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SUBURBAN Propane, Washington Complaints & Reviews - price gouging

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SUBURBAN Propane

Posted:    Bhrett Monroe

price gouging

Complaint Rating:  100 % with 26 votes
Contact information:
Bhrett
Washington
United States
We recently bought a house that had a 500 gallon propane tank that was being rented from Suburban Propane. Before signing up on a 3 year lease for the tank, we researched pricing from 4 other competitors. Pricing from all were within 5 % of each other, so we decided to go with Suburban even though I had already been using Pacer Propane at another property I own and had been satisfied with their pricing and service over the past 10 years. This was a major mistake--at the second fill-up, Suburban's price was over 60% higher than their original quote. I again checked competiors prices as well as the bills for fill-ups on the tank at my other property serviced by Pacer and found that Suburbans price was 30% higher than everyone else. We contacted Brenda at Suburban's Tacoma office she advised us that their price was the going rate, and that the quotes we had from other companies were just for first time customers. My wife called and asked to be removed from automatic fill up, and was advised that Suburban could not do this, and that it was not Suburban's policy to allow customers to not be on automatic fill-up. I finally had to call myself and go round and round with their customer service staff to get removed from the auto fill--basically telling them that I was not goine to pay for unathorized delivery. Once our tank was down to about 75 gallons, my plan was to rent another tank--the difference in price on one fill pays for three years of tank rental. After checking competitor prices we called suburban for one final price check before changing--they were still 30% higher. Now here is the real burn--once Suburban knew we planned to switch--they dispatched a truck on Sunday to fill our tank --even though they had not been authrized to do so. When I called Brenda again--I received the run around and was given a couple options--I could pay $195.00 to terminate the service and another $340.00 to pump out the propane they had delivered, or stick with the same excessive price and crappy customer service Suburban provides. I did ask to talk with a supervisor, and was told they would get back with me --well that has not happened. I would not recommend that anyone use Suburban--ever!<br />
<br />
Bhrett Monroe (extremely dissatisfied customer)
Comments United States Utility Services
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 1st of Feb, 2010 by   njgas 0 Votes
I have used Suburban Propane for 12 years, on my recent bill they increased my cost for $3.55 per gallon to $5.50 per gallon. I shopped around and asked neighbors and the concesus was $2.95 per gallon was the going price. when I spoke to a manager he insisted that $5.50 was the going rate however would reduce my current invoice to $2.95 and lock me in at $2.95 for 1 year. It appears you have to be complain to get a fair price from Suburban. I forwarded a link to this website to the manager asking for a response from the President of Suburban and assurances that i wouldnt be gouged in the future.
 1st of Feb, 2010 by   duce1 +1 Votes
I have been a victim of price gouging by Suburban Propane as well. I was charged $5.239/gallon on 2/1/10. Thank you for the posting. I have some NJ Deputy Attorneys General friends who may be interested in these fraudulent business practices...
 22nd of Feb, 2010 by   lulu1313 0 Votes
I recieved propane on January 21 and was shocked to see I was charged $451.9 PER GALLON FOR PROPANE. This price was almost double what the other suppliers in my area are charging and is more than double the New York State residential average.

I called again on February 22 for propane and was told by the customer service woman I would be charged $4.49 per gallon and that was the "fair market Price" When I absolutely REFUSED to pay that price and advised her the fair market price was at $3.12 per gallon in our area for this week she called me back and lowered it to $3.389 per gallon. Their prices are all over the place. I have NEVER heard of these prices in my life and it sickens me that hundreds of thousands of people are getting ripped off.

WEBSITE WWW.SUBURBAN-PROPANE-CLASS-ACTION.COM CHECK IT OUT IF YOU HAVE BEEN RIPPED OFF BY SUBURBAN.

