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Delivery overfill of propane, they want their money

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Leroy_B, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Leroy_B

    Leroy_B Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    62
    Loc:
    Southern N.H.
    Since I do heat my home with my wood stove I don't need my 500 gal propane tank filled so I get 100 gal. at a time and it lasts 3 1/2 months for hot water, cooking and the clothes dryer. I asked for a delivery of 100 gallons. The delivery ticket even reflects the 100 gallons i requested. They delivered the propane but the driver overfilled the tank more than 100 gals. Now the propane company is demanding the balance over 100 gallons to be paid immediately and a $36 late fee. What actions can I take since the driver made the error and I feel I not obligated to have to pay. I know the propane company will make things more miserable and difficult for me in the future. They have been a problem for me since I bought the home coming up on 3 years. Since I don't fill the whole 500 gallons at a fill they charge me $140 rental fee on the tank yearly.

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  2. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Tell them to make it right or come get their tank. You could pretty easily pay for a 100# tank with your rental fee savings. You have leverage and contingency so use it.
    jeff_t and Thistle like this.
  3. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Arrow Bridge,NY
    I wood pay the overage but not the late fee . You're going to use the pain anyway but you didn't order it at this time. Depending on the overage amount they should give you interest free terms. As lukem mentioned your rental savings will buy a 100# tank.
  4. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    So you call and say 'I want 100 gallons', the driver shows up and says 'here is your 100 gallons and here is the ticket to prove it', (presumably you then at some point pay for the 100 gallons), then at some time later they say 'you got more than 100 gallons we want more money + a late fee'

    Glad I don't deal with propane! If there is a wood screw-up it's my own doing! I would think ideally, they should eat the screw-up. The times I have had diesel delivered, the driver clears the register on the truck, delivers my diesel, then stamps the ticket with the amount totaled from the register...This is standard procedure and it's how everyone knows how much fuel is delivered. I guess if you can absolutely confirm the amount they say they delivered and you're feeling generous, then you can pay them for the amount over. Though again, if you ask for 100 and they gave you 120, that is not too bad, but if they gave you 500 and expect payment, I'd say they better be coming up with a discount rate or allow extra time -or both! as that would be 5x the cost you planned on.

    Good luck - keep the number of the BBB handy!
    pen likes this.
  5. Leroy_B

    Leroy_B Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Southern N.H.
    If you pull up to a gas pump and ask for $20 of regular gas and the gas attendant messes up and pumps in $60 and expects you to pay $60 when all you have is a $20 bill. You have no credit card and live pay check to pay check. The attendant won't allow you to leave till you pay and says he'd call the police.

    My sister had her extra oil tank filled when she only asked for the one tank to be filled. Her bill came to $1500.00. She had a problem with her furnace the next day. A repairman from the same fuel company came out, look at her furnace and found it to be an electrical problem which he could not touch. It was a licensed electricians job to fix. He was aware of the extra tank filled and so it was talk of the office on the mistake.....a huge error. He told her that since his mother is my sisters neighbor he told her on the "QT", you're not responsible for the mistake and the fuel company knew it. I'll be putting a call into my attorney or they may direct me in the right direction.

    I'm also am looking into buying 2, propane tanks each holds 100 gallons. I'll have a regulator on the tanks so one is a backup. I can use who ever I want to fill my tanks. I've got a truck crane on my truck that will lift 1,000 lbs and get my own propane at a filling station. I'd love to have a solar panel just to run an electric tankless hot water heater. I'm sure there's other methods for hot water out there.
  6. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
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    How do you know you got more than 100 gallons? Just because the driver says so? He could just have easily gone down the road and put it in his buddy's tank. When I heated with propane, the ticket was printed directly by the meter. I got what it said and that was it. Is your supplier really hand writing tickets in this day and age?
  7. Leroy_B

