Bobs/Coastal Trash - Watch Out for Residential 2 Year Contract (Owings: sales, credit card)
Washington, DC suburbs in MarylandCalvert County, Charles County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County
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Bobs/Coastal Trash - Watch Out for Residential 2 Year Contract
This involves the trash service company that used to be called Bob's Trash, and around the end of last year, was renamed to Coastal Trash. Their mailing address is in Southern Maryland, Calvert County, in Owings.
I'm curious if any homeowners that signed up with Bobs/Coastal Trash signed, or otherwise agreed to, a 2 year evergreen contract. FYI, an evergreen contract is one which will automatically renew at the end of the contract time period. Usually you need to cancel the contract within a defined amount of time before the end of the contract time period, otherwise the contract will automatically renew. Apparently this is normal behavior for trash service companies, however, the time period of the contract varies.
When I was signed up with a different trash company here in Calvert County, the contract period was 90 days, (which seems reasonable). Coastal Trash appear to be doing something different though. Basically, I signed up with them 2 years ago, when they were called Bobs Trash and I didn't sign any contract at all. I spoke with a woman over the phone, gave my credit card information for first quarter's payment, and I was signed up. I did receive a postcard mailing from them soon after, asking for additional information like my email address, but at no time did I sign any contract with them. I don't know if this would have even been an issue for me, except that their pickup and customer service got noticeably worse when they switched company names from Bobs to Coastal Trash. (I later found out, with the name change, one of the principals had also left the company). After that, I experienced a number of missed pickups, (with no explanation), and I found it very difficult to get any customer service response in a reasonable amount of time from them. I just ended up taking my trash to my local dump site instead.
However, when I asked to terminate service, due to the unreliable pickup and poor customer service, they claimed that I had signed a 2 year evergreen contract even though I was sure that I had not. In fact, when I originally signed up over the phone I specifically asked the woman I spoke with, what it took to cancel service. She stated that all it took was 60 days notice. I also spoke with another customer of theirs who is unaware that they are signed up for a 2 year evergreen contract. As things worked out, my desire to cancel service arrived within a quarter of the original 2 year period, so I was able to terminate the contract at the end of 2 year period. However, in a testament to their poor level of customer service, and even though my service is terminated at the end of this month, I recently received a bill for the next quarter's service.
So if you are currently a Coastal Trash customer, and aren't aware of the terms of your contract, you should probably look into it.
Thanks for your post. I have also found that the change from Bob's to Coastal has come with some issues. The same ones that you have spoken of, missed pickups, lack of communication. My trash was not picked up on the regular trash day, and there was no communication as to why. (Thank God I didn't have an abundance of trash)
When I called today to find out what happened, I was advised that they had a truck break down (which is unforseeable and understandable); but they did not communicate this to the customers. When it wasn't picked up we moved it from the road, since I live on the main thoroughfare. The representative asked me did I leave my trash by the road, all day on Friday? I asked why would I do that my normal pick up day is Thursday, and since I was not notified that there was a change, I did not leave it out. The reply was since we didn't get it on Thursday, we came out on Friday. I asked who knew that you were going to come out the next day, we can't assume that. There should have been some form of communication so we would know what we needed to do.
I also stated that I have not gotten a bill even though I see the automatic draft occurring, the reply to that was "Oh you should be getting a bill, but we will check into it for you." For all of the leg work I manage to spend time doing with them I can take my trash myself or before looking for another company I am going to look into the unknown "evergreen" contract.
Are there other affordable options for trash pick up in Calvert? Calvert trash was not reasonable as far as price goes, but then and again, you get what you pay for. Hmmm I may have to reconsider.
Thanks for your reply. I'm sorry to see you having the same issues I had with their poor customer service. When they were Bobs Trash, if they were going to miss a pickup, they would have an automated phone message service call us, and let us know to leave the trash out the next day and it will be picked up.
But since changing to Coastal, they stopped doing that. The folks from Coastal told me on more than one occasion that "the truck broke down", or, "we're breaking in a new driver", all to explain missed pickups, but they never provided satisfactory resolutions. I'm just curious if you remember when you signed up with them, whether or not you signed a contract with them. I didn't, even though they later claimed I did.
One recommendation I received for a good, local trash service company, with good customer service, is Ace Hauling, in Owings, MD. I don't use them myself, but more than 2 different people told me that they provide great service. They look like they provide service for Calvert County at least, so they may be worth checking out. (They don't have a website, but you can find their contact information by doing an internet search on their name and southern maryland)
I just did a search and came up with this forum. I'm sorry to hear you are having troubles with Coastal Trash, I've heard of other issues too. Please be clear that Bob's Trash has no involvement with Coastal Trash. My life changed and I needed to make changes to the business. I sold off all of my residential subscription customers to Coastal Trash, it wasn't a name change. Bob's is still an active company, just not in the residential side of the business. We did use 2 yr contracts, this allowed us to budget and keep cost lower. Although, if they can't provide a copy then they can't hold you to it. Please feel free to contact me directly if I can be of any assistance.
Coastal Trash rep solicited door to door in PA neighborhood to convert existing trash and recyclables removal service. Pitch was a low rate, they would seamlessly cancel your current service, deliver new containers and begin service in two days. A week later - no containers no pickup. 2nd week - pickup day changes from Thurs to Tues. A quick call goes unanswered for two days and when they finally answer they simply state the pickup day was a mixup on the part of the sales rep. They finally pick up and they dump both trash and recyclables in the same truck. Not acceptable and not what we signed up for. Again calls to their line go unanswered and finally when someone picks up they state that it was a new driver error and that they have another truck that will be picking up recyclables. At that time I state it is probably best to cancel the service and they should pick up the cans. The guys states that I have a 1 year contract and must continue and hangs up. I have followed up in writing and on the phone that I want these containers off my property ASAP. Its been over a week and they are still sitting in the front yard (clean and empty) ready for pickup. I received an email today stating "You are in a one year contract. We will be happy to pick up the container at the end of the term or after the full term has been paid". I called and spoke to another person there and stated that I wanted these cans picked up today. She said she would fill out a work order to have them picked up but I would be responsible for the fees associated with a 1 year contract.
Its not about the $228 anymore - it is a matter of principle! They did not do one thing that said they would and the service is awful.
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