U-Haul website notice and printed terms of customer contract
U-HAUL Arbitration Agreement ("Agreement")
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY. THIS MANDATORY AGREEMENT AFFECTS YOUR RIGHTS. By engaging in a "Transaction," "You" and "U-Haul" voluntarily and knowingly enter into this Agreement which waives your right to sue and bring claims in court, other than as stated below, or have a jury resolve any dispute:
- Except as expressly provided in this Agreement, "Claims" shall not be pursued in court (except "Small Claims"), but shall be decided by binding arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its AAA Consumer Arbitration Rules (https://www.adr.org/consumer), and judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.
For purposes of this Agreement, the following definitions shall apply:
- "Claims" is broadly interpreted to include any dispute, complaint, controversy, or cause of action related to your Transaction and to U-Haul. Claims, including assigned claims, brought under any legal theory, whether at law or in equity, are covered by this Agreement and shall include, but not be limited to, all statutory and tort claims, that may be asserted.
- "Equipment" means any truck, vehicle, trailer, tow dolly, U-Box container, retail purchase, or physical item related to your Transaction.
- "Small Claims" means a lawsuit filed in a local court that has jurisdiction to decide cases involving relatively small amounts of money damages.
- "Transaction" means the commencement, completion, or fulfillment of: A) a request or reservation to rent, use or purchase Equipment or to receive services; and/or B) the use or review of the content of any U-Haul website.
- "U-Haul" means all subsidiaries, related companies, insurers, parents, agents, affiliates, and/or independent dealers of U-Haul International, Inc., and each of their respective officers, directors, shareholders, managers, employees and other representatives who had anything to do with Your Transaction.
- "You" means the person who engaged in a Transaction and (as applicable) Your respective subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, employees, persons related to You, and Your beneficiaries, estate, spouse, domestic partner, heirs, assigns and other successors-in-interest, as well as all authorized or unauthorized users of the Equipment. "Your" refers to "You."
- U-Haul and You agree that a U-Haul Transaction affects interstate commerce and that this Agreement shall be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C ch. 1, et. seq.
- You acknowledge and agree that You have voluntarily chosen to engage in a Transaction with U-Haul rather than a competitor who may offer comparable goods and services but may not require binding arbitration. Arbitration is less formal than court; uses a neutral arbitrator instead of a judge or jury; allows limited discovery; and is subject to limited judicial review. The decision of an arbitrator may be entered and enforced as a final judgment in a court of competent jurisdiction.
- Claims may only be brought in an individual capacity and in the name of an individual or entity, and may not be joined or consolidated with the claims of any third party unless they arise from the same Transaction, nor may any Claims, including assigned claims, be pursued in court. Claims must proceed on an individual and non-class and non-representative basis. No Claim may be pursued as a class or other collective action. No Claims may be brought in a representative action such as a private attorney general action, or other representative basis. The Arbitrator shall have authority to issue any relief that a court of competent jurisdiction could have awarded only to You or U-Haul individually on a non-class and non-representative basis. If any provision in this paragraph 5 is found to be unenforceable, then the entirety of this Arbitration Agreement shall be null and void, and therefore that claim must be proceed in a court of competent jurisdiction.
- If this Agreement conflicts with any arbitration provision in the Rental Contract Addendum/Document Holder or any other prior arbitration provision presented to You at the time of the Transaction, this Agreement contains the most recent reiteration of the Agreement and therefore supersedes all prior arbitration provisions and shall control.
- Unless otherwise provided in these rules or by mutual agreement, AAA Consumer Arbitration Rules (https://www.adr.org/consumer) will apply to the arbitration of all Claims.
Notice and Demand Procedure
- Notice of Dispute("Notice"): Before starting arbitration proceedings, the party asserting a Claim subject to this Agreement must give written notice by certified or electronic mail sent to the party or parties against whom a claim is asserted. Notice to U-Haul shall be sent to: UHI Legal Dept., 2727 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004 or by electronic mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. A form for providing Notice to U-Haul and related information is found at www.uhaul.com/Arbitration/. Notice to You shall be sent to the address provided by You to U-Haul in connection with the Transaction or to other address provided by You to U-Haul. After Notice of a claim is given, the parties shall attempt to resolve the Claim within sixty (60) days from the receipt of the Notice.
