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

UPDATED: May 21, 2012

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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