In our fourth instalment of ‘all you need to know about shredding’, we explain some of the pitfalls that companies experience when signing contracts with shredding companies. Read on….
Am I being quoted the full price?
Some companies will quote one price up-front, but when the invoice arrives there are extra, un-quoted costs. Examples are “diesel surcharge”, “environmental charge” and “time on site”.
The most common one, however, is a charge, anything up to £100.00, for a Duty of Care Waste Transfer Note. There is actually a legal duty on every organisation to create one of these certificates for all the waste that they produce, although this is one of those duties that many companies are unaware of.
Because waste management organisations deal with this sort of paperwork all the time, it is usual for the service provider to create the paperwork and provide it to the customer. For contract customers this is often done in the form of a “season ticket” stating the approximate quantity of the particular type of waste that the customer might produce over 12 months. Many people think that £100.00 for one piece of paper is a bit over the top, to say the least.
Good suppliers will provide an individual Waste Transfer Note too, stating the exact number of sacks, bins or boxes collected on that specific date. This adds an extra element of accuracy to the audit trails both for data protection and environmental regulations. And it should be provided as part of the quoted price.
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What am I signing up for?
The Data Protection Act that came in in 2018 has put the burden on the customer to ensure that they have a written contract with their service provider for confidential waste.
Some companies have taken advantage of this to insert clauses into their contract that can catch out the unwary. These terms are designed to tie the customer in for as long as possible, often for much longer than they anticipated. I spoke to a customer the other day who had unwittingly signed a contract for 5 years with no legal right to terminate the contract early – so frustrating when they found that they were being charged more than 3 times the amount than other providers.
And watch out for other catches….
…….commitments of three, four or five years are not uncommon, with the customer having no legal right to terminate the contract early. One company has a particularly sneaky clause. It gives the customer a window in the last six months of the contract in which they have the opportunity to give notice that they do not want to renew. If they fail to give notice in this time window, the contract automatically renews for the full term, leaving the customer stuck with that supplier for another three, four or five years.
So, when you are getting a quote for a shredding service, always make sure you check:
- The quoted price includes ALL elements of the service, without additional charges. Get a quote from us while you are here
- You know the length the contract runs
- You know your cancellation rights
- You know if there is an automatic renewal to the contract.
Would you like to know more? If so, please get in touch on 029 2030 3717 or firstname.lastname@example.org