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Old 08-20-2009, 03:33 AM
 
Location: West Coast
15 posts, read 73,478 times
Reputation: 10

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MOD NOTE- I have for now left this thread, with some editing. I know consumer complaints are not allowed, and may soon take this out. I only leave it in for now to allow some balance on this forum. There have been SCORES of U-haul horrors posted here, and I do not want to be biased. We have been accused of "U-haul bashing" in the past, and I want to be both true to the TOS, and have fairness on this forum. Posters-please try to relate your experiences without company bashing. Just be honest with your experiences and let others make their own conclusions.

Frank....(A Moderator here)



Myself and another woman rented a 22' Penske diesel truck pulling a Mustang on a trailer in June, 2009. With discount from friend knowing manager truck cost $1,300. Moving from CT to CA. Had 75lb Golden Retriever and cat with small carrier. Truck was 2 years old, didn't realize it had over 100,000 miles on it. Could hardly make it up hills from CT through NY and PA and even where there weren't mountains we were going about 45 mph with the pedal pushed all the way down. SLOW SLOW SLOW, gas guzzler. I questioned from the start of the trip why the air conditioner worked but warm air was coming out of both farthest left and right vents. Truck kept getting slower - we were making No headway and having to stay at more motels than we imagined. In Missouri on a major highway the air conditioner stopped working totally. It was about 101 degrees outside. Drove to the 1st rest area and phoned Penske roadside assistance. My friend had to take the dog and cat into the bathrooms and wet them totally because of heat exhaustion, the cat had passed out. I had to sit in the truck on phone with Penske guy telling me to try all sorts of 'rebooting' of air conditioner which didn't work. I sat in truck on phone in over 100 degree temp for over 1/2 hr trying to get air conditioner to work. He finally said I would have to drive to the nearest Penske garage to have them fix it. THAT took over 1 1/2 hours to get to, without any air, in a slow moving truck. Got there, sat in small room while manager on duty hooked up diagonostic machine to engine. He said air conditioner needed freeon and that the gas pump was broken so we were getting no power and using LOTS of gas to just chug along. We sat in the garage for over 3 hours. 11:00 pm he finished and we pulled into their parking lot to try and figure out where to stay, what to do, where to eat. We sat there about 20 minutes and manager came running over to us and had us open the engine and he took out an open oil can catcher full of oil he had 'forgotten' he left in there. Lovely.

Drove the next day and did about 800 miles. Was averaging about 200 miles before the truck broke. All happy and cool now. Near the end of the day the air conditioning went out again and I had to call Penske again. They said to drive yet another 1 3/4 hours to Albequerque, New Mexico to their garage. We sat in all they had, the workers trailer where the men came in to go to the bathroom and eat. Me, my friend, our Golden Retriever and our cat in the carrier with dirty greasy men coming in and out and sitting at the table with us eating their food. The mechanic came in after about 1 hour and said, 'bad news, your engine something had blown and we couldn't drive the truck anymore. They had to unload our truck we had professionally packed from our truck into another truck. They only had a 26' truck available so we were then left with trying to drive and park a 26' truck pulling a trailer with a car on it - absolutely impossible. Learned after our trip that in the 26' Penske trucks when you drive about 45 - 55 mph the truck starts bucking so hard you are literally being thrown forward and back so rapidly and violently it is terrifying. Anyway, they backed the 26' truck up to our 22' truck after unhitching the car trailer and called and hired 2 moving men to move all of our things onto the other truck. Separately, both my friend and I went out to the trucks, at the farthest end of their huge parking lot which was blacktop in over 100 degree heat and we asked the men how long they had been doing moving. One man said 16 years, the young kid with him said never. GREAT. I pleaded with the 'experienced' man to PLEASE REPACK OUR THINGS EXACTLY AS THEY FOUND THEM PACKED when they put them into the other truck and they assured us they would. We sat in the trailer for over 7 1/2 hours until they were done. They never offered us lunch, dinner, drinks, anything as we sat in their lunch trailer. The District Manager was even stationed in that garage and even he didn't offer us anything. They did pay for us to stay at a motel across the street from them. I couldn't get the truck and trailer in the parking lot it was so big - 4 feet longer than the 22' truck we had rented. The room sucked, our pass keys wouldn't open the doors, our phone cord in the room had been cut, we had no remote for the tv and there was no food available. I was sobbing by this time - it was not about 10:00 p.m. and we were still in Albequerque, New Mexico.

