U-Haul customer service gets my "Hall of Shame" award...
As mentioned in the blog entry for Leg #1 of our Road Trip, the Bully cartop cargo carrier didn't fare very well with us. One of the four straps snapped less than 500 miles into our trip, and the front was starting to shred from the wind resistance. Here's a picture of the overall shredding:
And a close-up of the damage... We're talking see-through on a bag that is supposed to be waterproof:
So... Armed with the receipt ($49.95) and bag, I returned to the U-Haul outlet at 1327 NE 82nd in Portland Oregon. I have never been made to feel like such a criminal scam artist by any company in my life.
I pleasantly explained the situation and asked for a refund. The first guy behind the counter was amazed that there was that much damage, and had never heard of a failure like that before. He called the manager over, and that's where things got ugly.
The manager said that no one else had ever had that problem, and he didn't think a refund was in order. Looking at the shredding, he first said "so how fast were you driving? 200 miles per hour?" I said it was irrelevant how fast I was driving. The bag was tearing due to wind resistance. He then asked if perhaps I hadn't made sure there were no folds or creases facing the wind. Like it's necessary to pack every square inch to account for aerodynamics??? I told him it was packed full, but I couldn't control what happened to the front of the bag when it faced the wind. He then said again that he'd never seen something like this, and he couldn't refund my money. I looked at him and said "So you're basically saying that I'm trying to scam you and that there's no way this could happen." "Oh, no... But I've never seen something like this before, and I don't think a refund is warranted. You can try contacting the manufacturer, though..."
The guy behind the counter did offer me an in-store credit coupon for $10 and said he'd mail me another $20 coupon if I left my address. Whatever, but it doesn't make up for the scummy way the manager handled the whole situation. I could have seen it if I turned up with just the bag and no receipt. But it was obvious that I purchased it, and it was obvious that it didn't perform, regardless of whether the manager had ever "seen" that happen before. I'm not even sure I minded the "no refund" stance. It was the insinuation that I was trying to con the store.
I'll do my best in the future to avoid that particular U-Haul outlet, and I'm not necessarily feeling much like patronizing *any* U-Haul store in the future if that's the way I can expect to be treated...