U-Haul? U-Offset.1 Comment
I moved this weekend – and, unfortunately for me, as a Core Blue consumer I had to make some needlessly complicated ethical decisions about it. Here’s the story about one of those decisions.
It takes place in the U-Haul rental and storage facility in Park Slope, Brooklyn where the long line of customers were amazingly chipper given the fact that it was 4:30 pm on a Sunday and hot outside. So I’m standing there at the counter going through the process of having the irrational penalties for gas ($30) and something left in the vehicle ($35) explained to me by an equally nonplussed agent, when a screen popped up on my credit card machine. “Do you want to donate to save the environment? $3? $5? $15? No Thanks,” it said. “Ack!” I said, and hovered over the “guilt-screen” with my sensor pen for a really long time before clicking on the $3 button and then making a wry (but good natured) comment to the agent about “Guilt-ing you into more fees.”
It’s not that I doubt that U-Haul does indeed donate my $3 to some charitable environmental cause. And, in fact, a quick sweep of their Corporate Sustainability page
It’s just that – right then, in that moment, at the intersection of utter exhaustion and the dread of exorbitant fees, I was really not in the mood to heap yet another emotion on top: be it guilt, or chagrin, or confusion. In fact, I was bitter about the “guilt-screen”, thinking that U-Haul was passing off their responsiblity to the environment onto me, the weak and battered consumer in the midst of a tedious move. That is, I was bitter until I took it upon myself to learn that U-Haul is actually ahead of the curve on environmental, social and economic sustainability.
Recommendation: re-assess the in-store experience. Lose the guilt-screen. Opt for better signage that shows the consumer what they’re doing right by choosing your products and services, not what they’re doing wrong by driving.
- Kate Cook, Brand Strategist, Saatchi & Saatchi S