Lacey West
 26th of Feb, 2010 by   Cheryl LG 0 Votes
It is not only Suburban Propane. I rent my tank ( 1st mistake) from Farm and Home. I received my bill this month at 4.05/gallon total delivery charge $1, 124.81. When I called competitive companies in the area, the highest cost I found was 2.89/gal and that was to the 'hostage' customers who rent the tanks. I then called Farm and Home. Within 60 seconds I was told there was a .20/gal mistake and they would credit my bill. They didn't even give me a chance to complain. And when I did complain and told them the competitive pricing I found, they gave me a credit of .50/gal. This is out and out theft. I have contacted the Attorney General and made a consumer complaint. Everyone should do the same. I am also in the process of purchasing my tank from them. Not to be held hostage again. We need a protection agency to oversee these companies that totally are taking advantage and robbing customer blind!
 26th of Feb, 2010 by   NewtonNJ*** 0 Votes
I have autonmatic delivery and use about 1500 gallons for the year. I previously did a pre buy budget plan but when the pre buy ended up being more than the reg del price last year, I decided not to pre buy this year, , Needless to say, the per gallon price has been at least $1.00 more than two other propane companies. I was going to change around the end of December, but w/ work, I couldn't make a place for Eastern to put 2 new tanks in while i still had the Suburban tanks. When I questioned Suburban, they also said all other price were " introductory". I responded knowing different, I am a heating contractor in NNJ, and have heard these stories from many other people. There tanks are going as soon as I have a chance to take off and change to oil...
1/9/10-188 gal, $4.12, reg fee 5.62= $782.83
1/23/10-115 gal, $4.12, reg fee 5.62= $483.90
2/8/10-146 gal, $4.19, reg fee 9.62= $625.32
 11th of Mar, 2010 by   unhappy in brentwood 0 Votes
I am a renter of a house with propane and when I moved in a year ago the price of propane was 1.87/gallon which was totally reasonable to fill up a tank. Well when november of this year hit, we expected more useage due to winter time but were slapped with bill of $1, 000 for one month of heat at 4.24/gallon. When my landlord called other companies they were about a dollar lower than this. What is sickening is reading about how this company has billion dollar stocks that are skyrocketing while they are hitting hard working people in a already bad economy with these prices. My bill for a quarter tank, which is due to not using any heat and just my hot water and stove for this month was $401.00 at 4.29/gallon. Oh and my fiance had to move out of state because there are no jobs here too.. thanks suburban propane to adding the cherry on to my sundae.
 16th of Mar, 2010 by   SherryFull 0 Votes
2/2020 Canandaigua NY
They had me sign a contract for services with a 3 yr agreement tucked in fine print on pg 2 0 f 3. The only pricing was for initial fill up, $1.799. Following that price went to $3.24 and $3.45. Now they want $250 for early termination of contract I didn't know I was in. Bad business. Price gouging.
 22nd of Apr, 2010 by   S D Sevinsky 0 Votes
Nice to know I am not the only one getting screwed. I have a 500 gallon tank but I burn wood so since I do not use much gas their last quote to me was over 5 bucks a gallon, others are paying under 2 bucks. Also they decided to start billing me for tank rental. I have not payed it and monthly I get a new bill with 18% interest even though I signed a 3 year contract with them which states euip rental, N/C..HELPPPPPPPPPPPPP Where do we go, the BBB...
 11th of May, 2010 by   NonServiam 0 Votes
I believe Suburban Propane is price gouging. Price went from $3.4939/gal on 12/10/2009 to $3.6939/gal on 12/29/09 or a 5.7% increase. This was largely in-line with the national average, which went from $2.346/gal to $2.463/gal or a 5% increase.

But then Suburban Propane's price skyrocketed to $5.0390 on 3/9/2010, or a 36.4% increase. While the national average only went to $2.649 or a 7.6% increase. At this point Suburban Propane's prices were over 90% higher than the national average.

They remain artificially high to this day. I called around on 5/11/2010 and was quoted the following prices: Cenex $2.56/gal, Ferellgas $2.60/gal, and Amerigas $2.94 gal. Suburban Propane was still charging $5.03/gal.

When I called to complain, they told me they were not adjusting bills due to propane prices. I was told the price increase was due to market forces. But I disputed this because both February and March were unseasonably warm in Seattle. 22 days in February reached a high of 50 degrees or above, as did the first 7 days of March.

After they refused to adjust my bill, despite their clearly unwarranted price increases, I told them to close my account. They tried to bill me an extra $150 for early termination claiming I had a 3 year contract- which I disputed. I made them actually pull my paperwork and check section 4 which clearly stated I had a 1 year contract. Finally they relented on the early termination fee.

Moral of the story- call and get the price before every fill up. If you have auto-fill cancel the service. And if you can, cancel your contract and sign up with someone else.
 12th of May, 2010 by   NonServiam 0 Votes
When I shopped around- I got first fill prices as well. (Ex: Ferellgas $2.39/gal, Pacer $2.30/gal, Amerigas $2.26/gal) The prices I was comparing were the normal market rate charged to existing costumers. And I've never been charged a leak test fee, despite running out of propane all the time.

