St. Jude Family Battles RV Company for Motor Home Rental

St. Jude Family Battles RV Company for Motor Home Rental

A grieving family is now in a battle with an RV company after they say, the company refused to honor their reservations.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A grieving family is now in a battle with an RV company after they say, the company refused to honor their reservations.

Two-year-old Matthew Pierce lost his battle to leukemia at St. Jude on Friday. Now his family is trying to rent a motor home to travel back to their home in California. Matthew's father, Ron Pierce, says he made a reservation and received a $2,300 quote for the family's trip back home, but two days before they were scheduled to leave Memphis, the company told them they wouldn't honor their reservation. The Pierces say, they're not looking for a hand out, they're not looking for money, they just want what was promised to them.

As if Ron Pierce, his wife, and their three children haven't been through enough this weekend, "I arrived here on Saturday with the kids," Pierce says, "(Matthew) passed before I could get here Friday night."

Pierce's youngest son, Matthew, had battled leukemia since he was two months old. He spent a year at St. Jude. Friday, the two and a half year old died. "When Matthew was having his most difficult times, 10 to 14 days ago," Pierce explains, "I started looking up worst case, we started thinking about how to get home with the other kids and how to get them out here."

After a last minute flight to Memphis, they decided to rent a motor home for the return trip. Cruise America RV is one of the few companies that advertises one way rentals. The cross country trip, to spread Matthew's ashes, was supposed to be a time to reconnect as a family and grieve on their own. But on Sunday, Pierce says his plans hit a snag. Pierce says, "After 18 drop off locations they put in the computer and got 18 declines, they said it's not the drop off locations it's the pick up location."

Then he says he was given excuse after excuse. He played a message for abc24.com from an executive with Cruise America, "A supervisor called and said there wasn't anything they could do," he says he was told, "it wasn't cost effective, they didn't have vehicles to go, a number of excuses, instead of just saying we don't have anything available."

The Pierces say the Target House in Memphis has been more than generous, allowing their entire family to stay there while they sort this out, but they're ready to get on the road. They say the only way they can start to heal is by leaving.

Pierce says, "For me, I always like to hide behind things so it's keeping me busy, it's keeping my mind off things and with all this drama I haven't had time to worry and grieve and be sad."

El Monte RV, a company that usually doesn't offer one way rentals, heard about the Pierces and offered them an exception. They will pick up the RV on Thursday out of Nashville. Cruise America has not returned our call.
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