We arecurrently in the midst of another PCS move and we thought things were going really well. We were pretty satisfied with our packers and the driver seemed to be a nice guy, too.
Then we arrived at our new duty station and received a call from the Transportation Office. The caller (a female named Fred!) wanted to know if we had a partial DITY in addition to the moving truck. JD told her we that we did and she informed him that we were already just 220 lbs. under our weight limit. That didn't sound right seeing as how we'd just moved last year and our weight was about 3,000 lbs. less than that. We were a little worried considering we'd just hauled about 2500 lbs. ourselves, but figured it had to be a mistake.
As luck would have it, JD was on his way to the local moving company to weigh our empty truck and when he arrived, our driver Thomas was also there -dropping off our crates. JD spoke with Thomas and told him there was no way we had that much weight. Thomas said he'd double check the trailer and make sure no one else's stuff was on there and then get a reweigh. I was content with that answer because I was certain it was just a mistake.
By this time though, JD had a feeling that something shady was going on. He left, but asked the lady at the warehouse to please call him when the reweigh was complete. When she called back she had some interesting news to share; the driver weighed again and came back with the same weight. Luckily for us, with experience comes knowledge and she had both. She looked at the number of crates he left behind and concluded that there was no way we had the amount of weight he claimed. She had all of our crates loaded onto one of their trucks and weighed it yet again.
Yeah, our official weight was 2,800 lbs. less than the driver claimed! That's a lot! This is what we've concluded happened. Our driver knew our pay grade and, therefore, our weight limit. We believe that he planned on weighing in just under the limit so as not to raise any red flags and make some extra money in the process. What he didn't plan on is someone at Transportation knowing it was pretty unlikely that we'd make a move without some sort of partial DITY. He also didn't plan on someone at the moving company paying attention to the number of crates that we had. And actually reweighing it.
For us, this was an eye opener. When JD first told me he thought something shady was going on, I thought he was crazy. The idea that this could happen never even crossed my mind!
While I hope that this isn't happening regularly, I am sure it is happening to others at least occasionally. So, be aware that there are less than honest people out there trying to make a buck at the (possible) expense of military families. Had we not had this all figured out, we would have had to absorb the cost of our DITY move. For those not doing a DITY, it's still important to pay attention to your total weight. If you think it's higher than it should be, don't be afraid to question it. We've probably all had our share of complaints about moving companies; the last thing we should have to deal with is a crooked moving company.