Left the next morning and found the truck to handle very very scary - felt like it wasn't even, kept pulling to the right and then the bucking started at 45-55mph - unbelievable, you really wouldn't believe me if I told you how hard the bucking was. Drove and drove that day - my friend had moved to CA for a new job. Because of all our trouble and not being able to move fast while driving she ended up being one week late for her new job and lost a week's pay. AND, by the middle of the 1st day of our having the 26' truck the engine light kept coming on. This truck was also 2 years old and had around 92,000 miles on it. I didn't tell my friend about the engine light because, well, she probably would have jumped out the window. The light would come on as we were going up any hills - when it came on and I quickly took my foot off the gas the light immediately went out. BUT, it slowed the already slow moving 26' truck down even more since I had let up on the gas going up hills. We at one time were going 35 mph on a 75 mph highway. The next day I told her about the light and she said we should probably stop. I told her we only had about 5 more hours to get home to CA and I wasn't going to stop for anything. The larger truck used more gas also so we kept having to stop to fill up the 50 gallon tank at approximately $3.89 a gallon. So again we were using more gas than we should have and moving way more slower than we should have been.

Finally hit town and our house. We had hired a 2-man moving company to unload our truck and they were kind enough to do it a week later than we were supposed to have arrived. After they unloaded the truck they told us that the truck was packed horribly, boxes very plainly marked 'BOOKS" were all piled upon the very plainly marked boxes saying FRAGILE. Two of my 98 yr old mother's antique tables were broken (she had died last year), her 2 wedding antique dressers were all scratched and dented, our other tables were dented and scratched also. We found glass all over the truck floor, our washer and dryer were dented and chipped and the blankets they used left black smudges, huge smudges that nothing will take them off with. Our fridge is marked up the same way and also chipped and dented. We haven't unpacked all our boxes yet so we can only imagine what else is broken.

We called the Penske District Manager in our town after we returned the truck (warning them to NOT rent the truck out before they did major work on the engine}. Told him our story, break-downs, more money for food, gas, motels, a week's lost wages, broken irreplaceable furniture, damaged washer, dryer, fridge, broken glass, etc. Even said the moving company that unloaded our truck wrote us a letter on their letterhead saying how poorly the truck had been repacked. He offered to have us pay for only half of the truck rental. We say no way. He then said he never did this before but he would pay for 75% of the cost of our truck rental. This is from the original $1,300 we paid up front. We said no and he said sorry, call the vice president of the company because he couldn't do anything else for us. We have added up all the expenses we had including extra motels, gas gas and more gas, food, damages, a week's lost wages and we come up with them owing us just over $4,000. That is just the cost of what we have lost from this horrible move, not even going for emotional distress (I suffer from depression and anxiety attacks). Now we have to fight with the vice president. If he says no, which I was told he will if he even answeres us at all, we will have to take them to small claims court. Problem is, we can only file in the town the Penske truck rental corporation is located, that is Pennsylvania. No lawyers can be used in small claims so I would have to fly back to the east coast and plead my case before a judge.

Soooooooooo, June, 2009. Penske PRIDES itself on how good it keeps up the maintenance of their fleet. Really. Letting two women with a dog and cat go through that much hell going completely across country from CT to CA in trucks that aren't dependable is just cruel and uncaring. Yes, they have newer trucks, but the trucks have close to 100,000 miles on most of them. The race car driver, Roger Penske, owns this trucking firm and gads of other companies dealing with cars/trucks, etc.

