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Fred Fuller says company will reimburse state for hotline costs

New Hampshire Union Leader

February 01. 2014 8:34PM

CONCORD — Fred Fuller Oil and Propane, which was dogged with late oil deliveries and a malfunction of its telephone system last month, has agreed to reimburse the state for the costs associated with running a 24-hour hot line for customers and set up a fund for inconvenienced customers, the company owner, Fred Fuller, said in a letter to the state.

In a letter to Perry E. Plummer, director of the state's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office, Fuller said: "Although there is no requirement for us to reimburse the State of New Hampshire for the assistance provided, we think it is the responsible thing for us to do on behalf of the goodwill provided by you and the State of New Hampshire." The letter was dated Feb. 1.

The letter comes after the company's attorney, Simon C. Leeming, said Friday that Fred Fuller Oil would determine on Monday, following a meeting with Plummer, whether to reimburse the state the $20,972.44 in costs associated with running the hot line.

Gov. Maggie Hassan and Plummer started the hot line Jan. 7 after fielding customer calls concerning heating fuel deliveries and tanks either nearing empty or running on empty amid a cold snap. Some customers were unable to get through to the Hudson-based Fred Fuller Oil, which had experienced major phone system problems.

The hot line was staffed around-the-clock for nearly six days.

"We have received the letter and Governor Hassan greatly appreciates that Fred Fuller intends to do the right thing on behalf of his customers and the people of New Hampshire," Marc Goldberg, Hassan's spokesman, wrote in an email.

In a letter to Fred Fuller Oil on Jan. 23, Plummer noted that the call center handled 3,832 incoming calls and 1,862 different cases and made 2,745 return calls to residents as follow-ups.

"I want to commend you and your agency that worked with us around the clock to mitigate the unfortunate circumstances that lead to the delivery backlog," Fuller wrote to Plummer.

Fuller said the company, in addition to reimbursing the state, will "match that amount and create a fund to assist those customers of ours that were inconvenienced by this situation. We will be working out the details associated with this fund and communicating that to our customers that experienced problems."

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