Propane rip-off

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On Sat 23 May 2009 09:58:42p, SteveB told us...

Exactly!
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Wayne Boatwright
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Wayne Boatwright wrote:

Tanks do have a finite life and I believe testing is required every 5-10 years so I did not feel as ripped off when I got rid of old rusty tank but will definitely go to refiller next time.
There is a convenience factor in the HD exchange as you can drive up, dyi with credit card and it only takes a few minutes. This versus going to the Shell mart and trying to get someone to fill the tank while people are buying cigarettes and sandwiches ;)
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There's also a big difference between $20 and $40.
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SteveB wrote:

Tank exchange was $20 - somewhat over $5/gal for the propane. Looking at old rusty tank on grill now, I'll probably exchange that one too and thereafter go to the refill station.
What has me and probably everyone else pissed is the way they sneaked this in. 5 gal tank, you'd think you would get 5 gal back. They clearly show weight they give you on label but how many of us look at these things and how many people know that propane weighs about 4 lb/gal? That's the rip off.
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Well yes, but why do people buy things at convenience stores instead of the local grocery store? There definitely is a price for convenience...
Around here, retail propane goes for about $2.50/gallon, so filling a bbq tank is less than $10. But in this metro area of 750K people, there are only a couple of dozen places to get retail refills.
The exchange places are all over (that convenience thing), but the price for an exchange is about $25. OTOH, when you just fired up the grill, it dies, the steaks are ready to go on and your firends are laughing, where are you going?
Easily solved by having a spare tank and rotating them, but how many people do that?
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Beats me, but I have 4 tanks.
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wrote:

Just as easy to go to the Ace Hardware for a refill as to a store for an exchange.

having a spare tank is useful after a natural disaster like a flood or hurricane. you may not be able to get refills for some time after one.
some folks have dual hookups on their grills,one runs out and they just turn on the 2nd tank.
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Jim Yanik
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-snip-

I don't know- but I'm always amazed at folks who own a $2000 BBQ & balk at a $20 tank to swap out.
I like charcoal myself- but I keep a few tanks around for torches, heaters and such.
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wrote:

No one complained about the price so much, but I don't like getting screwed or deceived for even a penny.
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"Ed Pawlowski" wrote:

Had a kid at the local auto parts store overcharge me eighty cents on a six dollar purchase. When I brought it to his attention, he became very offended that I would waste his time for such a paltry sum.
I brought it up with the store manager the next time I was in there, an older fellow who had been with the store better than 20 years. He told me it was too bad, but if they replaced that kid, the next one would be just as bad, if not worse.
This is the world we live in.
Jon
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On Fri 22 May 2009 09:15:14p, Ed Pawlowski told us...

I really don't understand why people bother to buy exchange tanks in the first place. To me, the rip-off is paying for the use of their tank. There is no advantage that I can see, since you still have to carry an empty tank back and a full tank home. We have two tanks that we bought at Lowe's. We use one on the grill and one as a backup. It's amazingly cheaper to just have the tank filled at a local gas station and their prices are fair and competitive. I think my last fill up cost around $9.00 and was filled to the legal limit.
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Wayne Boatwright
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Ditto here. I think it's ignorance (just not knowing that they can go get them filled cheaper) and laziness. When you start looking around, there are quite a lot of places to get them refilled, although on first thought, one might think that they have to drive to an industrial district, etc.
I have three at this house, two at the cabin, and eight at my rental houses. We never run out. I took two and got them refilled the other day, and it was less than $20.
Plus, when you have them refilled at a gas sales place, they just charge you for what you get so you can top them off. At the exchange, I'm sure that people exchange fractionally full tanks, but receive no credit or consideration for the amount they have remaining in the tank.
Steve
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wrote:

You folks certainly have cheap propane. It was about $17 bucks each the last time I filled my tanks. (3). They do fill them all the way tho. (crack open the screw on the side and fill until liquid comes out).
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Sounds like the old guy at the propane place near me. Unscrew the valve on the side, and pump till it sprays liquid. He sure looked like he knew what he was doing. Old guys like that, I really respect.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That way of filling disappeared with the (now mandatory) OPD valve. You still have to open the vent to fill, but the OPD prevents the level from rising to the point where LPG comes out the vent.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

You must have not filled your tanks since the mandatory OPD valves appeared.
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These are OPD tanks and they certainly get liquid out.
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This is a really long thread, and I'm jumping in late, so maybe this has already been covered.
I don't see the rip-of factor here. A few months ago, in a fit of laziness and "I'm in a hurry" I went to the orange box and exchanged an empty Blue Rhino tank for a full AmeriGas tank. It was clearly marked on the AmeriGas tank that the tar weight was 17 lbs but that the net weight was 15 lbs.
It doesn't matter whether the exchange cost me $15, $25 or $250, the tank was marked with the weight of the contents and it was my choice to buy it or not. How is the consumer getting ripped off if they have all the information they need to make a decision?
On the other hand, I just came back from BJ's where I got a Blue Rhino can filled for $13.99. I took it home and weigh it: 35 lbs. So obviously I got my full 17 lbs (and a better deal) at BJ's than at the orange box, but in both cases I knew what I was getting for my money.
Read the label, or the unit pricing info, and if you get what is stated for the price marked, you didn't get ripped off.
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I don't see the rip-of factor here. A few months ago, in a fit of laziness and "I'm in a hurry" I went to the orange box and exchanged an empty Blue Rhino tank for a full AmeriGas tank. It was clearly marked on the AmeriGas tank that the tar weight was 17 lbs but that the net weight was 15 lbs.
It doesn't matter whether the exchange cost me $15, $25 or $250, the tank was marked with the weight of the contents and it was my choice to buy it or not. How is the consumer getting ripped off if they have all the information they need to make a decision?
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The problem comes in with regular customers. The tanks size was not changed and no notice of a change in weight was posted. Fact is, 99.9% of people that have been buying full tanks for the past 20 or 40 years don't look at the net weight every time they buy. Yes, legally they are covered, but you expect a gallon of milk to still contain a gallon. If they make the container smaller, OK, but they don't put 120 ounces of milk in a 128 ounce container. Sleazy at best.
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wrote in message

OK, but they don't put 120 ounces of milk in a 128 ounce

I've made inquiries of two different producers on this issue, and was told by both that the container size had to remain the same because of shelf space allotted by grocery chains.
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