AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) - About one-third of the people in Western Massachusetts heat their home with oil.
The 22News I-Team found out how oil delivery companies are being held accountable.
The 22News I-Team went out with a state inspector who makes sure you are getting the oil you pay for.
State Inspector Bob Manseau goes searching for home oil delivery trucks every winter. He performs random inspection checks.
"We check his seal on his meter, which is the most important check. Make sure the seal protects
the integrity of the meter and the gallons delivered match the gallons on the slip", says Manseau.
Barbara Anthony is the Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations.
"We don't surprise inspect every single truck, but the fuel oil industry knows that we're out there
and they never know when their truck is one that will be pulled over and inspected", says Anthony.
The 22News I-Team didn't find any problems with this truck, but Manseau told the 22News I-Team they do
these random stops to protect the consumer.
"You never know when you're going to get checked, so it keeps you honest", says Manseau.
Rick Borsari of Borsari Oil Services told 22News the inspections help hold the entire industry accountable.
"They check my truck yearly, its right down to the fraction, there's no fooling around. They're getting every drop they pay for. With the price it is now you have to", says Borsari.
Anthony told 22News these random checks have cleaned up the industry in the past two decades.
'Sometimes we will find errors or sometimes we'll find mistakes, but we rarely find fraudulent practices
these days", says Anthony.
If there is a problem, a driver will be ticketed $100 to $375. If a driver is caught stealing oil, they could go to jail.
Tips for consumers who are receiving the 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.
* You can 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.