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Suburban Propane

Posted:    

Price gouging

Complaint Rating:  98 % with 60 votes
98% 60
4.9
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 / >
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Bhrett monroe (Extremely dissatisfied customer)
Complaint comments Comments (49) Complaint country United States Complaint category Utility Services

Comments

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 1st of Feb, 2010 by    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    +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...
 13th of Feb, 2010 by    +1 Votes
i'm so glad i decided to go on-line and check out the going rates of propane. i was just looking to see if price i was just charged was competitive. never expected to see similar complaints about Suburban!!

Good to know i'm not alone. i was just billed $ 5.21/gallon on 2/4/10 and paid only $ 3.79 back in October (and i thought that was too high!). Let's all rise up and fight this shameful taking advantage of people who can ill afford it! They must not be allowed to get away with this!!.

Get the word out to the state attorney generals, the state dept of energy and anyone else necessary to keep the pressure on suburban.
 14th of Feb, 2010 by    +1 Votes
Hewitt, NJ - Just got a refill from SP. $4.95 per Gallon. I called Eastern Propane and got a quote for $2.90 a gallon if i switch. I will be switching this summer. I am tired of having to call Suburbane Propane and asking for rebates ALL the time. PS...Go to the EIA website and look up the AVERAGE price of Propane in your ares: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/hopu/hopu.asp (Spreadsheet on right side of page). You will be shocked to see how much Suburbane Propane has been ripping us off over the years.
 19th of Feb, 2010 by    +1 Votes
to Hewitt, NJ - I got quoted today at $4.85 - what the heck is going on - I have the presidents phone number of the company and I plan to call on Monday to speak my peace - not quite sure where that will get me...I too, called Amerigas - got an intro price of $3.39/gal - which is still high but they also spoke of a guaranteed pricing program where the rate could be at $2.81/gal - I just don't want to have to deal with the swap out of tanks - then Suburban also tells me I'M liable to get the tank out of the ground for them to come pick it up??? Well, in short we have a contractor coming over in the morning to talk about converting to oil - (which we already have a furnace on one side of our house) big enough to heat the other - I think we just need to suck it up and do it! Good luck everyone - signed,
Getting ripped off every day by Suburban
 22nd of Feb, 2010 by    +1 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    +1 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    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    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    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.
 16th of Mar, 2010 by    0 Votes
Suburban personnel were not up front in explaining terms and contracts. Pricing is way above local competition. Poor business practice.
 27th of Mar, 2010 by    0 Votes
I too just had it out with Suburban Propane in Chili NY. (Rochester). They charged us 3.89/ gal and I live a mile away from them. When confronted with the excessively high charges they addmitted to it, and took off a whole whopping 60 cents a gal. We are buying the tank outright next and moving to another company who promises to deliver it for 2.25/ gal. SCREW SUBURBAN PROPANE AND THEIR FRAUDULANT EMPLOYEES!!! WE ARE SO DONE WITH THEM.
 5th of Apr, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I live in Howell, NJ and have been using this company for about 10 years. When the gasoline prices increased, we didn't suspect any wrong doing. (Our fault for not being more informed). We have been paying over $7.00 a gallon ... yes you read that correctly SEVEN DOLLARS A GALLON!!! For the last TWO YEARS.

I am so upset that I will be calling every local newspaper, tv news and whomever else I can report this to.

We will be having them remove our 3 100 gallon tanks and going with Amerigas ... this was the best promotion Amerigas could have...

I will never do business with Surburban again, and we will make sure that everyone we know is told not to use them either...What a disreptuable company!!! Never in my life would I expect to see this kind of "stealing" and that is what they are doing .. they are stealing my money!!! And I'm pissed off and I'm not going to take it any more!!!
 5th of Apr, 2010 by    0 Votes
WOW $7 / Gallon that is just insane. I called Suburban and told them to top delivering propane so I can use up what is left in the tank and switch to Eastern propane. They would not stop delivery but moved to once a year delivery (Jun-Aug). I plan on calling SP on May 31st and canceling my service. I will tell them when my tank is empty they can come get it if they choose too. My contract states nothing about digging up the tank or a disconnect fee so if they try to bill me I will charge them a rental fee for storing their tank on my property. I plan on going to court over this. They are unbelievably corrupt and charge over twice the average rate in NJ. I want them out of business. We should start a Facebook Page "Suburban Propane Sucks."...LOL
 22nd of Apr, 2010 by    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    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.
 11th of May, 2010 by    0 Votes
Very detailed...thanks for the info.
 12th of May, 2010 by    0 Votes
Your rate is based on the amount you use. All of the quotes you got were for new business, and are typically first fill prices. (Did you shop Suburban as ifyou were a new customer?)
Remember, if you cancel auto delivery and run out, you will be charged a special delivery fee and probably a leak test fee as anyone who runs out must have a leak test performed on the system. The best way to control pricing is if you own your own tank. Then anyone can fill the tank. If you don't own the tank, Suburban is the only one allowed to fill it. Market forces have nothing to do with the weather. When you called to complain about the price, did you talk to the manager? If the manager won't do anything, complain to the home office. You can contact them through their website.
 12th of May, 2010 by    +1 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    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 !!!

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