Oil delays fuel fears of a cold Christmas

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A ST ANDREWS woman has rapped a heating oil supplier for taking a month to deliver crucial supplies to her home during the current cold snap.

Mrs Eilene Morgan, who suffers from fibromyalgia, and her husband Jeffrey ordered 1000 litres from Scottish Fuels at the end of November thinking the delivery would come within a week - the normal delivery period.

But the fuel only arrived on Wednesday and the couple, who live at Cauldside, were restricted to using their heating for a few hours per day and were dreading spending the festive holidays without any heating at all.

Mrs Morgan told the Citizen: “Our supplies were very low as we hadn’t had a delivery since September and they normally last about three or four months,”

“We could only put the heating on in the morning for about an hour and that was about as much as we could do.

‘‘They kept telling us the delivery would come in a day ot two but then there would be another excuse for it not turning up. It was impossible to ration what we had left when we had no idea how long it would have to last.”

Mr Morgan said he had grown tired of the excuses which the company gave them after each delivery date was missed.

“I watched trucks from another company come and go making deliveries, so they couldn’t blame the snow on the roads any more,” he added.

SCHEDULE

“We were told it would come last Sunday and it didn’t. When I phoned on Monday they said we weren’t on the schedule for delivery that day as they had us down for getting our oil on the Sunday - even though it never came.”

Scottish Fuels is one of four companies, along with BP, Shell and Brogan, that were named by North East Fife MSP Iain Smith when he called on Scottish finance minister John Swinney to investigate their treatment of customers.

The Liberal Democrat MSP also called on the Office of Fair Trading to conduct an emergency inquiry into the behaviour of energy wholesalers who he believed were ‘‘exploiting the winter weather to make massive profits.’’

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, he said: “Many people who have ordered, or have tried to order, heating oil have been told that they will not get a delivery for several weeks, and heating oil suppliers are refusing to tell them what the price will be.

“There is evidence that the price of heating oil has doubled, in some cases. That is a major concern brought to my attention by a student in my constituency.

“However, of more concern to me are the elderly people who may be stuck in their homes over the Christmas period with no heating oil supplies, or with their supplies so low that they have to run their heating at a very low level to avoid damaging their equipment.”

Scottish Fuels were not available for comment when contacted by the Citizen this week.