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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,829
    Quote Originally Posted by MM#7 View Post
    well said, question is, how do you find a guy who's available 24/7, has the parts on his truck, 11pm on a saturday night, will show up and is good and cheap?
    There's an old cliche in business and it's as valid today as it's ever been. When directed at the buyer, "Pick any two; good, fast or cheap". You can have any two your want but you'll never get all 3 from one person or company. It's not quite a law of physics but it is a law of economics.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    568

    Hmm

    Quote Originally Posted by skippedover View Post
    There's an old cliche in business and it's as valid today as it's ever been. When directed at the buyer, "Pick any two; good, fast or cheap". You can have any two your want but you'll never get all 3 from one person or company. It's not quite a law of physics but it is a law of economics.
    yeah the problem with the guy who's good and cheap is he's never around on those 18 degree days. 11 pm at night ,with all the parts he needs for the repair! and that's if he didn't start the w/e early!

  3. #16
    Just to come back around...I wound up signing with a full service oil company. They came in with a "teaser" price that was maybe $.15-$.20 more than COD oil (and $.25-$.30 less than most other full service oil companies). The $110 service contract pretty much covers everything, including a tune up.

    I'll worry about re-negotiating something next year when this contract runs out.

    Along the way, I did get speak to a couple of smaller oil maintenance people. Basically, their deal was, as most of you said, they seem to be very competent, keep business based on relationships, and basically bill out by the hour and part. The one guy was very honest about being a one man shop and says if he's tied up and it takes him a few hours to get out, his customers understand because they know he's good, fair and reliable.

    Thanks for the advice. I'm sure I'll be back here again.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lake Ronkonkoma, New York
    Posts
    521
    Quote Originally Posted by lexluthor5 View Post
    Wow, now I'm even more confused.

    So you are saying that a company that services oil systems at a fair price and is reliable doesn't exist?

    I either need to go with the full service oil company and pay the high oil prices or use a small operation with potentially a low level service/support?

    I find that very hard to believe.

    I never said anything about finding an oil company to give me a crazy eddie boiler contract for $50/year or something like that.

    I just thought that it might be advantageous to split duties (service and oil) and that I could probably find someone to reliably service the oil system for less than the amount that I'm overpaying the full service oil company for oil (plus whatever they might charge for their contract now).

    What do others think?
    The major oil companies, for the most part, have the have the most qualified techs. They also give them the tools and time to do the job right. Companies that are service only will expect their techs to get in and out fast so that they can bring in enough profit. The less qualified techs work for the oil service companies.

    This may be changing now because of the economy. General Utilities, located in Plainview NY has gone though some had times recently and there are rumors that they are about to be purchased by Star Gas. Over the last two years they have laid off about half their service techs, about twenty-five employees. These guys are most likely taking jobs in smaller shops that pay less and offer less or no benifits at all. You may be lucky enough to sign up with a company that has hired some of these techs. These techs won't last long on these jobs though. As soon as the majors begin to rehire they will be gone.

  5. #18
    That's interesting. I am a former customer of General's. Their techs were very good.

    Another full service oil company I just spoke to had a very interesting option.

    They'd sell variable priced COD fuel at a price pretty close to what the low price oil only companies sell at, but, as an oil customer, you have access to their 24/7 service. You just pay a la carte for any service you get.

    That's got to be very difficult for the "little guy" to compete with.

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