For Immediate Release
July 21, 2010
Senior Assistant Attorney General Constance N. Stratton
Consumer Protection & Antitrust Bureau
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney announced that the State of New Hampshire has filed a Petition for Injunctive Relief and Petition to Attach against Munce's Superior Petroleum and other businesses owned or operated by Harold P. Munce, asking the court to prohibit Munce's from entering into prepaid contracts for home heating oil. Munce's is based in Berlin and Gorham, New Hampshire.
The State's Petition for Injunctive Relief, filed in Merrimack County Superior Court, alleges that Munce's has entered into prepaid contracts for the purchase and delivery of home heating oil, but has failed to comply with State law. Specifically, RSA 339:79 requires an oil company which sells oil and requires prepayment by the consumer to include in its contract "a clear explanation of the means by which the dealer will meet the obligations of the contract for the entire contract period, including supplier agreements, futures contracts, bonding, or a line of credit." The prepaid contracts used by Munce's do not include the required language.
In its petitions, the State asks the court to compel Munce's to provide the State with the amount of money it has collected for prepaid contracts to be put in an escrow account for the benefit of those consumers, or to post a bond or a letter of credit. The State also asks the Court to grant it an attachment on any real estate owned by Munce's or by other businesses owned or operated by Harold P. Munce. The State filed its lawsuit against Munce's in an effort to secure protection for those consumers who have prepaid for their heating oil.
Attorney General Delaney said, "The Attorney General's Office remains concerned about businesses which enter into prepaid contracts for home heating oil and which fail to comply with the law. We will continue to work to protect New Hampshire consumers against any business which attempts to take advantage of them by obtaining prepayment for goods or services that are not delivered."
Consumers who have complaints can file a complaint electronically by logging onto www.doj.nh.gov/consumer and clicking on "Filing a Consumer Complaint". Consumers can also call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-468-4454 and request that a complaint form be mailed to them.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301