Propane rip-off

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I'm half Hungarian. The rest English/Scottish mutt.
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Jim Yanik
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Might be on the English side. My Youngs go back to Germany. Anyhow, Mr. Y, it's a fine pleasure to meet you. And we're not getting ripped off by the propane guys.
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Christopher A. Young
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On Sat, 23 May 2009 10:52:40 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

Try to find one that charges you by the unit instead of a flat rate. No reason they can't top up a 20 lb tank that has 5 lb in it and charge you for 15 lb.
THAT is a ripoff.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

You are paying for the labor, mainly, not the propane. Gotta pay for the machine, the clerk, the inspections, the insurance, etc. Like the price of beer in kegs vs. cans- the cost of the content is close to trivial. If refill stations charged by the pound, you'd get people coming n every week to top off, 'just so we don't run out during the barbecue'. Lot of clerk time and machine wear for very little money. A flat fee plus weight would maybe make sense.
-- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote:

By that reasoning, every full serve gas station should charge you for a fixed amount full tank, not the actual number of gallons they pump into your car. Yet somehow they stay in business by charging you just for the amount you actually receive...
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Karla wrote:

A lot more people have cars than propane tanks, and there are a lot more gas stations that propane fill stations. You do notice that other than in NJ and Oregon?, full-serve gas stations have basically vanished, and the few that remain charge a price premium? They charge you for the labor, all right- 'X' cents per gallon.
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I work in MA. Each town fire Marshall decides if self serve is allowed and some do not have it. The full service stations are the same price as the self serve in the next town. Damned if I'm going to pump it when I can get it done for free.
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aemeijers wrote:

With propane filling, all service is "full service" so the premium difference vs. self serve is not a valid analogy, since we aren't comparing full service with self service propane. The full service pumps at a gas station (and there are plenty of them near me) charge the same per unit amount regardless of the amount of fuel purchased. In other words a customer purchasing 5 gallons of fuel isn't charged for a full tank. Likewise the number of stations is not relevant, we are discussing the practices at the stations themselves, not how many others there are.
There is no reason why propane sales should need to charge a full tank for a 1/4 tank fill, if propane dealers weren't out to gouge and cheat their customers. We aren't talking bulk sales here, and charging by the unit sold certainly adequately includes labor costs for other fuel sales.
The article cited already establishes the propane industry's (lack of) integrity and business ethics by providing less product without informing their customers. It's not surprising they freely engage in less than above-board practices.
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They do it because they can. It has been an accepted policy for many years.
Propane dealers are some of the worst on the planet. They have widely varying rates depending on use, they won't fill the tanks of another company, they rent tanks for years, they make if difficult to let you buy a tank, and on and on.
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On Sat 23 May 2009 09:32:48p, Ed Pawlowski told us...

If you're talking about the standard tank use for gas grills, there's a glut of them for sale at any big box store in this area, and any filling facility will fill them with no problem.
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Wayne Boatwright
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To clarify, I meant the larger stationary tanks used at the home for heating, cooking, etc.
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On Sun 24 May 2009 05:20:14a, Ed Pawlowski told us...

Sorry, Ed, I misunderstood.
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Wayne Boatwright
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wrote in message

Sounds like you live in a tough neighborhood, Jessica. The gas businesses here are geared to make people happy, so they will return year after year. Last trip in, I talked to them about installing a large tank for propane because we are converting to propane stove. Maybe it's just my attitude, but I have never had a problem with propane dealers, and I go out there when they fill the cylinders and make sure I get a ticket for only what they put in. A chimpanzee could read those simple gauges. If you're the trusting type who just takes them in and does very little in the way of monitoring them, then you get what you get.
Steve
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SteveB wrote:

around here will fill anyone else's non portable tank. If you want to change suppliers you need to have them remove their tank and the new supplier will place a tank and inspect your piping and equipment before turning the gas on. The mom & pop guys aren't bad to deal with but Suburban: http://www.suburbanpropane.com/ is over the top. They are much more expensive than the other suppliers for fuel. Last year they instituted a large small use fee "cooking rate" increase and high low use prices without warning and then billed people $150 more when they called to have the tank removed. My brothers neighbor worked for them and he said they couldn't keep up with tank removals.
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There's a dozen or so dealers around here and the one I use has been consistently the most competitive on pricing, so I'm not too concerned. That said, they definitely make it financially difficult to buy your own tank.
I pay about $75/year for tank rental on a 500 gal tank. If I wanted to buy my own tank, it would cost me in the neighborhood of $1000 installed. With the cost of money, that's close to 15 year break even. I haven't checked, but it wouldn't surprise me if periodic teating of the tank is required. That's included in the rental but would be my responsibility if I purchased.
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wrote:

When I went and priced a tank for running the kitchen stove, they said the same thing. If they own it, they do all the testing and maintenance, and it doesn't bump up from the $50 or $75 or whatever a month. If you own it, and you got a problem, you pay it all.
Steve
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Most dairy farmers do their own teating. Do propane tanks have teats?
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wrote:

<Seriously> Where does one find full service gas stations any more? </Seriously>
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x-no-archive: yes Kurt Ullman wrote:

There are plenty in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, for starters. Seen some in South Dakota and Wisconsin too. NJ and OR exclusively have full serve, with the exception of military bases, whose patrons are trusted with handling gas pumps themselves.
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On Sat, 23 May 2009 19:39:29 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

The U-Haul place I take my tank to definitely charges by the gallon, with no minimum charge -- and according to their website, this is true of all of their propane-selling locations nationwide.
That's a big downside to tank exchanges -- you have to run completely empty to get the full value; I don't have a place to store an extra 20lb tank, so I'd rather top off at 1/4 tank than run out in the middle of a barbeque.
Josh
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