I Think Waste Management Actually Hates Me

A month ago, Richard signed up for trash pickup service from ubiquitous chain Waste Management. They have not, to date, delivered the WM-branded trash can that he’s supposed to get, or removed any of the trash he already has at the curb. Instead, the drivers pick up the can and place it in the middle of his driveway, so he hits it with his car when he tries to leave the house. Nice. If they did this once, it would be annoying, but they’ve now done it twice while also ignoring all of his complaint calls and e-mails.

I think Waste Management hates me; I signed up for garbage service a month ago and after SEVEN separate phone calls, they still have not delivered the can I ordered, and today the garbageman didn’t even pick up my garbage that was in my old can, instead choosing to move the can directly into the middle of my driveway (which I hit as a backed out this evening).

So I signed up for service approximately a month ago. My house had an old 64 gallon canister but I clearly needed something smaller, so I asked for a 35 gallon unit (might have been 45 gallon; can’t remember). I was told it would be delivered on the following Wednesday after my initial garbage pick up.

It wasn’t. I called again. They said it might take a day or two longer. Still no can. Called again. They apologized profusely and said it should be here within two business day. It wasn’t. Called again. More apologies. This time the guy who actually delivers the cans called me back and said “so I was told you’ve complained three times about me not getting you your cans?” (what a great way to lead off a phone call). He explained that the can I ordered is very rare, and he never has it in stock, so I should just keep using what I have until they get the right one in stock, which he explained, might be six months or never.

So I called Waste Management back and said I realized that I probably needed an even smaller unit anyway so asked to have the smaller–definitely a common and in-stock unit–delivered. They said it would be there after my next scheduled garbage pick up (and instructed me to continue to use the 64 gallon canister in the interim).

Wednesday came… and no new canister. So I called again. More apologies, and another assurance that it would be delivered in two business days (called on a Thursday). No new can on Friday or Monday… today was my regular garbage day. So last night I put my garbage out (three half-filled 13-gallon garbage bags worth) in the 64 gallon canister.

I was in the house all day (I work from home) and I left this evening to get a bite and BAM, backed right into my garbage can that was smack in the middle of my driveway. Got out to move it and realized that they didn’t even bother to pick up my garbage. They literally simply moved the can so it would be behind my vehicle, yet didn’t even bother to get rid of the actual garbage that was IN my can.

Now it’s important to note that at no point was I anything less that super polite to the folks at Waste Management when I called them; and in several instances the staff members were clearly on my side and, in their words, escalating the issue.

But nothing I’ve done has seemed to get them to deliver the damn canister I ordered or now even pick up my garbage. I sent a note through their website today, where I finally lost it at the end. After restating my story, I asked them the following: “I am honestly asking, what the hell is going on over there? I am sincerely wondering if there is some specific thing I should be doing to actually get the garbage can I ordered and actually get my garbage picked up? Until today, I was not particularly mad… mostly annoyed and bemused. But why in the world did they ignore my garbage today and move my can into the middle of my driveway?”

I don’t know if consumerist or consumerist readers have any ideas… how do I simply get Waste Management to help me?

Comments

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  1. Hi_Hello says:

    i don’t know how this work..can you get another company?

    Take pictures…better if you can do videos.

    Even if you are polite, the guy who is messing with you is probably get yelled out by his boss.

    just out of curiosity…. how do you back into a trash can? rear view mirror can’t pick it up because the car is too big or the trash is too close or too small?

    Im paranoid, I check my my surrounding for cats or dogs, bottles, can or whatever before I drive off.

    • Captain Spock says:

      I dare say WM is probably the only Garbage pickup in his area, it tends to be that way with the less than pleasant services.

      • RueLaLaLa says:

        It’s this way I live. It’s contracted through the city and you are required to have service, even if you dispose of your trash through other means (have a business, use its dumpster, etc).

    • Jawaka says:

      I was wondering about how he didn’t see the trash cans behind him as well. Thank God it wasn’t a kid walking by his house

      • Jane_Gage says:

        That’s why you go less than five miles an hour in a parking lot or driveway. Anything sentient can (usually) get out of the way.

    • GrandizerGo says:

      You can’t see it if the can is placed right near your rear bumper.
      In fact depending on the car, you might have up to 3-4 feet before you can see it.
      If it is an SUV probably much more.

    • josephPblow says:

      “just out of curiosity…. how do you back into a trash can? rear view mirror can’t pick it up because the car is too big or the trash is too close or too small?”

      Well my driveway is dark, and I simply wasn’t expecting the trash can to be right in the middle, I guess. Honestly I only hit it at like a half a mile an hour, but having backed out of my driveway (wait… that’s probably the detail I should have clarified… I was backing out of my carport)… anyway, I’ve backed out of my driveway like 8000 times and have never had anything in the way… so I was just surprised by it…

      • Hi_Hello says:

        thanks for the reply. I can see that happening.

