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Suburban Propane



Complaint Rating:  50 % with 2 votes
50% 2
Contact information:
Niantic, Connecticut
United States
ON ""JULY"" 19 2011
Complaint comments Comments (8)    Updated: Complaint country United States Complaint category Utility Services


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N  24th of Apr, 2009 by    0 Votes
Six years ago when we built our home, propane rates from Suburban were around $1.50/gal. But that was six years ago and everyone knows what has happened to the petroleum market since then. I wasn’t surprised when the rate increased over the years. However, for my last several re-fills (averaging 300-400 gals or a total of over 1000 gallons in the last year), my propane provider (Suburban Propane) has charged me over $5.00/gal.

I contacted Suburban to see if there had been a mistake. And with each of my last two deliveries, I was given an adjustment of about $.60/gal, and was warned that these were one-time adjustments and my next fill would revert to my normal rate.

I became somewhat curious and suspicious of why the price has continued to climb even when market prices seem to have receded. I took a look at my rates over the past 6 years and I noticed that the rate has NEVER gone down; it has continued to increase even when market price trends down, my rate has steadily increased to today’s price of $5.01.

I began contacting several other providers and competitors of Suburban Propane... and I was quite amazed and aghast to find out that the 'going rate', at this time, from five other providers ranged from $1.70 to $2.30 per gallon, far less than half of what Suburban is charging myself AND my neighbors. FAR LESS. My contacts included Amerigas, Bowman, Hubbard, Patriot, FerrellGas. I can provide contact names and information received from each of these providers.

After contacting Chantell Hendrix, the local manager at Suburban Propane, and there was little progress to solve this pricing issue. Ms. Hendrix explained and tried to justify the rate in part by value added services; such as emergency service, payment options, and prepaid pricing. I did have occasion to use the emergency service about two years ago. It was far from acceptable. After three phone calls and a week’s time, we finally got our propane. The driver apologized profusely, but said that they just didn’t have enough staff to meet calls (at that time). As for the Prepaid Pricing service, my neighbor prepaid one year at a price of $4.25.

Regardless, the services mentioned are fairly standard among the five other providers I contacted, so I really don’t consider them a value added especially to the extent of Suburban’s pricing.

I told Ms. Hendrix of my findings from other propane providers, she cautioned that the prices I was given were probably for a 'first fill’ and I would be charged a different price for subsequent fills. But I have found that is just not the case. Indeed, one of the 5 providers does in fact offer a 'first' fill at $.30/gal less (from $2.17) to attract new customers. This is still a far cry from $5.01.

Each provider did explain that market price influences rates and rates will change between deliveries. But historical pricing over the last 2 years for EACH of the five providers, none have been even close to $5.00 rate that Suburban is charging. In fact the market price is currently going down and they are passing on those lower rates to their customers.

Historical pricing given to me was based on a residential 500 gallon tank, with usage between 900-1200 gals a year. Some of the prices reached a peak last year to that of $3-$4/gal, but ALL companies report that pricing has gone down from those levels to something closer to $1.70-$2.30/gal.

Unfortunately, to add insult to injury, Suburban Propane has refused to sell me the underground tank which I lease from them. Apparently it is company policy not to sell tanks… though no explanation was given as to the reasoning for that policy.

Instead I will be required to dig up the tank, obviously ruining 6 years of landscaping and causing additional expense of the dig (which is MY responsibility according to them) not to mention the installation of a new tank and the hardship to myself and my family. I have offered to pay a price for the tank at today’s retail price (even though it’s been in the ground for 6 years). My research indicates the price for a new 500 gallon tanks to be $1700 to $1800 (quoted from several of the other providers I contacted).

I have pleaded with Suburban to help me avoid the destruction of my landscaping, but to no avail. This is extremely unfortunate and seems even ‘spiteful’. But it appears that it is the only way I will be able to release myself from under Suburan’s hold.

A counter offer from Ms. Hendrix was another one-time rate at $4.50/gal… and then it was further reduced to $2.80/gal. But this price is still 21% higher than the highest price from another provider and it is a ONE-TIME price.

