Propane Run Out
Some propane suppliers clearly identify the extra fees that a customer must pay the propane supplier related to hazmat fees, fixed price programs, etc (if the supplier charges such fees). Charging any additional fee propane service fee is the choice and the right of each propane supplier. At the same time, it is the right of each propane customer to select any propane supplier or change to another propane supplier for any reason - including extra propane supplier fees.
While many propane customers use the services of propane suppliers that add additional fees to propane services invoices beyond the charge for the propane fuel, there is another related issue that propane customers should consider. In some cases, a propane supplier fails to complete a propane delivery that should have been completed - and the supplier is at fault for the missed propane delivery.
Question: Since some propane suppliers charge extra service fees beyond the charge for the propane fuel itself, should a propane supplier compensate a propane customer that experiences a propane run out and must endure a cold, unheated home for a period of time that is clearly the fault of the propane supplier? If so, what should the financial compensation be for the inconvenienced propane customer? It is important to note that the missed delivery referenced in this post would be the undisputed fault of the propane supplier. An example of a case where the failed delivery may be the fault of the customer is when the customer is on a will-call delivery status and fails to contact his or her propane supplier in a reasonable period of time to request a propane delivery.
If a propane supplier fails to complete a scheduled delivery that was clearly the fault of the supplier, what should the compensation be for the propane customer? Perhaps the customer should be due a certain percentage of the amount that appears on the invoice for the delivery following the propane customer run out. Perhaps 10% of the value of the next delivery invoice? Perhaps 20% of the value of the next delivery invoice?
Ask your propane supplier (or prospective propane supplier if you are in the process of selecting a supplier for new propane service) what the compensation should be in the event that the supplier let's you run out of propane. It is also a good idea to ask the supplier for a written document (i.e. a letter) stating the compensation for a run-out customer to refresh memories if a propane run-out occurs at a future date.