In tonight's troubleshooters report a moving company that charged a lot more than expected.
Mari Knezovich and her husband hired movers for their recent relocation to Carolina Beach.
When it came time to pay the bill, the company wanted nearly three times the amount quoted in their written estimate.
Moving is rarely a fun process, but Mari Knezovich said her recent move was a particularly bad experience.
"I feel like I've been ripped off, really badly," said Mrs. Knezovich.
She and her husband shopped around before hiring the move makers. The company quoted them $700 to move all of their furniture from Oak Island, into their three bedroom unit on Carolina Beach.
"My husband went into detail about the fact that we did have two storage units at the Oak Island property. He gave her a pretty good estimate of how many boxes that we had," said Mrs. Knezovich.
Having moved several times before, Mari expected the total cost might be a little bit more than $700, but she was flabbergasted when the movers gave her the final bill for $2,100.
But, she says the moving company wasn't about to come off their price.
And it wasn't just the dollars and cents that made Mari mad. She said the movers showed up three hours late on the day of the move, which turned the move into a two day process -- even with Mari's brother and husband pitching in.
Mari said some of her furniture was damaged in transit, and the company refused to honor a coupon for 10 percent off the move.
We called the Move Makers to get their side of the story. They refused to talk with us on camera, but told me over the phone the Knezovich's understated how much furniture needed to be moved.
In this case, the Move Makers gave the estimate over the phone with the caveat that the actual charge would be determined after the job had been finished.
We were curious what a fair price would have been for this move. We called a few local companies to get estimates, explaining exactly how much furniture was involved, and specifying that there were several flights of stairs involved.
The highest bid we got was $1,600 -- a full $500 less than the Move Makers charged.
Another company agreed to do the entire job for just over $800.
So how can you prevent the same thing from happening to you?
The Better Business Bureau advises consumers to:
- Get a cost estimate in writing, preferably after a walk-through of your home or apartment.
- Try to get a binding estimate so the company can't hike the price after the move.
- Don't select a mover based on price alone. In many cases, you get what you pay for.
- If you have a bad feeling about your mover's tactics or charges, stop the move before your household goods are loaded on the truck.