EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 9, 2014

Hundreds of fuel customers call N.H. hotline

Other companies struggle to handle extra customers

Derry resident Mark Grabowski was pleasantly surprised when he saw the Fred Fuller Oil truck come to his house yesterday.

“They told me that my oil would be coming on Thursday,” he said. “But they came (yesterday). I was just about ready to switch just in case.”

Grabowski was one of many Fred Fuller customers who got deliveries yesterday as the company attempts to get back on schedule. The Hudson-based oil company has received many complaints from its customers after oil deliveries have been delayed or nonexistent.

Gov. Maggie Hassan announced Tuesday night the state set up a hotline in an effort to speed up deliveries and help consumers in danger of running out of fuel. As of 2 p.m. yesterday, 650 people had called the hotline.

“The health and safety of individuals who are running dangerously low on heating oil due to delivery issues with Fred Fuller Oil Co. remain Governor Hassan’s primary concern,” spokesman Marc Goldberg said yesterday.

Goldberg said the hotline will remain in place until state officials are confident Fred Fuller is back on schedule.

“The hotline will remain operational until we are confident that response times are sufficient to ensure the health and safety of customers,” Goldberg said. “State officials remain in contact with Fred Fuller Oil as they work to address the situation.”

Goldberg said the company claims all problems will be resolved by the end of the week.

Multiple calls to company attorney Simon Leeming yesterday were not returned. Repeated calls to Fred Fuller’s corporate offices in Hudson were met with a busy signal. The company reported they have been having phone issues, which led to delays in service. But their provider, FairPoint Communications, said the issues were not on their end.

“Fuller’s phone problems were unrelated to FairPoint’s network and we did not have service issues,” Fairpoint spokesman Jeff Nevins said yesterday. “We were just made aware that one of Fuller Oil’s vendors had identified a problem internal to their phone system with its database and FairPoint’s technicians have left the premises.”

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