Hold Military Moving Companies Accountable
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An Open Letter To Our Elected Officials -
Every year thousands of military service members and their families pack up and move on military orders. All of their memories, heirlooms, worldly processions, keepsakes, pro-gear, kids toys, and some useless stuff, otherwise known as household goods (HHGs) gets packed up by contracted strangers, loaded onto a truck and driven across country.
If you are on the lucky side of things, your HHGs will arrive with a few scratches and maybe a broken bowl.
However, most everyone ends up on the other side. Boxes will be unloaded smashed and torn, furniture will come off broken in multiple pieces, and other items will just go missing.
It will be brushed off as “don’t worry, you can just file a claim”, and while that might be true, there are things that money just can’t fix.
Money can’t replace the broken hutch inherited from my grandmother. Money can’t fix the missing foot board from the custom made bed. Money can’t fix my discontinued, now smashed in to pieces wedding china. And money can’t fix the box of my children’s baby memories box that never arrived.
I know, we should just leave these things with family! While that is a good thought, it’s not always possible. Some service members just don’t have the family available to leave these things!
Every year, thousands of service members file claims with moving companies. Within the last 2 years the average claim has been around $10,000, with an average of only 50-60% of that being paid out.
Over the last 5 years, the PCS season has become more and more horrendous to deal with. The major moving companies being awarded the contracts, often sub contract out to smaller, local companies. Many of these companies do not understand how military bases work- usually sending drivers or crews who have a felony background, can’t access post, or a truck that has expired registration.
These companies also do a poor job in packing and handling of the HHGs. Many times the crew will pack as quickly as possible to get to the next job to make more money. In doing so, things are usually packed improperly, allowing for damage to occur. When loaded into the truck or unloaded at the storage facility or destination, everything is usually just thrown around without a care. When Service members and families speak up about how things are being handled, we are usually scolded, degraded, and told to just let them do their job.
In one of our recent moves we had a mattress come off the truck soaking wet. When I questioned it and ask what my son was suppose to sleep on, the driver took a furniture pad off the dresser and said he could sleep on that.
When we moved to our current location, I questioned the driver about my high value list, and the markings on the inventory about the furniture. The response I received was “this is just how we do it.” Then when we arrived, our range bags complete with range equipment were missing.
Our military service members and their families already sacrifice so much for this country. The deployments, holidays missed, birthdays not celebrated, their children’s firsts moments, training time, and sometimes even their life. Is it so much to ask that moving companies take a little more care in handling our memories? Is it so much to ask our elected officials to step in and protect our service members from the headache and heartache during a PCS?
I challenge you to start holding these companies accountable. I challenge you to step up your game and ease the worry burden on our military families.
MilitarySpouseChronicles #PCSChronicles #MemoriesSmashed
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