      • StarKillerX says:

        Well I’m sure that if you back over a child it will comfort the parents knowing that you’ve backed out of your driveway/carport 8000 times and never ran over a child before.

  2. Dave B. says:

    Most normal people actually look behind them when they back up, I take it the OP is the close the eyes, hold on, and hit the gas type of driver.

    • Jane_Gage says:

      If it’s close to his bumper and the driveway is short, maybe he lives in the city, it could definitely be in a blind spot.

    • tjthayer says:

      Yeah, doesn’t make sense that “Richard” would do this. Now, I would understand if “Rebecca”, “Roberta”, or “Rachael” did it…

      (My wife backed over a basketball hoop that was 24 inches onto the lawn beside our driveway, so a trash can is nothing.)

      • The_IT_Crone says:

        Clearly because your wife can’t drive, no other female is able as well.

        /maybe you shouldn’t have let her out of the ktichen?

    • Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

      You mean Asian.
      s/

    • josephPblow says:

      “Most normal people actually look behind them when they back up”

      Thanks for calling me abnormal… appreciate it. Nice.

      To my defense; such as it is… I actually did look behind me. I was driving my mother’s van… which I generally never drive. She left the van at my house while she is visiting Arizona. And I was backing out of my carport… my carport is so tiny that I have to collapse the driver’s mirror just to squeeze out… but that wasn’t the prob. you could not see the can through the back window (blind spot), but I’m sure it was possible to see it through the passenger mirror… I simply did not see it. Perhaps her backup lights are too dim or something… But I just didn’t see the thing.

      • Misha says:

        You wouldn’t have seen a child or dog either, so count yourself lucky, I guess. But it’s already clear from your comments so far that you don’t plan to learn anything from this about checking behind the car before getting it.

        • Difdi says:

          And it’s clear from yours that you’re simply a jerk. At least the OP is a nicer guy than you.

      • Jane_Gage says:

        I hit a Bob’s barricade once in reverse. You couldn’t see it in any of the mirrors. There’s a reason your underemployed douchebags are putting the trash can there–so you back into it.

  3. HomerSimpson says:

    Water Management SUCKS. Ditched them years ago amid sloppy service (trash cans ending up in the bushes, sometimes they didn’t show up for WEEKS to collect the garbage) and ever rising rates. Right before we left them for a local company, I left them a letter on planetfeedback criticizing them. Not more than a day later get a nasty call from someone at the company that was like “how dare you!”. Sorry lady, you suck, so c’ya.

  4. anime_runs_my_life says:

    The important question that needs to be answered here: Are you calling the local office? If so, stop calling there and get the corporate office on the line. My experience has been that the local office doesn’t give a crap (no pun intended). I’ve had missed pick ups, stuff left in the cans and in one instance, a sticker telling me that my garbage was yard pick up. Unfortunately the only other option was the city dump and I wasn’t about to pay $20 a trip to take care of something that I was paying for monthly as it was. The call to the corporate office was the only thing that solved my problems.

  5. bastion72 says:

    How can you back into a 64 gallon trash can? Do you not use your mirrors, or look behind you? If you have kids, please learn how to use your mirrors.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Even if you don’t have kids learn to use the mirrors as other people do have kids.

    • SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

      a black 64 gallon garbage bin on a black pavement driveway at night in the rain can be somewhat difficult to pick out.

      • Jawaka says:

        So can a kid.

        Again, learn to use mirrors OP.

      • MrEvil says:

        Ummmm, backup lights? Vehicles have had them at least since the mid 60′s. Seriously, Richard needs to learn to look where the hell he’s moving his vehicle.

    • GrandizerGo says:

      What stupid comments from obvious non intelligent “drivers”…
      SO can you see your license plate when you back up? NO, can you see your BUMPER when you back up NO, there is an area that you can NOT see via your mirrors in almost EVERY car or SUV that sits right behind the license plate and extends a distance from the back bumper.

      That is EXACTLY how children are killed and it HAS NO BEARING on whether someone used their mirrors or not.

    • bmath18 says:

      thank you all for being so helpful to someone who is asking for assitance, instead why don’t we all call the OP stupid and retarded because that is what the internet is for, way to go posters keep that awesome advice coming…complain about Phil but the comment posters on this site have gotten out of control

      • ovalseven says:

        Like I said in another thread… We like to find something to criticize the OP for, even if we have to focus on the least important part of the story to do it. It’s important to let people know that we’re better than they are because it makes us feel better about ourselves.

        Waste Management is providing this dude some awful service, but let’s all discuss his driving skills. Certainly, we have never made a mistake like that.

