Paraco Gas / Awful service
When we built our home back in 2005, our builder recommended a propane company named Blue Flame Gas. We had them install a propane tank and supply our propane from that point forward.
I did find out until 4/1/09 that Blue Flame Gas was bought out by Paraco Gas in November, 2008.
Up until this winter we had no problems with our propane delivery. Blue Flame Gas delivered our propane, left a bill in our door, and we promptly paid the bills.
Starting this winter, when we received our propane delivery, we did not receive a bill. My husband, on both occasions we received a propane delivery, called the company to request a bill. Both times, bills were sent to our home address.
Just this past Tuesday (3/31/09) I received a collection notice from Paraco Gas. I tried all day Tuesday to contact the company, to no avail.
I was finally able to reach a representative named Kerry yesterday (4/1/09). We were able to determine that they were sending the invoices to our previous address, where we have not lived in 3 years. Somehow, though, the collection notice managed to get to us at our current address. I guess it never dawned on them that maybe they should be sending the bills to the propane delivery address which is our primary residence. Apparently, we received a propane deliver on January 28 of 227.9 gallons for a bill of $589.01. The total charges on the collection notice are $614.01.
I told Kerry that I would be willing to pay our propane bill on the spot over the phone, but that I was not willing to pay the late fee. She informed me she could waive the late fee, but not the collection fee. I told her that was ridiculous. I told her the only reason we paid the prior two bills was because we were assertive and called them for statements, knowing we had received deliveries. I told her we did nothing wrong and that it was outrageous that we should be penalized because they were unorganized. We came to no resolution at that time, I again told her I would pay the propane bill and not the fees, and that I would like to schedule a time for them to come out and remove the tank as I was no longer interested in doing business with them.
When my husband and I returned home from work that same day (4/1/09), we found that they had come to our house, disconnected our gas, and put a lock on the tank. I called the local police department, and two officers came to my home. They said, unfortunately, this was a civil matter and not a criminal matter, and that they could not help us.
I then called the emergency phone line for Paraco Gas. A technician by the name of Letty returned my call. He informed me that he could come reconnect the gas, but that I would have to pay the bill in its entirety, including all of the fees, plus a $195 after hours service call fee and a $100 reconnect fee. I told him, not nicely, that this was not going to happen, that this company was crazy, that we did absolutely nothing wrong and asked why they were doing this to us. I informed him that I have a three year old son with asthma and we could not go through the night with no heat. He stated that he understood my concerns and would call his manager, Tom Bock. A few minutes later I received a return call from Letty, and he stated that unless I was willing to pay all of these fees, there was nothing he could do and that I could speak with Tom Bock in the morning (today).
My husband was able to remove the lock (without breaking it, thank goodness) and reconnect the line last night, so that we did not have to go without heat and hot water.
I am at a complete loss as to how this company is allowed to operate this way. Not to mention that when they disconnected our connection, there was gas in the tank that we had already paid for!!!
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