Suburban Propane / Pricegauging Unfair Practices
I built a new home in 2006 and had 1000 gal Suburban owned tank put in for heating. It was put in by my builder without any consent from me and I was pretty shocked to find out that I would not be the owner of the tank. Due to the lact of experience at the time, I did sign their contract because they were offering a really good start-up price of 1.89 per gal. Every year I would be on the phone with them fighting over their price for propane. Every year come Aug-Sep I would call other companies and Suburban was giving me a price that was 50 cents to a dollar more than prevailing market price. My 08/09 pre-buy was 3.35 per gallon. The contract states that if I fail to make two payments all of my subsequent deliveries will be made at a market price. The market price is the prevailing price right at the time of delivery. They told me that my price would be 3.75 although the market price has fallen since last year and is at about 2.20 per gallon. They make their prices up as they go along, a special price for all of their captive customers who don't have a choice. There is no buy-out option for the tank in their contracts. Also they informed me that I would lose the 845 dollar credit sitting in my account for overpayment. I asked them to buy the tank. They said "they don't sell tanks." I have had another company negotiate a sale of the tank for me and they would not sell. They told me I would have to dig it up and pay for pumping out of the leftover propane and a removal fee for the tank. Which, they stated, would not apply to my credit balance (they get to keep my 845 bucks!)/ They would charge me a 75 cents per gal fee to remove propane and 125 dollars to pick up the tank. Obviously, I would be responsible for the excavation of the tank. After a certain amount of negotiations they called me and said they would sell me the tank (now they are selling them!) but I would still lose 845 dollars. To be continued...
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