U-Haul without a clue

There are certainly plenty of still-clueless companies around when it comes to using the Internet.

I rented a U-Haul van today to transfer some boxes from our storage in my sister’s basement to our house. The online reservation system seemed to work well enough on Friday. But I encountered a strange glitch today.

“Why,” I asked the woman in the Berkeley U-Haul office, “does it say ‘Only $19.95’ on the outside of my van, but I’m being charged $29.95?” “Oh,” she replied, “that’s because you booked it on the Internet. They have different prices. And if you phone us we don’t charge you the $5 reservation fee either.”

She looked at me uncomprehendingly when I suggested that an online booking saved them money, so it should cost less. I won’t be going back there in a hurry.

2 thoughts on “U-Haul without a clue

  1. Felix

    Right. Let’s say I want to transfer $500 from my Citibank checking account to my Citibank joint account. I can do that using online banking; it will cost me somewhere between $10 and $25 depending on the balance in my account. Or I can go down to my local branch, go to the teller, withdraw the $500 from one account, put it straight back into the other, use up a whole bunch of her and my time — but not get charged. Or I can do the same thing at the ATM: get the money out in cash, put it in an envelope, and then deposit it back into the same machine using a different card. Later in the day, that same teller will open the envelope, and manually count out the cash to make sure that it’s the amount I said it was. Either way, the more labour-intensive solution is also the cheaper solution. Ridiculous.

  2. Lance Knobel

    Hmmm. Wells Fargo, unless I’m missing something, does it all for free online and in person. Smile.co.uk, my bank in the UK, only exists online and it offers higher interest rates than any physical bank. It also has absolutely the best interface and the most helpful support I’ve ever encountered anywhere. Both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways charge less for Internet-booked tickets than phone-booked ones. So not everyone is clueless.


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