Comments on Penske Truck Rental - The Ultimate Living Nightmare of a Moving Experience" (18 total)  
  Comment Sorted by
Date Written
Penske repossessed my truck with belongings inside and failed to notify me correctly and ended up "donating or dumping" everything I owned
by vcpitts2
In 4/10 I rented a Penske truck in Oakland, CA for a friend and all my belongings were inside. The same day, I flew to New Mexico to take care of my mother. I am still in New Mexico. For health reasons, my friend was unable to unload the truck and parked it in a parking lot in San Francisco. The truck was repossessed by Penske with everything inside and Penske sent a letter addressed to my attention to an address OTHER than what appeared on the rental agreement. When that letter was returned as a "bad address", they either "donated or dumped" all my belongings. I have spent two years trying to get a response from the Oakland Penske dealer (2227 San Pablo Avenue), their collections department, collections attorney in Florida, etc. I finally posted a blurb on their Facebook page voicing my displeasure and was responded to by their Director of Public Relations. He indicated it was my fault and denied Penske's liability in the case and offered me between zero and $5,000. When I told him I could get more in Small Claims Court, he stopped negotiations stating that I had threatened legal action. I then wrote a detailed demand letter to Penske Corporate counsel in Reading, PA with an itemization of belongings and estimated worth. I asked her to answer my letter within 30 days. On the 29th day, I received a response indicating she would be back to me within 30 days (ha ha ha). She has not kept her word yet. Penske is insured and should have handled my complaint and claims years ago but they are playing games and dragging this whole thing out at my expense. Worthless. Beware.
Mar 23, 2012
11:47 am PDT

by gordotx
Well it's pretty obvious Chris & family had a crappy experience with Penske trucks. However, I have read very little in the review that leads me to conclude that most if not all of the unpleasantness could have been avoided by the addition of 2 simple things: 1. recognition that a two-bit rental side business at a KMart + a dirty smelly truck with broken parts = potential headaches ahead, and 2. better research & planning, in nearly every aspect of the move. That being said, I understand what a nightmare a quick home sale and a do-it-yourself move can be, but really, there is no substitute for smart planning. Not a whole lot of that is evident from the review.
Jul 5, 2011
12:52 pm PDT

Sorry you had the bad apple
by timrek
Sorry you had the bad apple and your moving experience was horrible.

On the other hand, I have to let you know that I have rented a penske truck and had a great experience. The truck I had was relatively new, it was clean, and easy to drive. I forget what size it was, but I was moving a 3 bedroom house. I am 5'2" and was able to drive the truck myself with ease and rather enjoyed it. I don't normally pay for the additional insurance, but did this rental - and thank goodness I did. THE VERY day I was returning the truck, a rock flew up from the road and cracked the windshield. I had NO issues with returning the truck to Penske - no questions asked, and (even better) no money out of my pocket since I had the extra insurance. I hope you might give them another chance sometime.
Jan 19, 2007
9:08 am PST

I'm gonna have to agree with brucec on this one.
by Danae2OOO
I'm sorry that you had a crappy moving experience. Moving is one of the biggest stressors you can face, but it's a lot easier to do if you're open-minded and flexible.

From what I've seen, Penske has the best track record of any of the do-it-yourself movers. I don't understand why you would be frightened knowing that Penske is willing to do whatever it takes to get you back on the road in the event of a breakdown. Hey, stuff happens. It could be your fault, it could be their fault, it could be one of those freak things that no one can really help - I'd feel a lot safer knowing that they're there to fix it.

For the record, I don't work for Penske - I just happen to think that your indignation and high expectations probably contributed to the stress as much as anything they might have done.
May 26, 2006
6:36 pm PDT

Re: Re: sorry, but
by brucec32
What a joke. What the heck do you think the "comments" section is for? I note that despite your professions of outrage, you couldn't refute a single point I made.

No, I don't work for penske. I am self employed and also do my research. They win by a landslide in the reviews I've read here and elsewhere.

Face it, you expected top quality service from an industry that is mediocre on its best day. I pointed that out. One $10/hour guy in one city oversleeps that day and you want to hold the entire Penske corporation accountable. I pointed out that it's simply unrealistic to expect a move to go exactly as planned, down to the minute. But you see, since you never deal with anything real, you didn't realize that. Your reaction to my comments does more to make my point that you have a pampered life and unrealistic expectations of how the real world works than I could ever have made.

