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Oil co. cancelled my account...

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by ylomnstr, Feb 4, 2009.

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  1. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Most companies will have a SS# for you if you buy anything on credit with the vendor. Around here, if you call/buy oil when needed, and don't lock in...you can pay by cash/credit card...if you are on an agreement where they bill you monthly, most likely they have your social.
    I agree that you have a firm case, but I think they probably can impact your credit score.

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  2. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    You would give your oil company your SS#?? No way Jose...
  3. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Seems odd THEY cancelled the contract if you were locked in at $4.99/gal. They stood to make some fat coin off you!!!!
  4. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    A verbal agreement is binding in most states but it has to be substantiated somehow.

    Its not necessarily illegal to record a phone conversation. It depends on the state you're in. When last it mattered to me, it was legal to record a phone conversation in my state, VA, as long as one party was aware of it. I'm not sure what the respective laws are in NY.

    Sounds like you might want to pay what you owe them for oil and negotiate the other fees away.

    Good luck.
  5. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

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    Maybe I'm missing some of the details here - but an agreement is not a legal contract unless money or "consideration" changes hands. Verbal contracts are just as binding as written if they can be proved to exist - but as I said, only if you coughed up some money to make it binding.
  6. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    No, never give out my SS #, but many people do.
    Most times when you sign up for credit with a dealer, the dealer runs a credit check on you to make sure you don't have any poor payment habits. Not all do, but many do this.

    I buy through a NFP that only lets the dealer charge so many cents over the wholesale price...works out pretty well.
  7. ylomnstr

    ylomnstr Feeling the Heat

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    Here's the current situation. I'm sending them a letter tomorrow with payment for my previous balance minus the cancelation fee. I'm posting a copy of the letter I'm going to send in. I just want to get some feedback from you guys. Let me know what you think. I also don't know if I should tell them that I've already contacted the BBB or wait for their response to see how they handle it? Thanks.

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Please note that I am sending you payment for the total amount of $309.27 (previous balance plus late fee). This will fulfill all my obligations with you since you have cancelled my account without notice. Also please take this letter as my notice to no longer do business with your company in the future since this payment fulfills my obligations.

    Furthermore I am not paying the $599.00 “early termination” fee of the contract seeing as I did not request to have the contract cancelled, nor have I received any oil or services from you since I agreed to lock in the price with you at $4.99 per gallon. Your customer services representatives told me that my account has been cancelled since no oil has been delivered to me since I had a previous balance. I had a previous balance when you let me lock into the $4.99 rate and I was never told that I had to pay that off before I would receive any oil and/or have my account cancelled.

    We have been sending payment to the best of our ability each and every month, and have not once been notified that our account would be cancelled with an early termination fee without notice.

    I also notice that in the contract (which I never signed), it states that the early termination fee is $399.00, so I’m not sure where the $599.00 number came from, but you may want to make sure your paperwork is correct for any future customers.

    In addition, I have never signed any contract with you for any agreements. I am formally requesting a copy, as well as a transcript of the recorded conversation that you have on file for my records.

    If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me.

    Your former customer,

    Rob R.
  8. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Overall looks good to me. However I would remove the paragraphs beginning "I also notice that..." and "In additions, I have..." Both of these are unnecessary to the point of your letter and only serve to give them an opening to continue the discussion that you are intending to close with this letter. IF they were to contact you and continue the discussion, then I would go with the request for copy and transcript of whatever they intend to try to hold you to. The unsigned contract really has nothing to do with anything so I would not bother bringing it into the conversation.
  9. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

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    Absolutely not true. In New York, only one party has to know a phone conversation is being recorded, not all. You can call anybody you want and record without telling the other party and ALL is 100% legal. I had to do it many times because of a crazy ex-wife and checked with the county District Attorney's office. Also later read the law.
  10. ylomnstr

    ylomnstr Feeling the Heat

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    My wife works for the pojo in the advertising dept. I've already got that in the works ;-)
  11. pinewoodburner

    pinewoodburner Feeling the Heat

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    You are corect, I stand corrected. Most business do let you know that they record the conversation if they do.
  12. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    Call you Attorney General. In Mass they are always looking for a way to help the citizens when a company is doing some screwing.
  13. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I agree with Slow1. Don't mention the unsigned contract or ask for signed ones or a transcript. You can always do that in subsequent correspondance. I'm sure you know but send it so you get proof of receipt with a signature.
  14. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    True in NY, but I believe it varies from state to state.

