Governor Hassan asks Fuller Oil to pay more than $20,000 for hotline
The call center handled 3,832 incoming calls and 1,862 different cases involving Fuller Oil Co. customers whose oil tanks were either at or near empty, but couldn't reach the Hudson-based company to order more oil, Plummer said. The call center also made 2,745 follow up calls.
Fuller Oil Co. has blamed its problems on a failed telephone system and the media for inciting panic among its customers.
Attorney Simon C. Leeming, who represents Fuller Oil Co., said he could not comment on the matter Thursday night because he had not received any information. He was not immediately available Friday.
The state Attorney General's Office is reviewing Fuller Oil documents detailing how many gallons of oil the company agreed to provide customers under prepaid heating contracts it entered into during this and next year's heating season, Senior Assistant Attorney General James T. Boffetti said. The state will determine if Fuller Oil got futures contracts with its supplier in which it commits to buy at least 75 percent of the oil it contracted to provide customers.
Boffetti, who heads the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Bureau, said Fuller Oil provided the documents to his office late Wednesday and he is reviewing them. He said he asked for additional information and that Fuller "has been responsive."
Boffetti said the documents will show whether Fuller Oil complied with state law governing prepaid home heating contracts by entering into futures contracts with suppliers. Violations are considered unfair or deceptive business practices.
While Boffetti acknowledged the company had legitimate telephone system problems, he noted that doesn't adequately address what happened.
"They should have quickly come up with an alternative way for customers to reach them," Boffetti said. For instance, Fuller Oil could have bought a number of cell phones to replace the failed telephone system. Instead, the state had to step in and set up the emergency hotline.