Stericycle, Inc. Egregious Price Gouging, Untrustworthy, Lake Forest, Illinois
Service Purchase Date: 2003 2013. Starting Fee for service $90.00. This companys contract terms forces those who do not cancel service at the end of three years to auto renew for another three years. Terminating a contract early results in a charge for half of the monthly service charges stretched over the term of the contract.
During this new contract period Stericycles policy is that they can raise rates anytime to cover increases in fuel, insurance, disposal, etc. We trusted that these increases were legitimate but in the past several years they started egregiously raising their prices. When we realized what was happening we challenged there pricing only to find out they had auto renewed us again. We continued to pay the charges and utilized there services.
Once one of our locations was out of this contract period we canceled for that location and early terminated the contract for our second location.
The cost for services for one site had gone from $90 in 2003 over $500 in 2013. Between the months of January 2012 and December 2012 alone the bill went up $116.53 (From $392.47 to $509). Stericycle claimed it was to account for the increase in fuel and waste disposal. When we challenged this rate after our contract had expired we were told that we were in luck they could lower our bill to $ 120 a month for the same service. That is practically the entire amount they raised over the past year while we were helplessly bound by contract.
The Account Care Team Lead even expressed surprise that our bill had been raised that high and could not explain specifically why we had been getting charged so much. He stated that he could lower our bill to $120 a month if we signed up for a new three year contract with a locked rate. He said Stericycle was now offering a Locked Rate because so many customers were having issues with their floating rates.
Obviously they were charging us unreasonably if they could accomplish the same service for $120.
Similar companies charge $40 - $50 a month for this same service which is: Visiting our office once a month and removing a trash can size medical waste container and disposing of its contents according to applicable laws and regulations.
Stericycle locks its customers into lengthy contracts and then raises the rate without negotiation or explanation during the contract term. Many clinical research sites like ours have gone out of business in recent years due to the economy slump. Untrustworthy businesses like Stericycle could be part of the reason good business cant stay afloat.
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