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Mistaken Delivery

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Mrs. D

What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? DC

I live in a multi-family home with oil heat. Each unit has separate tanks. Last week, my neighbors had a delivery of oil that ended up in my tank. I had a delivery with another company scheduled for today. After going rounds and rounds with my neighbors' oil company, they agreed to sell me the oil they delivered plus an additional amount at the price my company had quoted me. Essentially, they fulfilled my delivery contract with the other company. They were supposed to deliver the additional oil today. They did not deliver the additional oil today. I didn't find out they didn't deliver the oil until I got home from work, about an hour and a half after their office closes. I haven't had a chance to talk to them yet, but I'm a little sick of this situation. I cannot just have my oil delivered to my neighbor's tank and call it a day because the neighbors have had their tank filled in the meantime.

They have the option of coming and pumping the oil they mistakenly delivered out of my tank. However, they are trying to avoid this as it is apparently more expensive for them to do that than just sell me the oil at a lower (much lower) price than their standard price.

Would I be unreasonable to tell them that if they don't deliver the oil by week end, I want them to come pump the oil out of my tank, no ifs ands or buts?

The tank is behind a locked gate, put there to mitigate break-in risks. I had to leave the gate open today for them to deliver, and I'll have to leave it open another day now. Thefts have been going up in the area because of the bad economy, and this is not my favorite thing to do. The company I originally contracted with guaranteed delivery before 8:30 AM so I could re-lock the gate before leaving for work. To add insult to injury, I found out from the company I originally contracted with that their price dropped again from the time I scheduled delivery, and the actual delivery from them would have been another $30 less than the price they originally quoted me.

Like I said, I'm just really frustrated with this company that put the oil in my tank and just want to tell them to come take their oil back and have the other company deliver to me. I just don't want to be "unreasonable" should they decide to press the issue legally.


Senior Member
You have a " contract " with another Co. .

Tell the one that made a mistake to come pump out the amount they put in .

Then stick to your contract , or you might be canceled .

Mrs. D

Now the company that put the oil in my tank is claiming that the gate was locked when they arrived for delivery yesterday. I suppose that's possible, but I unlocked it at 8:30 AM and re-locked it (i.e., it was open when I got to it) at 6:30 PM. Or they just got the wrong gate, which seems so, so likely with these bafoons. They said they would attempt delivery on Saturday as I will be home. We'll see.

I didn't really have a "contract" with the company I scheduled delivery with. More like an "order." Nothing was signed and no verbal statements were made indicating a penalty for cancellation of my order. I already spoke to them and canceled my delivery pending the resolution of this situation. They gave me the option of re-scheduling for next week, but I told them since I was unsure when the situation would be resolved, I would just cancel for now and take it upon myself to re-schedule if need be. They refunded my deposit on the order (they run a deposit on the card used for payment to make sure it's good, which they cancel at the time the order is delivered and full payment processed).

It strikes me that all these excuses the company that put the oil in my tank are giving me - like the tanks should have been marked (they are, though only on a small-ish label), the gate was locked, removing the oil is costly and cumbersome - are setting me up for threats of legal action should I get demanding with them. As we're only talking about $330 (my company's price) to $475 (the company that delivered's regular price), this would be a small claims issue, where magistrates have more latitude. My question is, using the "average person" standard, am I being reasonable if I say "if you don't deliver on Saturday, I want this oil out of my tank, pronto."

Mrs. D

Well, now we're in a real pickle, Dick. I was supposed to receive delivery of my last 30 gallons today. When the delivery guy didn't show up by 3:45, I called the company's office. The customer service rep I spoke to went into my account records and said "the only thing I have here is that we're supposed to pump the oil out." She then called both their order and delivery departments and confirmed that neither had a record of an order or a delivery for me. Frustrated, I stepped outside and what did I find in my mailbox but a bill from the company for $457.61, for the oil already delivered at their normal price. I admit that maybe I made a bit of a boo-boo by negotiating the discount on the phone, but the customer service manager transferred me to a sales person who gave me a confirmation number for the entire 175 gallon order, scheduled me for delivery, and told me the price to the penny ($388.32). So I have a few questions on how to best proceed.

I'm going to send a demand letter telling them to either honor the discount I negotiated and deliver the rest of the oil or get their oil out of my tank. Who should I send this to? The customer service manager I spoke to, or to the customer service department in general, or to the legal department?

If they decide to take their oil back, it will likely result in my being without heat for a few days because they disrupted my delivery schedule with the other company. What would be reasonable to demand of them for this situation? As I sit here, it is about 25 degrees outside, I can't be without heat in this weather. The only idea I could come up with was leaving enough oil for 3 days heat (5 gallons) free of charge so that I would have a reasonable amount of time to receive delivery from someone else. I would be more than happy to hear other suggestions as to fair compensation for their delay.

Mrs. D

I did give it to the customer service rep, and she said she couldn't find it in the system. Even if it's in there somewhere, the fact remains that it's not linked to my (previously opened, last year) account to which they have billed the full normal cost of the oil, just to make a link to the invoice I received.


Senior Member
call them to come get their oil , minus 5 gals for your inconvenience , so you can have heat until another Co. can deliver for less .

Tell them you will be following up with a RRR Certified mail stating the same .

Tell them if the come and leave it empty and it causes damages , you will sue them for it .

Then make sure they have access to pump it out .

If they offer it all to you again for the lower price tell them you want it in writing , no less then 7 days from the call .

The more and longer you use it , they will try and say you are bound to buy it .

Follow all communication ( after the calls ) in writing RRR Certified mail keeping copies of letter and documents .

If the Certified mail comes back to you , do not open it .

If they refuse to come get the oil , pay the lower price , and file a complaint with the OAG consumer affairs in your area .
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