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Propane tank company charges for not using the tank

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Propane tank company charges for not using the tank

Old 01-13-2010, 07:25 AM
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Default Propane tank company charges for not using the tank

We have a whole house generator. The folks that owned the house before us had it installed, 5 feet from the natural gas, only to have it hooked up to a propane tank(which will be converted in the next week)

But anyway I get my yearly tank rental bill today, and the propane bastards want to charge me $333 for not using the tank. The charge is for not using the minimum required amount of propane for the year?
WTF?
So they charge me for a whole tank, because I didn't use any?

So now not only are they not going to get the yearly tank rental fee, but no other fees out of me as well. Called them and told them they could come pick it up , the tank will be laying out in front of the house.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:41 AM
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They own the tank. They are in biz to make money. What else did you expect? When using their tank, one signs a contract to use a certain amount of propane provided by them. You don't buy the propane, you breach the contract... thats the homeowners fault, not the propane company.

If you have a big ole in ground tank & don't pay them, they will repo the sucker & leave a big old hole in the ground.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:43 AM
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I pay them to rent the tank not use it. So it doesn't make business sense to charge me for not using it when I can tell them to come get it.

Thus they loose the yearly fee for having an old tank just sit here. Doesn't make much sense to me, but if they is how they want to do then it works for me, because they won't get any more money out of me.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:45 AM
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Thats normal. Buy it or give it back.

It was an existing contract. You rent it. Cost you about 1k.

Some won't service owner tanks. Liability thing.

I bought mine and am able to get it serviced with only a slight premium for fuel.

Last edited by My Gal; 01-13-2010 at 07:49 AM. Reason: edit
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:46 AM
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Buy your own tank and be done with it.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:52 AM
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there is still a contract in place (typically) to buy a min amount of propane. It's not their fault that you opt not to use it. They need to ensure that you are not getting a cheap tank from them & having someone else fill it at a cheaper rate. A tank they own, install & maintain... If they allowed their tanks to sit empty & relied on rental fees, they would go broke in a hurry.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:54 AM
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Kind of like a 2 drink minimum. They gotta make something out of the deal.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:54 AM
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bellsisland, if the generator is the only thing that you have on natural gas you may be charged a monthly charge for not using it also. Many utility companies have a minimum usage charge.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:55 AM
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Find out what the minimum usage needs to be, a gas grill or boiling crabs might do it for you.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:57 AM
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Did you sign a contract with the propane co. or are they just going by the prior owners agreement? If you did not sign anything with them I'd tell them to come get the tank and refuse to pay. If you signed a contract pay the bill and figure leason learned. I would not move the tank and let them disconect it and remove it them self because I'm sure there is something in that contract about the tank.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:58 AM
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hot water and 2 heating units, plus stove on Nat Gas, so trust me we use a lot of nat gas.

As I said above, I wouldn't do business that way, but that is ok, I don't need propane and it was a stupid idea to use it in the first place.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bellsisland View Post
I don't need propane and it was a stupid idea to use it in the first place.
I know that you can re-jet propane and natural gas units to utilize the other fuel but will the generator give you the same total output on natural gas as it will on propane?
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:45 AM
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I've got some natural gas going right now.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:55 AM
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Thoroughly read the contract that you agreed to when you signed it. If the contract states you are to purchase a minimum amount of propane each year and you agreed to it (signed your name) then you are obligated to pay. If something different was represented to you (verbally) then you have a legitimate dispute. If nothing was represented to you verbally and you failed to read the terms of the contract then you have a $333 lesson which in the grand scheme of life is a cheap lesson. Good luck.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:34 AM
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Actually for a standby generator I would prefer to have propane in a tank, if there is a natural disaster there is a good chance your natural gas line will be dead. Buy your own tank and keep it on propane.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by MacCTD View Post
Actually for a standby generator I would prefer to have propane in a tank, if there is a natural disaster there is a good chance your natural gas line will be dead. Buy your own tank and keep it on propane.
this ^^^^
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by MacCTD View Post
Actually for a standby generator I would prefer to have propane in a tank, if there is a natural disaster there is a good chance your natural gas line will be dead. Buy your own tank and keep it on propane.
Yep. I agree in principle that natural gas sounds better, but down here in S. Florida I know some streets had their natural gas cut off due to leaks etc after the last big hurricanes. If your neighbor's tree falls down and takes their gas meter with it, your generator isn't going to be much good.

I think the ideal case would be to hook up to both - own a propane tank large enough to run the gen for a few days, (which might be huge btw) but give yourself the flexibility to switch to NG if it is available. Don't know if that's an option for your generator or situation.

Agreed that $300 seems a little high for NOT using any propane but like everyone said, presumably that's spelled out in the agreement.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:31 AM
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Oh and the propane nazis never charged for a minimum use before this year, so since the economy is struggling, they think they will help offset there loses.

In order to have a propane tank that would run for say a week, it would have to be huge.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:50 AM
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I received a bill from my propane company and noticed the price per gallon increased. I called them and asked what I could do to get a better price, if you own your own tank it's cheaper for they charge a higher per gallon charge witch includes the tank rental. I asked for the price of a new tank and he offered to sell me the tank I have which was only 3 years old for half of a new one. The next day I stopped by and paid for the tank (get a receipt for proof of ownership) then called around and found a new supplier that is cheaper per gallon then they were.
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