(WWBT) - William Gay said he went to the U-Haul on Jeff Davis Highway in Richmond the Friday before Memorial Day to rent a 6x12 foot trailer to help someone move.
He said he returned the trailer the following Monday, Memorial Day, as his contract stipulated. He said a worker checked him in but had trouble printing a receipt.
"I sat there for about 30 minutes trying to get a receipt from them and could not ascertain a receipt from them for whatever the reason at that point in time," Gay said.
"Well, the young lady informed me that she already checked the trailer out. The trailer is clean per your contract, everything is good to go. I said, 'Okay, well is it mandatory that I have a receipt, and she said, 'Well, not necessarily. You're within your guidelines of when to return it, so everything's good. I said, 'Well, great, no problem. I just wanna go home."
Days later, Gay received an email from Uhaul saying his account would be charged $603.46.
"Because the trailer was turned in to a different facility in Marietta, Ga.," Gay said.
Gay said he has never been to Marietta, Ga., let alone returned the trailer there. The unexpected charge on his debit card came as a shock.
"I'm almost missing my mortgage payment. If l wasn't in the shape that I'm in, I might not have food on my table," Gay said.
He called back to the facility on Jefferson Davis Highway. They told him he'd have to contact the Marietta office. He called Marietta. He said the general manager there never called him back. Then he reached out to corporate where someone who seemed sympathetic said they'd look into it and get back to him. When that didn't happen, he called 12 on your side.
Investigator Eric Philips went to the store on Jefferson Davis Highway where the manager said she could not give him any details about Gay's account.
He reached out to corporate. After days of waiting for a response, the only information company spokesperson Andrea Batchelor could reveal was that the trailer was dropped off in Marietta Ga., but that it was never officially checked in there.
"My belief would be an entity such as this gotta have video footage of me bringing this back," Gay said.
The company representative suggested that Gay call customer service to file a dispute. She said that could initiate a review of surveillance video and perhaps a police investigation.
Meanwhile, he's still out of more than $600, an expensive way to learn two lessons.
"Never make a contract per say with my personal debit card. Always use your credit card because you've got a little bit of an umbrella to cover you," Gay said. "Also, be a little bit more thorough and ensure when you have a transaction like this, whether they say it's okay or not, get a receipt."
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