By Carla Olivo, USMC Spouse

Ahhh, PCS season!

You know, that tense 3-4 month cycle which 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 the 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.

Military Moving

Sounds simple, right? Except, it NEVER goes this smoothly! Raise your hand (or have a drink) if you have 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? 

Tense Much?

Military PCS 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, you can and should have a voice in the process.

A good first step is reviewing your Moving Company for the entire military and veteran community to see. Yes, you can vent your frustration on facebook pages such as Lost During My PCS. And while it might feel good in the moment, where does that really get you? Will you even be able to find that post in a week or the next time you PCS?

That is the beauty of the Moving Company Review platform at PCSgrades. Your reviews, good, bad, or ugly stay posted and are easily found at PCSgrades.com.

Use Your Voice

Military families can interact with and review the people and companies that move their household goods around the world.

I know.

You’re 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 company. You can be told ‘no’, but you might just get what you ask for. You won’t know unless you ask.

7 reasons why you should review your Moving Company

#1 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 have a much bigger impact than anonymous/un-verified reviews. It is certainly more effective than venting in a closed group on Facebook.                                   

#2 Be Thorough

Thorough reviews can highlight the shortcomings of a particular company, so you can better guard against them. 

#3 You do have a choice

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?  

#4 Strength in numbers

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.   

#5 Sleep Well                                                           

Reviews from the military and veteran community can provide peace of mind that your belongings will be treated with respect. Check out this Mover’s Notice!                                                                               

#6 Help build a great database

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.                                 

#7 Start the conversation

The PCSgrades review process is meant to encourage and reward positive behavior among the companies and professionals we all do business with. The interactive review process allows participating companies and PCSgrades’ members to start a conversation through the 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 the mil-vet community 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 base housing, local realtors, neighborhoods, etc. Take this opportunity to let the world know your military PCS moving experience.

PCSgrades.com is a community of military and veteran families helping each other with our biggest relocation needs through trusted reviews. Help us to help each other and submit your reviews today. Together we can make a difference!

Carla Olivo 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, and their two children. 

Carla Olivo

Director of Strategic Communications