I have been a long-standing customer of H. John Davis for at least six years now. This week (March 19, 2012) I contacted them to see if they would be willing to give me an estimate for some service work on a relative's furnace. Initially the rep (Debbie) said they don't do any service work unless that relative has an account with them. But they made an exception in my case and sent someone out anyway....for which I was grateful because my intent was to ultimately open up a second account for my relative with HJohn.
The service tech showed up at my relative's house that same day. After diagnosing the source of an odor from her furnace (the problem I initially wanted an estimate on) and pouring some cleaning powder on the oil tanks (a process that in total took no more than 15 minutes), he went to his van to (what I thought) write up an estimate on what the repairs would cost so I can then provide that to my relative. When he finally hands it to me, he also hands me a bill for $175.00! I was in complete shock because ALL I wanted was an ESTIMATE for future service. He said by default they charge $125.00 just to come out...and the additional costs were for the powdering he did. He said there was nothing he could do and advised I call the office.
So 10 minutes later, I did. And the same Admin, Debbie, was absolutely NO help...to the point of talking to me like I was a child. She said it wasn't her intent to mislead me, but that "no one does something for nothing." The fact she would even make a comment like that really got to me. I tried explaining to her that my initial call was just for an ESTIMATE, and that I would never have approved this visit if I knew I was getting billed for it. I also tried to explain that they WOULD have gotten ten times that amount for the service work and potential contract when my relative was ready to move forward with the repairs. She still had nothing to say or offer. I then told her I would consider cancelling my account if they don't work with me, and all she said: "this is what it is"...and "there is nothing they can do".
I am extremely upset with them for leading me to believe they were going to do what I wanted (come out for an estimate) only to then get billed $175.00 for 15 minutes of time...a fee that was NEVER disclosed to me when I made the initial call. I am even more upset that they did nothing to try and work with me...a long-time customer who has easily paid them more than $10,000 over the years.
So I was now ready to just cancel my account with them all-together. I had pre-paid my fuel back in August 2011 in the amount of $2651.32 and signed a contract with them that was valid through March 31st 2012. So I submitted a letter via fax to H. John Davis on the same day this all occurred (March 19th) and expect a refund for the unused gallons I had pre-purchased.
According to the terms of that contract I signed, I would get penalized if I cancelled it prior to March 31. Despite the fact my letter was for cancellation as of APRIL 1, they are STILL penalizing me .75 cents per gallon of the unused gallons I had pre-purchased. So I called them on March 22, 2012 and asked Debbie to tell me exactly where in the contract it said I would get penalized this fee if I cancelled it after April 1st. She couldn't give me a straight answer and said according to my attached letter, it was because I was not authorizing any more oil deliveries between now and April 1. But based on my previous 6-year history with them, I know for a fact they had NOT planned on delivering any fuel between now and March 31st. They are just using that as an excuse to charge this penalty.
So not only have I lost $175.00, I have now also lost another $328.00 for this penalty fee that I should NOT have to pay according to the written contact.
My previous customer-service history with them has never been fantastic...and this is just icing on the cake. I am absolutely disgusted at how little they care about keeping a long-time customer satisfied, and even more appalled at how they offered absolutely NO options to work with me. I would not only like to warn your viewing consumers to be vigilant for things like this, but I also want them to know that just because they are a large oil supply company in our region, they can't just take advantage of someone like this.
(And please note - unlike other people who complain about everything, I have NEVER posted a complaint like this for any company I've dealt with in my lifetime. John Davis in Mt. Pocono Pennsylvania is the first company that has pushed me to this extreme.)
Review about: Not Applicable.