"how dare" I make my comments? Well, "how dare" you criticize Penske for the mpg when you have a fully loaded moving truck with a GASOLINE engine, towing a car behind it, and are too unknowledgeable to even realize that that's normal for that kind of load. I get 9.5 mpg in my truck towing a 2800 lb load. You're towing five times that in a truck that weighs twice as much itself and complaining. And what's worse, when this was pointed out to you, you didn't change your review.

That's called libel, lady. Maybe Penske is the one who should be shrieking "how dare you?"

Feb 7, 2006
9:44 am PST

Re: Re: sorry, but
by nothing1191
I don't know if "bruce32" works for Penske, but if he does the first words out of his mouth should have been an apology. I do work for Penske and I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but maybe I can shed some new light on this.

Regarding your comments about replacing a truck before fixing it, Penske doesn't want to have to give you a new truck. Not only will the company reimburse your hotel costs and meals during down time but we also lose revenue and available trucks every time one goes down. Additionally Penske will hire a licensed professional to swap you into the new truck, that also costs money. Then at the end, usually the district that gave you the "bad truck" will compensate you monetarily for your inconvenience. It ends up as a wash for Penske and all that effort was simply in the name of customer satisfaction. Penske will decide to either replace a truck or fix it on a case by case basis, whichever one will get our customer back on the road first is what we'll do.

You also criticized our free 24 hour road side assistance, I fail to understand why Penske having an army of vendors ready to send out to you at the first sign of trouble is a chilling thought. Our competition does not offer such a service and many times you are on your own, should you break down.

But onto your specific situation, the KMart you rented from was an "agent", which is a non-penske location. So the person that helped your husband was not a Penske employee. Unfortunately many of these agents do not represent Penske very well. The only way for us to find out if that is the case is when people file complaints. So I hope before you typed this complaint you took a proactive approach and complained to the Penske district in Knoxville about that location so something could have actually been done to rectify the situation.

No matter, you will be happy to learn that the KMart Penske you rented from is no longer a Penske agent, I looked it up just a moment ago. Obviously enough others complained about their service and they were shut down. We listen to complaints!

As for your truck being dirty, again this is something we try to stress to our agents in my distrcit, if a truck is turned into them very dirty we make sure they understand they need to let us know so we can swap them for a clean truck and we'll clean the dirty one up before renting it again. Again, this all boils down to customer complaints, when we hear them, we listen and act!

As for the 5 miles per gallon, unfortunately as the other guy said, this is pretty much the norm. Most rental truck companies were using gasoline motors in the large trucks at the time of your rental, so the mileage is somewhat of an industry standard. As I'm sure you've read, we do not keep any vehicles older than 3 model years in our fleet and the V8 GMC's like you rented have been phased out, the 2002 models having just been traded back to the manufacturer the last week of November. Over 99% of the 22' and 26' trucks in our fleet are now diesel and get better fuel economy than their gasoline counterparts.

Again, I'm sorry you had such a bad experience, we strive to make everyone's moving experience easier, but unfortunately yours was not very pleasant. I'm sure if you rented from Penske again in the future you'd be surprised at how much differently things generally go than your first impression. Read some of the other reviews on this site even - even I was shocked as how few negative responses there were.

Hopefully we'll see you soon! =)

- Dave
Dec 15, 2005
3:59 pm PST

Re: sorry, but
by chrisceb
You must work for Penske, and how frickin' DARE you leave a comment like this on my review without even KNOWING me or reading any of my other reviews. It's MY review and I can write whatever the hell I want to on it. If you had a better experience, write your own review and leave mine alone!

Jan 14, 2005
6:08 am PST

sorry, but
by brucec32
I hate to say it, but you ruined a very comprehensive and helpful review with a totally unrealistic rating and unrealistic expectations.
It appears you have never dealt with other moving van companies or you would have rated them higher. Penske made mistakes and wasn't perfect, but you, not knowing how moves go, had some crazy expectations of how smooth things would be. People with business experience know these things, typical homeowners don't.

