The Vermont Attorney General’s Office today announced a settlement with heating woodchip supplier Limlaw Pulpwood Inc. and its related businesses for violating the Vermont Consumer Protection Act by falsifying the weight of its woodchip loads. The Attorney General’s Office investigated after receiving a report from the Agency of Agriculture regarding concerns that Limlaw was deceptively weighing its woodchip loads to make deliveries seem heavier, resulting in overcharges to consumers. The settlement requires Limlaw to reform its business practices, pay a penalty of $100,000 to the State of Vermont, and provide $1,000 restitution credits to approximately 30 Vermont consumers.
Limlaw operates a business that produces and delivers heating woodchips to consumers for use in woodchip boilers. The investigation into Limlaw’s business practices found that it engaged in several deceptive and unfair trade practices. It is alleged that Limlaw overweighted its scales, submitted improper/incorrect billing paperwork, and diverted woodchips of some loads for personal use, resulting in overcharges to consumers. The company also had multiple permitting violations resulting in overweight trucks being on Vermont roadways.
Under the settlement agreement, Limlaw will pay the State a penalty of $100,000 and provide approximately 30 consumers it overcharged with $1,000 credits. Limlaw has also agreed to reform its billing practices and create a system of audits to ensure compliance with the settlement.
Vermonters with questions about the settlement may contact the Consumer Assistance Program by calling 1-800-649-2424 or visiting www.ago.vermont.gov/cap/.