Trash hauler overbills Miami Twp. customers

Problem caught, being rectified, township leaders say.

An unspecified number of the more than 6,500 residential township customers for which Waste Management provides trash and recycling pickup have received larger bills than they actually owe for the first quarter of 2015, when the company’s new three-year contract promising lower rates began, according to the township.

While unable to provide estimates as to how many customers were overcharged, not all of them were affected, said Tom Turchiano, public sector representative for the company. Turchiano said the mistake was caught before all invoices went out – and limited to Miami Twp. customers.

“As soon as we were notified that something was billed inaccurately, we took corrective action steps to rectify those issues and worked with the township to inform them that this had taken place,” he said. “Since then, credits have been placed on accounts. And (if) people have paid their invoice, we’ll work to give them credit or give them a refund.”

The most recent bills included customers’ rates for the last quarter of 2014, according to Turchiano. The overbilling could range anywhere from $3 to $8 per customer, said twp. Assistant Planning and Zoning Director Kyle Hinkelman.

“I think it’s just unfortunate,” he said. “Obviously, we were very excited we could get the residents a lower rate. We negotiated, and we were very excited to roll that out.”

For trash, recycling and a toter, WMI’s three-year contract calls for it to charge $12.17 to each residential customer. Under the contract that expired in December, WMI charged those customers $11.69 a month for trash and recycling services, $3 per month for toter rental, and added taxes and a fuel surcharge.

The township became aware of the issue around the last week of 2014, Hinkelman said.

Hinkelman said the township requested customers be given the option of being refunded or that they receive credit on their second quarter bills. Those who want to be refunded should call (866) 797-9018, he said.

The overbilling was an oversight that Miami Twp. Trustee Doug Barry said he does not expect to be repeated.

“It is just one of those unfortunate things that happens sometimes when one department wasn’t aware of a change that another department made,” he said. “They caught it, made the correction and I don’t look for that being a problem anymore.”

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