11th August 2006

Waste Management of Melbourne sucks.

Waste Management SucksOh THIS is going to be a good one……

So, last week I received two bills from the company that does trash collection and disposal for the City of Palm Bay where three of my properties are located. One was for about $41 which is the normal charge per property for 1 quarter (4 months) of service. The other bill was for about $260.

As a matter of background, The City of Palm Bay does not bill for trash collection on their water bills like EVERY OTHER CITY I have ever lived in. I had called Waste Management’s customer service department last year, upon receiving the first ever bills from them and asked them to send the bills directly to the rental properties, addressed to the tenants which they did.

After I received the bill for $260, I called Waste Management’s customer service department to find out what the deal was. They informed me that they had billed the tenants at the address in question and they had not paid……ever.

I then asked them to explain to me how was this my problem. The Waste Management customer service rep told me that ultimately, the property owner (me) was responsible for the bill and that a lien would be put on the property if it was not eventually paid.

Now, I can understand that if a company provides services under contract to a city, they need to be paid for their services. However, Waste Management continued to bill these tenants for 4 successive quarters and was never paid. They also never even tried to contact me to let me know about the situation.

As an aside, the tenants that were in this house were total dirt bags and stiffed a number of people including the city, the power company and me before they finally moved under threat of eviction.

Also, on a different property, they never transferred my name onto the account of that property and informed me that I was liable for the charges, including late charges, from the time that I purchased the house. WTF??!!

So basically, I called Waste Management to try to work something out on these accounts and to try to get some concession in the form of a discount or something.

I was told that no they could make no concessions on the account and I would have to pay all these bills within three months or I would again be accruing late charges. I asked the customer service rep to please explain to me how through a clerical error (not transferring a house into my name) and a collections department’s incompetency that I should have to pay all these charges.

She said, “I’m sorry Sir, that’s the policy.” I then asked to speak to her supervisor and after explaining the WHOLE story again, got them to cut one of the bills in half and they would attempt to collect the other amount from the tenants who didn’t pay. (I gave Waste Management the new address of the tenants)

City of Palm Bay, in their infinite wisdom, instead of putting trash collection services on the water bill, opted to pass an ordinance saying that trash collection by Waste Management of Melbourne is a mandatory service with the ultimate conflict resolution being to ability to place a lien on the property.

I’ll post the letter that I’m sending to all the members of the city council asking them what they were thinking at the time they passed this ordinance.

posted in City Government, Property Management | 3 Comments

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