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State Conducts Surprise Inspections On Oil Delivery Trucks

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – Most Massachusetts residents are paying a lot to heat their homes during this cold stretch, and the state wants to make sure you get what you pay for.

WBZ-TV went along on some surprise inspections with state compliance officers checking home heating oil delivery trucks.

They make sure the truck is properly sealed; the slips are printed out, and check to see that what’s been pumped is actually in your home.

In the past, inspectors have uncovered scams.

In the past decade, the state has stepped up inspections to get the word out.

On Friday, Independent Fuel Company passed the inspection with flying colors.

Barbara Anthony, the Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs, says, “It’s very important the industry understand there is a cop on the beat to ensure that the gallons of home heating oil a consumer believes she is getting is actually the gallons that they are getting.”

Here are some tips from Anthony for consumers receiving an oil delivery:

  • Retain all your delivery slips.
  • Check your delivery ticket to ensure that the amount of gallons delivered was mechanically printed on the ticket. Massachusetts law does not allow the gallonage amount to be handwritten; it must be mechanically printed on the ticket.
  • Make sure the price per gallon appears on the ticket at time of delivery.
  • Check the bills sent from the fuel supplier to ensure that the unit price charged is the same as the original delivery ticket.
  • Determine the daily consumption by dividing the number of days between deliveries to determine the average amount of gallons used per day. A sudden increase in the amount of fuel used daily could mean a fraudulent delivery took place or the burner is malfunctioning.
  • If in doubt about the delivery quantity, contact your local weights and measures official or the Division of Standards at (617) 727-3480. You can also contact the Office of Consumer Affairs at (888) 283-3757.
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