    Also, in your letter, you state you agreed to their terms over the phone and then later ask for a transcript of the call... "I agreed to lock in the price with you at $4.99 per gallon" and then said "I have never signed any contract with you for any agreements. I am formally requesting a copy, as well as a transcript of the recorded conversation that you have on file for my records." While you do/did have a binding verbal contract by agreeing to their terms over the phone initially, you are now confirming (in writing) your acknowledgement to some earlier agreement. Just be careful if you're trying to get out of this. ;)
  15. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

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    Yes, many laws vary state to state, but the poster appears to be having his problems IN New York. Thus my comment.
  16. ylomnstr

    ylomnstr Feeling the Heat

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    Update:

    Today I received a copy of a letter from the oil company which was sent to the Better Business Bureau in response to my complaint. Here's what it said:

    "While we do sympathize with the customer's situation, the customer entered into a fixed pricing agreement with our company on July 1, 2008 beginning on July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009 which we do have a recorded agreement. With the customer's consent, we recorded our offer and the customer's acceptance of a protected price contract or renewal, including the early termination fee. We have that recording available if you need to listen to it.

    When a customer agrees to a pricing agreement, we secure the product for a customer at the time of the price offer and acceptance by the customer are made; we are contractually comitted to purchase that product from the supplier.

    We charge an early termination fee if a customer removes their account by either not paying invoices when due, not keeping the account on automatic delivery or buying oil from another company.

    Mr. Rotundo has not pruchased oil from our company since April 9, 2008 and his account was not current which lead us to charge his account with an early termination fee of $599 according to our agreement. We upheld our part of the agreement and expect Mr. Rotundo to do the same by paying the early termination fee.

    We are proud of our long history of service to New York residents. We should emphasize that we have honored our contracts, based on the phone agreements, by providing the oil to customers at the negotiated prices, no matter the circumstances in the marketplace or the weater.

    We have followed our policies and procedures in accordance with NY ESRA Regulations (Part 540) and NYS Consumer laws.

    If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact me"


    So if you see the 4th paragraph, I have paid every invoice when due, although not in full, and I was never late. I never requested to be taken off automatic delivery, they just decided to not deliver since I owed money, nor did I ever buy oil from another company.

    I'm not sure what happens from here. Do I wait to just hear back from the BBB? Or do I reply to this letter. I'm going to sit tight, and they are NOT getting a cent of that cancellation fee from me. Suggestions or comments?
  17. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    [quote author="ylomnstr" date="1235622933"]Update:

    We charge an early termination fee if a customer removes their account by either not paying invoices when due, not keeping the account on automatic delivery or buying oil from another company.

    /quote]

    I think the bold type is the key issue here....does the contract they sent you but you didn't sign indicate this verbiage?
    Or, does the recorded contract that you agreed to indicate this verbiage of the contract?

    I think that we need some answers to this before responding.

    Good luck.
  18. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Also, you haven't bought oil since April of 2008. but you still have a balance on the account?
    What are the terms of when you had to make payments by?
    Not trying to stir the pot, but I think we need to know when your payments were made to the oil company? (No disagreeing with you, just trying to see both sides as much as I dislike the oil companies)
  19. ylomnstr

    ylomnstr Feeling the Heat

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    Yeah, I owed still from the prior season. But that's one of my gripes. Why did they happily agree to lock me in at a rate if I still had a previous balance? I have been sending in money monthly. There was no mention when they locked me in this last time that if I didn't pay off the previous balance, I'd get screwed like this.
  20. stoveguy13

    stoveguy13 Minister of Fire

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    i think they will send you to collection for sure and it will go on you credit if it does not get paid you may want to get caught up to what you owe them in back invoices from the stand point you look like a dead beat and that they cloud get you for more then the 599 cancletation fee if they screw with them too much other thing youit will cost you alot more top pay a lawyer to get you out of it then it will cost to pay them
  21. ylomnstr

    ylomnstr Feeling the Heat

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    I did pay them my past balance minus the $599 fee. I'm up to date now other than the $599 fee.
  22. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    Bills due when they send it. You are delinquent when the balance is not paid in 30 days. My guess is they are just trying to save thier image and nothing will come of it. Did you pay the balance due yet?
  23. ylomnstr

    ylomnstr Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, I paid the balance due EXCEPT for the $599 cancellation fee.
  24. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    I wonder if they have any way to put something like a mechanics or contractors type lien against your property without judicial time? My guess is it will fade off into the background. Just don't call them for a fill up :lol:
  25. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Probably will take a bashin with this post....but here is my opinion.

    If you haven't burned your bridge yet with the dealer, you might want to give them a call or visit them and see if there is something you could work out.
    Not taking their side of the coin......but if you bought oil last year at the height of oil prices....and you bought when it was $4/gallon, its tough to argue with them when they bought at a very high wholesale price, and it was almost a year before you paid them.

    I don't think that a $599 termination fee is reasonable, but I think they provided what was asked of them, and I do think they are entitled to something....again, not taking their side...just playing devils advocate.

    If you ran a retail store, and a client bought on store credit and didn't pay monthly as required, and after 9 months you did not receive anything from the client...how long would it take you to send to collections/take to court?

    I don't like buying oil either......but if your agreement was to pay monthly, and you didn't, I think any oil company/retail store etc...has a right to some compensation.

    Just sayin, and I guess let the bashing of me begin :)
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