Mixed feelings about uHaul’s uBox

I recently moved from south Florida to central New Hampshire and the move required either a medium sized truck and a trailer for my car or a container to move my stuff.  After research I decided to go with uHaul’s uBox (similar to PODs but smaller, 6’ X 7’ X 8’ (approx).  Since the move is done and my stuff is in my new location I’ve decided to write a review about how the uBox service works.

It’s safe to say that I have mixed feelings about it but a lot of this is also dealing with the people at the locations (so your mileage may vary).  I had my uBox at a uHaul storage facility and I loaded it up there (shuttling my stuff in my car, renting a cargo van one day to move large items).  This required at least 24 hour notice.

When calling for the notice, though, I did notice that if the people at the location didn’t answer right away I was forwarded to a call center.  While this may seem nice to get people though quickly, it looked like when I made the request though the call center often my uBox was not out and ready and I’d have to wait for them to get it out (it was usually in a large cargo container).

The box itself was not great quality, sadly.  It is made of wood (not metal like others). After a couple of visits it seemed that it was either leaning towards one side or that it was hit when it was being moved out causing the door locks to lock properly.  I had the main lock (that took my padlock and ley) repaired but the top and bottom latches worked less and less – eventually when it got to NH they would not lock at all.  When I got it in NH, even the main lock was broken, I was able to get it working but the arm that holds the door shut would easily come off.  They do tell you to fill the uBox and I did fill it properly, heavy stuff on the bottom and evenly distributed around the floor but I do not know if it was my stuff that caused the problems or how the box was handled or moved (or both?).  Either way, the quality of the box is not great and the only reason some of my things were not weather damaged was because they kept it in a trailer or covered in a plastic tarp (designed to fit on the uBoxes).

The price was also good; initially the price was $1450(ish) but dropped to $859.  When I went to pay for the move the system billed me the $1450 and it took a while, plus one of the people working at the uHaul location to call customer service to get it to the $859 price.  It was a small hassle but not bad at all, they were very helpful at the location.  Also note, I did not have to lay any delivery fees because I kept it at the uHaul facilities.  I think the delivery fees to have it brought to a location can be expensive (I was quoted $300-$350).  It is far cheaper to rent a 14’ or 17’ truck for a day and unpack it all that day.  You can rent a trailer and bring it to where you need to bring it to, I do not know how much that is or how the rental (trailer / uBox) works off site.

They say that there is a 2,000 pound limit with the uBox – this was a concern of mine considering I had a lot of books being shipped.  The waybill I had when I received the box said it was 2,500 pounds but I was not alerted to this nor did they bill me any extra (please note:  your mileage may vary with this, I do not know their exact policy on this!).

Shipping the box was actually fast.  I expected 11 business days.  It was officially shipped from Margate, FL on March 4th and arrived at the location in Concord, NH on March 12th.  That is just over a week (and not bad considering I was driving from FL to NH on March 8th to March 11th).

Overall I have mixed feelings about the experience.  Shipping was fast, the price was reasonable (it would have cost me over $2000 to rent a 14’ truck and a trailer – and that is not factoring in the extra gas, time, and hassle of finding parking!) and the people at the location were nice and very helpful.  The negative side was the quality of the box itself and the apparent communication gap between customer service and the store personnel.  If uHaul improves on the sturdiness and quality of the uBoxes (and I did hear that they are working on redesigning them) I would recommend them – remember though, the uBoxes are about ½ the size of a POD and they do fit in a normal parking space.

If you have any questions, feel free to either comment on this post (it will not show up right away, I will need to approve it) or send me an email (you can find the email address on this site).  I will try to answer the best I can – when researching this it was hard to find testimonial information on uBoxes.

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