- Demand for arbitration("Demand'): If Claims are not resolved within sixty (60) days of receipt of the Notice, or immediately upon the unequivocal rejection of any Claim(s), You or U-Haul may request arbitration by filing a demand with the American Arbitration Association. A Demand form and related information can be found at www.uhaul.com/Arbitration/, and shall include an amount requested in the Demand.
Special rules for Claims seeking $75,000 or less:
- AAA Consumer Filing Fee. If You followed the Notice and Demand Procedure as provided above and paid a filing fee, U-Haul will reimburse You the amount of that fee.
Alternative Payment and Attorney Premium. If You followed the Notice and Demand Procedure set forth above, and the Arbitrator issues an award on the merits of Your Claims that is greater than the value of U-Haul's last written settlement offer sent to You at least fourteen (14) calendar days before the hearing (or submission of documents in a Documents-Only procedure), then U-Haul will:
- pay the award or $7,500, whichever is greater "Alternative Payment"); and
- pay Your attorney, if any, reasonable attorney's fees, and reimburse expenses (including expert witness fees) that You reasonably incurred for investigating, preparing, and pursuing Your Claims ("Attorney Premium"). To qualify for payment, expenses must be itemized and submitted to U-Haul within fourteen (14) calendar days of the award. The maximum payment under the Attorney Premium is the amount of the award.
Special rules for Claims seeking $500,000 or more:
- You or U-Haul may elect to proceed before a panel of three (3) arbitrators. If a Party elects to proceed before a panel of three (3) arbitrators, said election shall be made at the time of filing the Demand. Responding Party shall have thirty (30) days from the filing of Your Demand to elect to proceed before a panel of three (3) arbitrators.
- The Federal Rules of Evidence shall be applied in the arbitration proceedings to the same extent as if the Claims had been filed in federal court in the jurisdiction in which the Arbitration proceeds.
Upon request of a party and good cause shown, the Arbitrator will:
- permit each party to submit at least one dispositive motion;
- permit each party to serve interrogatories, requests for admission, and requests for production and determine the scope, schedule, and amount of same;
- permit at least one deposition of each party; determine the necessity of any additional depositions; and allocate the cost of taking deposition(s); and
- permit written submissions and determine the staggered schedule for such submissions.
Each party will pay its respective filing fees and its pro rata share of AAA and Arbitrator fees and expenses. All U-Haul entities will be considered one party for purposes of the allocation under this paragraph.
- Arbitrator Selection. Unless otherwise agreed in writing by You and U-Haul, AAA shall transmit simultaneously to each party an identical list of up to ten (10) qualified arbitrators chosen from the AAA National Roster of Commercial Arbitrators. The parties may agree on an Arbitrator and advise AAA of their agreement. If the parties do not agree, each party will have fourteen (14) calendar days from the transmittal date of the list or arbitrators in which to strike the names of arbitrators, number the remaining names in order of preference, and return the list directly to AAA. If a party does not return the list within the time specified, all persons on the list will be deemed acceptable to that party. From among the persons who have been approved by both parties, and in accordance with the designated order of mutual preference, the AAA shall appoint an Arbitrator to serve. If for any reason appointment cannot be made from the submitted lists, AAA will repeat the process set forth in this paragraph 11 until the Arbitrator is selected.
- Prior Settlement Offer. Prior to an arbitration decision, the parties shall not disclose to the Arbitrator any communications related to an offer of compromise unless accepted by all parties.
- Location of Arbitration Hearing/Governing Law. The Arbitration shall take place in the County (or Parish) where You reside, either at the time of the rental and/or sale or return of the Equipment, unless otherwise agreed in writing by U-Haul and You. This Agreement shall be interpreted and construed in accordance with the law of the State where the Arbitration takes place. Any and all Claims arising out of or relating to this Agreement, whether sounding in contract, tort or statute, shall be governed by the law of the State where the Arbitration takes place, including its statutes of limitations, without giving effect to any conflict-of-laws rule that would result in the application of the laws of a different jurisdiction.
