For Immediate Release
March 24, 2011
Connie Stratton, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney announces that Kidder Fuels, Inc. has pled guilty to a felony violation of the Consumer Protection Act. Kidder Fuels, Inc. sold home heating oil and entered into prepaid contracts with consumers. It subsequently filed bankruptcy and failed to refund consumers the money they had prepaid for oil which was not delivered. The corporation pled guilty to entering into prepaid contracts for the sale of home heating oil to consumers, and failing to include in its contracts "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," as required by RSA 339:79.
The court imposed a fine of $50,000, payment of which is suspended. It also ordered that restitution to consumers be made through Kidder's bankruptcy proceeding.
Attorney General Delaney said, "Oil companies that choose to enter into prepaid contracts for home heating oil must comply with the consumer protection provisions of RSA 339:79. The Consumer Protection Bureau will continue to prosecute home heating oil companies that fail to do so. This office will also continue its efforts in the legislature to strengthen that statute to provide greater levels of consumer protection."
Consumers who have a complaint against any business may 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