With the cold weather like that which has been gripping Montreal lately, the last thing you want to be without is heat.
Debbie Bassenden says her house in Pierrefonds is freezing, and her oil company is to blame.
“I ordered my oil on Tuesday because I was already on empty,” she says. “On Tuesday and they told me within 48 hours I would have oil.”
But by Thursday she had to call again.
“They said the driver has my slip and if it wasn’t delivered on Thursday they would call me,” adds Bassenden. “Nothing happened on Thursday, so I called back on Friday and I got the same answer!”
By Saturday, her oil still had not been delivered. She says she paid when she ordered, and as a single mother, she just can’t afford to switch companies now. Stuck with a tank that’s almost empty, she’s had to find other ways to stay warm.
“We put wood in the fireplace and try to heat up the house a little bit,” she says, rubbing her hands trying to warm them.
Several others in the area say they have had similar problems with the same company. When Alice Baltadjian returned from vacation Thursday, her house was freezing, and she knew something was wrong.
“There was nothing,” she fumes. “Zilch! There was no oil at all! That’s why it went down to 5 C in the house!”
Her tank was supposed to be refilled while she was away, but she thinks they might have forgotten. So she called and had 40 litres delivered as an emergency. But that ran out Friday night.
“I woke up at 3 a.m.,” she says, “and I noticed it was getting cool again in the house.”
The situation has left her son, Alec Baltadjian, livid: “Because this shouldn’t happen to anybody!”
Oil was finally delivered to his mother Saturday afternoon. He says the delivery person had an explanation for why the oil was delayed: “He told me that the reason was that two of their trucks were broken.”
But Baltadjian says his mother was told nothing. Despite this one-time explanation, they plan to change companies at the end of the season.
“I mean, a sick woman like me, they neglected?” Baltadjian’s mother says. “I don’t understand!”
READ MORE: Staying safe during extreme cold weather
Bassenden also says she might switch companies at the end of the season, because people can’t be without oil for heat, especially when it gets very cold.
“People can’t wait for seven days when they’re on empty!”