A Not-So-Smooth Move – Now What?

PCS Moving Truck

For military families, summer is more than just the time for beach vacations, barbecues and fireworks – it’s also moving season. Traditionally, the majority of Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves happen during the summer months. Most of the time, military moves go surprisingly smoothly – except when they don’t. Now that summer is winding down, many military families find themselves settling into their new homes and wondering what to do about a move that somehow went wrong. Luckily, there are resources that families can turn to for help.

Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) is the executive agent for the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) Personal Property Program. Families still planning their next PCS move can refer to this article for ensuring that the process goes smoothly. For families coping with the aftermath of a move that did not go well, SDDC’s website provides a list of information and resources. Bookmark it, write it down, and make it your friend!  

Whether you are still planning your next move or are in the midst of unpacking boxes, it’s good to be knowledgeable about the “rules” covering military moves. US Transportation Command’s guide offers a wealth of information from weight limits to the hours your packers should be at your home. For questions about what can be moved to how, it is a great guide.

Although you can always visit your installation Personal Property Shipping Office (PPPO, TO or PPSO, depending on service branch), many families are now arranging their moves using the online Defense Personal Property System via Move.mil By using the website portal, you can stay informed of where you are in your moving process and have easy access to your Transportation Service Provider (TSP). In most cases, you will want to contact your assigned TSP as your first line of defense with any complications that arise. However, you can also email, phone or submit help tickets directly to SDDC via the Move.mil website portal.

Occasionally, something goes wrong during the moving process that causes a military family to incur extra costs. For example if your packers don’t finish in time and the movers are delayed, you may face extra costs due to your delayed departure, In situations like this, you can file an Inconvenience Claim. This is done through your TSP. Your claim must be reasonable and the costs must be directly related to the newly created hardship, and you must be able to provide receipts to support your claim. If you have trouble with an inconvenience claim through your TSP, you can contact the PPPO or Military Claims Office to assist in the settlement process. 

If your problem is related to your Privately Owned Vehicle (POV), you should get in touch with the contractor moving your vehicle.

Earlier this year, DoD awarded the contract for shipping POVs to IAL. The transition process to the new contractor has not gone smoothly and many families are experiencing delays in shipping and receiving their vehicles. SDDC has Contracting Officer’s Representatives (CORs) assigned to vehicle processing centers around the globe working on resolving the issues. If your vehicle has not been delivered and the Required Delivery Date (RDD) has passed, you are entitled to reimbursement for a rental vehicle. The military will cover up to seven days at a rate limited to $30 per day that expires upon the date the POV is delivered. Any car rental required beyond seven days will have to be submitted to IAL. They will review claims for temporary lodging and rental car expenses due to a missed RDD via their website.

After your move, you want to make sure to fill out the Customer Satisfaction Survey. The scores that you provide help determine whether or not the TSP you used continue to ship for DoD families. Good or bad, your feedback matters.

Tell us about your most recent PCS. Did you have problems? Were you able to find a solution?

Enter this word:

Submitted by: Pcs
September 4, 2014
Comment: The frustrating thing for many of us is the out of pocket cost and the not in full reimbursements. My car is paid in full but if I do not receive it they will only give me the estimated value of 2,000. This will not buy a similar 2007 car and it will not be enough for a down payment on something new. Therefore I'm out more money, thinking my dislocation allowance has gone to rental cars on both ends. In addition the military will only ship one car, in today's age how many families only have one car? So it's the continual loss of money and lack of care by anyone! Then they wonder why military families have financial problems.

Submitted by: Mrs miller
September 3, 2014
Comment: About 80% of our furniture/tVs were damaged. The movers also damaged our home that we just bought and received keys days earlier. DPS does not support submitting damage to the home in the claim and is sent to TSP via email. I feel like there should be a way for the military to have a copy or paper trail attached to the claim for the service members insurance. Also the DPS system is so outdated it could not support all of the photos of the damages to our items. We have been told by TSP to submit 75-100 photos via email, which I feel is the same issue, no way to prove through DPS information was received by TSP. I feel very uncomfortable submitting that information to an employees email as our "move coordinator" changed while we were entroute and we were not notified, then called the new "move coordinator" last week and the number is no longer valid. There should be more insurance or responsibility for the contractors through the military that the service member/family be notified. During the claims process through DPS the site was down almost nightly for about a week and I was unable to update info. When I emailed the help desk regarding issues with submission I was told I was using the incorrect browser, however on the log in page it said my current browser was compatible. Downloaded the suggested browser which did not work and went back to previous browser. I notified the help desk again and did not receive a response. I submitted our claim last week, waiting to hear from Arpin. All I all our move has been a horrible experience.

Submitted by: The Association
September 2, 2014
Comment: If you have reached to IAL and you still have unresolved issues, reach out to the USTRANSCOM POV Inspector General Customer Support Team at usarmy.scott.sddc.mbx.pov-ig-response@mail.mil

Submitted by: PCSAnomaly
August 21, 2014
Comment: PCS'd from Germany to the US. Vehicle did not arrive at the destination port. The port it has been reported to be delivered to is not listed on the PCSMYPOV.com site. Hmmm, imagine. I have contacted but have not been contacted by the POV shippers. I will pursue this further. Any information will be gratefully accepted. V/R PCSAnomaly

Submitted by: The Association
August 15, 2014
Comment: We can’t give specific contacts to call, because those names, titles, and phone numbers are all based on the installation and job assignment at that time and change routinely. The most current information can be found at the website for your installation, or on http://www.militaryonesource.mil/ via the Installation Locator, where you can pull up the Installation Contacts tab to find the Transportation Office. You are your own best advocate, and I know that is said a million times, but it really is true. We recommend keeping good records (who you spoke to, what date, what you were told and keep any direct documentation) and persistence, always accompanied with politeness. Moves are incredibly frustrating, but most often, the person that can help you is not the one responsible for the problem.

Submitted by: DiA
August 15, 2014
Comment: We did our POV with American Auto Logistic from San Diego to Norfolk keeping our car for 3 years in storage. The company did not want to pay the damage to the back seat I don't know what could happen to the back seat if the car suppose to be I. The storage but not only broken back seat but also dirty interior WHY. I just don't know. The Navy has to be carefull working with this companies who doesn't care about military dailies and their situations. We had to fight and getting more stress and problem after PCS moving.

Submitted by: Rsgmama
August 14, 2014
Comment: This article is the same as the process, no one tells you WHO is the head person to complain to, call your PPPO? Ok, happy to, if they would ever pick up the phone or have a sense of urgency. We had our move dropped from the system and it sat for two weeks before we knew that, then when we asked them to expedite it they have yet to do so. We have been in our home sleeping on the floor with small children for close to 30 days - no amount of inconvenience fee will help that. And since they didn't put it in the system till two weeks later, we aren't entitled and inconvenience fee. Additionally because no one will own up to anything, we don't know WHO to complain to, and even then our complaint falls on deaf ears. We aren't your customers, we are your thing to do between smoke breaks. Worst move in 22 years, and that is after our $8,000 claim 2 years ago, so that is saying something..

Posted: August 27, 2014

  Print Print


Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.

Sign Up

Sign up to receive periodic eNews and alerts.

Please leave this field empty


Want up-to-date information and a community of people that care about military families?

Facebook Icon 2013

Twitter Icon 2013

Flickr Icon 2013