I have several neighbors that are also paying these exorbitant prices to Suburban... and I am gradually trying to notify them of this situation. But I wonder how many people are paying these prices without knowledge that they are being severely overcharged. I feel Suburban is gouging their customers; they are certainly not providing a 'fair and equitable' price for home heating propane.
A  20th of Nov, 2009 by    0 Votes
I had a similar problem. The last time they filled my tanks, I was charged $4.70 per gallon. I called 4 other propane companies in the area--the prices ranged from $2.40 to $2.63. I then called Suburban and stated that they had a lot of nerve charging a 75-year-old widow, living on a limited income, $4.70 while others were charging below $3.00. She then asked me for the companies names, which I gladly gave her. She left the phone for a few minutes, came back and stated that they would charge me a new rate of $2.50 and give me a refund on the current fillup. I am waiting to see what happens on the next fillup. An 82-year-old neighbor was charged $4.90 per gallon and, after talking with me, called Suburban and received a reduction also. If it happens again, we are writing a letter to the editor of all the area newspapers.
N  13th of Dec, 2009 by    0 Votes
reside in south carolina, suburban is conducting their price gouging in this state, as well as many other areas of the country. this so called federal attorney general needs to examine what suburban is doing to the consumers that are stuck with their underground tanks on a lease basis. they refuse to let us buy the tanks, knowlingly that many homeowners are not going to ruin their landscape.
A  5th of Jan, 2010 by    0 Votes
I had been purchasing propane gas for my fireplace from Agway since 1999 and then a few years ago Suburban took over for. All of that time I've been a good customer who pays on time. Agway never charged me a tank rental (100 gallon tank) and they charged fair market prices. Last year I received a nasty note from Suburban that they were going to terminate my account because my payment was a few days late. Then they sent me a tank rental charge without any notification of this new charge. I sucked it all up and figured Suburban not as client friendly as Agway was. Then a couple of weeks they filled my tank charging me $5.20 a gallon. I couldn't believe it. So I made a few phone calls, one of which was to Patriot and they said that today's cost is $3.20 and they don't for tank rental. I called Suburban and told them not to deliver any more gas unless they've called me first and I've authorized. I also asked them why they charged me $5.20 gallon. She couldn't answer but said that she was sure that for next delivery I could probably negotiate a better price. I told her that as a client of good standing I should not have to do that. Bottom line, I'm switching to Patriot !!!

My daughter told me that many of her friends used to deal with Suburban but the general consensus is that they are crooks.
N  1st of Mar, 2011 by    0 Votes
We signed up for the "Secure Plan" with Suburabn last August. We had to pay $574.11 up front, the remaining 11 months charge for propane would be $208.77. I received a letter in mid Feb stating that we have taekn delivery of propane at market price in excess of the amount of gallons contracted in our 2010-2011 plan. Therefore our new payment has been adjusted to $579.00. They last fill our tank on 1/5/2011, they charged me $5.16 per gallon. I get home today and they have delivered more propane; bill - $2395.36, $4.62 a gallon. I called and fought with them on the phone. They dropped the rate to $3.99. They are now telling me my new monthly payment for the next 6 months is $823.3. I AM NOT PAYING IT.
N  11th of Mar, 2011 by    0 Votes
I live in Leesburg VA and my entire bill from Suburban Propane at my modest, four-bedroom house from October 6, 2010-February 1, 2011 is $2465, or roughly $632 per month. What's the reason for these insane charges for a cold-loving family of four that keeps the heat temp at night at 60 degrees? Price gouging, pure and simple.

According to the US Department of Energy, the average cost of residential propane in Virginia on February 1, 2011 was $3.00 gallon. Suburban Propane filled up my tank the same day and charged me $4.00 gallon. Same thing in January. Today I called I called another local residential propane company today and they said their price for where I live today (March 11, 2011) is $2.89 per gallon. I called Suburban Propane and they said my price would be $3.69.

I'm 57 years old, well-off and have never in my life disputed a utility bill. In fact, I really had no idea I was being charged this much by Suburban Propane until earlier this week, when the "amount due" on the bill changed from the $180 I've been paying to $1745. I believe that I've been the victim of price gouging and deliberate deception by Suburban Propane, and I'm not going to stand for it. I'm taking these people to court.
N  12th of Apr, 2012 by    0 Votes
I switched from Suburban Propane to Osterman a few months back and what a difference.
I am so happy with Osterman and glad I changed.
If you live in the Niantic/New London CT area and have Suburban Propane kick them to the curb and call Osterman.
D  10th of Jun, 2013 by    0 Votes
TOTALLY DISAGREE! Osterman is the WORST company EVER!! Ashamed to say we have been customers for many years, but certainly not out of any sense of satisfaction or loyalty. Whenever we've had to call their despicable "Customer Service" in the Plainfield CT office to dispute a bill (which is almost every statement because they LOVE to add "mystery fees"... Google other review sites if you require further evidence of this), the incessantly nasty people who answer the phone will rudely argue about why the new mystery fee is justified (it's not) and cannot and will not be removed from the bill. And they're never insignificant amounts, they're usually between $60-$80 and have nothing to do with the propane that was delivered AND PAID FOR. Also, after explicitly telling them on Day One we would ONLY be using this gas for cooking (thus the small tank with the direct line to the stove), they started charging us a $60 per delivery "MINIMAL USAGE" fee [read: they're charging us for something we have not and will not ever use]. Recently they came and disconnected our propane gas line, so we finally caved and paid their fee over the phone while the tech was still there but she wouldn't call him and ask him to wait until the transaction was completed, so he left and then she wanted an additional $75 reconnection fee for him to come back THE NEXT WEEK!! Wait, WHAT? We are throwing in the towel and calling another gas company. Anyone who is reading this, PLEASE take our advice and learn from our financially painful experience and stay far, far away from Osterman! Nobody needs this much added stress or fee-based extortion in their lives.

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Suburban Propane Logo Suburban Propane
Customer Care Service
One Suburban Plaza
240 Route 10 West
P.O. Box 206

New Jersey
United States - 07981-0206
+1 973 503 9252
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