    • dwasifar says:

      If your driveway slopes down sufficiently from a level garage floor, it’s very possible not to see something directly behind you in ANY mirror. The line of sight of the mirrors is directly behind you, not behind and below you. You’d see what was behind you just fine if you were on the same slope as the driveway, but not if your parking space is level and the driveway isn’t.

      Once I actually backed into a car parked in my own driveway that I didn’t expect to be there. I got in the car, opened the garage door, checked the mirrors, saw nothing, and backed up directly into a car that was maybe four feet away. Fortunately it was just a tap and neither car was damaged.

  6. blinky says:

    Solve this problem by looking before you back up. This practice is also useful for avoiding spouses, children, and guests’ vehicles.

    • Yorick says:

      I, too, expect that all the OP’s problems with Waste Management’s customer service incompetence will be instantly cleared up the moment he begins to look behind his vehicle before backing up.

  7. MickeyMoo says:

    Dude, you pissed off a teamster. May God have mercy on your soul.

    • scoutermac says:

      I did not think of that. My dad used to be a teamster. He said not to ever mess with them.

  8. scoutermac says:

    Here in Indianapolis we have Republic Services for trash removal and they have been great. I have no dealing with Waste Management but it sounds like this guy needs to forget them and find an alternative solution. If he is being billed for this service he definitely needs a refund.

    • josephPblow says:

      Unfortunately Waste Management is the only contracted provider in my community north of Seattle. There isn’t another option. And honestly, the people I’ve talked to have all been extremely nice (except, kind of, for the can-delivery guy who seemed super-annoyed by me)… so I was/am willing to keep trying.

      It’s important to note that–until yesterday–they always picked up the garbage. and a DO have a canister… it’s just the wrong size. So this is more an issue of annoyance that escalated into mild anger last night as I hit the damn canister.

      • amuro98 says:

        Start complaining at city hall, or even at the city board meetings.

        I bet you aren’t the only one having problems, and if the city learns about them they’ll hopefully do something.

    • Kuri says:

      Same deal here, they even brought us a recycle bin when we called and asked.

      And were nice enough to stop blocking our mail boxes when that got to be a problem >.>

  9. Alan says:

    On the plus side of WM, I called them up to cancel because of the rate increases. They ended up cutting my price in half and then gave me a a free month if I paid for a year in full. I went from paying close to 30 a month to 14.

  10. Murph1908 says:

    Better be careful. The guy who delivers the cans might be a friend of the family, if you know what I mean.

  11. Hoss says:

    The guys on the truck will arrive basically the same time each week. Go out and wave to them, say hello — thank them. If you can find a way to give them a six-pack, do it. WM in your area obviously doesn’t care about customer service so you need to show them what being polite is about. But I wouldn’t rush to pay their bills — in fact ask for discounts based on the service you got

  12. Power Imbalance says:

    I think the bigger issue here is the OP’s inability to back out of his own driveway.

    • tjthayer says:

      *This*

    • Slow-talking Walter, the fire-engine guy. says:

      And only fill his trash bags to half capacity.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Oh he can back out fine, I just fear for others in the area since if it doesn’t notice a green 64 gallon plastic trash can behind his car what chance would a 6 year old have crossing passing behind him?

      • Power Imbalance says:

        LOL!

      • bmath18 says:

        love people on consumerist who post such helpful comments! way to go you are an internet tough guy and really attributed to the authors plea for assistance, keep up the good work.

        • StarKillerX says:

          Do you mean as opposed to the self righteous posters who go around complaining about other people’s comments because they don’t meet their own sanctimonious standards?

      • bigTrue says:

        He’;s already said he was backing out really slowly. While I agree, he should look before he gets in, I also think stupidity should be painful and we should allow evolution to happen. If your kid is old enough to play around by themselves outside, they should be old enough to A) not play in driveways other people own and B) get out of the way if they happen to be crossing said driveway and someone is backing up very slowly.

        I don’t have children, though, so my logic centers of my brain have not been changed into the more “OMG THE CHILDREN! WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?” part of the brain all parents seem to get when it comes to reasoning.

  13. backwerds says:

    I’m curious; why would the OP want a new trash can? Granted, the space is more appropriate but it’s not like you are charged more if you have the 64 gallon vs the 32 or what have you. If it still works; it’s like having the option to have additional space just in case without issue.

    • SamEBates says:

      With some services you have to use their specific can. Or, they have to be a certain size. If it’s only a size problem I don’t know why he wouldn’t just buy one from the store.

