CONTACT: Justin E. Kolber, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5620
Rymes Heating Oils, Inc., a New Hampshire company, has agreed to pay $31,949 to 387 Vermont consumers and $15,000 in civil penalties to the State of Vermont to settle claims that the company violated Vermont consumer protection laws. The Attorney General found that Rymes was not disclosing all fees in a Fee Disclosure Form as required by Vermont law and had collected higher finance charges than allowed under Vermont law.
“Vermont law protects propane customers from hidden fees or unfair charges. This should be a warning to all propane companies: disclose your fees in the required forms and be sure your propane service agreements comply with Vermont law,” said Attorney General Bill Sorrell.
Under the terms of the settlement, Rymes will: (i) use Fee Disclosure Forms as required by Vermont law; (ii) update its propane contracts to comply with Vermont’s finance charge limits and other notice requirements; (iii) make restitution of $16,662 to 140 customers for charging a 24% annual finance charge (instead of the maximum legal rate of 21%); (iv) make restitution of $15,287 to 187 customers for charging fees that were not disclosed; and (v) pay $15,000 in civil penalties to the State.
Consumers who have questions about the settlement may contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program, by phone: (802) 656-3183 or 1-800-649-2424, by email at Consumer@uvm.edu, or by mail to: Consumer Assistance Program, 146 University Place, Burlington, VT 05405. Consumers or businesses who wish to file a complaint against a business are encouraged to fill out the online complaint form at: https://www.uvm.edu/consumer/?Page=complaint.html.
Last modified: February 8, 2018