Why I Hate Waste Management

So over the past few days I’ve been at war with Waste Management, my trash company. Never before in my life have I been so frustrated with a company that I do business with, and the worst part of it all is that I have no choice but to pay for their service and use it when they actually decide they feel like providing it to me, because there’s no other company available to use.
Waste Management has irked me from the moment I started service with them, because they provide teeny tiny little trash cans and charge a freaking arm and a leg for them. The recycle can is a normal-sized can but it’s only picked up biweekly, which disturbs me greatly because don’t they WANT people to recycle? I’m pretty diligent about making sure the right stuff goes in the right cans but come on, most people out there won’t hesitate to stick recycle in the trash can if their recycle bin is full. But overall these were minor annoyances, not life-affecting problems, and since it’s only Paul and I in our household I don’t really have problems with overflowing cans most weeks.
The week of our scheduled trash/recycle day, our cans were not emptied due to Waste Management’s employees being on strike. I wasn’t bothered by that one bit. I’m union myself, I support union workers and I was irked at Waste Management for trying to screw over its drivers. But by the end of the week, the labor dispute was settled and the employees returned to work. We customers were assured that our services would resume the following week.
This week, Monday night, Paul and I (or, more specifically, Paul) put the trash and recycle cans out so that they would be emptied. It wasn’t our regularly scheduled recycle pickup week, but I was more than confident that Waste Management would recognize that they had missed our regular week and would do the right thing, the customer-friendly thing, and pick up everything. After all, it wasn’t our fault as consumers that our service wasn’t picked up the prior week, it was Waste Management’s fault for trying to dick over their employees.
Tuesday morning, the trash was picked up but the recycle can remained untouched and stuffed to the brim. I still wasn’t mad. Okay, it was an off week, and they were probably scrambling to get caught up. I figured I could easily call and have a courtesy pickup arranged. So first thing Wednesday, I called and asked to have the recycle can emptied.
“Okay, I can send a truck out Thursday morning,” the rep told me.
“Great!” I replied, thinking how nice and easy that was.
Never think that. Never, ever think that.
“Ma’am let me FINISH,” the rep chided me. Were you still talking? I thought to myself. “It’ll be $110 to send the truck tomorrow. Per hour,” she added triumphantly.
Even though inwardly I was thinking, One hundred and ten dollars an HOUR? To empty one recycle can? Are you SMOKING SOMETHING?? I kept my cool and replied nonchalantly, “That’s really not going to work for me. What I was actually asking for was a courtesy pickup, since it’s the company’s fault and not mine that my can wasn’t emptied last week like it should’ve been.”
“I’m not waiving that fee for you,” the rep informed me.
I decided she was utterly useless and I was done talking to her. “Okay. Could I please speak to your supervisor?” I asked politely, seething inside at the ridiculousness of it all.
“Sure, I can get you a supervisor to tell you what I just told you,” she said condescendingly.
All right, I’d had enough of this chick. “Save the attitude, just get me the supervisor,” I muttered through my teeth.
I was on hold for around twenty minutes, which wasn’t fantastic but not altogether unexpected either. I was sure she wasn’t in all that much of a hurry to put me on the phone with the supervisor who planned to tell me what she’d just told me. And once I did speak to someone else, it was an even bitchier chick named Tina, who made the first rep seem like the shining star of the customer service industry. Tina’s main theme throughout the conversation was that there was nothing she could do for me. It went a little something like this:
Me: *explains situation again*
Tina: Ma’am, your recycle will be picked up on your next scheduled service date. There’s nothing I can do before then.
Me: But the last girl said you could have a truck come to my house tomorrow. I just want you to waive the fee.
Tina: I can’t do that.
Me: This isn’t acceptable.
Tina: Ma’am, your recycle will be picked up on your next scheduled service date. There’s nothing I can do before then.
Me: You know, telling a customer who’s already escalated that there’s nothing you can do is really just about the worst way to handle an issue.
Tina: Your recycle will be picked up on your next scheduled service da –
Me: Okay then, I’ll just put the recycling in the yard waste can.
Tina: Ma’am! You absolutely cannot do that. We will not pick it up.
Me: Oh don’t worry, I’ll put lots of grass on top so you don’t know there’s recycling in there.
Tina: Ma’am, your recycle will be picked up on your next scheduled service date.
Me: (turning serious) The way I see this situation playing out, it can go two ways. You can roll a truck and pick up my recycling for free this week or I can file a complaint with every government agency I can think of.
Tina: Your recycle will be picked up on your next scheduled service date.
Me: Yeah, got that. That’s not going to work for me. I need to have a call back from your boss. What’s your last name?
Tina: I don’t give that out for security purposes.
Me: I can see why you might need to take that precaution. *crickets* Well have your boss call me by end of business today.
Tina: Well I’ll give them your information but I’m not going to guarantee anyone else’s schedule. Anything else I can assist you with?
Me: You’re going to start assisting me now??
So, Round One went to Tina. 
I wasn’t done though. I went online and filled out complaint forms with the city hall, the Better Business Bureau, and the Attorney General’s office. Then I took to Facebook and Twitter, finding Waste Management and calling them out for their astonishing amount of sucking. Twitter did the trick; the Social Media Manager sent me an email address to gripe to. I did just that and left the issue alone for the rest of the day, because quite frankly I was irritated and done dealing with stupid Waste Management.

Round Two began this morning when I got a call from Stephanie, who I am assuming is Tina the Twat’s boss. I explained the whole situation to her, right down to how I’d been treated by the two prior representatives. Stephanie had no comments, no empathy, and no apology, but did reiterate that my recycle can would be picked up on my next scheduled service day (who would’ve guessed??). At this point I figured the recycle can was not getting emptied, so I sighed resignedly and asked for bill credits for the week of the labor dispute since I wasn’t provided with service. Stephanie  shot that request down and said that Waste Management wasn’t going to be giving any service credits because my next pickup would count as a “double pickup.”
“How does it count as double if you’re picking up what you have to pick up anyway?” I asked.
“There will be no bill credits,” s
he replied.
By that point I was beyond over their lousy customer service and had better things to do with my time than talk to this girl, so I simply replied, “I’ve already filed complaints with the city as well as other government agencies, and if you’re unwilling to provide service or compensation for lack of service I’ll be pursuing those complaints.” Stephanie had nothing to say to that other than to wish me a nice day. I went back to Twitter and Facebook and posted even more complaints about how awful the customer service is at Waste Management.  
I did get a call around ten-thirty from a really nice employee named Heidi, who was just calling to confirm that my can had been emptied. Sure enough, she’d had a truck at my house by 9:55am and my recycle was hauled away.

Round Two victory goes to me. Suck it, Tina and Stephanie. 

Here’s the thing, Waste Management: If your first rep had apologized, explained that you are super behind after the strike and that you just couldn’t get out to pick up my recycle any sooner, but you definitely understood my frustration, we wouldn’t have had this fight. If your reps weren’t assholes and had talked to me nicely, I would’ve gotten off the phone happy even if you hadn’t done a damn thing to help me. Instead, I was treated poorly and as a result I’ve made a huge fuss. And, in the end, I got exactly what I wanted the first time I called, proving that it WAS possible and there was no reason to go through all this. So, yes, you did succeed in making me hate you and you did waste some of my time. You had a golden opportunity to do something right and instead you made yourself an enemy. Wouldn’t it have been much, much easier to just acquiesce to my request the first time I called?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *