I-Team: Fuel delivery complaints reach AG's Office
AUGUSTA (WGME) -- As the governor signed another emergency proclamation on Tuesday to make sure Mainers get their heating fuel, the attorney general says complaints about a Standish company are piling up.
"Still waitin'," said Stephen Bennett, a customer of Pit Stop Fuels.
Bennett said he and his wife have been maintaining a quarter tank of kerosene at their Windham home on their own.
"We've done six trips," he said.
Bennett said his wife has been trying to reach Pit Stop Fuels since December 26.
"She called. Nothing. Just a busy signal," said Bennett. "She'd go online. No response."
They're not alone. The CBS 13 I-Team has been flooded with calls and e-mails from customers who say they, too, can't get through to place an order, while others say they've been charged and their deliveries, delayed.
"We're hearing some of the same things and I've heard from legislators in the area," said Maine Attorney General Janet Mills.
Mills said her office has received about 50 complaints about Pit Stop Fuels. While there are long waits across the industry, she said only a handful of issues have been reported about other fuel companies.
"I don't think it's a question of supply. I think he's got the supply," she said. "He's responding to complaints and we have referred complaints to him now so he can reply personally."
Pit Stop was bought by Stone Road Energy just 10 days ago. Vice President Joshua Sandahl told CBS 13 on Monday that in addition to extreme weather, they're also facing a shortage of drivers. He said they've added phone lines and increased delivery workforce by 45 percent. CBS 13 reached out to Sandahl for comment on Tuesday, but did not hear back.
"Today, we've gotten some good calls back from them and some assurances they're doing everything they can," Mills said.
She still urges consumers to file a complaint...
"Especially if they've given money in advance and are not getting the delivery, or if they were on on automatic fill up, that kind of thing," said Mills.
But it's little consolation to those watching their tanks run dry.
"Communication," said Bennett. "It's one of the easiest things in the world and something the businesses, they just, forget that part."
The Governor's Energy Office is also involved. Director Steve McGrath said he paid a visit to the Standish office and advised managers to try to get them to address the call volume.
McGrath said he's also communicating with Pit Stop Fuels about delivering to propane customers who don't have the option of re-filling on their own.