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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Does Your Hauler Love You?

Continuing their appeal to sentimentalism, NSWMA asserts:

• Customers have developed personal relationships with their haulers.

This seems like a broad generalization. Shouldn't they say some customers? If the claim is that all customers have developed personal relationships with their haulers, it sounds to me like they'll also have personal relationships with anyone who hauls their trash under an organized collection scheme.

What kind of relationship is it, anyway? Between the resident and the actual person picking up trash? Does it vanish then if the worker is fired or assigned a different route? Or with the owners/managers of the company? Does it vanish if there's a change of ownership? If it's a “personal relationship” with the corporation itself, what exactly does that mean? Do their Articles of Incorporation sometimes call you on weekends to ask for relationship advice?

I realize that some people may feel a sense of personal attachment to their trash hauler, whether it's from knowing the name of a guy they always see at the end of their driveway or a warm fondness for a particular color of truck. From a marketing standpoint, creating that sense of relationship is very valuable. A customer who who feels a personal connection to a brand is likely to stay a customer longer, even in the face of price increases and service problems.

But I don't see why the success of a corporation in implementing its marketing strategy should be what decides our city's public policy.

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