We ran out of heating oil a couple of weeks ago. We did not really notice at first as the indicator on the container is out of sync so we thought we were OK. Then the Big Freeze hit and did we know we had run out of oil?!
I went on the internet and found a company called Go Local Fuel which appeared to be a broker finding the best price for oil locally. Through them we ordered hundreds and hundreds of pounds of heating oil. My brother paid for it on his card and we sat and waited and waited. No oil arrived.
Look North saw my tweets about my oil situation and got in touch. This led to me doing a bit of internet research on sites like MoneySavingExpert and finding out that Go Local Fuel is a scam. They take your money but you don't get any oil.
I emailed my brother to let him know but even now having looked at the sites because there is a nice man on the phone (scammers tend to be charming, right?), he is doing nothing about getting his money back. He still believes he is going to get the oil in the end and that is my dears about as likely as Santa rewarding me for being a good girl all year.
Apparently my opinion and research counts for nothing. My Dad always agrees with whatever my brother says so keeps looking at me as if I have made the whole scam thing up.
I blasted Go Local Fuel and threatened them with media and legal action to the extent that they said they would refund the money paid. But then my gay brother talks to a "lovely man" on the phone at Go Local and reinstates the order and tells him to forget about the refund.
We did all agree that we need heating oil urgently though so all the men researched things and could only come up with deliveries in late January. Due to the wonders of Twitter, I had an offer of early January and probably before within minutes!
Meanwhile, my brother had found a company miles away that sells portable heaters. Dad thought this was a good idea. Of course he would - it was my brother's. I went on internet and found a company just down the road who would deliver a portable heater free of charge. It came last night and the family slowly thawed!
Finally, after much persuausion and going to other oil companies for quotes, the men of the house decided my lead via Twitter for heating oil was worth trying. My husband phoned them and they said they could deliver in early January at the very latest and could also supply us with barrels of oil to keep us going till then.
I told Dad who said it all sounded "quite an expense" and the barrel idea was a bad one. I emailed my husband to report on that and to say that as soon as my brother said it was a good idea, Dad would go with the barrel idea. Lo and Behold, my brother telephoned my Dad and the barrels turned into pure gold as far as an idea is concerned. Dad was practically leaping into the car to go and collect them when I pointed out that perhaps it would be an idea for my husband to go with him what with Dad being well into his eighties!
Now is it me or has the world gone mad? Or maybe just men?
Wouldn't it be nice is someone would say
Thank you for identifying the scam and we belive you not the scammers
Thank you for locating a company who would provide portable heater and free delivery
Thank you for finding an early oil supplier
A girl can dream!
There is lots more for me to rant about but going to have a cuppa
You have being warned - I will be back!
Finally, here's to some marvellous women on Twitter, Facebook and email who stopped me throwing myself of a cliff!