      City of Akron is so damn picky, so I would know all about that. Had orange tags left on my door at least once a month and had to wait two weeks for them to pick up the trash.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Really. We have a 96-gallon can because it’s what they gave us, and since it has wheels it’s very easy to move around. In fact, it’s probably less likely to blow away/over in a storm. We usually only fill it 1/4 to 1/2 of the way, but sometimes, like when we receive a large package or change furnace filters or something, it’s nice to have that extra room.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      In what universe do you live such that the garbage company doesn’t charge you based on the size of the can you have? Call any garbage company and as for their rates – they are specifically tied to the size of the can.

      • hmburgers says:

        “In what universe…”

        I’m really get sick of that phrase Sheldon.

      • Sinabu says:

        Not here. They have one size can and it’s priced per can. Even if you leave extra out by the road outside they can they still pick it up and it doesn’t cost any extra and they have never forced us to get another can.

        • HomerSimpson says:

          Not here either…can put out as much as you want (long as you’ve paid the bill). Only real restrictions are don’t make the cans too large/heavy for the handlers to lift and there’s certain things (hazardous, building materials, etc) which they don’t take.

      • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

        I’ve only lived in a happy universe that has socialist municipal garbage pickup – so I have no idea what you tea party aliens are talking about.

        • AustinTXProgrammer says:

          I have a hybrid in my suburban town. A private company that contracts with the city utility. The price is lower than I have seen purely private or purely public so I don’t complain. Usually I think public/private partnerships are the worst way to accomplish things.

          • Not Given says:

            Ditto. They give every residence a large can. We can’t put extra trash out, as they use a truck that has a lift for the cans. There is only a driver, now. Nobody to throw things in the truck. We used to have ‘clean up day’ twice a year for big stuff, not in a can. Now ‘clean up week’ is you can haul stuff to the dump yourself for free as long as you can show a city utility bill.

      • Rebecca K-S says:

        Nope, ours is the same rate no matter what size you use. You only get charged more (for the rental, not for the service) if you get more than one can.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        The one where Walternate is Secretary of Defense and Lincoln DGAF.

        And I don’t pay based on the size of the trash can either.

      • Hoss says:

        Say, what?

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        You people are blowing my mind. Anyplace I’ve lived in the past ~15 years or so (since owning my own house, where I knew/cared what garbage pickup cost), you’ve always had to pick the size of the garbage and recycle cans that you wanted, and you paid a different rate based on the size of the cans.

        Where we live right now, I have 2 garbage companies to choose from – one being WM. I got quotes from both companies, and they laid out costs per can by size for me. I went with the non-WM service this time, as they were considerably cheaper.

        For the record, as far as I can tell no one ever posts their rates on their websites, WM included, because they want you to call. However, here’s some verbiage from my current garbage company’s website:

        “Our trash service is based on a volume rate…we offer 38, 64, and 96 gallon containers…”

        Etc. So…if you live in some magical never-never land where you pay the same rate for a 96 gallon can as you do for a 38 gallon can…I guess ship me some of that pixie dust. Or, go into business selling that fantastical pixie dust anywhere around here…maybe the whole state of MN…because I have *never* heard of such a thing.

        • Misha says:

          Wow, the setup you describe is crazypants. I’ve never lived in a situation where you didn’t just come up with your own can or even just put the bags themselves down by the street. I’ve gotten recycling bins from the city, but there’s no ongoing fee for them and to my knowledge they only come in one size.

          • Snapdragon says:

            When I was growing up, our trash was collected by the city as part of paying taxes, and we had our own cans (no recycling service when I was young). When I moved out west, I discovered that garbage service was commonly privatized–you paid for it yourself, and the company provided the bins. Maybe that’s part of the confusion.

        • who? says:

          I live somewhere that doesn’t charge by size, but we still have a smaller bin, because it’s easier to maneuver and doesn’t take up as much space.

        • cheezfri says:

          You are blowing my mind! For the entire 22 years I’ve been living in St. Louis, I have never paid for garbage pickup based on weight, size, # of cans, etc. It is one flat rate no matter if you have 1 wastebasket or 10 huge cans or 3 recycle totes. Or even a couch, for that matter.

        • Kestris says:

          Roanoke, Va- city run garbage service. Fee is tied into our water and sewer bill. NOT based on size of can, NOT based on weight. We get ONE size- 96gal- for our garbage can.

          So how’s that blown mind doing for ya?

      • msbask says:

        In my universe the garbage company doesn’t charge you based on the size of the can you have. Our only restriction is weight: http://www.oysterbaytown.com/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7B8E10384D-990F-4315-969E-E4EC70D71567%7D&DE=%7B72DE743B-1DDB-4C6E-93BF-B32835AC19D7%7D

      • Kestris says:

        Ours doesn’t because it’s run by the city and is tied into my water and sewer bill.

