By Carla Olivo, PCSgrades Director of Strategic Communications
We are at the height of PCS season. You know, that tense 3-4 month cycle that begins when your spouse comes home and announces the next duty station and ends when the last box and packing paper goes into the recycle bin. Oh, it sounds simple enough. Your spouse gets orders. You research the new duty station and surrounding area. (Hopefully, you start your info gathering by reading reviews on PCSgrades.com.) You decide the on-base or off dilemma and the ‘do we buy or rent‘ questions. Your packers arrive, maybe a few hours late but they are there, packing your entire life into boxes. The movers come to load everything onto the moving truck and then deliver to your next destination.
Sounds simple, right? Except, it NEVER goes this smoothly! Raise your hand (or have a drink) if you ever had packers show up late (or not at all). Ever had packers get into a shouting match among themselves as they were packing your china? Or have you caught your movers throwing boxes down the stairs to the basement?
Moving is stressful and dealing with people who don’t seem to care about your stress (or your belongings) only adds to the stress. While there is no way to erase the emotional tension that accompanies a relocation, military and veteran families can and should have a voice in the process.
With the launch of the Moving Company Review platform, military families can now interact with and review the people and companies that move our household goods and our lives around the world. I know, you are thinking, ‘I don’t have a choice on who moves my stuff.’ And sometimes you might be right, but most military families don’t realize you can ask for a specific moving or packing company. You can be told ‘no’, but you might just get what you asked for. You won’t know unless you ask.
Here are 7 more reasons why you should review your Moving Company.
- YOU can impact the future of the PCS experience! Many moving companies are very leery of online review forums. Legitimate reviews from verified military members in an open, third-party forum will have a much bigger impact than anonymous/un-verified reviews…and certainly more so than venting in a closed group on Facebook.
- Thorough reviews can highlight the shortcomings of a particular company, so you can better guard against them.
- PCSgrades Moving Company reviews can HELP you with your “choices” and yes, you actually do have some choice! You can always choose whether or not you want to DITY/PPM or partial DITY/PPM. In some cases, you can actually request to work with or NOT to work with a particular moving company (although still subject to DoD approval). If you read reviews about your moving company that indicate a history of damaged electronics, would you consider a partial DITY for your most precious electronics?
- Every review submitted strengthens the voice of our community, providing a little more control for our fellow military families that has never existed in the PCS process before.
- Reviews from the military and veteran community can often provide peace of mind that your belongings will be treated with respect. Check out the Mover’s Notice!
- You can arm Military/Veteran Support Organizations with unique and reputable data from your reviews so they can wield even greater authority when engaged in advocacy on behalf of military families everywhere.
- The PCSgrades review process is meant to encourage and reward positive behavior among the companies and professionals we all do business with. Our interactive review process allows participating companies and PCSgrades members to start a conversation through our messaging system. This is unprecedented. Reviewers have the option to ignore the message, continue the dialogue anonymously through the messaging system, or to exchange contact information and take the conversation offline. The choice is yours!
We are just getting started in holding those companies that do business with military families accountable. But we need you, our fellow military and veteran families to let your voices be heard through, not just moving company reviews, but also reviews of post housing, local realtors, neighborhoods, etc. Take this opportunity to let the world know your PCS experience.
Author: Carla Olivo, PCSgrades Strategic Communications Director, previously served as the Director of Communications for Operation Hug-A-Hero and as the Media/Community Relations Officer for the Delaware Department of Transportation. She has garnered numerous TV industry awards including the Associated Press award for Spot News Reporting, News Writing, Enterprise Reporting, and Documentary Reporting. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, a retired USMC Lt. Colonel, their two children. You can follow her on Twitter @olivowriter.