Thursday, January 18, 2007

And Then God Said "Let There Be Heat!"

OK, maybe not, but yay! We have heat again! It's still rather cold in the house at a whopping 50º but the heat is on and the chill should be gone within a couple of hours. It only cost us $423.93. Please note heavy sarcasm on "only." Although the gentleman who did the repairs for me lopped off an hour of service charge ($199 rather than $299) AND waived the charge on two of the replacement items.

The last time our current oil company serviced our furnace was in September '04. It had two years of grime and muck to clean out. He also had to replace: a general tank filter; a pump screen; a nozzle that just fell apart completely when it was touched; the transmission was dead; fixed the retention head; replaced the cell eye, whatever all those things are.

Now here's the real rant. We signed a contract with our current heating oil company (Kasden Fuel) for OIL. We are NOT contracted with them for service, so thankfully using the new company (Curley's). Only oil. Which explains why Kasden's didn't schedule maintenance for our furnace this past year. With Kasden, we are paying $2.79/gallon no matter the fluctuations in oil prices because as their customer service rep explained, when we signed the contract, they bought all of our oil for the season at that price. They estimated what we would need based on what we used last year. Thankfully, we haven't used much oil until the past few days because it's been so warm lately, but now temps are stuck in the 20º's and at night, drops into the teens. The Curley's guy was telling me this morning that even at their highest, they weren't charging contracted customers $2.79/gallon. He said it was probably closer to $2.39 or $2.49.

Here's the kicker: Curley's is offering the new oil prices for new customers starting tomorrow, and they allow current customer's prices to fluctuate based on how the market fluctuates. Guess how much? If we started oil delivery tomorrow with Curley's , we would only have to pay $1.94/gallon. If we break the contract with Kasden, they would charge us a $450 penalty.

I'm pissed. I'm trying to find a loophole and see if there's any legal way to get out of this. That would save us like $200 a month if we could change contracts.

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