***MOD CUT*** Our animals could have died had we not been able to reach a rest area in Missouri without air conditioning for so long in over 100 degree heat, My friend just kept pouring and pouring water all over them, the cat finally came to after passing out from heat exhaustion. I'm surprised I didn't pass out after 1/2 hour in the truck on the phone with the Penske road assistance having me press all kinds of buttons and things. And then to have us just get back into the truck with no air conditioning and drive another 1 1/2 hours to get it 'fixed' if you could call it that.

If there is anyone out there reading this that can somehow help us get the money we have lost please contact us. We feel like we have lost our very spirit it was such a horrible experience and it still goes on because Penske won't offer anything near fair for all our trouble.

***MOD CUT***
Arly

***MOD CUT***

Last edited by faithfulFrank; 08-23-2009 at 08:15 AM.. Reason: consumer complaint

 
Old 08-20-2009, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
703 posts, read 3,034,074 times
Reputation: 1026
Sounds like you were that random 1 time out of 10,000 that has some kind of horrible nightmare. ***MOD CUT***, thats the way the ball bounces sometimes. We rented a 22' penske a couple months ago for our move, worked like a charm and went 65 the whole time (with functioning A/C)

Last edited by faithfulFrank; 08-20-2009 at 01:53 PM.. Reason: Rude post
 
Old 08-20-2009, 02:37 PM
 
4,053 posts, read 6,398,748 times
Reputation: 4150
Sorry to hear your story. I have repeatedly rented from Penske and never a bit of trouble. 100k miles is nothing for a truck especially a diesel truck. I have had nightmares with other truck rentals. Like freshjiv says you must be the 1in 10k, but I know that doesn't make it any easier to take. I am very disappointed that Penske did not offer any type of restitution and I think that is like shooting themselves in the foot.
I think your damages would easily exceed $5000 and you may want to run that by a PA lawyer to see if you can sue. Other than that your only option is the BBB. Penske may respond to that. Just remember to stay cool, companies don't like dealing with irate people even if they are justified.
 
Old 08-21-2009, 09:08 PM
 
Location: West Coast
15 posts, read 73,478 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by donsabi View Post
Sorry to hear your story. I have repeatedly rented from Penske and never a bit of trouble. 100k miles is nothing for a truck especially a diesel truck. I have had nightmares with other truck rentals. Like freshjiv says you must be the 1in 10k, but I know that doesn't make it any easier to take. I am very disappointed that Penske did not offer any type of restitution and I think that is like shooting themselves in the foot.
I think your damages would easily exceed $5000 and you may want to run that by a PA lawyer to see if you can sue. Other than that your only option is the BBB. Penske may respond to that. Just remember to stay cool, companies don't like dealing with irate people even if they are justified.


Thanks for your kind reply. Before I go any farther, after I read the post before you I forgot to mention that while we sat in Albequerque for 7 1/2 hrs there was a young mother traveling alone with her two daughters, ages 9 and 7. She too was having to have her truck reloaded onto another truck. She got there just ahead of us and was able to go from her 22' truck into another 22' truck. We got all that was left, the 26' truck. She put her girls in the trailer with us and she actually sat out there in the heat watching the entire repacking of her truck by two other movers hired by Penske. She was smart - never thought in a million years Penske would hire totally unprofessional movers to pack our things and ruin a lot of them. So I guess I am 2 in maybe 10,000.

I can sue Penske in small claims court, which would have to be in the state where their corporate headquarters for moving truck rentals is, which is PA. In small claims court no lawyers can be hired and you must show up in court to plead your own case. I was told they probably wouldn't show up. But what a hassle to go through. If I were to take it to a higher court, not small claims, I could ask for emotional stress damages in regular court alsoand I could have a lawyer, as would Penske to be sure, and the most damages I could get I think is $7,500, of which legal fees would be taken out. Except Penske would probably have to pay for my attorney because they surely would lose the case. But again, what a hassle. I also didn't mention in my first post that because of our being so very late because of the truck problems I was unable to get a written prescription filled for my depression because no one had it in and around Albequerque. So I was about 3 days without my medication I have taken for over 10 years and about 1,800mg short on my dosing. Needless to say I was a mess, thus the sobbing in the hotel room after the New Mexico Penske experience. There are only 2 CVS pharmacies around Albequerque, one didn't have my pills and one store wasn't built yet. Walgreens didn't have my meds, and several other stores didn't have it. My partner I was traveling with borrowed a Penske van and left to try and find me medication even from the emergency room while I was sitting in the trailer at Penske.

