Waste company sent debt collector to customer whose €15 bill grew to €90 when she cancelled contract
An Irish waste collection company Oxigen sent a debt collector after a woman when she cancelled her contract with them and was not notified of an outstanding payment.
A caller named Sharon told RTÉ’s Liveline that when she received a text about a withstanding payment she thought it was scam.
"I thought it was a bogus text. You know these ones saying companies are looking for your bank details because it came from a 087 mobile number and it just said your payment is overdue please quote your reference number when you call."
Sharon said she rang the debt-collecting company who told her she had an outstanding fee to pay.
"It was very suspicious and I wouldn’t give them any of my details until I had time to figure it out. It was just a voice at the end of the phone that sent me a text from a mobile number. Apparently I owed some money which I was unaware of," Sharon told Joe Dufy.
The company told her they were working on behalf of Oxigen waste company, who Sharon ended her contract with months previously due to an increase in bin charges.
"My price went up and my service went down from three pick ups to two pick ups of a black bin and one pick up of a green bin. It was so extortionate than on principle as well as not being able to afford it we said we’re not doing this anymore so we abandoned it.
"Once every two months I go up to the municipal dump in Cavan. I pay for that but I only pay €18 for the two bags."
She said she received no notification from Oxigen that she had an outstanding payment or that they were handing her debt over to another company.
"Apparently I had an outstanding bill of €15, but I didn’t know that. Had they sent me a notification saying I owed them €15 I would have paid it.
"My bill has grown from €15 to apparently €90 although I was totally unaware of it."
She said the debt company told her that her outstanding balance was €15, but she cancelled her 12 month contract with Oxigen halfway through and was being charged a further €25 cancellation fee.
"Then I was told it was €50 for the removal and cleaning off the bins which brought my outstanding balance to €90."
She said even though she didn’t sign any contract with Oxigen the debt collecting company told her "there’s nothing they can do and you have to pay it".
"I now owe an immediate payment of €90 for giving up the company and they sent a debt collector after me.
"It was left that I would get a call back so I’m just waiting on that and whatever agreement I can come to on that with him. I’d like to pay them by a euro a week.
"We’re paying every bill, we’ve no disposable income but we are managing to make our bills so we’re luckier than most."
Sharon told Liveline that she now fears for her credit rating as her details were passed on from Oxigen to the debt collecting company.
"I’ve lived all over the world, England, Germany and Boston and all the companies there collect your bins from your taxes and everything goes swimmingly. They took recycling for free because they made money on that.
"If I can get out of this country for my pension years, I will. There’s no way I’m staying in this country to shrivel and die."
Independent.ie were unable to reach Oxigen for a comment.