Heating oil woes continue for West Island residents

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WATCH ABOVE: Some West Island residents are complaining that not only is their heating oil not being delivered, it's costing them more to get emergency refills. Global's Phil Carpenter reports – Jan 7, 2018

After almost a week of waiting, Pierrefonds resident Deborah Bassenden finally got some oil for heating.

“Last night a guy came to deliver 35 litres,” she said.  “It’s a little minivan that shows up.”

READ MORE: West Island residents say oil company has left them freezing

On Saturday, she told Global News that she ordered and paid for oil from Ultramar on Tuesday.

But after five days and several phone calls, she still hadn’t received her order.  This, despite a promise from the company that the oil would be delivered within 48 hours.

When the heating oil finally arrived on Saturday night, it came with something else.

“This receipt for $120 and [he] said, ‘well it’s Ultramar’s decision if they’re going to charge you or not,'” said Bassenden.
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“So I don’t know if they’re going to charge me — the tank was empty.”

Bassenden wasn’t the only one in a tough spot.  Susan Filsner — who lives in Hudson — says she waited for a week after calling her oil company. They’re supposed to refill her tank automatically, so when her gauge indicated empty, even though she still had heat, she called again.

READ MORE: Hundreds of residents at NDG apartment complex without adequate heating

She says the representative told her, “Well if you want us to come now, it’s gonna be $180 service charge for emergency fill up.’  I said ‘really?'”

She says he told her that even if the gauge reads empty there is still oil if there is heat, hence the service charge.

“They wait until the people have no more heat before they come and fill up the oil,” she said.  “It’s very strange.”

When some residents tried to get oil from another company — like Alec Baltadjian did for his mother Alice — they face another letdown.

READ MORE: Verdun landlord and tenant taking water feud to the rental board

“One of the companies that I called said, we can come and fill it, but the price was astronomical and it had to be cash,” he explains.

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Bassenden’s tank is empty again after using up what she got Saturday night.  She says she has the option of waiting or paying extra to get an emergency fill up.  She says it would cost her an extra $75 on top of the $470 she says she has already paid for 450 litres.  But as a single mother of five kids, she can’t afford it.  Though the weather is getting warmer for the next few days, she still worries.

“There’s still the consequences if the pipes burst, it’s my responsibility because I rent here.”

READ MORE: Staying safe during extreme cold weather

After trying several times since Saturday to reach Ultramar, Global News was eventually told that nobody would be available to comment before Monday.

Meanwhile, clients like Bassenden are fuming.

“It’s costing me money for their lack of distribution.”

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