Many oil companies offer automatic delivery and just come and fill up your tank.

That's what happened to a man in Dartmouth on Wednesday when Irving energy showed up and filled his tank.  The trouble is - he's not an Irving customer.

That didn't prevent the company from demanding that he pay for it and a threat to pump it out if he didn't.

You'll usually hear the dogs barking when you visit Gilles Lalonde in his comfortable home in Woodside, but for the last number of days, he's been wishing they'd barked louder when another visitor showed up.

Lalonde was home on Wednesday, but didn't notice when an Irving Oil truck pulled up to his place and filled his tank with more than $500 worth of heating oil.

His wife saw the driver when she pulled up a short time later, but by then, it was too late.

“He said, ‘I’m sorry about that, I made a mistake.’ He said ‘I’ll call the office and tell them we made a mistake, right?’”

Lalonde says the company sent a serviceman to inspect the tank, and then informed the couple they'd have to pay for it.

“Yesterday, the wife called the company to see what could be done because they left a message on the phone, 'if you don't pay for the oil, they're coming to pump it out,’” Lalonde said.

On a limited income, the Lalondes normally only buy the oil they can afford, but the company offered a $90 discount and four months to pay the bill.

Neighbour Peggy Higgins lives kitty-corner to the Lalondes, but technically on a different street.

Delivery mistakes are common, she says, especially since their street numbers are identical.

“I’m always getting your supper ordered at my house,” she tells Lalonde. “And many times, my mail sometimes comes to your house.”

CTV News made several attempts to reach Irving energy today, but calls and emails weren't returned.

Around mid-afternoon, though, the Lalondes had heard from the company, who told them there'd now be no charge for the oil.

“Ijust want to know who's right or wrong.  Everybody should have a lock on their tank?” Lalonde said. “Or is this something that could be done maybe when they build these tanks, the lock would come with the tank to prevent this from happening?  I'm sure it happens every day.”

Maybe not every day, but often enough in the neighbourhood the Lalondes call home.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.