    Leroy_B Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Southern N.H.
    I was standing right there when I told him I always get 100 gallons. He exclaimed sh*t as he stopped the fill and we both saw how much extra than 100 gallons went in. He stamped the ticket from the meter and handed me the ticket as he said "damn". Reeled up the hose and left.
  8. charly

    charly Guest

    I say tell them to come pump out the extra the guy pumped in. Why should it be on your shoulders? I had Suburban years ago. 500 gallon tank for my stand-by generator basically. I heated with a wood boiler, and would get 50-100 gallons a year. They use to charge me through the nose for that little amount. Most of the time I would run out and tell the delivery guy I'm all set on propane. Just used it for our cook stove. I found out if you have a 500 gallon tank they want you to use the fuel baby! Otherwise it could be at another persons house who'd be draining it down every 6 months. That's what they like.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  9. Leroy_B

    Leroy_B Member

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    Loc:
    Southern N.H.
    I like the way you think charly. That's exactly how the fuel companies are, they want to squeeze as much money as they can from any one they can.
    charly likes this.
  10. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Suburban is particularly notorious for these type of shenanigans.
    charly likes this.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I once that this same problem only I was not home at the time of delivery. However, it had been on file at their office for a couple years at least. I simply told them I would not pay. Come and pump it out because I did not order it. In the end, we did pay but got a huge discount. It was worth the haggling for sure.
  12. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Lake Odessa,MI
    How much over did they go?

    Gary
  13. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    CT stix & upstate NY
    Chances are the fine print on the gas contract says you're responsible to pay for any overages. You're kinda stuck when the gas company owns the tank and you can't shop around... that's why I bought my own 100 gallon tanks.
  14. charly

    charly Guest

    When I asked suburban one time why they were so high on their propane price compared to the going rate, they said because I only needed 50 gallons. Well after that they didn't get a chance to put any more propane in their 500 gallon tank for 3 years. I'd catch them trying to top it off and told them it was still at 80%. Finally after 3 years I needed 250 gallons. They came and filled the tank,,,,, next I get an over priced bill again compared to the average going rate. So I call to find out why so high.. Now the catch is I bought less then 1000 gallons in a years time:eek:! Shortly after we moved and I told the new owners if they were smart they would get another company or their own tank. Good ole' Suburban. Can't figure how they stay in business. Driver told me they low ball the propane price on the first fill for a new customer,,, after that they hammer you!;lol
  15. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

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    Pt Pleasant, PA (SE PA)
    Right before we installed our wood stove the SAME thing happened to me but with oil, not propane. Knowing we were getting a stove, i called in an order in for 125 gallons, which we had been getting since even then coming up with $400 was a stretch, forget filling it up.

    They came and filled it in error. They left me the bill with a "sorry we screwed up" note and to call the office. I paid for the 125 gallons I ordered at the price I was given and paid 50% for the rest. I told them either discount it or come suck it back out, i wasn't going to be going through it anyway and didn't really need it as the stove was being installed a few week later.

    Not sure if you have a contract but check it. My neighbor just went through propane hell during Hurricane Sandy. He JUST had a generac system put in but the propane hadn't been hooked up yet. Since NO ONE would sell him big tanks without a contract or them installing it, the power was out but his brand new generator system was useless! In an act of desperation, he went out and bought three 50# tanks but because they were small, they kept freezing over. We felt so bad for him but because all of the vendors were dealing with emergencies due to the storm, no one was able to sign him up as a new customer, it was awful, we'd hear him hollering from our house when the generator would shut off because the tanks would freeze up. He since had someone come out for installation but depending on where you live, it may be a lot of hoops to get a new tank and vendor.
  16. charly