Penske is stupid, the damages we are asking are break-even damages, we aren't even trying to make any money off of them. The antiques they broke were all my 98 year-old mom's things, she had died not too long ago. Try replacing that or putting a price on that. Anyway, they are stupid because AAA totally backs them and I am a long-standing member of AAA and they did our Trip-Tick directions for the move. I'm sure AAA and anyone else I can get to listen won't be happy with Penske and how they treated and are treating us. It is exhausting though, emotionally draining. My partner and I are fighting all the time, all be cause we are so nervous and pent up over Penske hanging over our heads. I know mileage over 100,000 isn't really high on some makes of vehicles, Hondas, Toyotas, Subarus, etc. Even with Penske, if they did what they proclaim so very proudly on their web site and actually spent all the time and attention to frequently check their engines/trucks they wouldn't have to put another person through what they did to myself and my partner and the other poor woman with her two young kids. The machines that read engine data are very advanced - you can tell if something is reaching the point of needing attention then or pretty soon. You don't let yoru rental truck go out, especially to just women, when the truck will be needing engine repairs in the very near future. After the 1st break down in Missouri? I had the manager call there customer service line and ask them to pay for our dinner since we sat there for so long and they said no.

Penske may be good, excellent in many cases. They may also be falling behind in quality and creating problems for their customers and themselves. Remember when Howard Johnson's was THEE only place to eat at every highway rest area before? The restaurants got so run down and sloppy and crappy that they lost their rights there and McDonald's and other fast food places bought them out. Maybe Penske is turning into fast food, fast-payment-from-the-client-and-then-out-the-door-and-off-you-go-on-your-move thank-you-very-much. For other travelers sakes, I hope not. I highly suggest if you are going Penske demand a truck that has under 50,000 miles. They will get you one - I didn't know that until after the fact.

I do thank you for your concern though. Take care.
 
Old 08-22-2009, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Florida
6,262 posts, read 17,328,045 times
Reputation: 4696
LONG story.......but anyway--that is typical of every story submitted by anyone who rents U-Haul.

Penske--very rare I would say.
 
Old 08-22-2009, 12:33 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
9,608 posts, read 9,807,341 times
Reputation: 9236
Having vowed NEVER ever to use U-Haul again and just this past weekend adding Budget to that short list I am hanged if the o.p. is going to convince me to throw Penske under the bus too. What is left?? For my cross country move Penske found as close to a brand new truck as could be found. Didn't require a bribe either. The truck Budget rented me only had 24,000mi on it but the steering completely failed as I was returning it. A worn out engine is one thing but had that front end let go when I was doing 60mph on the Interstate as I was doing earlier that day... ... I haven't learned what Budget is going to do to make up somewhat for my aggravation but if Penske is willing to offer something then I think the o.p. would be wise to take the check and call it good. Whatever she does she should not go anywhere near a courtroom. Don't do it.

H
 
Old 08-22-2009, 03:42 AM
 
Location: West Coast
15 posts, read 73,478 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Having vowed NEVER ever to use U-Haul again and just this past weekend adding Budget to that short list I am hanged if the o.p. is going to convince me to throw Penske under the bus too. What is left?? For my cross country move Penske found as close to a brand new truck as could be found. Didn't require a bribe either. The truck Budget rented me only had 24,000mi on it but the steering completely failed as I was returning it. A worn out engine is one thing but had that front end let go when I was doing 60mph on the Interstate as I was doing earlier that day... ... I haven't learned what Budget is going to do to make up somewhat for my aggravation but if Penske is willing to offer something then I think the o.p. would be wise to take the check and call it good. Whatever she does she should not go anywhere near a courtroom. Don't do it.