    • josephPblow says:

      The reason that I wanted the smaller can was because I didn’t want any confusion with the actual garbagemen as to what service I was paying for, so I didn’t get overcharged when they would show up and see that I had a can twice as big as what I was paying for.

      Which… according to the guy at Waste Management that I talked to this morning (8th call!) is probably why they didn’t pick up my garbage yesterday. Rather than simply picking it up, and charging me for the “extra garbage” (though I did not have extra garbage) they simply didn’t pick it up.

  14. menty666 says:

    I’ve always gotten pretty good results with WM’s customer service. Definitely go out and say hi next time they stop to pick up, a kind word in a god awful job goes a long way.

    And really, look before you backup.

    • Peggee has pearls and will clutch them when cashiers ask "YOU GOT A WIC CHECK MA'AM?" says:

      Or they could just pick up the garbage they’re being paid to pick up. Without him having to camp out in the yard and stroke them when they come to move his can to the middle of the driveway again.

  15. Joesph Mama says:

    WM is contracted by our town for trash and recyclable pick up. There are times when we forget to take the cans to the curb. If the driver does not see them out there he will actually come to the side of the house and get them and return them! We have had nothing but great service from them.

  16. tjthayer says:

    What’s the big issue about using the 64 gallon canister that’s “too big”? So what if it’s too big, there’s no rules suggesting that you need to fill it up.

    Sooner or later, you’ll be glad you have that larger container.

    • josephPblow says:

      There actually are rules, apparently. This is probably why — according to the guy I talked to this morning (8th call) — they didn’t pick it up yesterday.

  17. caradrake says:

    If you have them available, I totally recommend Waste Pro. It is odd for me to say this – but I love our trash company. They delivered the can and recycling bins the next day, everything appeared brand new – we’re renting a can from them because it is like $2 more a month, and their can is HUGE, has wheels, and is extremely durable. A few weeks later we called and asked for more recycling bins. They again delivered the next day, no extra charge.

    The one hitch was when our property management came out to do some tree maintenance, and it took us about 3 weeks for them to finally get the limbs picked up. First they said they had to send a supervisor out, he quoted us $65, then it wasn’t picked up and we called, and they said they still had to send a supervisor… after a few weeks of this (us okaying the cost, them still not picking it up), one person the phone said it would be a $15 charge and it was picked up the next day. So while it was stressful, I don’t mind saying $50 by waiting 3 weeks!

    Trash is picked up on time, our can is returned to where we had it.

    They were also about $20 cheaper than a local company, and $40 cheaper than waste management – and that’s for 2 pickups a week whereas the other two quotes were for 1 pickup.

  18. hmburgers says:

    “…instead choosing to move the can directly into the middle of my driveway (which I hit as a backed out this evening).”

    Why not leave out the fact that you are clearly a horrible fucking driver, and take note of the fact that this could have been a child or someone walking their dog. Pay attention when you’re driving, even in reverse, even in your own driveway.

    Good luck with the rest of the problem, sounds like a lousy situation.

  19. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    To defend the OP a little on backing into the canister…I can imagine this just pouring salt into an open wound. Yes it is his fault he hit the thing, but the circumstances leading up to that are frustrating, inexcusable, and bewildering. I can understand his mentioning it.

  20. Geekybiker says:

    If you want a smaller can tell them you are handicapped/disabled/elderly etc. They’re more likely to respond if they think there is a possible ADA complaint that someone who just wants a smaller can.

  21. kobresia says:

    Set the garbage in the 64 gallon bin on fire. That’ll get someone’s attention!

  22. Kathlene says:

    These guys are the worst. I have nothing but problems with them. That being said, this should be a non-issue next week, provided you put the trash in the container they provided.

    The guys who deliver the trash bins are not the same as the guys who pick up the trash (at least locally). And my WM get their panties in a bunch with loose bags…everything has to be in the bin, or they don’t pick it up. Sometimes they’ll even get out of the truck, write a nastygram, put it on my bags, and still not pick up the loose bags.

    To add insult to injury, come Christmas time, you get to hear about how hard working your trash guys are and how they need to be tipped, you-big-selfish-jerk.

  23. Fishnoise says:

    1. It might be too late, but try to make friends with the guys who actually pick up your trash. This is in the category of always being extra nice to waitresses, court clerks, or judges’ secretaries.

    2. Seriously, walk around the car to get to the driver’s side door. It only takes a few more seconds, but it can save you from neighbor kids’ pranks, property damage, liability suits, or a lifetime of guilt.

    • caradrake says:

      I totally agree with number two. I’ve gotten into the habit of always circling my car, checking for flat tires and obstacles, even if I approach the door from the driver’s side. It takes just a couple of seconds, and it is totally worth it in the peace of mind knowing I’m not going to hurt the car or something else.

