An Arkansas law firm alleges in a proposed class action lawsuit that Republic Services systematically overcharged its customers through two “separate but related coordinated schemes” involving illegal, automated rate increases and “recovery charges.” fuel” excessive and arbitrary.

The 22-page lawsuit alleges that the waste disposal company fraudulently entered into standard form contracts with small business customers knowing that it will increase agreed prices without justification. Additionally, the “fuel recovery fee” added to customer bills bears no relation to Republic’s actual or increased fuel costs, according to the complaint.

In practice, Republic Services, one of the nation’s largest waste disposal companies, is using its fuel recovery fees to generate additional profits at the expense of customers while tricking them into believing the charge is legitimate, according to the case.

“Republic performed no legitimate analysis to determine the appropriate amount of ‘fuel salvage fees’ relative to its increased or actual fuel costs,” the lawsuit alleges.

According to the lawsuit, Republic’s customer contracts limit the company’s ability to raise rates to five specific circumstances. Although Defendant is implementing rate increases purportedly to accommodate any increase in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers, the lawsuit claims that Republic’s rate increases “far exceed the increases (if any) in the consumer price index”.

According to the complaint, Republic’s rate increases for waste disposal services often exceed 50% during a contract period and far exceed any increase in the consumer price index.

“The Republic unilaterally imposes automated increases at least once a year, and often more frequently,” the filing says. “Based on information and belief, these rate increases are led by Republic executives as part of an overall profit-increasing strategy and are carried out through an automated process using the relationship management system. Republic customer.”

The lawsuit seeks to cover all Arkansas entities that, from June 1, 2020 to present, paid Republic Services a “fuel recovery fee” and:

“All Arkansas-resident entities that have entered into a written agreement with Republic that provides that the company may, from time to time, by notice to Customer, increase the rates provided for in this Agreement to reflect any increase: ( a) disposal costs; (b) transportation costs due to a change in the Customer’s location or the disposal facility used by the Company; (c) consumer price index for all urban consumers; (d) the average weight per cubic meter of Customer’s Waste in excess of the number of pounds per cubic meter on which the rates provided for in this Agreement are based, as shown on the cover page of this Agreement; or (e) Company’s costs due to changes in applicable laws and which paid rates to Republic in excess of those originally stated in the written contract. from June 1, 2020 to today.”

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