October 10, 2001
Dear U-Haul Customer Service,
I'm in a co-operative education program at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and I have moved 7 times in the last 2 years and plan to move 7 more times in the next 3 years. I chose to use U-Haul for my most recent move, from Toronto to Waterloo, because you gave the option of dropping off the truck in another city and U-Haul seemed to be reputable. Unfortunately my experience with U-Haul was absolutely awful. What follows is my experience with your company. I was planning to move on August 31, 2001. I realize that this is one of the busiest moving days of the year. I phoned the U-Haul office at 3673 Dufferin St in North York, Toronto, Ontario, Canada well ahead of August 31 and spoke to a representative named Walter. Walter told me that if I scheduled the U-Haul for August 30th, I would be guaranteed to receive it on August 31st. My first clue that U-Haul was not the reputable business that I had expected should have been having to book a day in advance of the real day that I required a truck because it was anticipated that I would indeed be bumped.
August 31st was a Friday and I called the Monday before to confirm that I would definitely have a truck by Friday. I talked to Walter again. He remembered me, and was very friendly. I told him that I needed to be guaranteed that I would have a truck by Friday, as I was about to purchase airplane tickets for the Saturday. He assured me that I would have a truck by Friday.
I was told that I would be contacted 24 hours before I was scheduled to move. Since I was scheduled to move on the Thursday I expected a phone call on Wednesday. When no phone call came I phoned Walter early Thursday morning. He assured me that I would be receiving a phone call sometime during the day. When no phone call came by 5 p.m., I phoned Walter again. I think that he realized that there was a problem, and gave me a number to call (which I believe was the office that would have called me once my truck was ready). I called this number for hours and it was always busy.
Come Friday morning I was absolutely panicked. I phoned Walter at 8 a.m. and he told me "there just aren't any trucks in the city". He told me to just keep on calling the number that he had given me. This line was of course still busy. An associate of mine called the London U-Haul which told him that the number Walter had given me was in fact out of service. I then proceeded to make phone calls to every truck rental place in Toronto.
Of course, every truck in the city was already rented out. I was told, "I should have scheduled a truck weeks ago". However, I did luck out and found one place with a truck that I could have for 4 hours to drive to Waterloo and back. I got this truck, and was able to meet the four-hour deadline but only with the help of friends in both Toronto and Waterloo. I was then able to rent a car from the same location as the truck (keeping in mind that all major car rental companies had no cars available) to pick up the little things in Toronto that I hadn't had time to pack because of the tight deadline with the truck. I was of course expecting to have a U-Haul truck for 24 hours.
I would also like to note that I have told many people my U-Haul moving story and found that I'm not the only one to have had problems with U-Haul promising a vehicle on a certain day and then being unable to deliver the vehicle on that day. In fact the rental company that saved us mentioned that they have had many people turn to them for their moving needs after having a bad experience with U-Haul. It also absolutely baffles me that in this day and age you are unable to track your vehicles' locations in real-time. Doing so would of course provide your clients with accurate estimates of when vehicles will be available.
I fully expect U-Haul to cover cost of the actual truck that was rented ($154.94) and the actual car that was rented ($39.45). I also expect U-Haul to cover my fuel costs for the 24 hour period that I moved ($61.02) as I was not expecting to have to make two round trips from Toronto to Waterloo. The appropriate receipts have been enclosed.
I also expect to hear back from you promptly. This letter and your timely response will be posted on the Internet at http://www.mattgoyer.com/uhaul, on a website that receives hundreds of visitors a day belonging to my partner, Matt Goyer, who shared in not only the costs but also the frustrations of moving as he was moving from Toronto to Waterloo as well.
2/23/2005 - 1:45 am GMT - [guid]
Work on Windows Media Center
Want to work on Windows Media Center? We're hiring across almost all disciplines!.
One of the job perks is you get a Media Center to take home and run the latest and greatest software on.
4/11/2005 - 3:13 pm GMT - [guid]
Can anyone help out Mike?
I'm trying to setup My TV to work on a channel other than 2, 3, or 4.