    • ChuckECheese says:

      #1 totally worked for Kathleen Turner in Serial Mom, so I recommend it.

    • josephPblow says:

      ” Seriously, walk around the car to get to the driver’s side door. It only takes a few more seconds, but it can save you from neighbor kids’ pranks, property damage, liability suits, or a lifetime of guilt.”

      You’re definitely right… normally I drive my little 40-year old BMW with giant windows and I can see everything… but I generally don’t do a look-see. In this case I was driving my mom’s van that she left at my house… which was probably an even bigger reason to have looked around…

  24. KitanaOR says:

    Sorry, but what idiot backs into things in their own driveway? This is why kids get killed because morons can’t be bothered to check the back of their car.

    BTW, my trash guys never put the can back where they find it. They just toss it back in the general direction. They’ve cracked the bottom doing this and the lid has been missing for months.

  25. fastfeds says:

    Instead of calling again and again, go out and talk to the guys when they are at your house and figure it out with them or the call that did call you back who can deliver a can. I’d guess the “mis-communication” here is that if you keep calling the office you’re the guy that is causing them to get hassled by their boss and you’ve made their list as a problem customer. Hence the opening salvo “So I was told you’ve complained three times about me not getting you your cans?” I’d guess they put the can behind your car just to hassle you because you’re hassling them, even if you didn’t think you were. I’m not saying its the way it should work, just trying to be practical.

  26. crispyduck13 says:

    Wow people are jumping all over this guy for the backing up into the trash can thing. The trash collector gets all passive aggressive on a guy (who has asked for nothing more than to receive the new trash can he paid for) by not only leaving his trash to stink it up an extra week but moving the full container into the middle of the driveway, but you all want to pick on the guy who backed into it. IN THE DARK. Most trash cans are dark. But no, you guys don’t ever do anything dumb, carry on.

    Tough crowd.

    • easymacfu says:

      I can’t be the only one who has the garbage person leave the can in the middle of the driveway somewhat regularly, right? I mean, it happens all over my neighborhood. The guys are lazy and just put it down wherever, regardless of where I actually leave it for them.

      Hell, last week they put it across the street in the middle of our neighbor’s driveway, we weren’t even sure it was our can until we looked later.

      I’d say I have to get out of my car 50% of the time to move the trash can so I can drive into the garage.

      Get over your entitled life OP.

      • josephPblow says:

        “Get over your entitled life OP.”

        Wow. I did not think I came across as entitled at all. I just assumed I was describing the situation as it happened, which is, I I had contacted the company 7 times in a one-month time period, and after all of that the company representatives actually didn’t even bother to pick up my garbage, but DID go to the trouble of moving the canister to the middle of my driveway. Doesn’t that seem passive-aggressive (or simply aggressive) to you on their part?

        Seriously, I’m not in any way trying to come across as entitled and I totally recognize that cans can get left all over the place (though curiously it doesn’t seem to ever happen around here… they are generally really terrific about this). Who cares… that is not a big deal. But they actually took my can with garbage in it, and simply moved it to the middle of my driveway… leaving the garbage in it. They probably spent more time doing that than they would have had the simply pressed the button to have the machine pick it up and dump the load.

        How did my situation come across as me being entitled? Would I have to have made maybe 20 calls and in addition to not picking up my garbage, they actually dumped it in my driveway… would I be justified in my annoyance at that point? Where’s that line?

        • ovalseven says:

          No, no don’t sound at all entitled.

          I think most people like easymacfu only read the first paragraph summary and assume you wrote to Consumerist simply because WM empties your trash and doesn’t put your can back where they found it. I don’t think they actually read your letter. There’s now way anyone could read that and think you’re being unreasonable.

  27. Lady Anaesthesia says:

    At least they didn’t leave the garbage cans in the middle of the street for other careless drivers to run over…had to get our cans replaced twice because of this.

    Still other than the running over the can without looking…it sounds like he pissed off the local office so they’re just purposefully refusing to service his house even while still taking his money…

  28. travel_nut says:

    When we first bought our house, we got service with a trash collection company and ordered a trash bin. First collection, no bin. Called, it’ll be there within the week. A week goes by, no bin. Called, it’ll be there soon. Rinse and repeat for almost two months. I have to *ask* them to credit my bill for the bin rental fee because they kept charging me for it! They acted all magnanimous when they credited it. Finally, after almost three months of trying to get a bin, I was told that the bins were backordered, and it would be up to 7 months before I got one. But they would put me on a wait list! I cancelled my service then and went with another company. (Who still couldn’t get me a bin. At that point I gave up on having a bin and just used a couple old garbage cans.)

  29. josephPblow says:

    OP here, with an update.

