We have the lock in and prebuy. I never qualified because I didn’t have enough of a credit history. But the company had to break the lock in contract one year to survive, it was around that time when gas went to over $4 a gallon and propane shot up, a particularly cold year too IIRC. Biggest supplier in the area, they’ve been good to me.Must be another NY thing. Yes even here there is minimum for free delivery,but you can buy less,and pay for delivery.And some places have pre-buy,where you purchase for future delivery. I see they have that back your way, but perhaps not in NY, I saw no listings there.
When my furnace went bad in 2006 and I went to 100% wood, I never used a drop of propane for the next 10 years until I put in a new furnace and sold the house. Never owed a dime for the use of the tank or anything all that time. Nor did I have any fees when I transferred the account to the new house. Here I fill it every 2 years at summer prices so I’m already getting the best deal.