3 min read

A Tale of Two Customer Services

A Tale of Two Customer Services
Photo by Erik Mclean / Unsplash

Firstly, moving sucks. The packing is awful. The loading and unloading seems like it would be the worst part, but the definitive order of moving suckiness is

  1. Unpacking
  2. Packing
  3. Loading
  4. Unloading

The unpacking seems to take forever and for weeks you can never find your crap. The length of time is what pushed it to number 1 over packing on my list. After our move last week, I told my wife that I am never doing that again and if we can't afford a full service move next time, we can't afford the move at all.

Getting a Truck Should be Simple

I checked all the major sites - UHaul, Budget, Penske. I wanted the biggest truck I could find, and Budget said they had 26 footers available, while UHaul said they only had 16 and 20 foot trucks. So I book with  Budget and thought I was on my merry way.

Until Monday afternoon when I was supposed to loading up on Thursday to make my trek.

I get a call and the caller ID shows that it is the local Budget location where I am supposed to pick up the truck. I think "oh, probably just calling to confirm my reservation".

This is what ensued:

The local office called to inform me they didn't have a truck available. The appalling part of this was that they said to get a truck, I need to call the national customer service line and request one to be sent to them.

Here I was, the dunce who thought that me going online, booking a reservation and paying $400 for a specific size truck equated to a formal request for that truck to actually be there the day I needed it.

So I called, waiting on hold for 30 minutes to talk to somebody, and they said they would have somebody return my call with my options between 15 minutes and 2 hours from then.

At the 3 hour mark - I had to call again. They still had nothing and again quoted me 15 to 2 hours. Another 3 hours go by and I call a third time.

There's no way to escalate - they can only put in the same "inventory request" as the previous 2 calls. But having 3 in there should "make it seem urgent to the inventory manager that picks up your reservation". I said that wasn't going to work for me becuase I was supposed ot pick up the truck less than 24 hours later and requested a refund.

I didn't care what UHaul was going to cost me or what truck they had available, I wasn't giving my money to Budget.

A Free Upgrade

To my surprise, UHaul was cheaper the day before pickup than when I originally priced it out a month before that. Must've just needed inventory moved. They didn't have the 26' trucks in stock, but they had 20' so I figured I would just make it work. I was going to save about $75 to boot on the price difference, so I was okay with it.

When I got there to pick it up, they had a 26' foot truck on the lot. I asked if I could upgrade to that since it wasn't available when I originally booked. The employee checked and it wasn't reserved by anyone else, so he gave me a free upgrade to that truck.

The next day when I was driving to my new home, I got a call from UHaul asking if everything was going okay with the vehicle, and asked if I was still planning on returning the truck on time per my reservation, or if I needed an extension -

The reason?

Another customer had requested an XL truck and they wanted to make sure they seamlessly had one available for them. What a crazy idea.

In short - Moving sucks, Budget is dead to me, and UHaul forever - no matter the price. Put an ounce of effort into making things easier for your customers and they will line up to give you money. I guess Budget doesn't refer to the price of their vehicles, but actually the amount of effort they put into making it a good experience for their clientele.