How does £1 a litre suit you?

The video below is of a phone conversation between a heating oil customer and a national supplier. The supplier is quoting 97 pence per litre for an order of under 1000L, or 85p/L for 1000L or more. This stuff really is becoming liquid gold! It surely can only bring more people into fuel poverty and force households to cut back on essentials just to stay warm. Question is, where is it going to end?

Comments from our Facebook group support the view that this is a preposterous quotation, as 60 - 65 pence per litre is the much more likely figure. The chronic problem of small deliveries (eg, 500L) remains, even though the price of these deliveries would be over £300. One hopes that the higher unit price of heating oil would make the fixed cost of delivery less important to the overall price, but that doesn't seem to be happening. If you do require smaller, more frequent deliveries, then your best option is to find (or set up) an oil buying group so that the cost of delivery becomes insignificant.


by Katherine Williams on 02 April 2013 Reply
It sounded as though this lady was calling Crown Oil - if this is the case then i believe they are a company that often subs out the deliveries (ie. they will pay another supplier to deliver the fuel to you - and charge you for arranging it). What you SHOULD find is that any independent company with their own tankers in the same area will be cheaper. It seems odd that they can quote you a price for heating oil before even asking where you are - hence the price is so high. If they're making so much money on you anyway - it then doesn't matter which company they get to deliver it.
by Kevin Bennetts on 02 April 2013 Reply
Katherine Williams...national suppliers are notorious for manipulating prices and milking them in busy times which is disgraceful bringing our industry into disrepute (I am the MD of a family run oil supplier) a fair price on the 2/04/13 would be circa 62ppl for 500 litres of heating oil with a 3 to 5 day lead time. A huge problem for us is that hard up customers are ordering minimum quantities more frequently which means our deliveries have doubled but volumes are static which affects service levels because we aim to be busy in normal times.

Howard Hunt... with respect you are talking a load of tosh there is no cartel as such but a handful of very large firms have a significant market share because even though they are an unmitigated shower thet get patronised in quiet times because they choose to carve up the market to get trade. As soon as the pressure comes on the wheels fall off and they raise prices to ridiculous levels that is the price you pay for cheap oil at other times... that is customer choice at work. We prefer to deal with regular customers who always get our best price and priority service in busy times which is their choice. Those who shop around are invariably the ones who bleat loudest when they cannot get a supply promptly but that is due to the choices they have made in dealing with incompetent suppliers. It might interest you to know that I am proud that my company does make a profit that is what business is about but we do it by treating our customers fairly and working hard please also bear in mind that most people are cold because they dont order until they run out of oil which is not the suppliers fault although most suppliers will do their utmost to respond promptly because that is how we earn a living, we most certainly gain nothing from upsetting or turning customers away.

by neil on 03 April 2013 Reply
I strongly disagree with Kevin and back up Howard I used to run a small oil buying group with a dozen or so members. Not large by any means but managed to riggle a few pence for booking drops of 4000 litres or so for drops together. Over the last year since prices have been soaring this seems to have no impact anymore the oil companies have their prices sorted for the start of the trading day. I used to contact about 10 companies some of which were family run, for quotes, and went with the cheapest with a reasonable drop time. Now all the companies are within 0.5 pence per litre of each other and are not bothered whether I was ordering 1000 or 4000 litres. I understand oil is expensive but in my experience it is a monopoly with price fixing certainly still happening and so called family run businesses merely following suit. Many of members converted to gas simply because of the bulk amount needed in one drop money wise, and even though gas is going to be a little more expensive (or possibly not) the ease of more regulated payment is worth the switch. If the smaller family run businesses would drop their prices the big companies would follow. the government do not do not do anything because the more the companies charge the more profit at 5% they get to line their coffers. It's a disgrace they are allowed to get away with it. Shame on them all.
by howard hirst on 02 April 2013 Reply
Impossible to shop around a s its a cartel--I provided my MP Tim Yeo with proof of this and he does sod all--probably he could well afford ?10 per litre . Nobody cares as long as the gov and oil companies make lots of dosh---nobody gives a shit if people are cold---- Unless we all refuse to pay and freeze to death prices will continue to rise
by David Brown on 03 April 2013 Reply
Howard, it is not impossible to shop around try An oil cartel does not exist. Part of the problem with prices in the last 2 months has been, crude oil price, refineries under maintenance, extremley cold weather, customers buying 500 litres at a time and at the wrong time and running out and putting a strain on the industry because customers do not plan their purchases ahead. You wouldn't let your car run out would you... or would you. The best thing buy in the summer, the maximum amount when the prices are much cheaper, and put it on a budget plan. BUT don't forget to keep an eye on the tank. AND, why would anybody want to video a call like this or is it a put up job?

Add your comment