Faulty weighbridge overcharges users
A faulty weighbridge at the Putaruru Transfer Station has potentially been overcharging people for almost a year.
And now the council is faced with having to refund users.
South Waikato District Council assets group manager Ted Anderson said two complaints from customers alerted the council to a potential issue last week after they noticed their rates for weight were out of whack.
‘‘The council took immediate steps to investigate once alerted to the issue,’’ he said.
Those steps led to an initial assessment finding the ground works had shifted and settled creating an imbalance in the weighing mechanism.
‘‘The weighbridges in Putaruru and Tokoroa are tested and re-calibrated annually as per regulation 20 of the Weights and Measures Regulations 1999,’’ Anderson said.
The last certificate was issued on March 9, 2016 which is almost a year to date of the fault being found.
Although customers could have been overcharged from that date, the council believes a spike in February suggests the issue arose then.
Anderson said the two customers have been refunded but there could be others out there who have not been. The average over-charge is less than $3.
‘‘Refunds have been processed and we appreciate them coming forward,’’ he said.
He said repair work was expected to be carried out but will take several months to be fully investigated and completed. The cost and extend is still unclear.
‘‘The council has opted to keep the transfer station open and work on a temporary charging regime. We will be erecting relevant signage as soon as possible,’’ he said.
Anderson said the temporary charging regime will be based on average weights/volumes for cars, utes, small trailers, and large trailers.
‘‘The council assures its community that we are erring on the side of lower costs,’’ he said.
‘‘We ask that people not engage with the kiosk operator onsite over the charges. This is a very difficult situation to manage and the attendant is not able to deviate from the charges allocated.
‘‘If there is concern, please visit the Tokoroa Landfill site.’’
For more information about the charges contact the council on 885 0340.