Joy Chittenden has not had her green recycling bin emptied by Greentopia..
A garden refuse firm which is failing to collect waste has taken direct debit payments without authorisation, angry customers claim.
One man who cancelled his contract in April said he found two unauthorised charges on his account this month, equivalent to two years’ worth of payments, and warned others to check their bank statements.
Another customer said he had two payments, which should be annual, taken within four months – but has had no collections recently.
In early September The Argus reported Greentopia customers had not had their collections, which should be fortnightly, carried out through July and August.
Brendan Bezuidenhout, who owns the company which operates across East Sussex, apologised and promised improvements and refunds.
Steve Berry, 69, who lives in Kingston near Lewes, cancelled his contract with Greentopia in April after deciding to switch to Lewes District Council’s garden waste collection service. The two services both cost around £70 a year.
He received confirmation of the contract cancellation but last week his wife noticed two £73 charges had been taken from their account.
He said: “I was surprised and angry and upset.”
Mr Berry wrote to Greentopia to request a refund and received a reply saying the matter was being investigated.
He wrote again days later, demanding a refund and was told Greentopia was still investigating.
He contacted his bank which refunded both charges, and wrote about his experience in his parish newsletter.
Mr Berry said: “I would tell other customers to check their bank statements. I already know this has happened to at least two other people.”
Another Greentopia customer, who lives on her own, asked to remain anonymous. She said: “Since it was taken over we’ve had so many problems – missed collections, you couldn’t get through on the phone, it’s been awful.
“My bin is overflowing right now, it’s been sitting out there for weeks and weeks.
“Then I discovered they were taking payment that they shouldn’t have been.
“Having paid my annual subscription in June, I discovered they’d taken another payment this month.”
She contacted her bank which reimbursed her.
Joy Chittenden, who The Argus interviewed in September, said this week: “They collected the week it was in the Argus but not since.”
She was promised a collection on October 9 which did not materialise, then one on October 23 which did not happen either.
Brandon Bezuidenhout did not respond yesterday to attempts to contact him for comment.
Source: The Argus