Top Questions to Ask When Choosing a Local Oil Provider
Whether you are shopping for oil delivery service to your home or business, you are always going to keep an eye out for the best deal. Understanding the details of your oil delivery contract can prevent you from incurring extra charges while ensuring your home or business is warm all winter. Here are a few questions you should ask an oil delivery company before signing a contract.
What are your pricing options?
Some oil delivery services offer payment programs that allow you to lock in a price at the beginning of winter. This option can be a good one for businesses because it allows your company to effectively budget the cost of heating months in advance. However, if you expect the price of oil to go down, you may end up losing money by locking in at a higher price.
Businesses may also want to consider a price cap program. A price cap sets the highest price you will pay, but if market prices go down, you pay the lower prices. This option is usually a little more per gallon than locking in a fixed price for the winter, but it also hedges against falling prices. With both these options, you will likely have to sign a contract. That contract may have fees if you decide to go with a different company before the contract is up.
What are your delivery plans?
Most oil companies offer a choice between automatic delivery and will-call delivery. Automatic oil delivery means homeowners and business owners don’t have to worry about remembering to check their oil tank and call for a delivery. To make sure the oil is delivered before a customer runs out, delivery services use a very accurate calculation based on “degree days,” which measures the demand for heating oil. Payment doesn’t have to be made at the time of delivery, making automatic oil delivery even more convenient.
Will-call delivery puts the responsibility on the property owner, who must check on the oil supply and call when it’s getting low. While some like the added control this option gives, it can also lead to extra fees. If you run out of oil, or get very close, you could have to pay extra to get emergency service. We advise customers who choose this option to call when the tank is 1⁄4 full.
What is your delivery area?
Make sure the delivery service you are calling serves your area. Many oil delivery services are small, locally-owned businesses that serve only set areas. Also, check to see which days the company delivers to your area. If you are running low on oil and the company only services your town one day a week, asking for delivery at another time could result in fees.
Do you have a Better Business Bureau rating?
Because so many oil companies are locally owned and serve the communities where the owners and employees live, there is a good chance they have great customer service. You can look at customer reviews, as well as a list of complaints, on the Better Business Bureau of New Hampshire website. Here you will also find a list of services the company offers and other information. M.L. Halle is proud of our A+ rating we’ve received from the Better Business Bureau of New Hampshire.
If you would like to know more about the prices and services M.L. Halle offers, visit our website, or call us today.