    A) thanks everyone for calling me a moron for backing into my garbage can. Duly noted…

    B) called Waste Management this morning (8th call plus one e-mail… must be some kind of record). As usual, they were incredibly polite and professional. The guy said that he suspects the reason my garbage didn’t get picked up was because I was using the larger can (which they have told me to use). He said he is putting more notes on the driver’s logs to ensure they realize that I am using the 64 gallon can at their directions.

    He said they were going to have someone out by 5 pm tomorrow to pick up yesterday’s garbage (of course that is the 8th time they’ve promised someone would do something at a specific time… so I’ll believe it when I see it!

    He also said that my new can size (35 gallon, with a 20 gallon insert) is ALSO backordered, with no particular due date that he could provide. Of course this is the exact kind of info that they should have provided before…

    He said that I should continue leaving my garbage out in the 64 gallon container, and then leave the container out all day on Wednesdays… if and when they get the new cart out they will switch it out on those days.

    So… that’s what I’m going to do. However, and based entirely on the experiences of the past month, I fully expect when my bill comes in that I will have overage charges for using the 64 gallon container.

    What’s weird is that I only had that 64 gallon container because it was left on my property before I got here. I’m wondering what they would have wanted me to do had I not had ANY canister?

    Anyway… that’s where we stand…

    • Hi_Hello says:

      good luck.

    • who? says:

      Good luck on that. I would be ballistic by now.

      btw, I’ve backed into my 64 gallon bin before. My driveway goes downhill, and the can was below the level of my back window.

  30. Kahlidan says:

    You say that they’re contracted through the city, which means you’re forced to have service. What happens if you refuse to pay or use the service? Thankfully where I live, garbage service is not required.

    • josephPblow says:

      It’s basically like cable tv, the phone company, and whatever. WM bid on an exclusive contract to provide garbage services in our city (don’t really have a prob with that BTW). So the only other option is to haul it to the dump yourself…

      IF you sign up for the service and refuse to pay, you get bill collectors after you…

      • Kahlidan says:

        I understand that, what I wanted to know is how a city forces you to have trash service. It would be like a telco demanding you to have a land line because they’re a contracted monopoly.

        • who? says:

          Places I’ve lived where they don’t require trash service always have one guy on every block who either…

          a) has an absolute friggin’ *mountain* of trash piled up next to his place, drawing rats and other critters,
          b) sneaks around the neighborhood on trash day, putting his trash into other people’s bins, or
          c) all of the above

          I don’t have a problem with the city requiring people to have trash collection. I do have a problem with requiring people to use WM, however.

      • dwasifar says:

        Where I live, not only is Waste Management the sole contracted service for the town, but you MUST pay them. You cannot cancel your service.

        I owned two houses in this town for a while, and found this out when I tried to cancel the service for the unoccupied one while I was trying to sell it. The most they would do for me was a 6-month “vacation hold,” but they were very clear that they would start billing me again at the end of that period. I was equally clear with them that there was no way I was going to pay them a monthly fee for picking up nothing from a vacant house, no matter what their contract with the village says.

        Fortunately the house sold before the 6 months elapsed and I didn’t have to have that fight.

  31. Bionic Data Drop says:

    I’m pretty sure my garbage company hates me. I’ve been putting the trash can in the same spot for years. Every 2-3 months, the garbagemen just won’t pick it up for some reason. We have to call them and then they pick it up the next day. When we ask why they didn’t pick it up I get the dumbest answers I’ve ever heard. “If there was a reason, they’d report it to us.” So…they don’t have a reason? I told them I would be more than happy to put that can anywhere on my property they want and they say they’re not sure if the location is an issue. Completely inept monopoly who could give a shit if you’re happy.

  32. josephPblow says:

    OP here with an update (I e-mailed the consumerist edtior, but in case they don’t get to it I wanted to post this here:)

    I wanted to provide an update to my Waste Management Hates Me post from last night…

    So the post (and perhaps an additional phone call to the call center this morning) had some kind of positive effect, because Alan, the district manager at Waste Management, visited me at my home today to personally apologize and specifically take care off all of my issues. He truly could not have been more professional (as the various call center workers have been as well). Not “I’m annoyed that I’m dealing with this” professional, but “it’s really important to me that we provide good service” professional.

    Together, we figured out why they did not pick up my garbage yesterday… that 64 gallon can I put out (the one that had been abandoned at my house some time ago) is actually a yard-scraps collection bin. I actually have ANOTHER yard collection bin that looks totally different, so I figured the first one must be the bin for my regular garbage.

    But the garbage person who came yesterday saw the bin must have thought “that’s his yard collection bin” and ignored it, and when the yard collection person came around, he or she opened it up and found actual garbage in it and chose to leave it. Yep, they left it in the middle of my driveway, but that’s not a huge deal (and thank you consumerist readers for pointing out that I am an idiot for backing into it!)

