Propane Price Gouging
As noted in other areas of this website and on the Internet, it is very important for propane consumers (not participating in a fixed propane pricing program or similar program that has a predetermined propane pricing formula) to find out and compare his or her propane price per gallon BEFORE each propane delivery. Without being aware of the propane price per gallon BEFORE each pending delivery, a propane consumer may become a victim of propane price gouging. Since most propane suppliers choose not to openly post current propane pricing on their company website, comparing propane pricing BEFORE a propane delivery can be very challenging.
Propane consumers should ALWAYS be informed of the propane price per gallon being charged by his or her propane supplier 24 to 48 hours BEFORE each pending propane delivery. After being informed of your propane price per gallon before each pending delivery, the consumer should contact other local propane suppliers to compare and verify that the propane price per gallon is competitive.
How does a propane consumer initiate the process of viewing and comparing propane pricing before each pending delivery with his propane supplier? Simply tell your propane supplier before starting service (or at anytime after starting service with a propane supplier) that you want to be informed of your propane price per gallon 24 to 48 hours BEFORE each propane delivery. Tell your propane supplier to notify you via smart phone text, fax, e-mail or voice-mail of your propane price per gallon. Make sure you have your propane supplier write this request in your paperwork to ensure that your supplier is aware of this commitment in the case a verbal agreement between you and one of their employees - and that employee is transferred, leaves the company, etc.
When contacting other local propane suppliers to compare your propane price per gallon for your pending delivery, be sure to compare other relevant propane delivery parameters including the approximate volume of your subject propane delivery, your approximate annual consumption and the propane tank ownership (homeowner or supplier leased) etc.
If you discover that your local propane price comparison check reveals that your current suppliers' propane price per gallon (including additonal fees) is indeed competitive compared to current propane prices being charged by other local propane suppliers, there is no action to take -- simply relax and look forward to receiving your pending delivery. Conversely, if you discover that your propane price per gallon for the pending delivery is clearly above the range of propane prices currently being charged by other local propane suppliers, contact your propane supplier with supporting evidence from your local propane price comparison study (the price per gallon quotes from other local propane suppliers) and request that the propane price per gallon be adjusted to within the pricing range of other local propane suppliers. Make a note of the representatives name as well as the time and date of the telephone conversation to ensure that the invoice amount matches the adjusted propane price communicated during the propane price adjustment conversation. During the winter heating season, supplier telephones may be very busy and you will want to document names, dates and times of all conversations to follow-up on any verbal commitments at a later date if necessary.
It is critical that a propane consumer discover and compare her propane price per gallon within the 24-48 hours window BEFORE the pending propane delivery arrives. Why is this important? Issues involving a propane delivery tend to get higher-priority attention BEFORE the delivery is completed at the customers home. AFTER the pending propane delivery has been transferred to your propane tank, it is unlikley that your propane pricing matter will get the same high-level of attention as it may have before the propane delivery. Furthermore, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to contact and verify the propane price per gallon information from other local propane suppliers several days AFTER a propane delivery occurred.
Fixed Propane Price Program Suggestion: When a propane consumer is on a fixed propane pricing plan (i.e.propane pre-buy), it is a good idea to verify that each delivery ticket reflects the propane price per gallon that applies to the fixed propane pricing plan. It is possible that a simple innocent mistake can occur that results in the incorrect propane price per gallon appearing on a delivery ticket. In many cases, the best way to find out about simple errors in propane pricing is to carefully review each propane delivery ticket.
It's your money, PROTECT YOURSELF from propane price gouging!