    charly Guest

    I tried to get another propane dealer after Suburban to bring me a 500 gallon tank for my Generator, they said no way would they tie up a tank for that. They want those babies being sucked down so they can keep the propane coming. Also I found buying your own tank,,,, most companies wanted nothing to do with filling it. Kind of a catch 22. Nice thing was ,,,, I figured the 500 gallons of propane would get me just about 3 weeks of non stop run time. So using the generator as you needed it would get me way over a month during a power outage. No running for gas either.
  17. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    when they tried that with me I told them come pick up your tank I will be setting it at the bottom of the driveway shortly.........
    cured the problem, which suprised me because I use less than 100 bucks a year. cooktop and fireplace.
    MasterMech and charly like this.
  18. jeromehdmc

    jeromehdmc Member

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    Loc:
    Kansas City
    I guess I am lucky our propane guy is great. We own our tank and he'll still fill it and he doesn't care how much we use. If I were you I'd do one of these two things depending on how mad you were at them. Tell them to come and draw out the overfill amount or tell them you have a ticket their guy printed proving he only put 100 gals. in and to take me to court, they can't win...their guy provided you proof against them.
  19. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    From what I read, I don't think the ticket says he only put in 100 gallons - it shows what was actually put in? (post 7). That post also makes it sound like he wasn't told to pump only 100 gallons until after more was put in - maybe I'm missing something.
  20. jeffoc

    jeffoc Member

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    If you requested 100 gallons and your ticket says 100 gallons, as it says in the first post. Then tell them to prove that you received more than that. Also tell them that they can remove the amount that they prove you received in error.

    The part that would really bothers me is they are asking you to pay for their mistake. It should not cost you money when their worker makes a mistake. And you are not asking for them to give it to you for free. They just don't want to take the time to come and get it.
    You are in the right, in my opinion, don't let them push you around.
  21. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    We just went through a little propane drama as well. We needed the big 700? or so gallon tank that was here removed because it was in the way of an outdoor project. We had never had it filled and just used what was in it when we bought the place, for hot water, cooking and a small 10K btu blue flame in our utility area. We figured we'd see if they'd replace it with a smaller tank that could go up next to the Cottage (out of the way). Yeah...no. The idiot at the office made a mess of it. They didn't even want to come get the tank until we told them if they didn't come get it when we needed it moved we were hooking it up to our truck and moving it ourselves. They came the next day, lol. It was a big arguement over a replacement tank through the next few days with the office telling us one thing and the driver another. We even involved another company that dropped the ball too. In the end, we bought two 100# tanks, plumbed them in sequence and are done with LP companies-well, unless Amerigas wants to come get the regulator they left on the line. It's locked up in our shed as of now, we used our own dual stage on the tanks we put in. I just hope that we NEVER, EVER get to a point where we need a central heating system here because we can't physically handle the wood stove anymore because I don't trust the LP companies further than I can throw their tanks.

    Anyway, I'd also tell them to come get the extra since you didn't order it. Threatening to move their tank and replace with your own seems to work well too, lol.
  22. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    I had the opposite situation a few years back with my oil company. I was on scheduled delivery once a month and one time the truck was nearly empty. The driver put in what he had, said he'd be back to top it off the following week. Of course he never showed, and a week later the tank ran dry in the middle of the night... a COLD winter night. I called the company and they said they'd come out and they did... a guy in a van with two 10 gallon cans. They then tried to charge me a couple hundred bucks for an "emergency call" and I hit the roof, since it was their fault the tank ran dry. They finally reversed the charge after a lot of argument, but I found another oil company anyway.
  23. hilbiliarkiboi

    hilbiliarkiboi Member

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    I would ask them to consider waiting until the overage has been used.
  24. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    My propane company is great. Originally, I was with a local, family owned company. My driver, who is also a close friend, was let go, along with the other guy that wasn't a family member, when times got tight. They started their own company, and struggled. They sold out to another, really big company, that is still family owned. My friend works for them, and pretty much just services his former customers. I have nothing but good things to say about them. I do pay a premium because I only have a 250 gallon tank, which I own. Whenever I get it filled, I have thirty days to pay. There was no credit check, there is no interest charged if I take 2-3 months to pay it off, no harassment, no phone calls, just a bill in the mail.

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