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?