U-Haul website notice and printed terms of customer contract

U-Haul Arbitration Agreement

Please read carefully. This mandatory agreement affects your rights to file a lawsuit.

By commencing or making a reservation to, or agreeing to, purchase retail products or purchase or rent “Equipment" ("Equipment" as defined below) from U-Haul ("U-Haul" as defined below), You ("You" as defined below) agree to the terms and conditions of this U-Haul Arbitration Agreement ("Agreement").

  1. U-Haul and You agree that U-Haul's sales and rentals affect interstate commerce and that this Agreement shall be construed and interpreted under the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. Section 1, et. seq.
  2. U-Haul and You agree that any and all Claims ("Claims" as defined below) between U-Haul and You relating in any way to your rental or purchase from U-Haul shall be submitted to binding arbitration before the American Arbitration Association ("AAA") in accordance with AAA Consumer Arbitration Rules (www.adr.org/consumer), except that in any matter where Claims seek $500,000 or more, the AAA Commercial Arbitration Rules for Large, Complex Matters (www.adr.org/commercial) will apply. AAA Rules are also available at www.uhaul.com/arbitration. Judgment may be entered on the arbitration award by a Court of competent jurisdiction. U-Haul and You agree that Claims submitted to arbitration shall be decided in a single arbitration before a single Arbitrator who must be on the AAA National Roster of Commercial Arbitrators and selected in accordance with the AAA Rules. Arbitration is less formal than a lawsuit in court; uses a neutral arbitrator instead of a judge or jury; allows for more limited discovery than in court; and is subject to very limited court review. Arbitrators have authority to award the same damages and relief that a court can award.
  3. U-HAUL AND YOU AGREE THAT CLAIMS MAY ONLY BE BROUGHT IN AN INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND IN THE NAME OF AN INDIVIDUAL PERSON OR ENTITY; CLAIMS MUST PROCEED ON AN INDIVIDUAL AND NON-CLASS AND NON-REPRESENTATIVE BASIS; AND CLAIMS OF TWO OR MORE PERSONS MAY NOT BE JOINED OR CONSOLIDATED IN THE SAME ARBITRATION UNLESS ARISING FROM THE SAME TRANSACTION. NEITHER YOU NOR U-HAUL MAY PURSUE CLAIMS IN ARBITRATION AS A CLASS ACTION OR PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ACTION OR OTHER REPRESENTATIVE ACTION NOR MAY ANY SUCH CLAIMS BE PURSUED ON EITHER OF OUR BEHALF IN ANY COURT, INCLUDING ASSIGNED CLAIMS. THE ARBITRATOR SHALL BE AUTHORIZED TO AWARD RELIEF ONLY ON AN INDIVIDUAL AND NON-CLASS AND NON-REPRESENTATIVE BASIS.
  4. You acknowledge and agree that You voluntarily and knowingly entered into this Agreement, which waives your right to file a lawsuit in court (except for small claims), and chose to rent or purchase from U-Haul rather than one of its competitors who may not have an arbitration agreement.
  5. In the event this Agreement conflicts with any arbitration agreement in the Rental Contract Addendum/ Document Holder or elsewhere, this Agreement shall control.

Definitions:

"Equipment"
means that equipment, item, vehicle and/or trailer identified on the rental or sales reservation, contract, or receipt.
"U-Haul"
means U-Haul International, Inc. and its respective subsidiaries, insurers, parent, affiliates, agents, and dealers.
"You"
means You and Your respective subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, employees, predecessors in interest, successors, relatives, spouse, beneficiaries, estate, domestic partners, heirs and assigns, as well as all authorized or unauthorized users of the U-Haul Equipment.
"Claims"
is to be broadly interpreted to include any dispute, claim or cause of action arising out of or relating to, Your dealings with U-Haul, including but not limited to, the reservation and/or reservation process, use of any affiliated U-Haul website, advertising, rental or sales contract, or Equipment. Claims include any and all legal theories, including but not limited to, all statutory and tort claims, that may be asserted by You.

Rules applicable to all Claims:

Notice and Demand Procedure. U-Haul and You agree that before arbitration is requested, the parties will engage in a mutual effort to resolve Claims. The party seeking arbitration must first send to the other, by certified mail, a written Notice of Dispute ("Notice"). Notice to U-Haul shall be sent to: U-Haul Dispute Resolution, 2721 N. Central Ave., 5th Fl., Phoenix, AZ 85004. If U-Haul and You do not mutually resolve the Claims within 60 days after the Notice is received, or immediately upon the denial of Claims, U-Haul or You may commence an arbitration proceeding by filing a Demand for Arbitration (“Demand”) with AAA. During the arbitration, the amount of any settlement offer made by U-Haul or You shall not be disclosed to the Arbitrator until after the Arbitrator determines the amount, if any, to which U-Haul or You is entitled. You may obtain a form Notice or a form Demand at www.uhaul.com/arbitration.

