WALNUT CREEK (CBS 5) — Do-it-yourself moves can save you a lot of money. But when an East Bay family rented a U-Haul truck, it became costly.

According to Violet Craddick, prior to renting a truck she was told the vehicle did not need to be inspected.

“When I got the insurance and signed the contract they said I didn’t need to walk around the truck,” she said.

It was time-saving advice Craddick says she now regrets following. Hours after returning the truck, Craddick said she received a phone call from U-Haul claiming the vehicle had been damaged.

U-Haul accused Craddick of damaging the top of the truck. Even though an investigation provided no proof she was responsible, Craddick said she received a bill for $1,200 and was threatened with collections.

Craddick then contacted CBS 5 ConsumerWatch, where we found other online complaints about U-Haul wrongfully accusing customers of damaging rentals.

According to Gene O’Neil from the Better Business Bureau, consumers should always inspect a rental before leaving the lot.

“Telling the consumer to inspect the vehicle that just doesn’t make sense,” he said. But it’s not uncommon for rental car services to go after the last person that rented the vehicle said O’Neil.

After ConsumerWatch got involved U-Haul dropped the charges. U-Haul said in a statement to CBS 5 there was not sufficient evidence to prove Craddick damaged the vehicle.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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