Portable Sanitation Association International

Association Insight January 20, 2021

Issue link: http://psai.uberflip.com/i/1331134

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ASSOCIATIONINSIGHT Portable Sanitation Association International News BIWEEKLY EDITION JANUARY 20, 2021 Page 2 What to Do about Competitors Who Don't Play Nice…continued from page 1 Continued on page 15 One of your drivers reports that the same competitor has covered up the decals on your units with their own on another job site. All of these things have really happened to portable sanitation companies in the past couple of years—and these are just a few examples of situations that sometimes occur. If they haven't yet happened to you, count yourself lucky. If they have, you know how frustrating it is. The question is what can you do about it? First Things First If you feel you need to vent a little, go for it—but keep it behind closed doors. You need to cool off, do your research, and think clearly before you take any course of action that is apparent to others. When someone in the industry makes disparaging remarks about another company, blatantly lies to customers, or charges rock bottom prices and then fails to deliver service, it is very unfortunate. The actions of a few reflect poorly on the industry as a whole and are downright maddening to the companies trying to make a living fair and square. Unfortunately, as infuriating as they are, these tactics are not illegal. In some extreme cases, like if the "bad guys" actually name your company and make false claims that hurt your business, you may have some recourse through legal channels. Laws differ from state to state, but generally speaking, you can successfully sue in civil court if you can prove: • The information is false • Whomever posted/printed it knew it was false • The false information has hurt your business Proving all three of these things is a very tall order and very few lawsuits of this nature actually result in damages for the plaintiff. More often—if you can afford the legal fees— something can be done that results in the perpetrator of the falsehood seeing that it is in his or her best interest to "cease and desist." Only you can decide if pursuing legal action makes sense on a cost-benefit basis. The PSAI is not in a position to give legal advice. We do, however, have some information that may help you decide whether to call your attorney, report the behavior to a regulating agency, or file a PSAI Code of Excellence complaint. Competitive Behavior Can Be Both Legal and Dishonorable It is not illegal for a company to have a monopoly, for a supplier to charge high prices, or for a competitor to achieve a dominant position by charging very low prices. If you have an aggressive competitor (let's call them Company X) who is grabbing your customers with promises of low rates on which they are certainly losing money, thereby driving down prices in your market, that's not necessarily illegal. It is certainly an aggravation to you and your business, and it is not good for the industry.

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