The man’s warning after the $16,000 red bin nightmare it took him 12 years to realize: ‘Make sure you don’t get taken advantage of’
- Geoff Oppert had only used a dustbin
- Kiama Council on the south coast of New South Wales charged for two
- This generated an additional fee of $8,610 over 12 years.
A man is warning all Australians to check their council fees after his nightmare experience with a container saw him charged double what it should have been.
It took Geoff Oppert 12 years to realize that the Kiama council on the south coast of New South Wales had billed him for two red-lidded general rubbish bins instead of one, leaving him with a bill of $16,610 .
Mr Oppert raised the issue with his local council but was denied a refund for over two years.
A single red-topped container was supposed to have cost the Oppert family $8,000, but the doubling meant he had thousands of dollars out of pocket.
Oppert took his match to A Current Affair and was ultimately reimbursed for the mix-up, but warned others to “examine your fee notice” to ensure they avoid a similar fate.
Geoff Oppert received a bill for two red-top general dumpsters instead of one, leaving him a bill of $16,610 over 12 years.
Oppert said the fee had slipped under his radar for so long because of “red tape” in council notices, but he immediately requested a refund once he noticed something was wrong.
“In total, we spent $16,000 on junk removal over 12 years, which should have only been half that,” Mr Oppert said a current affair.
“Yet they only provided us with a refund for two years and cited a tax statute as the reason, it’s unfair and just plain wrong.
“It wasn’t our fault, they made the mistake and they admit it, (so) look at your rate notice to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of.”
A spokesman for the Kiama City Council defended what happened, explaining that the responsibility for verifying his fees rested with Mr. Oppert.
“Like any invoice or bank statement, the customer has the responsibility to verify their documentation and notify the issuing authority of any discrepancies,” the spokesperson said.
“When this matter was brought to our attention, the Kiama Council acted and refunded the amounts of $805.72 for 2021-22 and $818.61 for 2022-23.”
Going forward, the council also vowed to check to see if anyone else in Kiama was being similarly charged.
“In addition, the Kiama City Council is now working on an audit of all our municipal and residential waste services to ensure our charges are correct,” the spokesperson said.
A red-topped bin would have cost just $8,000 over the same period, leaving Mr. Oppert thousands of dollars out of pocket after Kiama Council only reimbursed for the past two years.