But good ideas about pressing the issue to the manager and then home office. After reading the thousands of complaints against Suburban Propane and the class action lawsuit filed- I was pretty much ready to be done with the company.
 30th of Jun, 2010 by   pissed in Holley 0 Votes
I just woke up after 5 years of overpaying. I was being charged $4.29 a gallon with Suburban because I only use about 250 gallons a year with a "gas log". They called me to replace my tank and then didn't show up the day of the switch. I was told that I had to be home. This was not conveyed to me at the time the appointment was made. In fact I told them I could not be home. After calling the next day to check, Suburban told me that they could come out the next day and I did not need to be home. Because I was so pissed off about the day before, I called around and found out that Hometown propane would charge me $2.44 a gallon, no delivery charge, no tank rental fee. Needless to say Suburban Propane will not be getting my business ever again. Now if they would just pick their tank up and get me my refund. Even there they are screwing the consumer, $1.00 a gallon restocking fee and tank pick-up fee. I'm glad I woke up, many more should !!!
 18th of Aug, 2010 by   Rob Dinkins 0 Votes
Suburban Propane never fails to suprise me. I had my wife call (didn't give her name) to see what the price was per gallon for propane. They told her $1.99 a gallon (summer price) at Paris, Tn. store. I turned around and called as a loyal customer and was told the price was $2.49 per gallon. This was only 30 minutes after she had called and she told them she "wasn't" a customer! These guys are the biggest rip off of any propane company I can think of. I called another local seller and was told their price was $1.59! Also, they charge you $60 a year for tank rental!!!
 31st of Oct, 2010 by   GREGWANAT 0 Votes
Had propane tank filled, only used for stove. 8.2 gallons, price $82.00 Dollars. Minimum delivery fee charged. WHO THE HELL ARE THESE ROBBER BASTARDS, AND HOW THE HELL DO THESE FUCKERS GET AWAY WITH THEIR ROBBERY!!!
 15th of Feb, 2011 by   Chris F. 0 Votes
Just got my (leased) tank filled today. $5.99.gallon! from Suburban Propane. According to what I read as national average(s), this is twice that price. They pulled this on me in October 2009. When I complained, they compromised by offering me 1 year @ $2.80/gallon. I agreed, and initially had some billing issues, but after a few calls to billing, they honored the agreement. I had called a competitor, who sold propane at that time for about $2.60. I was tempted to switch from Suburban to that competitor. Now, it’s back to $5.99 again. NOTE: I’m not shopping to save every last penny, ….I don’t mind if Suburban is a larger company with higher overhead, thus needs to charge a little more, but I’m not paying 100%+ more. You can bet I’ll be calling around again!
 16th of Feb, 2011 by   Chris F. 0 Votes
Hey Stealth Pilot, ...First, my propane gas tank is a lease, ...thus I am locked into buying my gas from them. They fill my tank about twice per year, and you're never notified in advance when they're coming, or what the price is going to be. You just come home from work, and find a bill on your door knob. Second, this complaint does serve a purpose, because most people just assume that gas from 1 company will be competitive with another (within 10-15% I would guess is reasonable). There is NO OTHER REASON why Suburban charges the prices they do. None of the reasons you cited are applicable in my situation, as I have now called 2 other companies, and $3.84/gal. is their max price vs. $5.99 what I was charged. I just need to Suburban's tank out of here. Just Google "Suburban Propane Complaints" and you will be inundated with messages from upset customers. Thanks to the internet, we can now all compare our service/prices. Most people just dutifully pay their bills and assume that the companies' prices will be within reason of their competitors, and they're not being gouged. My posts are meant to warn people otherwise. If my post serves no purpose, then what brought you here, and why did you respond? If you're happy with your propane service and prices, how did you find your way here? Maybe you work at Suburban, since I learned that they monitor the internet daily looking for complaints.
 8th of Jan, 2012 by   Joe Sacotte 0 Votes
This seems to be systematic practice of Suburban Propane. I've had the same experience with the office in the Marysville WA. They did offer a dollar a gallon credit when I complained about the price being 200% of thee local competitors. My situation is not resolved; a CPA claim possibly a class action may be the result.
 24th of Jan, 2014 by   amsterdambirdlady 0 Votes
I have been with this company for 20 yrs. but it wasn't always suburban. it was called blue flame. Propane should cost about 2.60a gal. in my area and they charged me 3.99a gal.. They are raping us and it must stop!!! I am on a fixed income and can not afford these outrageous prices... I will be switching to a different company as soon as possible. I would like to see them sued for their price gouging!!!
 24th of Jan, 2014 by   amsterdambirdlady 0 Votes
I have been with this company for 20 yrs.. When they switched owners a few months ago and changed the name to Suburban, I didn't think much about it as this isn't the first new owner. I am on a fixed income and receive assistance for my heating bill. When the voucher came through they came to fill my tank. Propane should be about 2.60 a gal. in my area. I checked with a company called Litter in Chillicothe. They charged me 3.99 a gal.. if it were at the right price I could have gotten 2 fills but not at this ridiculous price and I may not have enough to get through the winter now. I don't have money for any more. These rip-offs should be sued!!!
 28th of Jan, 2014 by   Earthy 0 Votes
Many people buy their propane tanks so they choose who fills it at any given time. Depending on how old the tank is, the capacity and condition, the price can vary. Our 500 gallon tank was new and in great shape. We paid $500 for it. Now, we keep our proof of purchase handy so we can prove to other companies that we own it and have the right to have anyone fill it.

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