A Letter from Mike Hatzopoulos
Dear Customers and Staff,
Welcome to the start of a heating season, which is beginning similarly to last season’s end. Coronavirus cases are on the rapid rise, this time just as our winter gets underway. The coronavirus global pandemic has certainly taught me a lesson in self-sufficiency and the importance of being prepared among other things. Figuratively speaking, in the spring we were caught with our pants down, scrambling to find toilet paper, when now I am sure we all have some extra tucked away. In this letter, I will explain the implementation of improvements that we have been working on during the off season and how you all can assist us in making a safe fuel delivery to your home.
Oppure’s business practices remain the same, with the goal of providing you all, with truly outstanding customer service, by delivering straight #2 heating oil, with ZERO biofuel additive, safely, kindly, affordably and on time. We now carry a fuel additive primarily recommended for outdoor tanks, which retails for $12 per bottle, and treats a full 275-gallon oil tank. We continue to improve our web and mobile platforms making ordering fuel more convenient, and we have updated our office computers and monitors this season, designed to improve telephone hold wait times. We added a generator to our main office giving us the ability to get up and running during power outages and have added another oil truck to our fleet bringing the number up to four. We also have expanded our delivery area into Southern New Hampshire, adding five additional towns to our service area. Welcome Fitzwilliam, Rindge, New Ipswich, Greenville and Mason New Hampshire.
Last season we were 97% reliable by promptly delivering within our original quoted time frame window, and this season we will continue to strive for improvement. Such reliability is continuingly difficult to achieve considering that we deliver in the worst weather New England has to offer, and during the least amount of daylight. During the heating season, it is not un-common to see a delivery vehicle backing into your driveway before sunrise, after sunset, or even on holidays and Sundays.
We ALL must protect ourselves as much as possible from Coronavirus. In my last letter I instructed our staff to be extra vigilant, double checking our database for current contact information and most importantly accurate delivery instructions. By doing so lessens the likelihood of contact between driver and customer during these trying times. There are also things you, as the customer, can do to assist us in making a safe fuel oil delivery to your home. The single most important thing you can do is to check your tank often and order fuel before you reach ¼ tank of oil. This way when that nor’easter comes rolling around your family would not be threatened with a potential 24 to 48-hour delivery delay. Again, we are exceptionally reliable and normally we arrive much sooner than our quoted delivery windows but remember these are not ‘normal’ times. Prior to Coronavirus all of us, many times, reported to work when not feeling well, even with flu-like symptoms. Today, for obvious reasons, we can no longer do this. This is just one example as to why checking your tank and ordering early is top priority. Keep in mind that Oppure Oil will only staff the best of truck drivers, and if one of us determines that making a delivery is unsafe due to things like, icy or snow covered roads or driveways, poor vent alarms or safeties, and unsafe or leaking fuel storage tanks, deliveries will be flagged as undeliverable. If this is to occur, I personally will see to it that the situation is thoroughly explained to you, and we will work with you on finding a solution to complete your delivery promptly and safely. We are encouraging our customers to not greet our drivers during the delivery in order to stop the spread of the virus.
For our cash customers, we will do our best to provide you with accurate delivery windows. However, it is important to note that Oppure Oil is digitally dispatched and deliveries often occur same day, so please refrain from ordering until cash is in hand and you have the means to accept the delivery. It would be best, if possible, to leave cash outdoors in a safe hidden location in a plastic zip lock bag. Our drivers will collect it and mark the amount of cash you left on your delivery ticket. Oppure Oil cannot afford one of our staff members to contract Coronavirus, thus our office will remain closed to the public for cash payments and or any other business. If Coronavirus continues to worsen, we may be forced to re-initiate our ‘near zero contact policy’ which would require drivers to return all delivery slips to our main office.
In summary, please check your tanks often and order when no lower than ¼ tank. Promptly clean-up freshly fallen snow particularly if your delivery requires our trucks to enter your driveway, and use sand or ice melt if needed. Have your systems cleaned and checked often, therefore running as efficiently as possible, while checking the fuel oil storage tank for leaks, and properly working safeties and piping. Practice social distancing during deliveries by not greeting the driver. Cash customers only order when money is in hand and you are available for delivery. An important reminder to our customers, Oppure Oil does not provide furnace starts or primes. Drivers are strictly instructed to only enter a customer’s home, for the single reason of checking fuel oil storage tanks if deemed necessary. Drivers will be wearing proper PPE including a mask and we ask that you and your family members do the same.
In closing, all of us here at Oppure Oil Thank You for all your orders. We truly are thankful for each one. We all wish you a happy and safe holiday season. Please be kind to one another. Know that we are stronger together. Hopefully as we emerge from winter, the threat of the virus will also be waning.
With Kind Regards,