Arbitration Rules. The AAA Consumer Arbitration Rules apply in the arbitration of all Claims with the following exceptions:

  1. Small Claims Court Option. U-Haul or You may bring Claims in small claims court instead of arbitration. The rules of the small claims court shall apply. If You elect this option and the small claims court finds in Your favor on the merits of Your claim, U-Haul shall reimburse your filing and service of process expenses up to $500 and pay You $500 in addition to what You are awarded.
  2. Arbitrator Selection. For Claims seeking less than $500,000, after consumer and business filing fees have been paid, AAA will send the parties a list of five (5) qualified arbitrators from its National Roster of Commercial Arbitrators. If the parties do not agree on the arbitrator within 14 calendar days from the date both parties received the list, then the AAA case administrator shall conduct a telephone conference during which U-Haul and You shall alternately strike names from the list, with You striking the first name, until one name remains. If such Arbitrator is unavailable or declines to serve, AAA shall generate another list, and the selection process shall be repeated.
  3. Claims seeking $75,000 or less. After U-Haul receives the Demand from you, it will reimburse You for your payment of the filing fee. The arbitration will 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 You and U-Haul. U-Haul waives any right to recover attorney’s fees or costs from You except as expressly provided in this Agreement. If the Notice procedure above was followed and: a) U-Haul did not make a written offer to settle the dispute up to 14 days before the arbitration hearing, and the Arbitrator awards you any relief on the merits; or b) after finding in Your favor in any respect on the merits of Your claim, the Arbitrator issues You an award that is greater than the value of U-Haul's last written settlement offer made up to 14 calendar days before the arbitration hearing, then U-Haul will: i) pay You the amount of the Arbitrator's award or $7,500, whichever is greater (“Alternative Payment”); and ii) pay Your attorney, if any, the amount of reasonable attorney’s fees, and reimburse any expenses (including expert witness fees and costs) that Your attorney reasonably accrued for investigating, preparing, and pursuing Your Claims in arbitration (“Attorney Premium”) and which are presented to U-Haul within 14 calendar days of the Award. The maximum payment of attorney’s fees and expenses under the Attorney Premium shall be the amount of the Arbitrator’s award.
  4. Claims seeking $15,000 or less. In addition to sub-paragraph "c" above, You may choose whether the Arbitration proceeds in person, by telephone, or based only on written submissions.
  5. Claims seeking at least $500,000. The AAA Rules for Large, Complex Commercial Disputes shall apply. A single Arbitrator shall preside over the arbitration, except that U-Haul or You may elect to proceed before a panel of three (3) arbitrators. 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. The Federal Rules of Evidence shall apply unless otherwise agreed to in writing by U-Haul and You. The Parties shall have the right to conduct adequate civil discovery, bring dispositive motions, and offer witnesses and evidence needed to present their cases and defenses, and any disputes in this regard shall be resolved by the arbitrator.

Arbitrator's Authority. The Arbitrator shall:

  1. Be bound by the terms of this Agreement;
  2. Decide all issues based on the evidence and arguments submitted by a party;
  3. Resolve all disputes regarding the scope and enforceability of this Agreement, including all issues relating to the enforcement of the class action waiver;
  4. 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;
  5. Award a remedy for Claims actually presented at the Arbitration hearing and for which all Parties were on notice prior to the hearing;
  6. Award any form of individual relief, including equitable relief, injunctions, and other relief available under applicable law provided that such remedy would have been available to a party in his or her individual capacity in an appropriate court of competent jurisdiction;
  7. Make rulings and resolve disputes as to the payment and reimbursement of fees, expenses, and the Alternative Payment and the Attorney Premium at any time during the proceedings;
  8. Apply a statute of limitations to all Claims as though such Claims were brought in an appropriate court of competent jurisdiction;
  9. Participate in a post-decision interview for the purpose of providing candid feedback to a party concerning the effectiveness and persuasiveness of its presentation of evidence and arguments. Such interview shall be held after the final conclusion of the matter; be conducted telephonically or in-person at the election and expense of the requesting party, which will pay the arbitrator the hourly rate that prevailed during the arbitration proceedings. Nothing in this section 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 challenge the arbitrator’s decision.
  10. Retain jurisdiction to resolve issues between the parties concerning interpretation and application of the decision. Such post-decision issues shall be resolved based on written submissions only. A deposit for the arbitrator’s time to resolve a post-decision issue shall be set by the arbitrator and advanced by the requesting party with such deposit reimbursable in whole or in part at the arbitrator’s discretion.

Confidentiality. In order to protect the confidential, proprietary, and trade secret information of the parties, U-Haul and You agree to enter into a Confidentiality Agreement as negotiated by U-Haul and You. 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.

AAA and Arbitrator Fees. Current filing fees are available at www.adr.org. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, U-Haul will pay all AAA filing, administration, and arbitrator fees to a maximum of $5,000 for any arbitration initiated in accordance with the Notice and Demand Procedure above. The arbitrator shall have discretion to determine how fees in excess of $5,000 shall be attributed between U-Haul and You and whether any portion of fees prepaid by U-Haul shall be reimbursed by You to U-Haul.

Attorneys’ Fees and Costs. Nothing in this Agreement limits the right to attorney’s fees and expenses You may have under applicable law. However, You may not recover duplicative awards of attorney’s fees or costs. Although under some laws U-Haul may have a right to an award of attorney’s fees and expenses if it prevails in Arbitration, U-Haul agrees that it will not seek such an award unless the Arbitrator determines that your Claims or relief sought are frivolous or brought for an improper purpose as measured by the standards set forth in Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 11(b).

Severability. This Agreement is the full and complete agreement relating to the formal resolution of Claims. In the event any portion of this Agreement is deemed unenforceable, the remainder of this Agreement will be enforceable.

Alternate Forum. In the event that the arbitration forum specified in this Agreement is no longer in business at the time either party wishes to demand arbitration, the arbitration shall proceed with a nationally recognized arbitration forum of Your choice.