Changing waste suppliers: 4 things to consider
Changing waste suppliers – we would like to say that changing partners can be a tricky and difficult thing to do and that you will miss your old partner. Unfortunately in the Australian waste industry that is not always the case!
I would like to give a good reason for the lovely picture of Whitehaven beach above. Today apparently is the coldest May day in 5 years – so I think that is reason enough! Plus, I think it looks nicer than any garbage truck I have ever seen.
In the modern world of apps for nearly everything such as Uber, Tinder etc, it is becoming increasingly easy to change partners or suppliers – take that as you will! As with everything else in life, sometimes the grass can be greener far away i.e. the anticipation of something new can overshadow the real reasons you are leaving your current business service provider.
In this short blog we will set out 4 key considerations that you need to bear in mind before deciding on changing waste suppliers. If your business is based in any of the medium to larger Australian towns to cities, you will have a considerable number of potential waste providers to choose from. The price you pay, the quality of the service you receive, reliability and environmental performance will all vary greatly. We aim to help you get the best combination of these outcomes for your wallet and your business objectives.
Waster.com.au has built our business around attempting to help customers with answers to the questions below.
In no particular order – let’s get started with chief considerations when changing waste supplier:
“Is the new provider cheaper or more expensive?”
We know that price is what you pay and value is what you get – but that does not change the fact that it is really important to know what you will pay! It is impossible to calculate whether you are getting good value for money until you know how much money you will be giving away!
When you are shopping around for a pricing quote for changing waste suppliers it is vital to know if the price provided is all inclusive or if it includes hidden costs i.e. does it include bin rental, does it include environmental fees or fees for bin cleaning. Are you going to be charged additional fees for collections on weekends or public holidays.
Assuming that your current provider offers excellent service reliability and customer service, it is unlikely that you would want to move to a more expensive supplier. Therefore you should get the payment terms in writing and clarity on what increases you may expect. If the supplier can increase the price for no real reason you should be aware of it!
“How long do you have to sign a contract for?”
Some waste companies seek to sign contracts with smaller business customers for up to 3 years with automatic roll-over clauses.
You need to consider whether this length of contract really will benefit your business or whether it will be a hindrance. Of course, having the stability of a longer term contract can be a good thing for your business – so you can get on with actually running your business.
On the other hand, if your business is just starting out or if you are going through a period of change, a static long term contract may not be in your interest.
In this vein, you need to confirm what the contract exit terms are? Is there an exit fee to pay etc if you wanted to move supplier at a later date?
“Rollover clause: what is that?”
The dreaded roll-over clause is one of those things that many people do not know exists until it is too late. A rollover clause in a generic sense extends the original contract for an additional period under the same or similar terms or conditions.
This can be included in a contract with a clause stating that the rollover will be in action unless the customer communicates or cancels by a certain date. The only advice here is to be careful and actually read the contract you are signing.
There are some benefits from a rollover clause – i.e. if you get pricing from your current supplier that is so good you would never want to leave. If that is the case you truly are enjoying the good life!
“Will the service quality and reliability be any better?”
This is a really tough one to answer as it is almost impossible to estimate in advance whether a new supplier will be more reliable than your previous supplier.
Reliability and service quality will cover two broad areas – A. customer service phone contacts & account management and B. reliability of collections and bin maintenance.
Customer service contacts and account management is probably the easier to gain a feeling for. When you called the company or emailed them how swift and satisfactory was the response – did they come back to you in the time period they stated? Was the pricing quote the provided transparent and open? Do they have dedicated call centres, helpdesks, email addresses etc and contact details 7 days a week.
Waster recommends you check out these issues with a bit of due diligence before you sign a contract. It is unlikely that a business who treats prospective customers poorly will give any better service to you once you sign a long term contract.
Regarding reliability of collections and bin maintenance, the leading Australian companies have pretty strong collection accuracy, generally above c.90% accurate i.e. the bin is collected when it was supposed to be 90% plus of the time – we recommend you ask for any commitments in this regard or what happens if a collection is missed.
Conclusion on changing waste suppliers:
Before you make any decision about changing waste suppliers, check out our prices and services in our online shop and download your copy of our consumer guide, outlining 10 things you should consider before signing a waste or recycling contract.