Ask the Expert: Home heating contracts

4:57 PM, Jan 14, 2013   |    comments
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(NEWS CENTER) - In our Ask The Expert segment, we talked with Maine's Attorney General, Steven Rowe about home heating oil contracts.

  We asked about consumer rights when it comes to buying home heating oil.  Specifically, could a consumer get out of his or her contract when they locked in earlier this year at much higher prices?

   Attorney General Steven Rowe says consumers should first look at their contract.  Any stipulation would be in it.  But, he says, consumers must remember that contract is a legal document.  He explains that when you locked in to your price earlier this year, the dealer also locked in at that price.   So, that's why Row says, dealers would be reluctant to let consumers out of their contract.

   Rowe says there are also capped contracts.  That means there is only a certain amount you will pay up to, but that type of contract comes with a premium.  And, he says, there are also contracts that have a liquidated damages provision where a consumer pay out a lump sum to get out of a contract. 

This story was originally posted November 6, 2008. 


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