Fury after firm fails to deliver heating oil

VILLAGERS have voiced their anger at a fuel company after delays in oil deliveries left many shivering in their homes.

Members of a 25-strong syndicate in Stanstead, near Sudbury, ordered their winter oil from Total Butler on December 3 and expected deliveries within days to ensure they had heating for Christmas.

But many were left waiting for weeks for oil to turn up with one resident still wondering when his heating fuel will arrive.

Geoffrey Beech, who has lived in the village for 40 years, said he is down to the last dregs of oil in his tank and is desperate for a delivery.

He said: “It is getting on for a month now. My wife is suffering from the flu and with the expected cold weather this could not have come at a worse time.

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“I have rung Total and on the two occasions they told me oil would be arriving I’ve spent the day waiting at home but no deliveries were made. It has been very frustrating, especially when you see Total lorries in the village delivering elsewhere.”

Mr Beech, who spends up to �700 to fill his oil tank, said he had never had problems before but he would now be cancelling his direct debit with Total and going elsewhere if the situation was not resolved.

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Kevin Horton, from Stanstead, said he was forced to move into the front room of his house with his wife and three teenage children to keep warm when temperatures plummeted to -10 and the oil tank ran dry.

He said: “Even the washing up liquid froze solid. We ordered oil on December 3 and should have got it within three to four days. We were still waiting on December 19 and by that time we had run out.”

Jean Boyse, 65, who runs the village’s oil syndicate, said: “The entire thing was a fiasco. The oil ordered on December 3 did not arrive but for some reason a different order on December 13 arrived the next day. Why couldn’t they just deliver it all in one go if they were here?

“It left people without heating and many surviving on the last dregs just to keep going.”

A spokesman from Total Butler said they would like to apologise to Mr Beech for the delay in delivering his oil but it had been necessary to suspend the dispatch of tankers during the severe cold weather and increased demand.

She said: “We have been in contact with Mr Beech and are resolving this issue with him directly.

“We are continuing to deliver safely and reliably to our customers and are doing everything possible to ensure that their needs are met.”

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