told at which time it would be there, only "by closing"), I got awakened at 7am by a very rude woman (I did not answer, she left a message) not stating her name, direct phone number, or department, and telling me she wanted the truck back. I called, tried to weave through endless automated messages,. and eventually dialed the extension for the head of human resources because that was the only option that allowed me to speak to a human. This lady kidly tracked down the woman who called me by her first name ONLY (since that's all this unprofessional woman left me) and I was taken to.......her voicemail. I left a message, in which I said that the truck was impounded and that it was being recovered by Truck Recovery that day and that since they couldn't tell me when, that I would go shortly before closing as to not get there before the truck, and that I would then need an extra day to unload what might be left of my furniture and that we had spent the entire previous day on hold and being transferred to various deparments in the customer service wing trying to explain just that, and that I didn't know why I was being awakened at 7 in the morning to be asked the very same thing again which she could've just easily looked it up in the computer. I added that if she needed to further communicate with me, could she please leave a last name and direct number as it was impossible to contact her otherwise.

She called me back a few hours later but I couldn't pick up the phone and she left a message in the nastiest tone I have ever heard a professional speak to a customer stating that since I did not state MY last name nor MY phone number on my voicemail message, that she was not sure she was really leaving a message for me and that she would appreciate I change my voicemail. I about died laughing. The reason my voicemail is the way it is, is because I do not feel I should identify myself if someone calls me, it should be the other way around. But it was her cheap, pathetic way of trying to answer to my very valid point. I never got back to her however, as she again did not leave a last name or direct line number. I did call her supervisor though and left HIM a message, after which the woman never called again.

The time of close at West LA Trailer came, and I went out to get the truck. Traffic was especially bad, and I spent 40 minutes (and an unmentionable amount of extremely expensive gas) getting there. I got there AS they were closing but there were still customers in there, so I went and asked if our truck was there. Indeed, it was! But there was a catch! We needed to sign a NEW contract that stated they were leasing us this truck for free, but that it was a "local" move. The person at Truck Recovery had closed our previous contract (even though he assured us he had extended it and that we would NOT need to sign anything new) and apparently we could kiss our deposit goodbye since we would have had to be the ones to close the contract in order to get our money. They refused to give us the truck lest we signed a new contract. They also told us this was not normal protocol, but that the instructions were very strict. Telling them there was no way in hell we'd sign anything else from Budget, they told us to deal with Truck recovery and to try back the next day. Keep in mind that we were losing valuable hours of job searching and interviewing, here. But, what other choice did we have? We wasted the same amount of gas to come back empty handed, our truck left in the slummiest part of town.

We dealt with Truck recovery the next day, and he agreed to reopen/extend our contract, and to let West LA trailer know they owed us our deposit when we were done emptying the truck and brought it back. So we wasted copious amounts of gas again, went, got the truck which had finally gotten the car carrier detached (with confirmation that the bolt was all wrong and that they had a horrible time trying to get the entire thing apart) and were on our way. They did kindly fill up the truck with gas, and told us not to worry about filling it back up as we returned it.

We returned it that same night and didn't drop off the key- as we wanted our deposit back first, which was the least we could hope for considering that we had a LOT of damage to the furniture. Thankfully nothing outright broke save for two pieces off of a dresser after it rolled over sideways (most likely as it was being towed and hit a pothole, I'd imagine, because that thing was HEAVY...and gave us no problems for our entire trip), but a lot of things were scuffed, ripped, and chipped. If the cops had allowed us to try and put the furniture differently since the boxes holding it up were gone, or if they had held their promise to get a tow truck to lift the entire truck and not just the front (and disconnect the car carrier), or if they had even kept the small promise of asking the tow truck driver to go in there and tie things down with rope...it wouldn't have happened, but then again, had Budget not falsely reported the carrier stolen, they wouldn't have taken anything. And no, apparrently they couldn't JUST take the carrier because "people rent Budget trucks to carry stolen furniture all the time, and if you stole the carrier we cannot prove you didn't steal what's inside the truck". The police went and searched inside our furniture, too "for drugs...or dead bodies" and upturned everything even more badly than it already was- although when called upon it they denied touching ANYTHING due to obvious liability reasons- and it was obvious our furniture was doomed. All this, for nothing.

We went there in the early afternoon (and running on our 6th day wasted on nothing BUT this truck) and the lady insulted us over and over again for not having left the key in the truck (even though in that neighborhood it would have been an invitation to the truck being stolen and they had a key double anyway, and by the time we went to the shop the truck had already been re-rented with no problems! We got our deposit back in the end, and as to the carrier...it turned out that it HAD been stolen sometime last year, and recovered back in JUNE of last year...in Long Beach, and that the people at Budget had just "forgotten" to update their database notices. That about covers it.

The total cost...in gas alone...we spent a little under a thousand dollars on the truck for the trip (double that which we spend with a car, I'm not sure if that is a decent average or not, but that truck just guzzled gas like there was no tomorrow. I was sort of expecting it, though. The truck was $1,500, and that worthless carrier was $500. So around $3,500. We did not hire anyone to help us. We could've had a nice move without us lifting a finger (or sporting all of the bruises we eventually got) with a similiar amount of money, it's pretty disgusting to think about. I thought we were being smart, but we were being idiots. [Note: after looking at my bill, I realized I underquoted the price I paid for the truck. I have edited this post to reflect the actual price I paid.]


We will be looking into having Budget refund us the entirety of the cost of the truck and the carrier, since nearly everything valuable carried in the truck was damaged due to their mistake, and another sum agreeable by both parties for the week of job searching we wasted, all the gas going back and forth, and emotional turmoil. If they do not at least reimburse us for the cost of the truck, car carrier, and that agreeable sum, we will be taking them to court, as we deserve SOMETHING back for our wasted time, emotions, and furniture. This was the biggest mistake and biggest nightmare in the entire world, and shall I ever move again, I will hire full service movers- as I honestly would rather my things disappear than ever go through the fear, frustration, and pain of something like this ever again.

PS: I am double-posting this in a new topic and in the rental van company reviews because Budget has mainly good reviews on this site, and I feel that people should really read this story before considering them. I picked Budget over U-Haul (Penske told me they could not rent me a truck without a credit card, and I do not have one) based on this site alone, and from what I see, both of these companies seem equally horrible. Perhaps Penske would have been better. I don't know if all offices require credit cards, but perhaps they should consider taking other forms of payment, as I would've gone with them in a heartbeat if they had.


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