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NEWS | Aug. 22, 2008

DoD gives customers voice in PCS moves

If you have ever muttered the term, "If I were in charge," confident your way of doing things could improve a product or service, the Department of Defense wants to hear from you. 

Through its Web-based customer satisfaction surveys, DoD is putting the hundreds of thousands of military members and civilians who make permanent change of station moves each year in charge of helping determine the carriers who pack and deliver their goods. 

"The Department of Defense is working hard to improve the quality of life of service members and civilians during permanent change of station moves," said Lt. Col. Cliff Altizer of the San Antonio Joint Personal Property Shipping Office. "When DoD rolls out the new 'Families First' program later this year, personal property shipments will no longer be awarded to lowest-cost carriers. A 'Best Value Score,' based largely on the results of customer satisfaction surveys, will be the factor that determines which carriers move the property of service members and their families." 

Since June 2004, people making moves have been asked to complete surveys to rate the performance of those involved in the personal property moving process. This includes the Personal Property Shipping Offices, carrier agents who handle the packing and transportation service providers who move personal property on behalf of the members, Colonel Altizer said. 

"The Department of Defense Personal Property Survey is definitely one survey people making PCS moves need to complete," he said. "By completing the survey, military and civilian movers will influence the quality of future moves, both for themselves and for other service members." 

The process starts during pre-move planning, when the Personal Property Shipping Office counselor briefs all movers on the need to complete the online customer survey after delivery of their property at the designated destination. About 7-14 days after delivery, members receive a survey notification message at the e-mail address they provided during their counseling appointment. 

"The comments and ratings provided, whether good or bad, will have a direct impact on moving companies' future participation in the DoD personal property program," Colonel Altizer said. 

If people do not receive a survey e-mail, they should go to the Web at and request a new password be sent to their e-mail address of record. Once the survey arrives, it only takes a few minutes to complete, he said. 

"Those few minutes will provide the primary means for DoD to provide quality personal property shipments from professional and competent carriers on future moves," Colonel Altizer said.