Archive for July, 2010

AAA is STILL the best company ever –uhaul is not

July 26, 2010

I’ve moved to D.C!  Huzzah.  I partially moved down at the end of June, but the bulk of my stuff has been sitting up in Mass.  This weekend I finished the project of moving stuff by renting a Uhaul.  I flew from DC to Boston on Thursday night, packed Friday, loaded the truck Saturday and drove to DC on Sunday.  I ended up a little behind and my friends and I didn’t have the tuck unloaded until about 12:30 am on Monday.  The plan was simple — go fill up the truck, drop it off, come back to my apartment and get a solid 6 hours of sleep before I went to work and my friend flew up to Mass for an early evening exam. 

Problem: the truck battery had died. 

This is a truck that had just been driven for a good 10 hours over two days so I was a bit lost as to how the battery had died.  The only thing I could think of is that we had left the hazards running while we unpacked.  That being said, 3 hours of hazards blinking should NOT kill a truck battery.  It is not far-fetched that someone unloading a truck (which often takes several hours) would need the hazards on, and nowhere in Uhauls prolific signage did they mention that the battery would die so easily.

Never fear, part of my overpriced Uhaul experience is 24/7 roadside assistance! So I call.  I get this friendly lady who walks me through a few steps to confirm it is the battery, then says she’ll be happy to call a tow truck for me.  Awesome!  However, in between the troubleshooting and calling the tow truck she slips in that BATTERIES ARE NOT COVERED IN THE ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE.  She will call the garage for me, but I will have to pay the cost.  EXCUSE ME! 

It’s not ok.  Not even a little.  Their battery dies as the result of completely understandable activity and it’s not covered?  So I tell her not to bother and we end the call.

1:00 am: my friend calls AAA.  Here is how the conversation goes

My friend:  Hi, I have a Uhaul and the battery just died.  It’s 1 am on a Sunday night/Monday morning and we really need the truck to be running.

Friendly, articulate, awesome AAA rep: I’m so sorry to hear that.  Let me get a truck out to you.  I’ll call you to keep you informed of the situation.  I just wanted to let you know though that sometimes tow trucks have difficulty jumping trucks, but we’ll see what we can do.

30 minutes later, they call back: I’m so sorry this taking so long, we’re having some trouble getting a truck out to ou (as it is 1:30 am on a Sunday).  The dispatcher is working on it though, an we’ll have someone out as soon as we can.

30 minutes later, they call back again:  I just wanted to apologise again, but also let you know the truck will be there in five minutes. 

And indeed five minutes later a truck arrives, and successfully jumps the truck.

AAA is awesome.  Top to bottom the company rocks.  Every time I’ve ever spoken with someone they have been polite, friendly, sympathetic to my situation, and above all helpful.  I don’t know how they do it, I really don’t.  It’s 2am and this woman spends all day talking with people who have either a) locked their keys in their car or b) drained their battery.  Yet she still manages to sound as though I’m the first person to need road help — that I am a special and unique snowflake. 

Maybe I appreciate them so much because when it’s 2am and I’m exhausted, have to go to work in a few hours, frustrated because I have to get the truck back, and pretty much fed up with the world, the idea of talking with someone rude or snide on the phone is just awful.  Knowing that I’ll make one phone call and someone will come and make it all better is kind of awesome.

Also a shout out to the fine folks at JR’s Emergency Roadside Assistance — the garage that responded to the call.  Solid people. 

In short:  AAA best people ever, Uhaul not so much.

Also the location where I picked up the uhaul gave me bogus information about where to drop it off (they gave me a location, but said “if you can find a closer one you can drop it off there.”)  If I can FIND a closer one? Why would I be able to find a closer uhaul than the uhaul rep!!  In fact I DID “find a closer one.”  Why on EARTH do I have access to a more complete list of uhaul locations (found at uhaul.com) then they do.

Also they put half the number of furniture pads that I paid for in the truck.

Also they charged me a $25 cleaning fee because there were a few coathangers in the back of the truck.

Also their stupid roadside assistance DOESNT COVER THE BATTERY.

Why can’t AAA rent trucks….and sell computers…and food….and do plumbing and electrical work…and open auto repair shops?