CHILLY. Ordering oil online.

January 23, 2009

Just so I didn’t have to brave the cold New England weather, I just ordered some heating oil online.

“Online?” you say.

Definitely. I did this for two reasons.

First, I have ceased letting loyalty to one firm dictate my oil buying habits. Oil is a commodity and too frequently – especially with the last three fuel providers I’ve used – the customers are also treated like a commodity.

In fact, the main reason I went with Order My Oil was because they came in at about 40ยข lower per gallon than the company with whom I usually buy from.

Further, the company I usually purchase from – no longer, by the way – snubbed me when I approached them to help do some writing for them. At the time they were doing no advertising or marketing and I said I could help them with their branding, messages and campaign.

They said they didn’t think they were going to do anything in the way of promotion and therefore didn’t hire me. Six months later I got a glossy post card and full mailer on the company. It must have cost them a fortune AND it had two typos in it.

This made me realize that my loyalty to a friend’s business – yes, the guy who owns the oil company is a friend – is separate from my loyalty to him. So I dumped his company.

A few years later he asked me to come back and offered some incentives in pricing. I went back to the company (this was 2007-08) and had a pretty good arrangement with them. But this past summer their pricing increased again and they wouldn’t lock in a low price for the season for me. So I went tank to tank.

Now I think I’ve found my solution and am going to likely stick with buying my oil on the Internet. It’s even better than buying groceries online because with oil you don’t care how thick it’s sliced or if it’s been mushed by the bottle of soda. Oil is oil.

And what will I say when my friend asks where I’m getting my oil now?

I’ll probably say that I can help him with his online presence if he’ll cut me a deal.

Commodities. Bah!

More to come…