Is a customer liable for paying for an unwanted heating oil delivery?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is a customer liable for paying for an unwanted heating oil delivery?

We called our oil company to request they take us off automatic delivery and off monthly budget while exploring options to either switch to another company or convert to gas. They acknowledged request, said they would call before delivering any more oil. They said we weren’t due for another delivery until next month. Decided to convert to gas and made arrangements about 10 days ago; a day after returning from a trip. They delivered oil anyway after leaving 2 messages requesting a call back. We never returned calls since we weren’t home. They refuse to remove oil. Do I need to pay for oil?

Asked on October 21, 2011 under General Practice, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if it is their error--they either intentionally delivered oil, knowing you did not want it, trying too trick or force you into paying for it; or they negligently (carelessly) delivered it when you'd provided notice you did want it--then not only would you not need to pay for the oil, but they have to pay to remove it. (Note: you can't keep the oil and resell it to someone; if you do that, you'll make yourself liable to pay for it.)

If the fault was yours, then you may be liable for the oil. The issue could be the facts then: if they said they would call before delivering and they tried to call but you did not respond, depending on the exact circumstances, that may mean that you are responsible for the oil--the arrangement may have been that they would call to confirm delivery, but would go ahead if you did not object. So exactly what was said, the exact arrangement or agreement left in place after you contacted them to take you off automatic delivery, and the exact timeline will determine responsibility.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption