AG Probes Troubled Oil Companyadmin
The attorney general’s office has opened an investigation into the Viking Oil Co. of Winthrop after more than 1,000 customers may not receive heating oil deliveries for which they already paid up front.
NewsCenter 5′s Pam Cross reported that Viking Oil, a family-owned business, has been around for 30 years until Wednesday when it closed its doors. Viking said it is just trying to stay afloat, pay its wholesaler and take care of customers, but customers said they feel betrayed.
Anne Gear said she hopes to recoup the money she paid for oil that might not come.
“I put up $1,800, and that is prepaid. That was 700 gallons,” said customer Anne Gear.
Gear is not alone. About 1,000 Viking customers paid for oil that may not come. Some service contracts are in jeopardy, too.
Customer Linda Garriott has a malfunctioning burner.
“All I know is that not only am I out $400, but I have a boiler that doesn’t work and we are going to have a very cold weekend,” Garriott said.
A Viking customer for 15 years, Domenic Spinale paid $3,200 for future oil and service.
“I called them up today, and they said, ‘We’re talking with the attorney general, and we should all be squared away by Monday.’ That is a crock,” Spinale said.
“Hopefully, we will have this all straightened out by the middle of next week,” said Viking President Joe Pedoto.
Viking claims its distributor, Global Partners, cut the company off. But Global countered that Viking owes it $1 million and must pay.
Viking said it has no plans to file for bankruptcy and has asked state and federal lawmakers to help its company work out a deal.
Representatives of the oil industry said they are trying to figure out a way to help affected consumers.
Viking Oil of Winthrop is not affiliated with Viking Oil of Auburn, N.H.