Dogs and Trash Companies

The items in the title are not linked. They are two things that piqued my interest in this morning’s daily news email from the AJC.

One: They’re using dogs to chase geese away from the City of Atlanta water reservoirs. Cool.

Two: Two trash-collection firms in Gwinnett county are shutting down due to the County opting to take over the trash collection. This is interesting because the companies are charging $23 to each customer for “added costs for closing [their] operations.” The county says that they’re nothing they can do in the “private matter between the citizen and hauler. We really can’t get into giving advice on what they should do.”

I have a suggestion for all Gwinnett county citizens who receive this bill:

Don’t pay it.

I mean, pay for the services you’ve received, but leave off the $23. One thing I’ve learned since owning a house and working as a fee-for-hire consultant is the power of saying “no” and “I’m not paying for that”. It works amazingly well; negotiation tactics 101. Even if you end up agreeing to pay something just to do away with the hassle, realizing that services you contract are negotiable is an important first step in getting good deals. Of course, it doesn’t work as well as I’d like when you’re dealing with official monopolies like Comcast or AT&T, but the selection there is getting better all the time.

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