Granted, there are various types of heating oil companies in Stroudsburg, PA. However, different companies offer different service contract terms depending on the needs of various clients. In most cases, heating oil companies offer consumers the option of a contract that either guarantees regular supply of fuel oil and maintenance of heating units/systems or an agreement to supply oil depending on a customer’s needs.
A service contract, in this context, is an agreement presented by a contractor provider to provide either oil supply, maintenance services or both to a paying customer. Some fuel oil service agreements also provide services such as emergency response for both oil supply and maintenance/replacement of damaged heating unit parts at least once annually. Most of these contracts contain terms that oblige consumers to purchase fuel oil services from one contractor for a specified duration.
Obviously, before you choose a contractor, it would be important to understand the terms of service offered by various service providers. Upon doing that, you need also to decide which terms meet your heating demands. Of course, one of the important aspects of all contracts offered by heating oil contractors is price. Therefore, ensure you compare the prices of oil offered by various companies against the current market prices and establish which companies offer great discounts. Before signing a contract with any fuel oil supplier, it is also important to establish the service record of various companies in order to determine if you are likely to get good value for your money.
Full Service Agreements
Most companies that provide full service contracts generally provide services such as guaranteed emergency services and regular/automatic service delivery. Compared to other types of contracts, these contracts typically extend for over one year. While the contract is in effect, consumers who do not abide by the terms of the contract may have their boiler oil services discontinued at the discretion of the fuel oil supplier. These contracts also contain terms that require the service provider to offer long-term maintenance, evaluation and repair services on the heating oil equipment of the consumer. Some full service contracts also offer substantial discounts on prices for consumers who pay for services on time.
One of the main benefits of full service contracts is that consumers can cut their fuel costs significantly by utilizing the maintenance services offered in the contracts. For instance, defective oil heating systems often cause consumers to pay higher than normal energy bills due to their inability to conserve heat. With this type of contract, a contractor’s technicians can easily rectify any defective heating units during their routine maintenance visits and rectify the problems that could otherwise lead to inflated energy costs for a consumer.
Discount Service Contracts
These contracts compel boiler oil suppliers to offer their consumers significant price discounts. As a result, consumers often end up paying below market prices for their oil. However, fuel suppliers offer these price cuts on condition that consumer pay for services on a “Cash on Delivery” basis. In other words, one must pay for oil supply services on the same day the contractor provides the services. Obviously, a consumer who do not meet this requirement would be in breach of his or her contract and a service contractor can use this as a basis to terminate the service agreement. Under this type of nonbinding service contract, consumers are not entitled to maintenance services. In addition to this, the payment rates on discount service agreements are normally not fixed and they may fluctuate severally during the term of the contract depending on changes in the market price of boiler oil.
Hybrid Service Contracts
These service contracts, which are legally binding, offer consumers a mix of the service terms included in discount service plans and full service plans. Boiler oil suppliers that offer this type of service agreement also offer discounted prices. If you opt for a hybrid service agreement, you can make payments for services offered on a “Cash on Delivery” terms or make weekly/monthly payments depending on the payment policy of your service provider.
Maintenance Elements of a Heating Oil Service Contract
Boiler oil service contracts cover various elements of heating system maintenance. For instance, some contractors only provide preventative maintenance services such as annual cleaning of consumers’ heating systems and regular heating level adjustments on heating units. While the aforementioned forms of maintenance meet the basic requirements for improving the efficiency of heating systems, consumers would need to invest in other maintenance services in order to achieve maximum efficiency in the long run. In light of this, some heating oil service contracts also offer additional maintenance services such as cleaning and performing structural repairs on furnaces and boiler. However, most companies offer these services at an additional cost.
Besides supplying boiler oil, most contractors also offer the following services:
- Repair and replacement of oil burner system controls.
- Secondary zone coverage- most service contracts cover the maintenance cost for a primary zone. For most consumers, this is the living area. Contractors offer heating system maintenance services for other zones/parts of the house such as bedrooms and basements at an extra cost.
- Repair of heating systems that become defective due to various factors such as fires, water damage, and power interruptions.
- Maintenance of heating units that a contractor considers either outdated or prone to regular malfunctions. In the latter case, the law compels heating oil providers to notify consumers about any heating oil unit types that they do not cover in their service contracts.
Other Features of Heating Oil Service Contract
Service Cancellation Terms
Most service contracts offered by heating oil companies have cancellation clauses and allow consumers to terminate the services of such companies normally by providing written notices within the stipulated timeframe. Upon receiving such a notice, a service provider may agree to cancel the service agreement once a consumer pays off all debts owed to the service provider.
Free Service Clauses
In some cases, heating oil companies can offer free maintenance services. For instance, companies that sell heating units as well as oil may sell new equipment to their clients. In such cases, service providers install the new heating systems no extra charge. However, consumers may have to purchase a certain amount of oil yearly in order to receive free maintenance services.
Overall, all Stroudsburg, PA, heating oil service contracts typically offer oil supply and heating oil unit maintenance services. However, most contracts contain different price and maintenance service elements. Therefore, consumers should thoroughly analyze each contract in order to ensure that they get the most comprehensive heating oil services under the best terms.