Biddeford Maine Area Resource List
The Maine Office of the Attorney
If you have a complaint about someone selling products in Maine, or feel a debt collector is being unfair, contact the Maine Attorney General at www.maine.gov/ag/consumer or call 207-626-8800.
Consumer Home Heating Rights:
Public Utilities Commission, Consumer Assistance Division:
For help with home heating rights and issues with a utility company, call the PUC's Consumer Helpline 1-800-452-4699 or 287-3831 or go to the Consumer Assistance Website, www.maine.gov/mpuc. This website answers questions, and provides complaint services, for several utilities, including electric, natural gas and telephone.
In Maine the Attorney General has issued rules that regulate the sale of home heating oil during the winter months, from October 15 through April 30. One of the basic consumer rights detailed in these Rules is that an oil dealer cannot refuse to deliver to an established customer* even if the customer owes the dealer money, provided the following three conditions are met:
- The consumer has cash or government guaranteed payment to pay for the oil being requested;
- The dealer regularly serves the consumer's area; and
- The consumer requests at least 20 gallons.
The dealer does not have to make an emergency or unscheduled delivery (unless they do that for established customers*) but must make a delivery the next scheduled trip to the area. The dealer does have the right to charge for an unscheduled or emergency delivery.
*An established customer is one who has recently received at least 2 deliveries from the dealer. Once one has become an established customer, the dealer must provide the same service given other established customers.
To view the rules go to:
Chapter 19: Consumer Home Heating Rights (PDF).
These rules also cover, when used for home heating, natural gas and electricity: Chapter 19, section 7 and
LP Gas (propane): Chapter 19, section 5.
The Attorney General’s Office considers it to be an unfair trade practice to refuse to supply LP Gas or any other heating fuel to cash customers. This rule applies even if the customer owes the company money. If the dealer establishes an unreasonably high minimum delivery amount this is also in violation of the unfair trade practices act. The AG’s office suggests a minimum delivery guideline whatever is larger: 50 gallons or 50% of the total ASME system or 50% of the ICC/DOT equipment installation which. Please see Chapter 19: Consumer Home Heating Rights (PDF), section 5. for details.
Natural Gas is regulated by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Chapter 19: Consumer Home Heating Rights (PDF)., section 7 covers Natural Gas service.
Pine Tree Legal Assistance:
Provides free legal assistance to low income Mainers. Website includes information about housing, tenant’s rights, family law, consumer law, healthcare etc. The web site www.plta.org also includes Maine Benefits Checklist: http://www.ptla.org/benefits_checklist.htm which has eligibility and application information about various benefits. Includes Food Stamp and TANF benefit estimator.
Pine Tree Legal Assistance, 88 Federal St., Portland,
Legal Services for the Elderly:
Provides free, high quality legal services to Maine’s socially and economically needy elderly age 60 and over. 1-800-750-5353 www.mainelse.org
Maine Equal Justice:
Does public policy work and education about issues effecting people with low incomes. There website has information and resources about many services. 1-800-626-7059
Federal Trade Commission:
Protecting America’s Consumers
Your complaint, comment, or inquiry may help us spot a pattern of law violations requiring law enforcement action. It also may help us recognize and tell people about bigger trends affecting consumers. We do not resolve individual consumer disputes.
About a Company, an Organization, or a Business Practice:
- Online: Use our secure complaint form.
- Phone: Call our toll-free helpline: 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261
About Identity Theft:
- Online: Use our secure complaint form.
- Phone: Call our toll-free Identity Theft helpline: 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261
About Spam & Phishing:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Forward unsolicited commercial email (spam), including phishing messages (messages asking you for private information like account number and password, posing as official email from a bank or organization), directly to the FTC at email@example.com. These messages will be stored in a database law enforcement agencies use in their investigations.