The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved Suburban Propane — Price Gauging and Unethical Business Practices
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
Upon moving into our house in September 2009 and never having any experience in dealing with a propane company, I chose the company that the previous and original owners of the house had contracted. I unknowingly signed a 3-year agreement with them as the customer service employee went through the pages with me telling me what each said in a nutshell. It was my bad for not reading the fine print and trusting someone, but to be honest, I just thought I was signing up with a new utility. It costs $100, plus administrative fees to cancel, which is a small fee compared to their gas prices. I researched 6 propane companies yesterday and Suburban Propane is $1.00 higher per gallon than the most expensive one that quoted me. Also, I have a 500-gallon tank which they fill to 80%, probably about 425 gallons and the first go round it cost over $1200 to top off the tank, whereby previous owners still had some residual fuel in there. They advised that they own this tank. I am going to ask them to provide documentation. I would purchase it if they gave me a fair market price for a 10-year old tank, but they said they would sell it for $2, 000. It has depreciated greatly in 10 years. They are the most rude people to their customers I have ever seen. The guy yesterday told me he had other customers (we were on the phone) and he would have to let me go. They come up with their hose to top off your tank to get more money. I have yet to get a bill with the amount of units on it and the price they are charging. They said the driver put it on the door and it probably blew away. Even when they mailed me this bill, it had nothing, but $441.00 due upon receipt. What does that tell me? I got on the budget plan after asking them to average out the previous owner's highest year at $220 per month and got a bill this month for $441. Our main heat source is heat pumps and the propane only kicks in after the temperature gets below a certain degree when it is cold and the heat pump (electric) is no longer efficient. So the propane is a back up system. Everything in the house is electric, except the fireplace and the stove, both of which we do not use often. I was told that since our tank is underground, it would be over $700 and maybe more, because it would have to be back-hoed out, plus a pump out fee per gallon of gas that is in the tank, and other administrative costs. I am looking to seek legal advice and take some action because customers should not be treated this way. We live in a free enterprise system and should be able to choose (without severe penalty) what companies we want to handle our business. If anyone out there knows of an attorney or someone knowledgeable about this issue, please contact me. I am going to contact the Virginia State Attorney General's Office. Legislation needs to be enacted immediately to regulate this crooked industry of price gauging and unethical business tactics. This company needs to be stopped in their tracks. Maybe the White House can get involved like they did in the General Motors case.