Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Stage 6: The U-Haul "Guarantee"

A small digression to explain to the uninitiated about why contracting the Hantavirus is preferable to dealing with U-Haul:

Thinking that I would need more than a pickup truck to haul my pair of treasures back to my cave on Allan Street, I took up a phone book and tracked down a moving company in hopes of securing a small cube van. Having almost been killed by a maniac in a U-Haul van some time previous, that company was the first on my mind and I soon located their website.

The site is well done, and reserving a van for the weekend proved to be a painless experience. The confirmation emails that "guaranteed" my van would be waiting for me at a place of my choosing were very comforting indeed.

My liberal use of quotation marks around the word "guaranteed" has likely tipped you off as to what occured next.

I reserved the van on a Wednesday for a Saturday jaunt to Cole Harbour. Around Friday at dinner time, I received a call from U-Haul informing me that there was a "shortage of vans" in the Halifax area and I could either reschedule for next week or cancel my booking with the cancellation fee waived.

Now, I was just trying to get some arcade games from Cole Harbour, so this wasn't a huge deal to me. But this was all happening on April 30th, when presumably many people were actually relocating their entire house to another place. So I pressed the U-Haul peon a little on the issue:

Me: "So, there's no vans to be had then?"

Peon: "That is correct."

Me: "Even though I had a reservation?"

Peon: "Yes, I am afraid there are no vans to meet your reservation."

Me: "So the word 'reservation' is a bit of a misnomer then isn't it? I mean, it appears there was no 'reserving' done at all here."

Peon (likely confused at use of word 'misnomer'): "Uh, well, we're very busy at this time of the year."

Me: "Yes, I kind of presumed you would be. That's why I paid a deposit and, you know, RESERVED a van ahead of time."

Peon: "Um, well, would you like to reschedule?"

Me: "I guess I'll have to, won't I? How's next Saturday?"

Peon: "Let's see ... *clacking of keyboard* ... yes, next Saturday is fine."

Me: "So I will have a van for sure next Saturday?"

Peon: "Yes, we can guarantee a van or a larger van at the same price for next Saturday."

Me: "Guarantee? But you already 'guaranteed' me a van for tomorrow and this conversation is the result."

Peon: "Er, uh ..."

Me: "I mean, I just need to move some stuff INTO my place, but what if my lease was up and I had to move my junk across town?"

Peon: "Well, you see, we ... um ..."

At this point I grew weary of raking this wretch over the coals and agreed to the new deal. I sauntered out the door and down the block to the Superstore to pick up some dinner, where I passed not one, but TWO U-Haul vans during the 200m walk down Monastery Lane. That's one hell of a van shortage indeed.


Blogger Jonathan Zinck said...

Hey Neil,

I had to deal with U-Haul that time I was in BC for a summer, and it was a horrible experience. It's kind of comforting that they suck from coast to coast. At least you can depend on them to be undependable.

A Pick-up truck can't hold 2 arcade cabinets?


9:19 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

I wasn't sure how big these things were, and in hindsight they might have been able to squeeze into a pickup truck, if we had stood them upright and lashed the bejesus out of them. Anyways, the van did the job, albeit barely.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm I love the idea behind this website, very unique.

5:07 AM  

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