A stolen U-Haul, a big bill, and a call to Jesse Jones

Federal Way, WA — Denise Lawless had just one job this day: return the rented U-Haul she had parked in front of her home to this Federal Way location.

“So I’m looking oh yeah that’s there,” says Lawless. “And then I’m like — the truck’s gone. Oh my god. The truck’s gone. Oh no!”

Yep, that 15-foot beast was in the wild. Stolen.

“Immediately called police. To have them come out and do the police report,” she says. “And then I got a hold of U-Haul right after that.”

She gave the company the police report. Nine days later, Auburn police recovered the truck at 8th Street Southwest by SR 18.

Denise had purchased U-Haul’s insurance, so she shouldn’t have to pay for the days it was missing, right?

“They sent me a bill. It was just a $187 rental. But they sent me a bill for 10 days that it took to recover it,” says Lawless.

Guess not.

“So to be charged for 10 days for a 10-day rental because it took that long to recover it? I’ve never ever thought anything like that could happen,” she says.

That was $843 bucks of “could happen.” So Denise went to the U-Haul location to say she shouldn’t have to pay for the days the truck was missing.

“I put in the grievance, I’ve been there, called a few times, been to the place where I rented it and they haven’t even bothered to, Jesse. The only thing left is go to their house. It’s just really poor customer service,” says Lawless.

We contacted U-Haul and they told us: “… there is not a singular policy pertaining to these situations.”

But the company added that filing a police report should have been enough to have the charges waived.

In this case, U-Haul investigated and discovered that it, not Denise, had missed something the whole time: “The stolen vehicle police report had not been included with the customer’s contract in our system. As we have a notation on the contract that the customer brought in the police report…the absence of the report in our system appears to be a clerical error on the part of U-Haul. We regret this oversight.”

So the charges were waived, a full refund was provided and Denise never wants any other U-Haul customer to go through her journey again.

“That shouldn’t be the case — they should have communicated right away,” says Lawless. “They should have been able to say there’s not going to be a problem, but they let it dangle.”

Email Jesse right now at consumer@kiro7.com