Monday 20 November 2017

Bin firm doubles prices for some customers in city

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

GREYHOUND waste-management company is charging some Dublin customers twice as much as others for the same service.

The company has been pushing its 200,000 customers in the Dublin area to sign up for new price plans -- but the rates being offered to different households vary enormously.

Different customers are being offered price plans, which can vary from €175 a year to €330 for an annual waste-collection service including twice-monthly collections of black, green and brown bins.

Monthly flat-rate plans offered to different households, meanwhile, range from €15 to €29 per month.

Letters seen by the Irish Independent show one household in Dublin 5 being offered a €330-a-year service, while the same service is on offer to a Dublin 13 household for €175, and to a Dublin 6 home for €250.

Householders have received letters telling them they can choose from three or four different plans for monthly, annual or pay-per-lift charges, with Greyhound placing them onto a recommended option if they don't choose one.

Histories

However, some customers have claimed the option recommended as the best offer for them in terms of value of money and number of bin lifts would cost more than the other price plans.

Greyhound told the Irish Independent it was offering different price plans to different households because this reflected widely varying individual waste collection histories.

"We have thousands of price plans and these are tailored at customers based on their record of waste collection over the last year; these changes do not represent price increases," a spokesman said.

"It has been clearly explained to customers that they do not have to accept the default option and that they can switch to any one of the plans offered to them if they feel they can get better value for money by being on a different plan," he said.

The National Consumer Agency (NCA) said it had complaints in recent weeks about changes to Greyhound's pricing policies, which have also involved a new surcharge for payments made via An Post outlets.

The NCA was in talks with the Department of Environment and waste collectors about problems in the sector, which it had been concerned about for some time.

Greyhound does not publish details of its pricing policy on its website and would not provide this paper with details of standard charges, saying there were too many different price plans based on past waste usage.

Irish Independent

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