DCA GEARS UP FOR WINTER SEASON;
INSPECTS HEATING OIL DELIVERY TRUCKS AND OFFERS TIPS TO
Official DCA Seal
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2004
SDCA Inspections Help Ensure Homeowners
Get the Heating Oil They Pay For
The New York City Department of Consumer
Affairs (DCA) today reminded New Yorkers to be vigilant
when purchasing home heating oil, and to take the necessary
precautionary steps to ensure they dont get shortchanged.
Getting less than what you pay for,
particularly when prices are high, can leave you feeling
chilly, said DCA Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra. We
inspected nearly 1,500 home heating oil delivery trucks
operating in New York City last year, checking that each
meter registers accurately. Were happy that compliance
is high, but consumers should still take steps to protect
themselves as we continue to remain vigilant.
DCA inspects home heating oil delivery truck
meters annually. During these routine inspections, the DCA
confirms that the trucks meter accurately registers
how much oil it pumps, and places an official seal on the
back of each truck where it is easily visible. DCA also
checks for faulty air eliminator devices, where without
an intact seal, retailers could modify their meters and
increase the chance of shortchanging their customers. In
addition, a faulty meter might register dispensing more
home heating oil than the consumer actually receives.
Last year the DCA condemned 104 meters, or
7% of all meters inspected. Inspections are done during
surprise visits to truck refueling terminals throughout
the City, as well as at the agencys test station in
DCA offers the following tips to homeowners:
Check the trucks meter for an official
DCA seal and request to see a copy of the companys
certificate of inspection.
The official DCA seal located on the back of each fuel
oil truck, and certificate of inspection certifies that
the truck has been inspected, and when.
Check your receipt.
By law, retailers must provide a receipt showing how much
oil was received and how much was paid per unit.
Check your own oil tank gauge before and
Although some gauges may be inaccurate due to age, many
can give a rough estimate of how much oil was received.
Get a written contract and read the fine
Always get a written contract that includes all costs,
delivery schedule, gallons promised, and any other details
that have been agreed upon between the provider and customer.
Make sure that the salesperson or manager of the distributor
signs the contract before payment. Also, BEFORE SIGNING,
check for hidden costs, fees or minimum purchasing requirements
that may appear in the contract.
Use a reputable supplier.
Call 311 to check a retailers complaint history.
DCA enforces the Consumer Protection Law,
as well as other related laws, at thousands of businesses
throughout New York City. DCA licenses more than 60,000
businesses in 55 different categories in New York City and
educates both consumers and businesses alike through free
publications, community and business outreach, and other
To file a complaint, or for copies of DCAs
free consumer and business education guides, call 311 or
visit DCA online at www.nyc.gov/consumers