MADEIRA Ohio -- A Tri-State woman and customers across the country are complaining that a moving company is using questionable billing practices, according to the Better Business Bureau.
Shannon Denecke of Madeira told WCPO that First National Moving and Storage raised the cost of her move more than $1,000 after she and the company agreed on the price in writing.
That's a common complaint against First National, said Sandra Guile of the BBB.
First National has an "F" rating from the Cincinnati BBB.
We wanted to talk to First National so we went to one of their Cincinnati addresses. That's when we discovered the first warning sign. The address, 670 Northland Blvd. in Forest Park, is a U.S. post office. The other local address for First National turned out to be a post office in Greenhills.
When Denecke moved back here from North Carolina, she went online and looked at different movers. First National caught her eye.
"All their reviews were really good online - a lot of people giving them five stars, four stars," she said.
She said she signed a contract for $2,395 and then asked a key question of the representative.
"I said, 'Is this price the final price? Will it change for any reason?' And he said, 'Nope, this is the price after tax, out the door.'"
But that's not what happened.
On moving day, the price jumped $300 per extra item, plus the cost of packing tape, wrap and other supplies, Denecke said.
"Overall, it increased my total order by about $1,400 and I had to sign this paper to say OK or else ... I mean, all my stuff is loaded onto their truck," she said.
The load arrived three weeks later and the couch couldn't fit through the door. Some items were missing or broke, Denecke said. What seemed like a good deal at the time did not turn out that way.
"They quoted $2,395 and I ended up paying $3,600," she said.
Guile said she has heard worse stories than that.
"In some of these cases, on moving day, what the customer is experiencing is they're presented with a bill that is often double or triple what they originally agreed upon," Guile said.
Some customers have complained about another practice, Guile said.
"You want to get your item off that truck, you are then billed an additional fee," she said.
For Denecke, it's been a real learning experience.
"Next time I'm just going to get a U-Haul and do it myself because this just wasn't worth it," she said.
We did reach out to First National to try to get comment but haven't gotten a reply.
The best advice for picking a mover, according to the BBB, is shop around, get three estimates and make sure that you're dealing with a brick and mortar company.