No one likes to break a contract. Between the early termination fee and having to find a new vendor, it’s a hassle. But sometimes getting out of a bad medical waste disposal contract is the best decision for your business. Here are four signs it might cost you less money (and aggravation) in the long run to break your medical waste management contract.
1. You’re not getting what you pay for.
You pay a company to perform a service and expect they’ll do it. But some waste disposal services delay or even miss pickups.
“Let’s say you contracted for a weekly service but they don’t show up one week and your bins are full. Where are you going to go with the waste?” says Russ Haedt, principal officer at US Bio-Clean. “If you’re working with a company that’s not performing, that’s definitely a reason to terminate the service.”
2. They weren’t straightforward about the costs.
Some companies are less than forthcoming about their actual cost per pickup and instead opt for monthly pricing no matter how often pickups are scheduled.
“Many of the medical waste companies out there charge a monthly fee even when you’re not getting the service,” Haedt says. “For instance, they may charge $50 a month but are only picking up every three months.”
So now you’re paying $150 when you thought you would be paying $50.
3. Your rates keep going up.
Chances are you signed a multi-year medical waste management contract with the intent of locking in a fair rate. But that long-term contract may end up costing you.
“Three- to five-year contracts seem to be the industry standard, especially with the larger, national waste companies,” Haedt says. “But too often they have clauses that say they can raise rates whenever they want without having to notify you. You may find yourself paying two or three times as much as you were quoted in your contract.”
Haedt suggests checking the fine print and always keeping an eye on what you’re actually billed.
4. They’re not flexible.
Medical waste can fluctuate from month to month, especially in Arizona where there’s a high number of winter visitors. But many waste companies will charge you a flat rate every month, whether you use their service or not.
“Most medical practices in Arizona produce a lot less waste in July as compared to January,” Haedt says. “But a lot of companies charge per number of waste containers they drop off, whether they get filled or not, which means you’ll end up overpaying.”
Should You Break Your Contract?
Haedt recommends having a reputable medical waste disposal company, like US Bio-Clean, perform a cost analysis before you decide to break your current contract.
“Get a proposal from a reputable company,” he says. “Reputable companies will do a free cost analysis and help you determine if it makes sense to break your current contract or stay in it. In fact, some of our customers saved thousands of dollars per year, even after paying the early termination fee.”
If you decide to go with a new service, look for a company that has favorable ratings with the Better Business Bureau and no complaints with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and check customer references. Lastly, avoid a multi-year contract.
“Look for a waste company that does an annual service agreement,” Haedt says. “And make sure the contract states they must notify you in advance of any rate increases and give you the option of terminating without penalty if you don’t agree.”