This picturesque scene through the nation’s heartland was part of a Marine’s family’s military relocation. The trip was was made possible with help from Penske’s military call center.
Military relocation orders tend to come swiftly and on short notice.
For one young couple, it was not the first time they had to pack up their belongings and move to a new location. It was a move that would take them hundreds of miles from home, far from family and friends, to unfamiliar surroundings in another state.
With only a month to move, Elizabeth found herself in charge of the details while her Marine husband was away training for his new assignment. So, she took to the internet in search of a good deal on a rental truck, but what she found in Penske’s military call center was so much more.
“I had read on a blog or a comment site that mentioned Penske had some good deals, so I looked into it and found the number for the call center,” Elizabeth said. “The fact that it was specifically for military was super cool. I gave them a call, and they were so helpful and relatable.”
Penske Truck Rental created the specialized military call center in 2014 to help reduce the stress of do-it-yourself moves for military families.
Each Penske associate assisting customers in the call center has a military connection: either a family member who is in active or reserve duty or the associate is a veteran themselves. The group handles thousands of calls per year.
“They are able to create a personal connection over the phone, which provides an improved customer experience. This is what we strive for on every call,” said Jeff Werner, director of rental contact centers for Penske Truck Rental. “They speak a common military language, and the customers greatly appreciate that personal touch.”
That familiarity was such a comfort to Elizabeth, who knew nothing of her newly adopted hometown, but had to somehow arrange to transport the contents of her two-bedroom condo – including a “ridiculous amount” of baby items belonging to her seven-month-old daughter.
“We are literally not anywhere close to a military installation, which made the move even harder,” she said.
As a U.S. Army Veteran, with 20 years active duty and four years active duty reserve service, Moving Advisor Joe Dezotell has done his fair share of military moves over the years.
“The military needs, although similar to a regular household move, may have numerous extenuating circumstances that a normal household move may not have,” Dezotell said, such as a service member leaving the service due to the injury or a service member moving their family back home before they deploy overseas.
Susan Koskey, who also works in the military call center, said it is important to understand the special considerations that are part of a military move, such as allowing enough moving time to accommodate things like weighing the truck at the beginning and end of the trip to qualify for relocation funds from the military and any housing delays.
“We have to be prepared for any type of circumstances that may pop up to assist with their special needs,” Dezotell added. “It can be stressful, but the service we are offering at Penske definitely helps diminish a lot of stress.”
Elizabeth said she was put at ease right from the beginning by the call center associate who took her call.
“The guy we talked to was in the military and understood everything we were going through. He hooked us up with all the military discounts. It not only made the move easier, but it made me more comfortable going with Penske and knowing we were working with a great company,” she said.
Little things like directions on where to pick up and drop off the truck made all the difference.
“It was huge to me because I had absolutely no idea where I was moving to, so someone who could tell me ‘this is where you are going’ and ‘this is what you are going to do next’ was so helpful,” Elizabeth said.
“There was extreme comfort in knowing that the person we were talking to had done the move before,” she added. “So when I had to talk to him a few times, he said ‘I understand. Take your time.’ It was beyond comforting.”
If you are in the military and need assistance with a PCS move, call Penske’s military call center at 1-844-4TROOPS (1-844-487-6677). Click here for more information and discounts.
By Bernie Mixon