    So the end result is that I am getting my new can today, they are hauling away the “incorrect” 64 gallon can as well, and Waste Management clearly went above and beyond to correct this half amusing-half annoying situation.

    Not quite sure how they figured out it was me because I only mentioned my first name and didn’t give a city (they clearly read the Consumerist post because he referenced the “WM hates me” headline… but I’ll chalk it up to the likelihood that they have so few complaints that they could easily determine that the guy who posted on consumerist is the guy who has called them seven times recently.

  33. Mrs. w/1 child says:

    Send a certified letter detailing the dates your trash was not picked up. Advise them you are canceling your contract. Get another waste hauler.

  34. offtopic says:

    Sounds like the service from Waste Management has been dreadful.

    However the poster is a terrible driver. Backing out into the street without looking? Come on how can you be so stupid as to ignore a huge garbage can? I bet the idiot was on a cell phone.

  35. offtopic says:

    Sounds like the service from Waste Management has been dreadful.

    However the poster is a terrible driver. Backing out into the street without looking? Come on how can you be so stupid as to ignore a huge garbage can? I bet the idiot was on a cell phone.

  36. JosephFinn says:

    What kind of a podunk town is this where they don’t have trash collection?

  37. Wolfster says:

    Okay, I am a driver for another very large garbage company. I can tell you that customer service sucks from any corporate giant such as Waste Management, or any other comperable company including the one that I work for. From my own personal experience I’m sure that Waste Management is no different, the people who work in my home office are incompitent & careless, and due to THIER carelessness, I end up looking like an ass to new customers, almost every new customer I get,… I find out by that new customer running down the road flagging me down. So your initial problem was likely office lack of communication.

    With that established, no one in the office will claim accountibility. So, they in turn make the call to the driver and say something like- “hey whats the deal with 999 Baker St.?? they havent been picked up for 3 weeks and the customer is calling chewing MY ass over it!”
    Now the driver / helpers are pissed off, and keep in mind, for the most part, mentally, these people are children and they act out as such (yes there ARE exceptions, Im not saying ALL garbage men, just a large percentage, dont forget I too am a garbage man)… which explains not only the call from the can delivery man as well as the can in the middle of the driveway.

    Im not making excuses FOR them,.. Im just saying as one who knows the inside of this business, I can see how these events came to play.

    As for the comment down the list about from time to time go out and greet your garbage man, smile,.. how you doing? … THANK YOU… yes by all means do not ignore your garbage man, even if he IS a child, a genuine how are you & thank you goes a long way, build the relationship with the guy you see every week, not the company that gives him the joke they call a paycheck.

    And dont forget to get him a little something at Christmas, even if it’s only a card.

  38. dwasifar says:

    Once I watched a Waste Management driver use his truck’s can lifter to place my neighbor’s trash bin on top of a 5′ high snowdrift instead of putting it back in the driveway after emptying it, presumably because the can was a little too far away from the curb and required him to get out of his truck and move it into range of the lifter.

    I called WM and ratted him out, but I doubt anything came of it.

  39. Alisha Gray says:

    On a couple different occasions, they’ve decided that instead of picking up my mom’s recycling they would scatter it across her lawn. -_-

  40. Alan_Schezar says:

    My experience might be helpful.. Moved to a new house, and for several months WM picked up my garbage even though I had been placing the can in the wrong place.

    Then, one day they just moved the can to the proper place and left it there. When I called WM to ask why they didn’t pick up the garbage, they told me that I had been placing the can in the wrong place. I then started putting the can in the right place and WM went back to picking it up as normal.

    The takeaway message may be that sometimes you get these employees and managers who don’t know the best way to handle customer problems. For example, they could have just sent me an email/note instead of irritating me with the punishment of having to keep my garbage in my house for another week.

  41. Tacojelly says:

    Waste Management sucks. I tried to get them to pick up a coach for three weeks with them ignoring me until I called 1800-got junk.

    It was way more expensive (since they go by cubic meters) but they came in two days as promised.

    My advice is get another company, and if one isn’t available, complain to your local government.

  42. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I have them and so far haven’t had any problems. But if you have to call them, they are diffident and even surly on the phone. At least the lady I talked to was.

    The dudes do typically leave my can closer to where I can hit it, and I have hit it even though it is one of the tall ones. My driveway is long but narrow and it’s hard to maneuver in past the can sometimes. I’ve had to stop and get out and move it before.

    I agree with others; call corporate. Tell them politely that you really need that can and if you can’t get it, you’ll have to go with another company. That might do the trick.

  43. Libertas says:

    Don’t let these stupid bastard commenters get you down, Richard. Or the trash men either.