Beware of Non-standard Heating Oil Payment Methods

There is some consternation over a website offering discount heating oil prices, as long as you pay for it using relatively unknown payment methods.

The website in question is heatingoildelivery.co.uk, a plain affair with a payment page that requires a UKash paypoint voucher number or a Moneybookers email id. Most people won't have heard of either of these means of paying, but may be tempted to do so given that the advertised 900L oil price is under 54p/L (compared to a market baseline of around 58p/L). You can also inject money directly into their account using a money deposit or a BACS transfer.

Note: As of January 2012, a very similar website has popped up, with the same payment page and lower-than-normal prices: wholesalepricesheatingoil.co.uk

Before you decide to order from this supplier, consider what action you will take if your heating oil isn't delivered. Bank transfers are notoriously difficult to undo, and banks have a reputation for failing to assist you; read Martin Armstrong's story, No Go-Locate Fuel! for how to recover your money from a bank transfer. As for the other payment options, you will really need to read (and understand) the small print, to determine how much the third party will assist you in getting your money back. Oilbuyer.co.uk has a useful page on what to look out for, so you don't get caught out by a heating oil delivery scam.

Here are a couple of (unsubstantiated) complaints about "heating oil delivery co uk":

  • 3 November 2011 qype.co.uk "I have unfortunately been caught out by this company by transferring money into a Natwest account" by Soanesy from Thetford
  • 29 October 2011 freeindex.co.uk "I have a sinking feeling that this may not been a legitimate company and I would not want anyone else to part with their money if this is the case" by Ruth Brander, Bedford; "I have had several emails but never a phone number, I have also not received the oil delivery and have not received any further contact from this company" by Nicci Girkin, Hockwold; "it eventually came the next day" by Berrol Stevens, Manchester.

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6 Comments

by www.oilbuyer.co.uk on 31 August 2012 Reply
OilBuyer.co.uk have identified another suspected scam heating oil website - setup in August 2012.

You can read more about it here: http://www.oilbuyer.co.uk/news/scam-warning-www-cheapoildirect-co-uk/225.

by John Swindells on 01 September 2012 Reply
Thanks for the warning. www.cheapoildirect.co.uk (owned by Jupiter Ventures Limited) doesn't appear to be functioning, so has it been taken down already?
by John Taylor on 02 February 2012 Reply
Company in question from the last submit is wholesale prices heating oil which can be found on the following website, www.wholesalepricesheatingoil.co.uk
by OilBuyer.co.uk on 05 March 2012 Reply
Looks like the same scammer that operated www.heatingoildelivery.co.uk back in November 2011.

Sadly looks like they have been successful in defrauding unsuspecting heating oil users yet again.

by MM on 23 February 2012 Reply
This company are still trying to take payments except now they are using a Nationwide Bank Account in the name of Miss E M Flynn, sort code 07 00 30, account number 64679949.I became suspicious when filling out the contact form and it asked what State I lived in. I would strongly advise anyone who has been scammed by this site to report it to Police.
by Louise Powell on 06 February 2012 Reply
My mother-in-law ordered 1000 litres from Wholesale Prices Heating Oil due to be delivered on 2nd Feb, but so far it hasn't. She made payment by bank transfer into a barclays account. She said when she placed the order online their email response was immediate however upon not receiving it, she has emailed a number of times and has not received a reply and of course there is no telephone number. I called several local companies in the Halesowen area today to see if they had heard of this company but they said they hadn't. It was searching the bacca group (their bank account name) which led me to this website. I called West Midlands Police who told me to contact www.actionfraud.org.uk 0300 1232040. My mother-in-law also called Trading Standards who advised to write a letter asking them to fulfill their contract but that of course will only be effective if the company actually exist. You never know, the oil might turn up, but looking at the other comments, I fear this looks like a scam. According to Barclays there is activity on the account and so I have suggested she go back to them to see if there is anything they can do (especially as it looks like others have reported the company below).
by John Taylor on 07 February 2012 Reply
Was the person who responded on the following email address "heating.oil@mail.com" and replied as "Mr S Hester", or is he calling himself something else?
by Jo Symes on 07 February 2012 Reply
Yes the e-mail address is "heating.oil@mail.com"

Contact name is Mr Steve Heston

by Josie Symes on 06 February 2012 Reply
This email address is my mother-in-law's. She bought the same amount as you which was due to be delivered on the 2nd Feb. I have done investigation with local oil companies who hadn't heard of this company and then my search for bacca led me to this website and your comment. I said that I would reply to you on her behalf.
by John Taylor on 02 February 2012 Reply
This company also appears to be part of the bacca group of bank accounts, as i have ordered 1000ltrs of heating oil from them but they have failed to deliver. On further investigation and reading your comments i believe this is a scam business. But the account is a uk bank account which seems to be legit with Barclays bank. Have reported the issue to trading standards and have been advised to give the company a deadline to deliver then goto the small claims court to claim your money back.
by Mike Herbert on 09 February 2012 Reply
I have just tried to get a quote from Wholesale Prices Heating Oil but their web site now has message saying they have ceased trading.
by ukoilman on 16 November 2011 Reply
I have alerted UKASH to the fact that this is a scam and will advise if I get a reply.
by Herowife on 24 November 2011 Reply
This is now registered with the National Fraud Reporting Centre.
by Chris Pomfret on 14 November 2011 Reply
Once again Swinny you are doing a brilliant job.

And a great comment above too. Please people think about this...I buy for thousands of people via many groups and negotiate direct with suppliers, it is a professional buying service, and rarely have I been below 54ppl in the last few weeks. These are prices are EXTREMELY unlikely to be correct - the wholesale price is pretty close to that so explain how they will be getting you OIL at that price?

Please don't be suckered...there is of course one way to ensure you do that and that is to follow one of our FOUR NEVERS:

NEVER buy direct from the internet - for so many reasons - but most obviously because you can't negotiate with the internet and OIL is one product that is NEVER cheaper by buying direct.

PLEASE stop and think it through and then email us and come and buy with a group of people LOCAL to you...that is the way to safeguard yourself from being held to ransom by the suppliers.

Well done John

Chris

chris@community-buying.com

(search wootton oil on you tube and you'll see why groups work)

by John Swindells on 14 November 2011 Reply
Thanks for your pricing information Chris. If people are interested in buying as part of a local group, then do email Community Buying Unlimited!
by chris pomfret on 14 November 2011 Reply
Late correction the wholesale price went above 54ppl today...so that price is IMPOSSIBLE!

Cheers

Chris

by ukoilman on 14 November 2011 Reply
I have done some investigation on the domain.Thge registration was on the 6/10/2011 and was alledgedly registered by T Hargreaves, Clarks Lane, Leeds, LS9 8PN via TUCOWS in California. A drive along the road on Google earth confirms old 2 up 2 down terraced houses all with numbers. There is no number on the registration info. The site is also hosted outside of the UK,in Hollywood, CA, USA. What gave me a clue was the truck featured on the web page. It is an American truck and the driver is pulling the hose out on the "other side of the truck". Truck has a different name and the power mast is typically American also. Checked the address at thge bottom of the web page.. Queens Road etc. At the location given is a Biffa Depot, waste collectors.. you could believe the vehicles parked there are tankers, they are in fact refuse trucks. I can find no trace of the "Bacca Group" except in Egypt. I think these details need to be put out further in the public domain and the authorities contacted.
by John Swindells on 14 November 2011 Reply
This is some great investigative work, UKOilman. It really doesn't add up, does it. I also noticed that the payment form asks for the customer's country, which is rather odd if it's just for UK oil deliveries.

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