6/11/2013 2:02:00 PM Local garbage companies think trash talking stinks
By Tara Lindquist
Earlier this spring, calls started coming into ARI Rolloff from customers about Garbage Man sales people coming to their doors saying that ARI had been bought out, didn't recycle and would be doubling rates. Customers asked ARI what was going on.
Owner of ARI, Troy Andrist assures his customers it is not true. "We've gotten calls from customers alerting us that they are saying things about our company that simply aren't true."
GarbageMan is also reportedly saying that they're a local company, which Andrist also says is not the case. "The call center is out of the cities," he explained.
"The Rochester franchise is owned by three men that grew up in the Rochester area, but they are not locally operated."
Andrist has left all of his customers cards and has run ads in the Star Herald and Byron Review, explaining the situation. He says he has lost customers but the questionable practices the competition's sales team is using is what really bothers him. "I didn't name the name of the company in the cards that we left for customers or in the ads that ran in the paper," he said. "We think competition is a good thing, but having people sign two-year contracts under false pretenses just isn't right."
Andrist does not require a contract for his customers. "If we're not doing a good job for our customers then they should kick us to the curb," he said. "We want to work to keep our customers, not have them signed into contracts to ensure that we'll keep them."
Andrist gave this reporter emails and phone messages from his competitor's salesmen to ARI customers. One noted they were told the prices would be doubling because of the cost of the incinerator plant. A few customers reported signing up for the service because they felt pressured and felt the sales person was using scare tactics to get them to sign. They said they later canceled those contracts.
Len Jessen reported that his wife had signed the contract and said that they lied to her to get her to do so, saying that her husband had told them to have her sign the contract. Others reported being told that ARI does not recycle. "We take our recycling up to Tennis Sanitation in the cities and everything is recycled there," he said. "We're not being bought out; we're here to stay, we'll always be locally owned and we employ people that live locally."
The owner of Sunshine Sanitation in Stewartville said he has had similar experiences with a GarbageMan sales team spreading rumors about his company. "They'll say just about anything to get new customers," Tory Keefe explained. "We've had calls from the elderly, saying they felt so threatened from the sales people that they signed up just to get them to go away. It's just not right." He also explained the company has broken the Green River Ordinance in Stewartville, that prohibits door-to-door sales people, unless they are a non-profit group. "They broke the law, and wouldn't leave town, they knew about the ordinance but went door to door anyway," he said. "Competition isn't a bad thing, but the sales practices they are using aren't ethical. They're doing a real disservice to the communities they are selling service in." He also added he feels the sales team is taking advantage of good trusting people by using manipulation tactics to gain their business. "They're not a local company and they really are hurting locally owned businesses by being unethical, we're not a huge business, but we're here for the long haul. I have employees' and my family's future to think of. We'll endure this, we're not going out of business, we have our own recycling center and we are grateful for our loyal customers."
On the GarbageMan web site at www.garbagemanco.com, the company has a disclaimer regarding their sales team. It says in part that GarbageMan has an exclusive agreement with a third party sales and marketing company, and they have very high standards for the team.
The site reads "We expect that these sales representatives will always be polite and professional when they are representing GarbageMan. If you had a bad experience when you met with one of our sales representatives, we would appreciate it if you would tell us about this situation right away."
The web page also states, "Unfortunately we aren't present at the time of the sale. We do not honor verbal agreements that are made between you and the independent contractor who is selling our services. Everything that is printed on your agreement is factual. If your sales representative promised you something that isn't on the agreement then please contact them to have it added."
The owner of GarbageMan Rochester, Russ Wies commented that he has not heard of any complaints regarding the sales team and wishes that if anyone has any negative experiences with the sales team to call him directly at 507-993-2382.
"I want to know about any complaints directly," he explained. "I would be more than happy to resolve any issues if anyone has any, I do not believe my sales team are lying to people." He emphasized that his sales team are "Mormon kids" that are on their mission trip and trying to make money for college. "They wouldn't lie."