My cable is Qwest Choice TV (Cable TV provided over the phone line).
What happens is that there is one set top box for the whole house and then each of the TV's are assigned a different channel (in my case 3,
10 and 13).
I can get Live TV working on Channel 3, but there doesn't appear to be a way to select anything else (signal comes in over coax).
4/7/2005 - 6:51 pm GMT - [guid]
I hate my Gyration mouse.
Even though the receiver is only six feet away from my couch it still does not work reliably.
I literally have to be one foot away from the recevier for the mouse to work.
4/5/2005 - 12:57 am GMT - [guid]
Ben has some complaints about MCE
Ben has three compliants about MCE:
You can't search from the guide page.
Skipping forward is hard.
Can't switch inputs.
Have you tried using the skip and replay buttons while in the guide? That should increase the rate at which you skip forward/back.
As for your other suggestions...
Yes, possibly easy improvements, but we have to weigh every new incremental improvement not just against all known bugs, other suggestions but also new features.
How would you prioritize hooking up VCRs to Media Center versus implementing new ATSC/HDTV functionality?* While we are 'Microsoft', we are still resource and time constrained and have to make hard tradeoffs and sometimes seemingly easy little things get cut.
Update: * I don't mean to imply we actually chose ATSC/HDTV over input switching.
I was just using ATSC/HDTV as an example of a new feature that might have been prioritized higher than input switching.
4/5/2005 - 12:17 am GMT - [guid]
How to put MCE/DVR-MS content on your PSP
Do you have a Media Center and a new PSP? Barb has the low down on preparing and converting Recorded TV from MCE (convert to mpeg4) content to copy to a memory stick.
4/5/2005 - 12:06 am GMT - [guid]
New Expert Zone article on burning and archiving
Microsoft Expert Zone, Burn, Archive, and Share Digital Videos Using Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.
Tim Muscott, a group program manager in eHome, describes how he shares personal digital videos with friends and family.
Learn how to burn, archive, and share digital videos using MCE.
3/31/2005 - 2:21 pm GMT - [guid]
Why I don't have Comcast
I would definitely try it out except that my building has signed an exclusive contrast with Millennium Cable, which is a huge bummer.
As for my setup.
I have a ATI x600 graphics card and an ATI ATSC capture card (I think it's unreleased?).
3/31/2005 - 12:44 am GMT - [guid]
Cool looking small MCE
MCE needs a better name
Scott Williams thinks Microsoft has lost it's groove with respect to product naming and points to Media Center, What's in a name?:
I think that Windows Media Center Edition 2005 is an excellent product, but sheesh, you practically have to take a breath while saying it and it sounds lame.
If Apple came out with a media center product they would probably call it iRock or something like that.
The last good Microsoft name I can remember off the top of my head is XBox.
It does a great job at sounding interesting and even manages to detach itself somewhat from the stigma of being a Microsoft product.
Yes, I'd love an XBox type name for Media Center.
I cancelled our cable subscription today
I called and cancelled our $80/month digital cable subscription from Millennium Cable today.
When the customer service rep asked why, I said that all the channels I wanted were available via over the air HD broadcasters.
He at first didn't know what OTA was but I explained it and he followed up asking 'what if there were a special promotion, would you stay?' and I responded that it certainly was hard to compete with free.
And not just free, but free and works with my Media Center.
Of course, HBO isn't available via either OTA or through Millennium so we're out of luck there when Six Feet Under comes back on.
We'll likely turn to an alternative distribution mechanism to get the shows and I'll feel a bit guilty, but not so guilty since it doesn't matter how much I'd be willing to pay I still couldn't get them in HD short of moving into a new building.
Millennium does offer HBO via standard def digital cable, but I'll be honest, I can't watch standard definition TV anymore.
I'm a HD convert and there's no going back.
3/30/2005 - 6:36 pm GMT - [guid]
mail *at* mattgoyer.com
Disclaimer: The posts on this weblog are provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confer no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.
University of Waterloo alumni
|Updated: 4/11/2005; 11:19:37 PM.|