For Immediate Release - December 08, 2005

Heating Oil Delivery Spot-Checks Underway

State's Division of Standards issues first fine of heating season

G&G Oil Company of Randolph was fined $537.50 by state inspectors this week for fraudulently misrepresenting the amount of heating oil delivered to a Mattapan residence and failing to include the price per gallon on the delivery invoice.

Division of Standards' compliance officers approached the oil company employee after observing the delivery. An examination of the delivery invoice found that the driver had handwritten "100" over the actual metered quantity of 66.3 gallons. Massachusetts law specifies that only mechanically printed and metered delivery tickets be used to prevent this type of fraudulent delivery practice.

"This marks the start of our winter-long random inspections of heating oil deliveries. With costs escalating again this winter, we are concerned that the temptation to short-change customers will be greater. Our inspectors are going to be all the more diligent in monitoring for fraudulent delivery practices," said state Consumer Affairs Director Beth Lindstrom.

"We are authorizing our compliance officers and encouraging local weights and measures inspectors to also conduct inspections at night and on weekends to better ensure that consumers get what they pay for at all times. Officers will also be ensuring that truck delivery meters have been tested and certified for accuracy," said Charles Carroll, Deputy Director of the Division of Standards.

Last year, the Division's compliance officers inspected over 1,700 heating oil deliveries throughout the state and issued over $3,300.00 in fines for a variety of violations of the state's fuel delivery laws. Consumers with reason to believe they received a short-measured heating oil delivery should contact the Division of Standards at (617) 727-3480.