What to do if my heating oil fuel company refuses to cancel my account?

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What to do if my heating oil fuel company refuses to cancel my account?

It keeps coming to my house to fill up my heating oil. I’ve called them 3 times during a span of 5 months. Additionlly, I’ve written notes on my checks to cancel my account. I’ve talk to them over and over about cancelling; everytime they say yes with no intention of cancelling my account. They are also over charging me for oil about 50 cents a gallon.

Asked on May 21, 2012 under General Practice, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Check your agreement with them--what does it provide about cancelling or terminating the agreement? Your service agreement, plan, etc. with the fuel oil company is a contract: you have the right to cancel it when and under the conditions it specifies. If you have canceled it in accordance with those conditions, they have to honor it; if they refuse to, you could bar from them access to your property and sue them for any/all costs or damages you incur (e.g. cost to remove the oil, and possibly attorney or legal fees); and/or you could bring a legal action to get a court order ("injunction") ordering them to not service you.

So the first thing to do is to check your agreement and see when and how you may cancel--then do that. Furthermore, do *not* simply call--you want to provide a written notice of cancellation in accordance with the terms of the agreement--and send that notice some way or ways you can prove delivery (e.g. by certified mail, return receipt; by fed ex overnight with tracking; by fax and keep the transmission report; etc.) Writing notes in the memo fields of your check will almost never qualify as adequate written notice.

If after providing written notice of cancellation in accordance with the terms of the agreement(s) between you and the company, they still deliver, you should then consult with an attorney about taking legal action, such as suing them--and if you do so, if you can show that they have charged you more than they legally may under the terms of your contract or agreement, you could sue them to recover that money, too.

Note that if you do not cancel in a way that complies with the contract, said cancelation will likely be ineffective.


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