The cost applied for the collection of household waste was again stable in November. This was the first month where waste collection firms could no longer have applied a flat-rate pricing plan.
The Price Monitoring Group, which was established to monitor the cost of residential household waste collection during the phasing out of flat rate services, monitors 26 service providers. This comprises 19 individual companies with several of those being monitored in more than one area.
In order to establish what charges are applied by waste collection firms for collection services, the Price Monitoring Group uses a variety of contact options, including phone calls and reviewing the websites of the waste collection firms.
All contact is done employing a mystery-shopping approach. As has been the case throughout the entire series of price confirmation campaigns, the overall pricing landscape remains complex. To date, no single or uniform price arrangement across all of the service providers has emerged, although there does appear be a migration towards one pricing plan across the majority of firms; Service Charge including a Weight Allowance Plus Per KG Charge for Excess Above Allowance.
To demonstrate the complexity of the market, some service providers offer multiple waste collection packages. For example, in November, the number of packages totalled 51. While this represents a decrease of one from the previous month, it continues to serve as evidence of the continued evolution of the market as various waste collection firms appear to test and evaluate various pricing models (a full breakdown of all service offers is included with this report).
Complex Price Models
There was no change in the number of pricing models in November compared to October; the total number continues to stand at 8. Examples of price models include: Service charge plus per kg weight charge; E-tag and other options (the full list of all pricing models is provided with this report under the data analysis).
Where prices changed
Across the 51 price plans, prices overall were very stable with just six adjustments recorded, those include:
- Service Provider C– waste lift charges decreased from €15 - €11 (Service charge plus KG weight charge).
- Service Provider D – per KG waste charge decreased from €0.22 - €0.19 (Service charge plus per KG weight charge).
- Service Provider D – service charge decreased from €19.67 to €19.00 (Service charge (including weight allowance) plus per KG charge for excess weight above allowance).
- Service Provider F – Service charge increased from €24.14 - €26.00 (Service charge plus weight band charge).
- Service Provider J – Service charge decreased from €18.50 - €16.50 (Service charge (including weight allowance) plus per KG charge for excess weight above allowance).
- Service Provider K – Service charge increased from €24.17 to €26.67 (Service charge (including weight allowance) plus per KG charge for excess weight above allowance).
Provision of information from providers
While the overall level of service recorded by the Price Monitoring Group during the mystery calling exercise is broadly satisfactory, service gaps remain. Most notably is a general persistence at some providers of a gap in how prices are communicated. For example, in some companies, staff that answer phone calls where price information is being sought can often ask the caller if they consulted with the website first. In some cases, websites may not carry the relevant information or may be difficult to navigate. Or, customers may not be digitally savvy or proficient in online use or have poor web connections, or no internet access at all. In such cases, calling those companies for up-to-date prices may be their only option. On this basis, as the Price Monitoring Group has previously identified, it is essential office staff, especially those that field calls in respect to pricing are adequately trained and informed on handling customer price queries.
Why some information is anonymised
The purpose of the group was to gain a broad understanding of whether or not prices fluctuated and if so, by how much during the period flat-rate services were being phased out.
Composition of the PMG
The group comprises representatives from:
- - Waste Policy & Resource Efficiency Division
- - An economist from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment,
- - A statistician from the Central Statistics Office.
- - Shelfwatch – an independent price monitoring group and
- - Frank Conway, (MoneyWhizz) – independent consumer expert.
To date, the Price Monitoring Group has met on sixteen separate occasions: 13th September, 11th October, 14th November, 12th December, 9th January 2018, 13th February, 13th of March, 10th April, 14th May, 20th June, 17th July, August 14th, September 11th , October 16th, November 14th and December 11th 2018.
Submissions to: email@example.com
Please note this email has been put in place to facilitate the submission of relevant price information to the Group. The Group will consider all submission that can help inform it in respect to prices residential users pay for the collection of residential waste. Unfortunately, the Group is not in a position to respond to individual submissions at this time.