Rancher Ropes Refund After Moving Truck Experience

After a family’s cross-country drive takes a wrong turn, they say a rental truck cost them more than just a nerve-wreaking experience behind the wheel. NBC 5's Chris Coffey reports.

(Published Monday, Feb. 5, 2018)

Stanley Robinson of Markham has been wishing his guests at the Silver Stallion Ranch “happy trails” for more than twenty years. But the same could not be said for his recent experience with a moving truck during a cross-country trip to Pennsylvania.

In August, Robinson rented a U-Haul truck and a tow dolly to help move his daughter to an apartment near Chatham University in Pittsburgh. The two loaded up the truck and proceeded on the seven hour drive.

However, Robinson said he noted the truck had “very loose steering” after a few miles.

“We kind of fishtailed for six to seven hours,” Robinson said. “I was just praying that we could get there safely.”

Once arriving in Pittsburgh, Robinson said he and his family stopped for a snack. But upon returning to the vehicle, he said it would not restart.

“We called U-Haul, they sent a tow truck, and the driver said the starter cable had corroded off the vehicle,” Robinson said.

Robinson said he was told the problem could not be fixed right away. So he had to find a hotel for the evening at a cost of $90.

The next morning, Robinson said the tow truck driver returned with the U-Haul in tow. Both the tow truck and U-Haul were parked in a nearby alley in order for Robinson and his daughter to access the apartment.

“The result was the three of us and the tow truck driver had to pass our belongings and furniture through a large window on the side of the building,” Robinson said.

The U-Haul was eventually towed away and Robinson made it back to Markham. He then reached out to U-Haul for a reimbursement of the hotel room and a partial refund for the rented truck. However, Robinson said a company representative denied his request at first.

NBC 5 Responds reached out to U-Haul to inquire about Robinson’s complaint. The company said it would send Robinson a hotel refund and a $200 reimbursement for the vehicle.

“We are pleased that Mr. Robinson was refunded for the issues he endured during his travels and we are truly sorry that those issues stemmed from an equipment matter, which has since been addressed,” said company spokesperson Jeff Lockridge.

U-Haul said it strives to do right by the customers.

“We sincerely hope that we can earn back Mr. Robinson’s trust and business in the future.”

Now with his daughter pursuing a master’s degree, Robinson’s back to putting smiles on the faces of visitors to his horse ranch.