- Confidentiality. In order to protect the confidential, proprietary, and trade secret information of the parties, U-Haul and You agree to negotiate and enter into a Confidentiality Agreement. If U-Haul and You cannot agree on the Confidentiality Agreement, the arbitrator shall have the sole responsibility for determining the appropriate scope of the Confidentiality Agreement. In no event shall the Confidentiality Agreement in any way prevent U-Haul or You from using any document marked as "confidential" in an arbitration proceeding under this Agreement, subject to any ruling on admissibility by the Arbitrator.
- No Publication. AAA will not publish arbitration decisions or awards, unless required by law.
- AAA and Arbitrator Fees. U-Haul will pay the AAA administrative and arbitrator fees pertaining to the Claims initiated and pursued in accordance with the Notice and Demand Procedure except as set forth in Paragraph 10. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Arbitrator shall have authority to reallocate said fees if the Arbitrator determines that Claims were filed for an improper purposes or that the Claims are patently frivolous and/or unsupported by applicable law or the reasonable extension of the law.
- Attorney's Fees and Costs. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, the Arbitrator shall have the authority to award attorneys' fees and other costs as permitted by applicable law; however, You may not be awarded duplicative amounts of attorney's fees or costs. U-Haul promises and agrees that it will not seek an award of attorneys' fees or costs unless the Arbitrator determines that Claims are patently frivolous and/or unsupported by applicable law or the reasonable extension of the law.
- Alternate Forum. If AAA cannot or will not administer the arbitration, You and U-Haul shall submit the Claims to another nationally-recognized arbitration forum which shall be subject to all other terms and conditions of this Agreement. By mutual written agreement, the parties may select an arbitration forum other than AAA and/or modify the procedural arbitration rules.
Arbitrator's Authority. The Arbitrator shall:
- Be bound by the terms of this Agreement;
- Apply a statute of limitations to all Claims as though brought in an appropriate court of competent jurisdiction;
- Decide all issues, and award a remedy, based only on the evidence and arguments submitted by a party;
- Resolve all disputes regarding the scope and enforceability of this Agreement, including the enforcement of the class action waiver;
- Issue a reasoned written decision sufficient to explain the essential findings and conclusions on which the award is based and to identify the specific types of damages awarded, if any;
- Award a remedy only as to Claims presented at the Arbitration hearing and of which all Parties were on notice at least thirty (30) days before the hearing;
- Award any form of individual relief provided such relief would have been available in an individual capacity before a court of competent jurisdiction;
- Make rulings and resolve disputes as to the payment and reallocation of fees and expenses, including attorney's fees;
- Retain jurisdiction to review and resolve issues between the parties concerning interpretation of the decision. Such issues will be resolved based only on written submissions. The party requesting the Arbitrator's review will advance payment as determined by the Arbitrator, with such deposit reimbursable by the other party in whole or in part at the Arbitrator's discretion.
- Participate in a post-decision interview to provide candid feedback to a party concerning the effectiveness and persuasiveness of its presentation of evidence and arguments. Such interview, if requested, will be held thirty (30) days after the Arbitrator's decision; be conducted telephonically or in-person at the election and expense of the requesting party, which will pay the hourly rate that prevailed during the arbitration proceedings. Nothing in this paragraph requires the Arbitrator to communicate in a way that violates ethical standards. Nothing disclosed by the Arbitrator in the interview may be used as a basis to appeal the Arbitrator's decision.
- Modification. This Agreement may only be amended by a writing signed by all parties. Only an officer representing U-Haul may agree on behalf of U-Haul to modify the terms of this Agreement.
- Severability. This Agreement is the full and complete agreement relating to the resolution of Claims. If any portion of this Agreement is deemed unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction or the Arbitrator, the remainder will be enforceable.
- Waiver. The failure of a party to require performance of any term or condition of this Agreement shall not be deemed to constitute a waiver of any such term or condition, or have any binding or precedential value regarding present or future enforcement of such term