Lindsay Bramson joined News4 in June 2016 as an investigative reporter.

Some Nashville residents are opening their trash bills this month to find quite the stunner.

The I-Team's consumer investigator Lindsay Bramson shows you how it prompted one upset customer to actually save money in the long run.

For 17 years, Mary Ann Pickard was a loyal Republic Services customer.

Once a week they picked up her trash. But there was something different about her bill this month. It nearly doubled.

“So, for 3 months $57. And the last time I got the bill it was $94.55,” said Bellevue resident Mary Ann Pickard

She says there was no phone call, email or letter warning her about the increase.

"I thought it must be a mistake,” said Pickard.

Suddenly there are fees she says she’s never seen before including an administrative fee and a fee to pay for fuel.

These are fees you've never had before? No and that's on top of the regular monthly bill so I’m thinking what's the monthly bill for,” Pickard wondered.

Good question.

But when we went to 2 different locations for Republic Services, we were told no one was available who could answer that.

"Merry Christmas. The timing's horrible. But it should never happen,” said Pickard.

While there are 28 trash companies that service Davidson County, only a handful of them pickup in Bellevue.

As soon as Pickard got her latest bill she switched companies and now will save money each month.

Because I’m not going to pay $94 when I was paying $57. I know there are a lot of people in this area that use them and I think they need to know,” said Pickard.

This afternoon, we finally got a response from the company.

They didn't answer any of our questions, but only submitted a statement, saying in part, " We are unable to control fuel and other petrochemical costs and environmental expenses."

The takeaway here is what we always advise people. Always monitor your bills for changes and as it happened for Mary Ann, look for competitors to your current utility. It can often save you money.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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