Full Service Heating Oil vs. Discount Heating Oil: What’s the Difference?

So you’ve been with a full service heating oil supplier for years and then one day one of your neighbour’s tells you about the new discount heating oil company that just opened. Your neighbour goes on to tell you about the low heating oil price this new company offers and you think to yourself – ‘why am I paying so much more for my heating oil with my full service heating oil company?’

Well before you make the plunge and sign up with the discounter there are a few things you should consider.

1. Does the Discounter Offer Heating Equipment Repair?

Many discount heating oil companies “appear” as though they have service but in fact other companies provide the service on the discounter’s behalf. Or they have 1 or 2 technicians just to say they have service. If your furnace breaks down in the middle of the night do you want to call 2 or 3 different companies and likely wait until the morning? Full Service Heating Oil companies keep certified technicians on call 24/7, have fully stocked service vehicles, and can typically respond to a customer within 1-2 hours. If 24/7 peace of mind is important to you, then a full service provider is your best choice.

2. What Are Your Payment Options

Payment options are something else to consider. Full Service companies offer different options for you to pay. For example you can choose to pay by cheque, pay within 30 days, pay by credit card, pay by EFT, sign up for a budget plan (dividing annual heating oil bill into equalized payments), or select a price protection option. Discount Heating oil companies typically require cash or cheque at the door. You’ll need to be there and have the cash handy.

3. What Is Their Experience and Reputation.

There is an old saying, “You get what you pay for.” Look for full service companies with years of experience, a good reputation, and a stable financial foundation. The last thing a customer wants or needs to hear is that the company they rely on for keeping them warm has gone out of business. This can and does happen. You can read about one case in New Hampshire (Flynn’s Oil Leaves People in the Cold). So you should be sure to do your research and select a heating provider with years of experience.