It’s a question I’ve been hearing a lot lately. I sit quietly and listen for those around to give an answer.
Is PCS Season 2019 really any better than last year?
Yes. And No.
While Transcom has implemented some new things this year such as more crating for smaller shipments, working to get orders out to service members sooner, pushing for more Qa Inspector hiring, and a hotline number should things go terribly wrong after hours, it seems as if the abundance of horror stories from seasons past are not as frequent this year.
⁃ Is it because those few changes that things have improved?
⁃ Has industry taken note of last year along with the media and congressional attention between then and now?
⁃ Are families just tired and not sharing like they used to?
⁃ Are there other factors at play?
Maybe it’s a little bit of all of it.
The new resolutions by Transcom were greatly needed, and much more is still needing to be done. Every little step for positive change and experience improvement is greatly appreciated.
The moving industry watched as privatized housing company heads were grilled in a Senate Hearing about the state of conditions and realized they didn’t want to be in their shoes. Many, for what seems to be the first time ever have listening to what others have to say and offering advice from their own perspectives.
Families are tired. Over a decade of war, back to back deployments followed by back to back rotations with a PCS every 12-36 months has started to wear on families. Spouse employment issues, difficulty finding safe and affordable childcare, and recent cuts to education and health care has made it hard for families to want to stick it out until 20 years. In a process that felt like nothing was going to change and the expected bad moves was the status quo some have felt there’s no point to continue sharing the experience good or bad.
Several factors influencing this years PCS Season has been that more spouses and families are reading up on the regulations, and holding moving companies to them. In addition, myself and the rest of my PCS Reform team have stepped in to assist families who have been facing those hard and difficult horror story situations, to try and get them quick resolution to their issues. Along with that, many TSPs senior leadership have been open to feedback, have willingness to join in open conversations about the difficulties they face, and wanting to know about the issues that usually aren’t brought their attention. For so long it was Transcom and Industry negotiations that took place, but now military families have pulled up to share their voice in the matter.
This year we did hear of the truck fires, catastrophic losses from shipments with mold, crews being escorted off post, excessive damage, pets being shipped in drawers of furniture, and move coordinators that won’t return phone calls. But we’ve also heard of the little to no loss or damage moves, good communication, full unpacks going as expected and some companies going above and beyond to assist the families and make this transition time easier.
So is PCS Season 2019 really any better than last year?
Yes, and no. But I can say it’s not for lack of trying in most cases. This year there is a willingness to hear all sides, see the others perspective, take the feed back and learn how to improve and do better. It’s a spirit about this process that hasn’t been seen in many years, and one we cannot let die out anytime soon.