HARRISBURG – Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced a settlement today in the form of an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with a waste removal company that allegedly illegally charged and collected container removal fees from some of its customers.
“Today’s settlement corrects business practices that wasted consumers’ money and violated the Commonwealth’s laws,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “My Office will continue to use every tool at our disposal to ensure that consumers in Pennsylvania are treated fairly.”
Republic Services of Pennsylvania, LLC, Republic Services Group of Pennsylvania, LLC, and BFI Waste Services of Pennsylvania, LLC (“Republic”), agreed to both injunctive and monetary relief. Under the settlement, Republic is obligated to pay restitution for subscription customers who file qualified complaints within 45 days of this settlement.
According to the investigation, Republic did not provide adequate notice to certain subscription customers that they were going to charge them a container removal fee upon cancellation. Republic also allegedly charged some subscription customers this fee despite the customer providing their own container while receiving services. In some instances, subscription customers who did pay the container removal fee did not have the containers removed until weeks after payment.
The injunctive relief includes a requirement that at the time of subscribing or sending an invoice to those customers, the company must clearly and conspicuously disclose material terms and conditions of the subscription plan.
The Office of Attorney has taken similar action regarding unfair business practices from other disposal companies. In October 2021, Whitetail Disposal Inc., a waste disposal company that operates in Montgomery County, paid more than $13,000 regarding allegations that the company misled consumers regarding changes to previously agreed on price rates.
Customers may file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555 or https://www.attorneygeneral.gov.
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