1. NEVER plan to rent ANYTHING and be using it 30 minutes later. You should have rented the truck the day before and had it waiting in the driveway when the movers arrive. 4 men make way too much to risk paying them. Delays and mistakes happen in life, especially when dealing with things people have rented and don't take care of. What if the previous renter had damaged the vehicle? They can't just assume that all the time, they have to hope things go well and do the best they can when they don't.

2. You loaded a huge 25' truck to its ultimate capacity, 7,000 lbs, the weight carried by 4 typical pickup trucks that would get 10mpg on such a trip themselves, then complain about getting just 5mpg. You were also towing another vehicle, for heaven's sake! It's a GASOLINE powered vehicle most likely, not a diesel. Should have checked that before renting, diesels get better gas mileage. But so what, you spent a little more on gasoline. This is a move accross country, not a trip to dairy Queen. It's insignificant in the long run. You also may have loaded it over the vehicle's capacity when you threw in the towed vehicle. A dangerous situation.

3. Yes, the truck should be cleaner. Go look at most of the reviews of Penske here. They usually are cleaner. But again, remember the employee overslept and you were waiting on the truck and in a big hurry. They obviously skipped the cleanup to get you on the road faster. They can't win, can they? But to whine and cry about allergies, come on. I have allergies myself and realize that sometimes I have to actually deal with dirty things. Americans...raised like Veal. As for the door handle, would you have rather they told you to come back in a day when they had it fixed? No excuse, they made mistakes, but this is why one doesn't run too tight of a schedule when moving, you have to leave them time to fix things you find are wrong.

4. From your review title and rating, one would think they left you stranded on the side of the road, refused to work with you on a discount for your trouble, etc. They did a lot more than most would and your vehicle got you there safely.

Sounds like you are also averse to physical work, like so many lazy Americans, and were just ticked off you had to actually break a sweat. Who plans a party attendance on the day they move? Crazy.
Jan 13, 2005
1:37 pm PST

Re: Comment
by chrisceb
YES! We know that and saved ALL of the receipts from the move!


Chris B.
Aug 11, 2002
10:33 am PDT

Re: WoW I am Impressed!
by chrisceb
Thanks Kelli!

Chris B.
Aug 11, 2002
10:26 am PDT

Re: re: what a rip off!
by chrisceb
Some things never change huh? Thanks for the comments Cal!

Chris B.
Aug 11, 2002
10:25 am PDT

Re: oops!
by chrisceb
Oh gosh! What a nighmare!

Thanks for the comments.

Chris B.
Aug 11, 2002
10:22 am PDT

Re: What an nightmare, indeed!!
by chrisceb
Me too!

Chris B.
Aug 11, 2002
10:20 am PDT

by dragonfire88
What a horrible experience. Moving in bad enough with out having to put up with things like that.
Just something for you to remember...since you moved to start a new job, you can deduct the moving costs on your taxes next year. Maybe you'll be able to get at least some of it back then.
Jul 18, 2002
9:51 pm PDT

WoW I am Impressed!
by makelli3
I don't want my last day in *you know where* to go the way your moving day did. Overreacting? I envisioned your son hanging onto the door for dear life tooo! And I don't even know him! I don't see me fitting all of our junk into a 25' truck. I'm thinkin 53' trailer.

Thanks for the very informative moving story. I'll avoid those experiences like the plague. (The price guideline will be helpful as well. I doubt the hubby's employer will let him use their vehicles as a moving van.)

Enjoyed reading!
Jul 18, 2002
5:15 pm PDT

re: what a rip off!
by cntaur5
I always hate it when bad things happen to good people and I'm really sorry to read about your experience with Penske.
I'm a former U.S. Air Force veteran who has traveled a lot, and I remember Penske all to well. I see there service is still the same...crappy! Thanks for sharing, hopefully Penske will get it together.

As always, keep writing well!!!
Jul 17, 2002
9:44 am PDT

by patriciak
Did you really mean to check "yes" for Recommended?

Sounds dreadful - thanks for the warning. My husband and I plan a cross-country move (again) at some point, and will avoid this company!

Patriciak (whose honeymoon was spent moving cross-country, and our van (one van, one moving truck w/car dolly) *did* break down. Ugh!
Jul 17, 2002
9:17 am PDT

What an nightmare, indeed!!
by melissasrn
Oh my, Chris. Sounds like you got the worst truck on the entire lot! Glad you guys made it in one piece though :-)

Jul 17, 2002
8:47 am PDT