H
WOW, sorry about your U'Haul experience. I'd be really interested if you got anything from them. I'm new and really not sure what "o.p." means, sorry. What's going to happen here is that we are figuring out all the extra money for gas, food, motels, lost wages, broken antiques. My niece from LA is an attorney who graduated from Berkley Law. Once I have all the facts and figures together she is going to set up a conference call with the vice president of Penske and do all the talking unless there is something she can't answer and then I will answer the question. She is going to be very frank, straight-forward, list the damages and ask if Penske really wants to go through court and get bad publicity for this, including negative reports to any sponsors such as AAA. She really thinks they will just settle. I have an attorney and a car mechanic in my family - I am lucky for those two things in life, that's for sure. There will be no angry words spoken, just facts, they are bad and they speak for themselves.

I really am happy for all the Penske renters who had no trouble, it's just maddening and unnerving for me to have had not one truck break, but two. No more Penske for me.
 
Old 08-22-2009, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
191 posts, read 520,209 times
Reputation: 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by arly View Post
WOW, sorry about your U'Haul experience. I'd be really interested if you got anything from them. I'm new and really not sure what "o.p." means, sorry. What's going to happen here is that we are figuring out all the extra money for gas, food, motels, lost wages, broken antiques. My niece from LA is an attorney who graduated from Berkley Law. Once I have all the facts and figures together she is going to set up a conference call with the vice president of Penske and do all the talking unless there is something she can't answer and then I will answer the question. She is going to be very frank, straight-forward, list the damages and ask if Penske really wants to go through court and get bad publicity for this, including negative reports to any sponsors such as AAA. She really thinks they will just settle. I have an attorney and a car mechanic in my family - I am lucky for those two things in life, that's for sure. There will be no angry words spoken, just facts, they are bad and they speak for themselves.

I really am happy for all the Penske renters who had no trouble, it's just maddening and unnerving for me to have had not one truck break, but two. No more Penske for me.
So sorry for your awful experience Arly. Next time, perhaps consider PODS or a similar company? It sounds like you might have flashbacks to this nightmare if you try to use a truck again!

Being a pet lover, it sounds horrific what you and your babies had to go through. So glad they made it OK. But how awful about your mother's antiques. Good luck with the conference call. It sounds like you're well prepared!

By the way, op stands for "original poster"-- the person who posted the first post in the thread...in this case, you.
 
Old 08-22-2009, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,842 posts, read 25,219,256 times
Reputation: 26179
What a nightmare. I'm very sorry for you.

I rented a Penske truck/car hauler just like you and had no problems at all. Drove from MN to NV. I guess it's just the luck of the draw.
 
Old 08-22-2009, 03:28 PM
 
Location: West Coast
15 posts, read 73,478 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cha Ching View Post
So sorry for your awful experience Arly. Next time, perhaps consider PODS or a similar company? It sounds like you might have flashbacks to this nightmare if you try to use a truck again!

Being a pet lover, it sounds horrific what you and your babies had to go through. So glad they made it OK. But how awful about your mother's antiques. Good luck with the conference call. It sounds like you're well prepared!

By the way, op stands for "original poster"-- the person who posted the first post in the thread...in this case, you.
Appreciate your letting me know what 'op' is, plain duh on my part. Thanks for your kind words. I was terrified for our dog and cat - thank goodness we were close to a rest area or at least our cat would have died. And animals are so trusting, they just go where you tell them and they're happy just to be wth you.

Some people on here seem to take it personally that I am putting Penske down because they have had such good experiences with the company. All I'm doing is trying to educate the next person who is thinking of renting from Penske - they can find out more about the mileage, service records on the truck they will be getting, etc. I wouldn't wish what happened to us on anyone . . . well, maybe a couple of people I am acquainted with, but that's another story and just life. Take care now. Arly
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