PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- An unexpected bill in the mail has people in southwest Florida worried and turning to WINK News for answers.
Dorothy Mayer does not like a mess in her home, but for the 86-year-old Port Charlotte resident, hauling the garbage to the curb is a challenge.
"I have a hard time walking," Mayer said. "I fell (and) broke my hip."
After Mayer's husband died in 2007, she had her doctor fax a note to Waste Management, asking the company to waive the fee it would have charged to pick up her bins from the top of the driveway. Waste Management obliged, and Mayer didn't have to pay.
Recently, Mayer got a bill from Waste Management, asking her to pay $110.44 for the side-door pickup. Her 98-year-old neighbor got the same invoice.
"I just think that they're taking advantage of senior citizens," Mayer said.
Richard Allen, the solid waste operations manager for Charlotte County, said multiple residents got the bills from Waste Management.
"It was a clerical error," Allen said. "When we found out about it, we reached out to Waste Management right away so that we could address that and fix that for the residents of Charlotte County."'
Waste Management said it fixed the mistake and sent letters to customers, alerting them to the error.
Allen said anyone who received one of these unexpected invoices from Waste Management should not pay it.
Allen also said the contract between Charlotte County and Waste Management allows Waste Management to charge a side- or back-door pickup fee, though the company waives those fees as a courtesy for those who can provide a valid reason to do so. Waste Management said it might reassess the courtesy later this year.